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Aug 14, 2009 01:25 PM

PHX - need a nice bar with good food for a date

The request has come for our next date night for a nice, intimate bar with comfy seats, good liquor and nice nibbles. First thing that came to mind was Kazmirez, but that's a) a bit far and b) closed now, right?

Any ideas in the North Valley?

Many thanks!


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  1. just went to kaz's the other nite what a great spot, they now serve the stetson salad from ciao next door.

    Dont know Nvalley well. But what about rokeriji on maryland and 16h street I believe.

    3 Replies
    1. re: drewb123

      pgerding-Kazimierz is not closed. If you're getting that information from the other thread where someone mentioned its supposed closure, that was a mistake. The poster misunderstood an azcentral article which, I believe, was discussing the closure of Sea Saw and had some confusing writing.

      1. re: crsin

        Oh, wow - great to hear. We like that spot very much. Bit of a haul for us but worth it. Thanks.

      2. re: drewb123

        Rokeriji is a very interesting idea. We've never been there but it's not too far for us. We used to go to Zest often which was about there, too. That may go to the top of the list!

      3. Not sure how far north you are looking for but I like Bomberos in Sunnyslope. Good wine selection and good nibbles.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sunshineinaz

          Tried to add link but not working. Here is their website

          1. re: sunshineinaz

            We like Bomberos, too - pretty close for us and fun. We've been four or five times but the last time we were there, though, the food did not impress. And no liquor, if I recall, right? Just wines.

        2. Several good North Scottdale suggestsions here. Do those count as N. Valley?

          Zinc Bistro (sit outside, if the weather is tolerable)
          Cafe Pino (a bit more casual)
          Yasu Sushi Bistro (more of a restaurant)

          Adding links is busted.

          Cafe Pino-

          1 Reply
          1. re: tabe1978

            what are the chowhounders saying about kazimeirz??

            Do they still have a happy hour? nibblies/wine..

          2. Glad to see SO and I are not alone! We're always looking for good date night spots in the northerly part of town (mostly north-easterly).

            For HH, we always enjoy White Chocolate Grille at Scotts. Rd and Mayo. Sit inside in the bar (not in the patio), where they have booths and banquettes. They have a HH menu with half price appetizers and half price drinks. We love doing their trio of sliders with fries and their cherry cola drink. Like eating at a drive-in but with great food, cocktails and some pretty chic surroundings. But all their food and signature drinks are top notch. Their bartenders know what they're doing, and their bar is really very pretty. The servers always take good care of us.

            12 Replies
            1. re: AllPhoenix

              So what would you suggest for not over the top in prices and walking distance to roaring Fork for happy hour and people watching??

              This restaurant looks very good. I was suprised at the prices as well as it looks very upscale but their entrees are priced far less then many in the Scottsdale Sedona area.

              1. re: palmtree38

                WCG's dining room can be very nice, but we believe their bar is something special.

                I should disclose I'm not a fan of Roaring Fork only because of the crowds and confusion. Never made it to the eating or drinking stage there though, so can appreciate why someone less claustrophobic and more patient than I might like it. Around Fashion Square it's a challenge to find places that present their best with even a little humility. To get great food and drink, and some very good people watching, the CH-popular spots on Stetson (e.g. Digestif, Kazimierz, etc) south of Fashion Square are great. The Mission further south in Old Town Scotts. is another good one. Just thought of the Valley Ho as well - both the lobby bar and Trader Vic's.

                ...only bad thing for me about people watching in Scottsdale is that it makes me feel so old - sigh! ;--)

                1. re: AllPhoenix

                  We will be having two young children in two so we dont want to do just wine bars. However there will be a night or two that grandpa can watch them so we can get out on the town for the night.

                  Kazimierz has such a extensive wine menu but I would be lost and the food served is basically cheese and not much more.

                  Ztejas we wanted to try out their bloody mary bar sounds like fun 12-2pm then their happy hour follows at 3pm. This is walking distance to the roaring Fork?

                  1. re: palmtree38

                    Yes, Ztejas is inside the mall around the corner from the food court. Right by valet parking. They make a very good margarita too! Funny - SO isn't fond of Kaz' because of lost in wine list syndrome too! If you're looking for a place to go with the children, cafe Zuzu at Valley Ho might be an option. It's basically an upscale diner with a great retro Phoenix vibe and somewhat imaginative recipes with kid-friendly options. Personally, I love the place because it reminds me of a diner my family used to frequent here in the '60's (Brookshires on McDowell). All space-age pendant lighting and such.

                    Cafe Zuzu
                    6850 E. Main Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                    1. re: AllPhoenix

                      I am Canadian and shocked at how a bottle of wine in the USA is $5-8 and in Canada it is $15-$20 but at a USA restaurant they are selling that variiety of wine in a restaurant for $9 a glass!! where we pay $7 and we have triple the mark up. With economical times right now for diners to go out for dinner and enjoy a nice meal and why they charge so much for a drink. Or do most customers take advantage and only go out during happy hours????

                      I will look into your suggestion of Cafe Zuzu thankyou...

                      1. re: palmtree38

                        Scottsdale does charge a premium for just about everything. Better values at very good restaurants can be found just a few miles west of Fashion Square along Indian School and Camelback Roads between 32nd and 40th Streets, and along 40th St. Check CH or Yelp for places like Postino, Noca, Tarbell's and others in the area. Happy hunting - there are many very good options out there - and enjoy your trip!

                        1. re: AllPhoenix

                          Thanks so much! Looking foward to it. I noticed this to be true in Sedona too but again another touristy location.
                          All Phoenix have you been to Los Taquitos or Bandino found on food networks diners and drive ins?? Looking at one of these as a option for a fun come home and talk about it type place

                          1. re: palmtree38

                            No, I haven't been to either, though Los Taquitos seems to get mixed reviews. Feel pretty confident in saying there are better, closer options- there are boards here devoted to it.

                            1. re: palmtree38

                              I think the "mixed reviews" of Los Taquitos are mostly about whether it's any better than all the other good little taco places in town, given all the press it's gotten. It is good, IMO, it's just no better/different than Lulu's or Guedo's or a bunch of others; I go there partially because it's convenient. If you saw it on the TV show and are curious, don't hesitate-- they do indeed have good tacos, and it's an easy place to take kids. If you just want a good taco, there are places in other parts of town that aren't much different.

                              I've never been to Chino Bandido, but a lot of people like it, and it's also very kid-friendly by the sounds of it.

                              1. re: bortukan

                                Bortuken.. We were going to go to Carolina's for our first stop from flying into Phoenix. This would be comparable then to Los Taquitos? It does get good reviews on here and cheap and cheerfull.
                                Ranch Market, Tradicones and Carlsbad Tavern, American Taco Shop (voted #1 in magazine)

                              2. re: palmtree38

                                I have been to both many times. Chino Bandido is fun because of how they mix Chinese with Mexican and it works. Los Taquitos is neat because it's excellent carne asada (and other items). Both are what they are and pretty much what was shown on DDD. They got on that show IMO as much for the atmosphere and ownership as for the food. Are there better taco places? Maybe, probably but I've found the DDD selections tend to be more than the sum of their parts if that makes any sense. MANY people come to Phoenix to do the DDD places (Matt's and Over Easy have people litterally weekly who come in and order exactly what was shown on television). At Chino Bandido you'll talk about how the seemingly weird combinations work together. At Los Taquitos you'll talk about very good food in a very small family owned and operated storefront that really is about the American story.

                                1. re: Poerz

                                  So Poerz if you were staying in Scottsdale near Fashion Square would their be one worth the drive over the other?? price wise the same too?