Downtown Phoenix, Dinner and the Dodge
Not at all familiar anymore with the downtown area. Except for an occasional D-Backs game I am never there. Seems I have heard a lot has gone in over the past 2-3 years. What are some good choices before catching a show at the Dodge Theatre. Party of four somewhere that takes reservations and preferably not too far(under a couple miles) from the theatre. Not too particular regarding type of cuisine but after a good quality dining experience.
I went to District last Friday because of the good things I read on this thread. What a disappointment! Very crowded loud bar crowd and only 3 tables full in the restaurant out of 50? The specialty drinks were great, Makers Mark Sage Mojito! With 3 tables and several staff it took way too long for service! I ordered Lobster Parpardelle with a broth. No broth, pasta stuck together, and rubber-band lobster! It killed my appetite so I substituted a dessert just to have something. While waiting I tasted my friend’s Coca-Cola Short Ribs. It tasted like a dried out pot roast. I was ready to leave hungry when my dessert arrived. Lemon cheesecake topped with lemon crème brulee with a white chocolate straw. One of the best desserts I have ever had. If you go drinks and dessert only. The next night I went to Switch on a recommendation from the bartender at my hotel. It was hip and the food was awesome!
Last night we attended a show at Dodge and decided to meet at Cheuvront for dinner. We made it there before 6pm (in time for happy hour) to enjoy several $5 options (cheese plate, pate plate, pizza ) as well as a deliciously decadent serving of "Martini Scallops" (regular menu). A couple of glasses of wine and we were off to the show, leaving one car there.
We allowed 30 minutes to get to the show, which would have been fine but for the amount of traffic in the parking garage itself. As it was, the show had just gotten started when we made it to our seats.
After the show there were many pedi cabs available and clamouring for business. Attempting to exit the garage after a sold out show is an exercise in patience, so taking a pedi cab to the venue and back to the car is a nice option.
Cheuvront Wine & Cheese Bar
1326 N. Central, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Nine 05 has closed. A new restaurant will replace it at the site but has not opened yet.
Kincaid's has suspended dinner service during the slow summer and is making exceptions only for big events like ball games. I wouldn't assume the restaurant would necessarily stay open for a concert at the Dodge.
The situation remains basically the same, though: The Dodge is not situated in the restaurant-dense portions of Downtown. Be prepared to do one of the following:
-- Walk several blocks between dinner and the Dodge
-- Take light rail to a station near a restaurant and then reboard and take it to the station nearest the Dodge
-- Park once for dinner and then again near the theater.
-- Take a pedicab between dinner and the Dodge
In this heat, I'd probably let someone else do the hard work in return for a generous tip and therefore choose the pedicab.
We like District too. We visited for the first time last month after a game for reverse Happy Hour (after 10 pm), and my husband said "let's make this our default" for events in the area.
Friendly bartenders and they have nice drinks including a list of muddled cocktails using herbs from their garden; I really liked my sage julep. Favorite items off the HH menu were the mac-n-cheese with beer hots (spicy sausage from Schreiner's) and the juicy burger cooked perfectly medium rare. Regular Happy Hour is 3-7. I also appreciate that they strive for sustainability and source locally.
Happy Hour Menu:
340 N 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ
400 W Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85003
District is very nice. I'm not sure why I didn't mention it when I responded (under my old user name) to the inquiry that started this thread back in January.
If you'd prefer not to walk the distance from the Sheraton to the Dodge (around half a mile), just walk across the street to the Arizona Center. There are always pedicabs waiting there right in front of Hooters.
The Dodge is in the southwest quadrant of Downtown, which is still mostly devoid of good restaurants. Hohokam's suggestions are excellent ones, but they're in the northeast quadrant of Downtown -- almost mile from the Dodge. That's not to dissuade you from going to any of them, but just a note of caution that you'll probably need to park twice if you are driving, reboard the light rail and get off at another stop if you are taking the train, or hire one of the pedicabs to take you between dinner and the event.
If you want something within walking distance of less than half a mile from the Dodge, I'd recommend the following:
Any of the choices named in this thread will provide a good meal; it's just a matter of logistics.
603 N. 5th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 850103
Kincaid's Fish Chop/Steakhouse
2 South Third Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phoenix AZ, Phoenix, AZ
Parking twice is not an issue as long as we can get in and out by 45 minutes or so before the show.
What do I like/Pretty Varied
Romeo’s Euro Café
Rancho Tia Rosa
Roaring Fork(Before the Move)
Pink Pony(In the Day)
Popo’s Fiesta Del Sol
Los Dos Molinos
If you have a need for speed, the leisurely pace at Sens might not work for you. Of the places I suggested, I think Pasta Bar would be your best bet for getting in and out quickly. I've had pretty speedy service at Local Breeze, but I've gone there only during the mid-afternoon post-lunch/pre-dinner doldrums.
Pasta Bar, Sens, and Nine|05 (or 905 or however it's represented in print)* are all just a little bit north and east of the theater. None are white table cloth fine dining, but I've had very good food at all three. District is even closer; I've yet to eat there, so I can't personally vouch for it.
*I'll add a place link in a follow-up post
District: American Kitchen and Wine Bar
320 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
705 N 1st Street 120, Phoenix, AZ 85004
705 N 1st Street 110, Phoenix, AZ 85004