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Mar 31, 2011 12:54 PM

Visiting from Maryland - Entertaining Clients

Hello. I'll be attending a conference in Phoenix in May and will be staying next to the convention center. I'll be taking a group of about 12 to dinner on a Monday night. I'd like to keep the tab to around $50 per person. As most of us have never been to Phoenix, I'd like to try something regional but I'm open to suggestions. A fun atmosphere is a plus. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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  1. You have two good options straight north of you. Sam's Cafe at the Arizona Center is good for business groups like that and has a large patio, if the weather's still nice. The food is non-threatening southwestern grill or Mexican fare, and they do great pitcher margaritas. Then there's District, the restaurant/bar in the lobby of the Sheraton. It may not sound like it, but it's an elegant space. They source local and sustainable wherever possible and have the trendy-comfort-food angle all covered. Stuff like local sweet shrimp po' boys, red velvet whoopee pies, organic PB&J at happy hour; good beer and wine list.

    Links to look at menus:

    Sam's Cafe
    455 N 3rd St Ste 114, Phoenix, AZ 85004

    District: American Kitchen and Wine Bar
    320 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

    1 Reply
    1. re: themis

      District looks like a good contender for our group. Interesting menu and space. Thanks for the suggestion.

    2. is $50 per person including or not including drinks? Are you looking to walk over or do you have transportation?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dapuma

        $50 including drinks, but could go a little higher. Doesn't have to be walking distance; figured we would take a cab. Thanks to all for your recommendations. I'm really looking forward to this trip.

      2. A regional option that's not too far away is Los Dos Molinos. Their specialty is New Mexico-style food, which can challenge the uninitiated, due to the chile heat. I haven't eaten at any of their locations for a few years now, and I've never eaten at their...uh..."Downtown-adjacent" location ever; so I can't speak to the quality of the food they're serving these days.

        Nobuo at Teeter House is a non-regional option that is quite good and a bit closer. I'm not sure how well they could handle a party of 12, given the configuration of their space, but it might be worth making a call to find out.

        Nobuo is about a 10-minute walk from the convention center; a trip to Los Dos likely warrants taking a cab or public transit.

        Los Dos Molinos
        1010 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

        Nobuo at Teeter House
        622 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

        2 Replies
        1. re: hohokam

          Both of those look super to me. As to Los Dos, I like a challenge! And the omakase at Nobuo is definitely up my alley. I'm going to try to get to one of those on a day that I have to myself. They are probably a little too adventurous for some in my group. Thanks for the pointers.

          1. re: ericb

            Just so you know, Nobuo's omakase has very limited availability, so if you want to score a seat for that, it's best to make your reservation as soon as you have a date in mind.

            Happy to help!