Rocky Point Sees Its First Cruise Ship Set Sail

After much anticipation and planning, the first cruise liner departed Thursday, Jan. 9, from Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, commonly known in the United States as Rocky Point. The Astoria Cruise Liner, owned and operated by Cruise and Maritime Voyages, is currently sailing around the Sea of Cortez and returning back to Rocky Point Jan. 20.

“This is a major step in Rocky Point’s development and growth,” stated Keith Allen, director of sales of a new and contemporary condo development Encantame Towers and founding member of Peñasco Business Coalition. “With the launch of this cruise, we are hoping that Rocky Point, with its unique location on the Sea of Cortez, will be seen as a premier, local cruise ship port. It’s just another wonderful amenity added to this safe, beautiful beach town.”

The Astoria set sail on the cruise titled “Treasures of the Sea of Cortez.” Over the course of the 11-day voyage, the ship will take passengers to eight ports along the Sea of Cortez, including Topolobampo, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Bahia Loreto, Santa Rosalia and Guaymas. The ship itself has 250 cabins and can hold around 550 people. In addition, Cruise and Maritime Voyages arranged ground transportation from Phoenix and Tucson to Rocky Point. Most of the passengers are anticipated to be Arizonans and people from surrounding western states.

“With so many transplants to the Southwest from other parts of the U.S., there’s a huge number of people who’ve yet to experience the charm of Rocky Point first-hand,” said Steve Schwab, founder and president of Casago, a leading property management and vacation rentals company, founding member of Peñasco Business Coalition, and passenger on the Astoria. “This is yet another reason for first-time and seasoned visitors to experience Rocky Point and all its year-round offerings.”

“Puerto Peñasco is well prepared for the already growing tourism our community is seeing and we are proud to see the launch of the much-anticipated cruise, Treasures of the Sea of Cortez,” said Puerto Peñasco Mayor Kiko Munro. “New businesses, new development, and the hard work of our public safety officials make Puerto Peñasco an ideal beach destination for many Arizonans.”

There are three scheduled departures from Rocky Point for the Treasures of the Sea of Cortez Cruise on Jan. 9, Jan. 20 and Jan. 31. Following these three cruises, the Astoria will move on to other scheduled cruises launching from England in 2020. Cruise and Maritime Voyages will determine the 2021 schedule of the Astoria at a later date.

More information on the Treasures of the Sea of Cortez cruise can be found at https://us.cruiseandmaritime.com/cruise/r008/treasures-of-the-sea-of-cortez.

Alice and David Are a Dynamic Duo Wishing for a Forever Family

— By Clint Williams
Aid to Adoption of Special Kids

Eight-year-old Alice is fearless as she moves smoothly up the rock climbing wall at Sky Zone in Scottsdale and confidently slaps the buzzer.

She then carefully works her way down the wall — and then starts back up. Practice makes perfect and Alice is nothing if not willing to practice.

Cheering her on is younger brother David, 7. And when it’s his turn to tackle the wall, Alice keeps a watchful eye as the protective — and a little bit bossy — big sister.

The siblings form a dynamic duo, says Brianna, a child specific adoption recruiter with Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK).

“Alice is a girly girl,” Brianna says. “She likes all things glittery and sparkly.

“David enjoys playing outside. He is very tidy, and he likes to make his bed every single morning.”

Both are active and giggly. Both do well in school and love routine. Both love macaroni and cheese. The two have never lived without each other.

“They have a very strong relationship together and it’s important that they maintain that relationship throughout their lives,” Brianna says, adding that it is also import the two stay in Arizona.

The siblings would thrive in a forever home that has two parents with an abundance of energy.

“The perfect forever family for Alice and David is one that has the time, patience and understanding to work with them,” Brianna says.

Alice and David would do well in a family with other children, but, because of allergies, they can’t live in a home with cats or dogs.


For more information on children in foster care eligible for adoption, call Aid to Adoption of Special Kids at 602.930.4900, or visit www.aask-az.org.

Whiskey and Popcorn Reviews… ‘1917’ Immerses You Into the Battlefield Unlike Any Other War Movie

Tuesday Mahrle and Kaely Monahan

—By Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle

(center) George MacKay as Schofield in “1917,” co-written and directed by Sam Mendes.

When it comes to the world wars, the Second World War seems to capture much of the imagination and romance of Hollywood. World War I not so much. And perhaps that’s due to there being a “less clear” enemy. There aren’t Nazis in WWI. But the First World War has plenty to offer when it comes to storytelling. Writer/director Sam Mendes proves this in his film 1917.

A truly immersive experience, 1917 follows two British soldiers as they set out on a ride-or-die mission across No-Man’s land. What makes 1917 truly spectacular is the one-shot technique, which makes the film feel like it’s all one continuous shot.

The film 1917 is Rated R. It opens Jan. 10.

George MacKay as Schofield in “1917,” the new epic from Oscar®-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes.

(Photos courtesy of Universal Studios)

Whiskey and Popcorn is a movie podcast by local film critics Kaely Monahan and Tuesday Mahrle. You can hear their full movie reviews on whiskeyandpopcorn.org.

HER Certified Auto Review: 2019 Camry TRD 4-Door V6 Sedan

Click to learn more about Cathy.

By Cathy Droz –

When your bestie turns 70, you take a girl’s weekend to celebrate.  We didn’t go very far, the Boulders resort in Carefree, but we needed a few drivers with cargo space or in my case, a cool car to drive around in.  You also offer to drive because everyone wanted to take a spin in my red Camry TRD, thanks to Toyota.

The Camry was introduced in 1982… and as we all said this weekend… This is not your “Mother’s Camry.” Still a leading model for the Toyota brand, this TRD was taken to a whole new level. In fact, I challenged one of the ladies to a short race against her Targa, Porsche. At one point she got behind the wheel so she could see and feel for herself the power and tenacity of the Camry.  She was impressed.

Maybe we’re turning 70 but we haven’t lost our love of cars, speed and luxury and of course the color red.  Check out the video to see just what went on that weekend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkwxnW0etY8&t=21s

Standard and Performance

  • 5L V6 Engine, 301 hp @6600 rpm/287 lb-ft @ 4700rpm
  • 8-speed transmission w/ paddle shifters
  • TRD tuned Front and Rear Suspension

Safety and Convenience

  • Pre collision w/pedestrian detection, lane departure alert
  • VSC, TRAC, ABS BA and SST
  • Backup Camera

Exterior and Interior

  • Audio – 7-inch Screen 6 speakers
  • Android Auto & Apple CarPlay Compatible
  • Display with TRD start up display
  • Aero Kit with Red Pin Striping, Red TRD Badge
  • Red Seatbelts
  • TRD Rear Spoiler
  • TRD Logo Headrest

For more go to www.toyota.com and www.hercertified.com for more Toyota reviews.

MSRP:  $31,040

As Tested: $32,920

The special color red is optional @ $425.00


For additional HER Certified Auto Reviews, visit www.hercertified.com.

2020 for Good — or Not?

Rabbi_headshot2

Click to learn more about Rabbi Kravitz

By Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz, D.D. 

As you read this column, the newest year 2020 has already arrived. It’s the year we will refer to in the phrase “hindsight is 2020.” So, if this newest year does grant us the opportunity to reflect on the past, what do we see?

2019 was a year of amazing pain and conflict in the United States, not just in the streets of our cities, our schools, our houses of worship, but even in the halls of our government. It was 12 months filled with murder, rancor, swearing, bullying, harassment and mis-statements or lies. No matter the side of the aisle where you sit, 2019 presented itself as the opportunity to challenge and argue, besmirch and belittle anyone and everyone who is different. Hardly a day went by without someone using public or social media to verbally spit in the eye of someone else, without apology.

Seldom did we hear or read of people doing good for each other, except the occasional tribute to America’s military or vets. All the rest of us were fair game for targeting. We sent our “thoughts and prayers” to millions around the world who became cannon fodder for monarchs and oligarchs. Many praised ill-informed leaders. Thousands attempted to bury — online, sometimes in person — those who did not uphold their “values.” We felt the derision of those who saw human beings differently, and who made us the objects of their lunacy, the focus of their fury. Compassion and truth evaporated.

2019 was not a good year. True, we had some successes in medicine to heal the hurting; we saw advances in communication to connect us; and we responded with millions of dollars to care for victims of man-made and climate-made disasters. Nevertheless, 2019 now is over. How many hundreds of thousands remain hostages to war and displacement, seeking freedoms no longer offered, because of squandered resources.

Ours now is the responsibility to make 2020 a year where we can proudly say next year at this time — in hindsight — 2020 was better, because we worked together to make it so.


Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz, D.D., is known Valley-wide for his more than three decades of support for civil and human rights, and the positive efforts of law enforcement. A volunteer police chaplain, he regularly lectures on related subjects, while working part-time as Hospital Chaplaincy Coordinator for Jewish Family & Children’s Service. Contact him at rrlkdd@hotmail.com.


Photo by Andrew Zuber; courtesy of Scopio.

Blue Light: The Visible Danger

By Stephen Cohen, O.D.

Over the past decade, our lives have been transformed due to smart phones, tablets and other handheld devices. These devices are backlit by LED light. Also, legislation has been implemented that require that incandescent light bulbs be replaced by more energy efficient LED bulbs. Unfortunately, this change in technology has come with a price tag: these devices emit high levels of “blue light.”

Think about the colors of the rainbow. On the spectrum, blue light is right next to ultraviolet radiation (UV). We know that UV (which we cannot see) can be damaging to our skin and to our eyes. Its neighbor, blue light, has been found to cause numerous problems in higher and extended doses.

Although the sun is the major source of all wavelengths of light, including blue light, we have experienced a tremendous increase in blue light exposure in other settings, such as in our office, on our laptop and even in our beds when we tend to use our smart phones and tablets before going to sleep.

Here are some of the challenges we now face. Blue light suppresses melatonin, which helps us fall asleep. Using a smart phone in bed for a short time in anticipation of sleep actually wakes us up. Apple, for example, has come up with an adjustment to turn down the blue light at night in an attempt to counteract this problem for its iPhone users. Blue light also causes significant eyestrain. This can affect visual comfort, moods and behavior, whether for adults in an office, or, more significantly, for children in a classroom.

Blue light (which has been found to penetrate deeper into our eyes) has been implicated as a contributing factor to developing Macular Degeneration later in life. Protecting your eyes now will not only help to improve your quality of life today, it can also help in the future. There are now coatings that can be applied to lens surfaces of eyeglasses that block UV, glare, and blue light. This can enhance clarity (since the “blue” end of the visible spectrum tends to be more distorting), reduce strain and protect your eyes. Special filters on computer/tablet screens can reduce blue light exposure. Using the adjustment settings on your smart phone can also reduce exposure to higher levels of blue light.

We are familiar with the term “unintended consequences,” where some advances in technology provides benefits but can also cause unanticipated challenges. Such is the case with lighting changes that were made for environmental benefits, as well as digital device technology. So, while we help to protect our environment, let’s protect our eye health and visual comfort as well.


Photo credit: Japanexperterna.se via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Cartel Coffee Lab Heads North with Two New Phoenix Locations

The longstanding Tempe-based coffee purveyor, Cartel Coffee Lab, known for sourcing and roasting some of the best coffee from around the world is launching new locations in Paradise Valley and Uptown Phoenix. Located at the northeast intersection of Tatum and Shea, the Paradise Valley location is scheduled for a grand opening Dec. 20 . (Open holiday hours 7am–3pm through Christmas Eve; 6am–8pm regular hours.) Visitors can look forward to free coffee all day and a chance for one winner to receive free coffee for a year. The 1,200 square foot Paradise Valley location features a state of the art La Marzocco Linea PB espresso machine, draft cold brew and Chemex pour overs of rotating single origin coffees.

As a part of its continuing partnership with boutique hospitality brand ARRIVE Hotels, Cartel will be opening inside ARRIVE’s upcoming hotel at Fourth Avenue and Camelback in Uptown Phoenix in 2020. This will be the third in a series of successful cafe/hotel partnerships after locations in Palm Springs and Austin.

“We’ve always been cautious when it comes to choosing locations or partners; both of these new cafes represent a lot of consideration and these are two communities we are excited to grow with,” said Jason Silberschlag, owner and co-founder of Cartel.

Husband and wife Jason and Amy Silberschlag began Cartel 12 years ago with a mobile cart, which will now have expanded into 10 retail locations across three states supported by their two Arizona roasteries in Tempe and Tucson. “From day one, it’s been about neighborhood cafe culture first and foremost,” said Amy. “We can’t wait to make new friends in North Phoenix!”

It isn’t just the Silberschlags who are excited.

“I’m personally thrilled that they’ll be just across the street from me,” says Woo Jonathon, general manager of neighboring restaurant The Covenant. “I’m always up for more local business in Paradise Valley.”

The name Cartel Coffee Lab was inspired by oil cartels; instead of stifling competition, Cartel has an ambitious goal to band together like-minded coffee producers and professionals to drive customer appreciation for hard work and quality. To date, Cartel partners with 110 rotating coffee farms spread across the globe who are guaranteed to be paid 30 percent to 150 percent above their costs, far above pricing set by Fair Trade.

Through the years, Cartel has received recognition from the likes of Alton Brown, Vogue and Food & Wine as a gold standard in specialty coffee craft and service. The secret is in their 90 percent retail focus, which has allowed them to prioritize the experience of the end user in all their decisions.

For additional information, visit www.cartelcoffeelab.com or find Cartel Coffee Lab on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Photos courtesy of Cartel Coffee Lab

Center For Medicaid and Medicare Services Extends Marketplace Open Enrollment Deadline to Dec. 18

After technical issues prevented some consumers from accessing the HealthCare.gov website on the final day of open enrollment for 2020 Marketplace insurance coverage, the Center For Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) made the decision to extend the enrollment deadline, and issued the following statement:

“CMS’s primary goal is to provide a seamless Open Enrollment experience for HealthCare.gov consumers and ensure that those Americans who want coverage offered through the Exchange can enroll in a plan. In an abundance of caution, to accommodate consumers who attempted to enroll in coverage during the final hours of Open Enrollment but who may have experienced issues, starting at 3:00PM EST today, December 16 we are extending the deadline to sign up for January 1 coverage until 3:00AM EST December 18. This additional time will give consumers the opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for January 1 coverage. While the website and the call center remained open for business on December 15 with over half a million consumers enrolling throughout the day, some consumers were asked to leave their name at the call center.  Those consumers who have already left their contact information at the call center do not need to come back and apply during this extension because a call center representative will follow up with them later this week.”

World Hunger on the Rise — Causes, Consequences and Solutions

A map of all the countries Feed My Starving Children has partners in and is sending food to. The black dot on the far right is the country the volunteers were packing for at the facility in Mesa, Arizona, when the reporter visited. Photo: Jeff Rosenfield

—By Jeff Rosenfield

From 2005 to 2015, world hunger was decreasing, but it is once again on the rise.

Over two billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food, and in the past three years the number of people suffering from hunger has slowly increased, according to 2019 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SFSNW) report.

This report was authored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization.

The report measured the percentage of undernourished people in the world to represent global hunger. Undernourished people may have access to food that is not nutrient-rich.

While hunger is a physical discomfort due to not eating food for a time, undernutrition is a condition resulting from lack of necessary nutrients, usually obtained from food, according to World Hunger Education.

Hunger and undernutrition are results of food insecurity, when one has limited or unreliable access to healthy and nutritious foods.

“About two billion people in the world experience moderate to severe food insecurity,” according to the 2019 SFSNW report.

“The lack of regular access to nutritious and sufficient food that these people experience puts them at greater risk of malnutrition and poor health,” according to the 2019 SFSNW report, in which maternal and child undernutrition reportedly contributed to 45 percent of deaths in children under 5 years old.

“These nutrient deficiencies lead to a lack of function,” registered dietitian and lecturer for the Nutrition Program at the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University (ASU), Jessica Lehmann said.

The immune system can be suppressed if the “body doesn’t have enough protein to build antibodies,” Lehmann said.

Some examples of vital nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water.

“If there’s not enough protein and not enough calories, then the body starts basically cannibalizing itself and its own proteins, in order to create enough energy to live,” Lehmann said.

The body will start by consuming the glycogen — or stored carbohydrates — and will ultimately consume its own skeletal muscles, Lehmann said.

Some other vital nutrients are vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, iron and zinc.

Vitamin A deficiency can result in blindness in children, according to Christy Alexon, a clinical associate professor at the College of Health Solutions at ASU.

“It’s completely heartbreaking,” Alexon said about the “number one preventable cause of childhood blindness.”

Vitamin A deficiency is preventable because there is enough nutritional food in the world.

According to Concern Worldwide U.S., Inc., “the world produces enough food to feed all 7.5 billion people.”

“Despite this, 1 in 9 people around the world go hungry each day,” according to Concern Worldwide U.S., a statistic confirmed in the 2019 SFSNW report.

“If you want to talk about why people are hungry, a lot of it is access to food,” Lehmann said.

Time and money are scarce, and people will often choose the cheaper meal, even if it is lacking nutrients, Lehmann said.

“Poverty is a huge reason,” Lehmann said.

In countries with greater income inequality, people with lower incomes spend a larger percentage of their income on food, according to the 2019 SFSNW report.

While enough food is produced worldwide, it is not readily available worldwide. As such, countries need to find a way to secure their own food source.

Countries lacking the necessary land and water resources to produce crops are forced to import, Mark Manfredo, a director and professor at the Morrison School of Agribusiness at the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU, said.

Even if a country can afford importing food, it may not be able to afford importing nutritious food, which is typically more expensive.

Any nutritious food that is imported will be more expensive than non-nutritious foods in the domestic markets, according to the 2019 SFSNW report.

A country that produces its own food is not necessarily better off, either.

Prices may fluctuate due to weather and natural disasters destroying crops. Food safety scares can also create a lot of volatility, Manfredo said.

Additionally, poorer countries have fewer incentives to offer farmers to increase production, Clifford Shultz, a professor at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University, said.

Cambodia, as a previously communist country, used a model that “didn’t have incentives for farmers so they underperformed,” Shultz said.

Underperforming farmers hurt the economy, which also undermines efforts to end hunger and malnutrition, according to the 2019 SFSNW report.

“After they switched to a more market-oriented economies they were able to produce more food,” Shultz said.

Still, some countries have underperforming economies.

“In 2018, more than 96 million people in 33 countries suffering from acute food insecurity lived in places where economy had rising unemployment, lack of regular work, currency depreciation and high food prices,” according to the 2019 SFSNW report.

Another reason people have unequal access to food is war and violence.

Food waste and insecurity are greatly increased in times of war and violence.

“Food is a weapon,” Shultz said.

In war, “One of the first things you do is cut off the supply chain of your adversary,” Shultz said.

Destroying food supply chains causes crop failure and reduces the supply of food, and when the demand remains the same or increases, the result is an increase in food prices.

For example, South Sudan’s civil war has led to mass displacement and abandoned fields, resulting in crop failure. Combined with a soaring inflation rate, imported foods are unaffordable, leaving six million people food-insecure, according to Concern Worldwide U.S.

Many countries with food insecurity also face an increasing number of overweight people. This is not a result of well-nourished people overindulging.

“The most recent data show that obesity is contributing to 4 million deaths globally and is increasing the risk of morbidity for people in all age groups,” according to the 2019 SFSNW report.

“People are growing up and they’re just not sure where their next meal is coming from,” Lehmann said.

“It can create a very real need to make sure that someone has extra calories,” Lehmann said.

“Whenever food does appear they’re going to be much more likely to get as much as possible because they don’t know when their next meal is gonna arrive or be there,” Lehmann said.

Whether or not this food is nutritious is of little concern to the hungry person.

Countries around the world are food insecure and suffer from undernutrition, even though the world produces enough food to feed them all.

So, where does the excess food go?

It is wasted.

“Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted,” according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United States.

That is the equivalent of roughly 680 billion United States dollars being wasted annually.

“Food waste occurs at all points of the supply chain,” Manfredo said.

“Researchers and scientists and economists are all trying to address this problem,” he continued.

“There is a lot of agricultural investment right now, in new technologies, in land, in infrastructures and equipment, all of this to create more efficiency in food production.”

One example Manfredo gave was investments in robotics. Having a robot that can remove weeds from a farmer’s field could potentially remove the need for spraying chemicals and herbicides.

Another example was using data analytics to build models and predict how much fertilizer is needed for a field.

However, as Manfredo said earlier, “Food waste occurs at all points of the supply chain.”

Manfredo said waste occurs in fresh produce, in particular, as produce is not put on the market if it does not meet industry standards.

“Maybe it’s bruised or imperfect,” Manfredo said, “That’s the word they often use is imperfect.”

Imperfect Foods is a Public Benefit Corporation that sells groceries online and delivers them.

Imperfect Foods lists several reasons why a product may be classified as imperfect, including a product not being visually appealing or being outside the size parameter given by the buyer.

Usually, imperfect foods in the United States are discarded before they reach the market, not because they are unsafe to eat, but because they are significantly less marketable, meaning they are less likely to be bought by customers.

“People are demanding higher quality food,” Manfredo said.

Americans are particularly picky eaters, as Brian Hetzer from Feed My Starving Children, (FMSC) discovered.

FMSC has tried sending their Manapack bags to the Red Cross for disaster relief, such as hurricanes and flooding.

“The bottom line is most people in the U.S. won’t eat this,” Hetzer said.

Most people in the U.S. are used to high-quality food that tastes better.

In the U.S., “More times than not, the food ends up going to waste,” Hetzer said.

Because U.S. citizens are so particular, vendors must be very cautious about only using marketable foods.

Just because U.S. citizens do not want to eat imperfect food, does not mean hungry people around the world will not. So why is this excess food thrown away instead of being sent to those who need it?

Because it is cheaper.

“Getting it into the hands of someone to eat it isn’t free,” Harold McClarty, the owner of HMC Farms, said in a video clip used in the episode Food Waste (12:53) of “Last Week Tonight.”

“It’s a lot easier and cheaper to just throw it away,” McClarty said.

This behavior is not unique to the United States; it is practiced throughout the world.

Every year, consumers in rich countries waste about 222 million tonnes of food, according to the FAO.

Though much of the world’s food goes to waste, there are many organizations actively sending food and supplies to people in need.

Feed My Starving Children is one of these organizations.

They send Manapack rice to various countries in need.

“We pack 1 million meals a week,” Hetzer said, adding “there is still tremendous need.”

Feed My Starving Children has partner organizations around the globe in over 50 countries.

“There are other organizations that are willing to partner with us that we have to say no to because we can’t pack enough food to meet the additional need,” Hetzer said.

Moving food around the world is expensive, but FMSC does not charge its partner organizations for the food. They only pay for the shipping, Hetzer said.

Currently, FMSC cannot accept additional food partners because it does not have the money to purchase more food, beyond its commitments to its current partners.

FMSC said 999,110 children are fed each year because of volunteers and donors. The solution to world hunger is neither inexpensive nor easy, but it is more than a lack of food and resources.

The “problem is really one more of will rather than a lack of technology or resources,” Shultz said.


Jeff Rosenfield is a student at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Nook Kitchen Re-opens in New Arcadia Location

Nook Kitchen in Arcadia re-opened Dec. 3 in a larger location at 4231 East Indian School Road, Phoenix, a half mile down the road from its original spot.

Nook’s first restaurant opened in Fall 2013 on the southeast corner of 36th Street and Indian School. The restaurant was a small, cozy space in Arcadia and evolved into Nook Kitchen to distinguish it as a restaurant instead of what some thought was a bookstore.

Nook Kitchen offers original recipes and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The new location will be larger with 3,400 square feet compared to the original at 2,000 square feet. New interiors are a mix of glam and comfort, with overlays of Italian tradition in a decidedly modern setting.

“Our food is Modern American with Italian roots,” said Frank Vairo, owner of Nook Kitchen along with Chef Nick LaRosa and S. Barrett Rinzler of Square One Concepts. “The new interiors tell a similar story with the help of our in-house designers, CK Studio. Nook Kitchen’s iconic blue door welcomes you into the newly renovated space that has been dramatically transformed into an intimate dining experience. The interior is refined and sophisticated with a mix of dark and monochromatic patterns accented with pops of red and brass. The bold Instagram mural located on the front face of the building is sure to grab one’s eye and direct them into the chic and stylish new build.”

The new location has a larger black marble bar, and a larger dining area overall featuring large booths to accommodate big parties, and a floor-to-ceiling upholstered wall of banquettes that delivers inviting spaces for guests to enjoy leisurely, cozy dining.

A pizza counter invites diners to watch pizza-making action up close with the golden Acunto M. Napoli pizza oven imported from Naples, Italy, said to be the birthplace of pizza. Designed and built by hand by the Acunto family over four generations for more than 125 years, the authentic pizza oven is said to be “foundational” to the development of pizza itself.

Rinzler, president and CEO of Square One Concepts, and partner in this venture added: “The food is fantastic at Nook. The neighborhood is incredible and we’re delighted to join Frank and Nick on this newest version of Nook Kitchen. We know everyone in the area has been waiting for us to open and we’re pleased that Nick is at it again, delivering an excellent menu.”

Nook Kitchen in Arcadia presents a new menu, too, of modern American selections by Chef LaRosa, ranging from handcrafted pastas including Spaghetti and Meatballs, a lighter Ricotta Gnocchi and Joe’s Lasagna, in addition to entrees such as Espresso Rubbed Prime Filet, “Everything Salmon,” a combo of short rib and sirloin in a Handcrafted Burger, with plenty of tempting “beginnings” that include a popular holdover from the previous Nook Kitchen “Arancini” but adding Brussels Chips and Fried Calamari, among others. The new roster features refreshing custom cocktails and a wine list that doesn’t disappoint.

Nook Kitchen retains its celebrated location in Downtown Phoenix inside the Hilton Garden Inn, one that earned a 2016 Foodist Award by AZ BIG Media, and critically noted by Phoenix New Times for its city views, being among best new restaurants, Top 5 Places to Eat, among other accolades. The Vairo-LaRosa duo intend to continue the quality flavors that have earned them critical acclaim.

Nook Kitchen is located at 4231 East Indian School Road. Visit nookkitchen.com for more information.

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