The Tables Are Set! — Arizona Restaurant Weeks: Dine in or Take Out

It has been a rough couple of months for the food and beverage industry. In Arizona, COVID-19 brought about closures in mid-March that threatened the industry to its core. Restaurant owners had to quickly adapt their business models to offer take-out, curbside and delivery options, and some even offered cocktails to go. Some restaurants became community grocery stores, while others served their community by preparing meals for front-line workers and those in need.

The local community stepped up, too, and helped support the restaurants that make up the Valley’s dynamic culinary scene. In addition to ordering pick-up and delivery, residents responded by patronizing special pop-up events, and donating to virtual tip jars in support of workers.

The closure mandates also meant that the annual Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) event was placed on hold; however, Arizona Takeout Weeks was created to encourage continued dining support. In the midst of all of the upheaval, the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) created Arizona Restaurant Strong (www.azrestaurantstrong.com), a relief fund to provide support for restaurant workers who found themselves suddenly out of work.

Roaring Fork

The House Brasserie

Now that closure mandates have expired and regulations begin to lift, the ARA has announced that Arizona Restaurant Weeks: Dine in or Take Out will take place Friday, June 19, through Sunday, June 28, and Friday, Sept. 18, through Sunday, Sept. 27.

In a statement, ARA president and CEO Steve Chucri said, “We are so grateful for the support of our local dining community in the weeks that followed restaurant closures in March. The quick creation of Arizona Takeout Weeks and Arizona Restaurant Strong efforts could not have been possible without them. As Arizona Restaurant Weeks returns in a modified format to include dine-in, take out and liquor to-go options, we are hopeful that our wonderful community of food enthusiasts will continue to show their support in any way they feel comfortable.”

During the new Arizona Restaurant Weeks: Dine in or Take Out, ARA says that participating restaurants will follow all CDC guidelines for opening and social distancing, whether dining in or taking out. The organization is anticipating more than 200 of the Valley’s restaurants — “from five-star fine dining establishments to locally owned and operated ‘mom and pop’ hidden gems” — to get involved.

Participating restaurants around the state will offer diners a dedicated menu that showcases the chefs’ talents. Featuring a unique tasting opportunity apart from their regular menus, restaurants will offer three-course, prix-fixe menus for $33 or $44 per person. Wine pairings to enhance each course are offered at some establishments for an additional cost.

Several new restaurants joining the June ARW line-up this year include The Dressing Room, The House Brasserie, Josephine, Meritage Urban Tavern, Sel, Stonegrill and Tuck Shop Kitchen and Bar. Of course, many of diners’ favorites are returning to the event again this year. A complete list of participating restaurants can be found on the event website: www.arizonarestaurantweek.com.

Ten Days Of Delicious Culinary Exploration

Two times per year, the Arizona Restaurant Association offers Valley chefs the opportunity to showcase their creative culinary chops — and diners to savor their tasty creations — during its annual Spring and Winter Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) events. The 10-day events offer three-course, prix-fixe menus (for $33 or $44 per person) to diners across the Valley and around the state and are a perfect opportunity to discover a new favorite dining spot or perhaps introduce friends to a tried-and-true eatery.

Participating restaurants are not only known for their exceptional cuisine, they also spare no expense to give diners an extraordinary culinary experience. One of Arizona Restaurant Week’s goals is to position Arizona as one of the top culinary destinations in the nation by increasing awareness of the more than 8,500 dining opportunities available as well as stimulate business and revenue for restaurants throughout the state.

“We are pleased to continue this dining tradition that has grown exponentially since we started 11 years ago,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “As Arizona’s culinary scene continues to evolve and become recognized on a national level, we could not be more pleased to help showcase these amazing restaurants and give local diners an opportunity to explore new culinary experiences.”

Restaurants participating in the 2018 Spring Arizona Restaurant Week (May 18–27) will appeal to a diverse range of palates, and include Barrio Queen – Scottsdale, Beckett’s Table, Blue Coyote Cantina, Bourbon and Bones, Capital Grille, District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, Famous 48, Fat Ox, Southern Rail, The Clever Koi, The Gladly, Wally’s American Gastropub, ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, among many others.

Diners can view a complete list of restaurants participating in Spring Restaurant Week online at www.arizonarestaurantweek.com. Participating restaurant menus will be uploaded beginning May 1 and continually updated. And be sure to save the date for the 2018 Fall Restaurant Week, slated for September 21–30. Bon appétit!

 

Fall Restaurant Week Kicks Off Statewide Season

Duck Cassoulet; Photo courtesy of Christophers

Fall means different things to different people, but for Arizona foodies it means celebrating the arrival of the Arizona Restaurant Association’s (ARA) Fall Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW). This year marks the 10th anniversary of this food-focused event, which has developed into a 10-day long gastronomic jubilee, with restaurants statewide offering their special ARW menus brimming with the bounty of the season’s harvest.

Whole Grain Gnocci; Photo courtesy of Second Story Liquor Bar

To celebrate 10 years of this spectacular event, this year the ARA is giving diners a chance to win big during Fall Restaurant Week with an exciting online contest featuring 10 experiential prizes that foodie and travel lovers will eat up.

The 2017 Fall Arizona Restaurant Week will kick off September 15 and run through September 24, with nearly 200 participating restaurants showcasing three-course prix-fixe meals for $33 or $44 per person. In addition to Fall ARW, the Arizona Restaurant Association hosts Spring ARW in May and Arizona Breakfast Weekend in July, and is proud to be supported by its sponsors: Young’s Market Company, Sanderson Lincoln, Sanderson Ford, Open Table, the Arizona Office of Tourism and American Express.

Photo by Grace Stufkosky; courtesy of Sumo Maya

Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri says, “Arizona Restaurant Week gives Valley diners a unique opportunity to try some of the state’s finest and most popular restaurants featuring special menus designed to let their culinary staff shine. We are proud to have contributed to the interest, development and support of the local culinary scene for the past 10 years — and counting.”

Togarshi Roasted Beets Salad ; Photo courtesy of Second Story Liquor Bar

Participating Fall restaurants include Artizen, Café ZuZu, Christopher’s and Crush Lounge, El Panzon y Frida, Marcellino Ristorante, Match, Nobuo at Teeter House, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Second Story Liquor Bar, Sonata’s, SumoMaya, The Capital Grille (Phoenix and Scottsdale), The Dhaba, The Keg and many others. Event updates along with a list of participating restaurants and their ARW menus can be found at www.arizonarestaurantweek.com.

Arizona Restaurant Week Celebrates Ten Years

The Arizona Restaurant Association’s Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) is celebrating a decade of delicious this year with its 10th annual ARW this Fall. What began as a yearly weeklong celebration has now grown into a bi-annual 10-day foodie extravaganza. The 2017 Spring Arizona Restaurant Week will kick off 10 days of dining, May 19-28, with more than 150 participating restaurants showcasing three-course, prix-fixe meals for $33 or $44 per person.

Tavern Americana

In addition to Spring ARW, the Arizona Restaurant Association will host Arizona Breakfast Weekend from July 27-30 and Fall ARW will be held September 15-24.

Here are 10 fun facts about 10 years of Arizona Restaurant Week:

  1. In 2008, ARW started with 93 participating restaurants in the Fall.
  2. In 2011, ARW expanded to spring and fall.
  3. Arizona is rapidly growing as one the top foodie destinations in the country.
  4. It is estimated that more than 3 million people have dined out during the past 10 years for ARW.
  5. The official website gets more than 1 million unique visits in the weeks leading up to a restaurant week.
  6. In 2017, more than 10 percent of employment in the state is provided by restaurant and foodservice jobs – Arizona leads the nation in job growth potential for this sector.
  7. Nearly 400 different restaurants have participated in ARW over the past 10 years.
  8. The average restaurant sees about a 20 percent increase in sales during ARW.
  9. On average, about 60 percent of participating restaurants opt for a $33 menu while about 40 percent choose to serve the $44 option.
  10. Ten restaurants have participated in every single year of Arizona Restaurant Week since 2008 are: Avanti, Cowboy Ciao, Deseo at the Westin Kierland, Don & Charlies, Firebirds, LON’s at the Hermosa Inn, Roka Akor, Roaring Fork, The Capital Grille (Scottsdale) and The Melting Pot (Scottsdale).

For a complete listing of participating restaurants, visit www.arizonarestaurantweek.com.

Discover Delectable Dining Around The Valley

Cuisine at Rusconi’s American Kitchen; Photo: Joanie Simon

Cuisine at Rusconi’s American Kitchen; Photo: Joanie Simon

Arizona Restaurant Association’s (ARA) Fall Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) is back for its ninth season September 16-25, and Valley diners may want to loosen their belts and get out their fashionable stretchy pants in preparation for 10 nights of epic cuisine.

ARA president and CEO Steve Chucri says, “ARW unites Valley diners around one of our most common bonds, food. Restaurants bring their A-game and diners are the direct beneficiary, it’s truly a win-win.”

During Fall ARW, more than 200 participating restaurants will offer a three-course prix-fixe menu for $33 or $44 per person. The carefully crafted menus offer food lovers their ultimate dining experiences.

Paul Martin’s Brick Chicken

Paul Martin’s Brick Chicken

Craft 64, Christopher’s and Crush Lounge, Different Pointe of View, District Kitchen & Wine Bar, Drexyl, Fuego Bistro, Liberty Market, Paul Martin’s American Grill, Rusconi’s American Kitchen, Ticoz Latin Kitchen and Vincent’s make up just a small sampling of participating restaurants around the Valley. For a complete list of restaurants, and a peek at their menus, visit www.arizonarestaurantweek.com.

Fall Arizona Restaurant Week Returns In September

Tonto_Restaurant Week

Regular Favorites at Tonto include Red Chile Braised Buffalo Short Rib

By Kathryn Miller ~ Arizona Restaurant Association’s Fall Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) is back for its ninth season September 16-25, and Valley diners may want to loosen their belts and get out their (fashionable, of course!) stretchy pants in preparation for 10 nights of epic cuisine.

During Fall ARW, more than 200 participating restaurants will offer a three-course prix-fixe menu for $33 or $44 per person, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted. Restaurants bring their A-game to these carefully crafted menus, offering food lovers an ultimate dining experiences.

Café Bink

Café Bink

In Carefree, head over to Café Bink. The ARW menu will include Asparagus soup, Pasta primavera and Sticky Toffee Cake. For more information, call 480.488.9796 or visit www.binkleysrestaurantgroup.com.

Participating restaurants in Cave Creek include Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House and Tonto Bar & Grill. On the entrée menu at Cartwright’s: 8oz New York Strip, Ahi Tuna or Buffalo, Elk and Anasazi Bean Chili – and save room for Campfire s’mores. Tonto’s entrees include Root Beer Braised Short Ribs, Ancho Chili Rubbed Filet and Orange Barbequed Salmon. For more information on Cartwrights, visit www.cartwrightssonoranranchhouse.com or call 480.488.8031. For information on Tonto Bar & Grill, visit www.tontobarandgrill.com or call 480.488.0698. Learn more about all of the participating restaurants at www.arizonarestaurantweek.com. |CST

Rise & Dine: Arizona Breakfast Weekend Returns

Original Breakfast House; photo by Joanie Simon

Original Breakfast House; photo by Joanie Simon

Valley restaurants are once again gearing up to celebrate the most important meal of the day, as the second annual Arizona Breakfast Weekend hits eateries July 28-31.

Confirmed restaurants include Wildflower Bread Company, Rusconi’s American Kitchen, Original Breakfast House and The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s. More than 40 restaurants participated last year, and it is anticipated that the number will increase this year.

“Our inaugural Arizona Breakfast Weekend was a huge hit, and we know this year will be even tastier,” says Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) president and CEO, Steve Chucri.

The brainchild of and produced by ARA, Arizona Breakfast Weekend offers lovers of all things egg, bacon, toast the chance to dine on special breakfast dishes and brunch experiences at restaurants, diners and hotels around the Valley. Chefs will have the chance to curate new recipes and to wow breakfast lovers by elevating and celebrating the morning meal.

Breakfast Weekend will feature three dining price points and each restaurant that participates will offer a signature dish or combination that corresponds with the price point. Some restaurants may choose to offer a “breakfast for dinner” option; diners should check the website for full details.

For a full list of participating restaurants and menus, visit www.arizonabreakfastweekend.com.

Ten Days Of Dining Delights

Arizona Restaurant Association’s Spring Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) returns this month. During Spring ARW, more than 100 participating restaurants will offer a three-course prix-fixe menu, allowing food lovers to experience the height of culinary talent of chefs statewide.SumFood

Spring Restaurant Week helps give restaurants a needed boost before the summer months – and it allows diners a chance to eat their way around town – a tasty “win-win.” Participating restaurants are not only known for their exceptional cuisine, they also spare no expense to give diners an extraordinary culinary experience.

rest“Diners embrace our restaurant weeks and it’s so gratifying to see,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “From tacos, to pizza to fine dining and everything in betweedessertn, ARW is a special time of year.”

With more than $11 billion in projected revenue for Arizona eateries in 2016, one of Arizona Restaurant Week’s goals is to position Arizona as one of the top culinary destinations in the nation by increasing awareness of the more than 8,500 dining opportunities available as well as stimulate business and revenue for restaurants throughout the state.

Newly opened restaurants Quill Creek Café at Grayhawk Golf Club, Drexyl and Inde Fusion are first time participants in ARW and they join long-time participating restaurants like Fogo de Chao, Liberty Market, Posh, White Chocolate Grill and many others already on the docket.

Presented by BMW North Scottsdale, the 10 nights of epic dining adventure will happen May 20-29. Arizona diners can find participating restaurants and their respective menus at www.arizonarestaurantweek.com.

It’s Time To Rise And Dine In The Valley

Breakfast Weekend is coming!

Photo by Grace Stufkosky

Photo by Grace Stufkosky

Valley chefs and restaurateurs are uniting this summer for Arizona Breakfast Weekend, July 30 – August 2. Diners will enjoy special dishes at breakfast and brunch spots offered at $7, $15 and $25 price points.

Confirmed restaurants so far include 5th and Wine32 Shea, Barrio Urbano, Blasted Barley, Bootlegger’s Modern American SmokehouseChase’s Diner, Distrito, Kale & Clover: Mindful Kitchen, Morning Squeeze, NcounterOriginal Breakfast House, Paul Martin’s, Perk Eatery, Proof at The Four Seasons, Rusconi’s American Kitchen, Soul CafeTicoz Latin Kitchen, Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market, Tryst CafeVirtu and all Valley locations of First Watch, The Good Egg and Wildflower Bread Company.

The brainchild of and produced by Arizona Restaurant Association, Arizona Breakfast Weekend will offer lovers of all things egg, bacon, toast the chance to dine on special breakfast dishes and brunch experiences at restaurants, diners, and hotels around the Valley of the Sun. Chefs will have the chance to curate new recipes and to wow breakfast lovers by elevating and celebrating the morning meal.

Breakfast Weekend will feature three dining price points and each restaurant that participates will select what they are offering from one of these options:

  • The Breakfast Bundle will include an over-the-top bundle of breakfast favorites for $7.
  • The Brunch Lite will include a mini-brunch style dish and Bloody Mary or Mimosa at most locations for $15
  • Brunch will be a traditional resort-style brunch offering with all the bells and culinary whistles for $25.

Some restaurants may choose to offer a “breakfast for dinner” option on July 30 and 31, check www.arizonabreakfastweekend.com and Facebook/azbreakfastweekend for full details.

This story originally ran in the July issue of CITYSunTimes. It has been updated to include additional participating restaurants.

Valley Epicurean Fests To Feast Upon

Food FestivalsBy Kathryn M. Miller ~ Arizona’s restaurants will post sales just under $11 billion this year and will create over 41,000 jobs over the next decade, according to the Arizona Restaurant Association. A strong industry is welcome news for the state – more so for diners who benefit from the diverse population of restaurants. Valley residents can enjoy food and drink from award-winning chefs, winemakers, brewers and dining destinations daily, but there is no better way to sample a wide variety of local delights than at one of the many food (and drink) fests that have become staples to area epicureans.

Kicking off the fall season is the 2014 Taste of the Biltmore (www.tasteofthebiltmore.com) October 2, Arizona Taco Festival (see page 6) and the Scottsdale Sizzlin’ Showdown Super-Regionals of the World Food Competition (www.worldfoodchampionships.com), which will feature up to 60 competitors facing-off in one of three culinary competition categories, October 25-26, as part of the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses and Horsepower.

PBS Eight’s Great Grill Fest (www.azpbs.org/grillfest) takes place November 2. Enjoy cooking demonstrations by PBS personalities and local chefs, samplings from Valley restaurants, wine and craft beer tastings and live entertainment.

Chiles and Chocolate returns to Desert Botanical Garden (http://www.dbg.org) November 7-9. Indulge in gourmet chocolates, zesty salsas and other unique Southwestern treats.

Cooks & Corks (www.cooksandcorks.org), benefiting Scottsdale League for the Arts, returns to the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North November 14. This outdoor event spotlights top local chefs and a world-class collection of winemakers accompanied by fine spirits and craft beers.

The Arizona Wine Growers Association (www.azwinefestivalatthefarm.com) invites residents to shake hands with and drink the wine of Arizona’s own grape farmers and wine producers in the picturesque setting of Phoenix’s historic The Farm at South Mountain November 14-15 at its sixth annual festival.

Coming up early next year are the Street Eats Food Truck Festival, Arizona Cocktail Week, Great Arizona Beer Festival, Arizona Restaurant Week, Devoured Phoenix Culinary Classic and Scottsdale Culinary Festival, to name a few. Bon appétit! |CST

 

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