Fall Arizona Restaurant Week: Dine In or Take Out Kicks Off Sept. 18

Dining at Chauncey Social

St. Francis, Harissa half chicken

The Fall Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) culinary event has been modified to meet new regulations due to COVID-19, but that is not dampening the spirits or the taste buds of Valley diners.

Arizona Restaurant Week: Dine In or Take Out returns for 10 days of culinary exploration, from Friday, Sept. 18, through Sunday, Sept. 27.

“We feel not only gratitude but also great pride in the fact that the local dining community has showed up again and again in support of our industry since closures and limited re-opening mandates,” said Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) president and CEO Steve Chucri. “We are thrilled to see that dining out — whether that means in-restaurant or getting take-out — is still such an important part of people’s lives.”

The new Fall Arizona Restaurant Week: Dine In or Take Out will operate much like the June event, which debuted the modified format including dine-in, take out and liquor to-go options.

The event is intended to allow food enthusiasts to explore new culinary opportunities in any way that they feel comfortable dining while also giving restaurants and local chefs the economic support that they need now more than ever.

During the event, participating restaurants will follow all CDC guidelines regarding safety measures and limited dine-in capacity. Participating restaurants around the state will offer culinary adventurers dedicated menus that showcase local chefs’ creative talents through innovative dishes.

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.

Many diners’ favorites are returning for Fall ARW, and the ARA announced that new members are participating for the first time. The current line-up of nearly 80 restaurants can be found online. Visit arizonarestaurantweek.com.


Photos courtesy of Arizona Restaurant Week

CST Community Spotlight: Venues Café, Carefree

Catherine Marr, owner of Venues Café says that offering a comfortable and safe place for people to enjoy comfort food with a Southwest flair is what her business is all about. The restaurant, located 34 Easy Street, has been a Carefree mainstay for 10 years.

“Entering the two story, red awning, brick building, you are immediately struck by the beauty and comfort of your surroundings,” said Marr. “Multiple rich textures of wood, stone and copper surround you and make you feel at home. The ambiance is comfortable, not stuffy and you can feel free to be Carefree in Venues.

“A fireplace rounds out the ambiance downstairs and there is also a dining room upstairs if you have a larger group or are just looking for a little extra Social distancing. Out front is a dog friendly patio overlooking the center of town, large glass patio doors providing great warmth and light into the dining area.”

Dining options include light bites such as deviled eggs with bacon jam, street tacos, loaded mac and cheese and lettuce wraps. Signature salads such as the Chicken Taco Salad, Roasted Beet Salad and customized Chopped Salad are popular, as well as full comfort meals like a baked, stuffed pork chop, Chicken Schnitzel with lingonberry sauce or mixed grill kabobs. Voted the best happy hour in the area, light bites are $4–$10, and $2 domestic beers and $5 wines and well drinks are offered 3–6pm every day.

Venues also delivers through Door Dash and Grub Hub and encourages take-out orders. The entire menu is available for take-out, except for brunch.

Current hours are 11:30am–8pm, Monday through Saturday. Brunch is served Sundays,
10am–3pm.

Specials include Monday Night Burgers, which include a choice of a complementary house wine or beer, and Thursday offers half priced bottles of wine with any entree purchase.

Marr added, “When we are able to safely gather again, Venues will resume their special evening events.”

In the meantime, she encourages residents to sign up as a VIP on the website or ask a server to sign them up to enjoy special discounts and learn about weekly happenings.

For additional information, call 480.595.9909 or visit venuescafe.com.

Independents Week 2020: A Rallying Call to Support Independent Businesses

Usually held at the beginning of July, Local First Arizona is kicking off its annual Independents Week festivities a little later in the year than usual. During Independents Week, Local First Arizona encourages Arizonans to “go local” by supporting as many locally owned businesses as possible. The organization will host activities all over the state to engage Arizonans with the local businesses in their neighborhoods. The goal of the campaign is to drive new and returning customers into Arizona’s local businesses.

This year’s “Indie Week XXL” will bring its member businesses a whole month to attract new customers through an extra-long special edition of Independents Week — Sept. 1–30 — which means an entire month for residents to discover local gems.

Check out the Local First Arizona website for details on a new #IndieWeekAZ consumer action card (bingo style), Shop Arizona marketplace and more. Visit localfirstaz.com.

 

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