MEALS THAT MATTER
BY RAEANNE MARSH
Club Sandwich Roasted turkey breast, smoked bacon, sliced tomato and avocado on rye toast, with chipotle aioli
Cubano Sandwich Soft bread roll with pork carnitas, cured ham, Swiss cheese and Chinese mustard $18
Hamachi tiradito Aguachile, apple, onion and sriracha $16
Rainbow roll Dungeness crab, cucumber, avocado, tuna, Hamachi and salmon, with a mango papaya salsa $19
Toro: Fiery Flavors in a Peaceful Setting Toro’s easy access of the Loop 101 freeway, convenient ample parking and the freeing feeling of wide-open spaces would make this restaurant attractive even if the food were only so-so. But the food is superb, flavors wonderfully blended in dishes uniquely crafted to celebrate Latin — notably, Peruvian — cuisines. The restaurant describes its menu as a signature “Suviche” experience — with sushi and ceviche. Hamachi ceviche is served more like sashimi, with slices of the fish spread out atop the aguachile sauce. The sea bass ceviche is more traditional in presentation — but not in flavor. The citrus tang of the juice gets kicked up a notch with a touch of chile spices, and a little condensed milk — Peruvian and Cuban influence — thickens it slightly. It’s served with tortilla chips, and would serve as an entrée for one or an appetizer for two. There is some traditional American fare on the menu, such as the club sandwich. This dish comes together nicely with fresh slices of roasted turkey breast, bacon and appropriate garden produce, then takes a Latin detour with its chipotle aioli. A side choice of fresh-cut French fries makes its own contribution to the Pan Latin vibe by being served wrapped in a page of a Cuban newspaper.
The Ancient Grain Salad makes a filling entrée even without additional protein (achiote chicken, churrasco steak, aji shrimp or achiote salmon), with mixed greens a proportional part and not an overwhelming bed for a spoonful of toppings. Farro and quinoi are the named “ancient grains,” mixed with a colorful cohort of pepitas, cherry tomato halves, bright green fava beans and diced cucumber, and it’s all tossed with a tangy aji amarillo lime dressing. A mostly understated décor makes the most of the expansive views the TPC golf course. The restaurant is tiered, so, while the patio overlooks the 18th green, it doesn’t impede the view from the dining room, with its own long view of greens and broad panorama of sky. Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar 17020 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale (TPC Scottsdale Clubhouse) (480) 585-4848 fairmont.com/scottsdale/dining/toro-latin-restaurant-rum-bar
Food with a Side of Fun Who says you can’t have fun and games with your meal? No, we’re not suggesting a food fight à la the famous scene from Animal House; rather, to take advantage of amenities some restaurateurs Culinary Dropout
are incorporating into the ambience of their establishments.
Debuted at its location at The Yard, a
The whole vibe is a campground
Cornhole, shuffleboard and, yes, bocce are
standard offering at this restaurant now
experience, which makes it onto the menu
the diversions in The Vig’s neighborhood
are backyard-style games such as cornhole,
with the dessert offering of s’mores,
tavern atmosphere, where the menu
ping-pong and Foosball. The food’s good,
complete with an actual table-top roasting
ranges from salads and healthy plates to
too, with a variety of dishes in every menu
of the marshmallows. A small game
rich and delectable dishes — all comfort
section, from appetizers through dessert.
room offers darts, pool and a couple of
food and all delicious.
4 Valley locations: Tempe, Phoenix,
4 Valley locations: Phoenix, Phoenix,
Scottsdale and, filling a new
6107 Seventh St., Phoenix
Phoenix and Scottsdale
25,000-square-foot space, Gilbert
Gilbert’s “Dropout” Goes Rock ’n’ Roll. Featuring famous song lyrics and a gallery wall with black-framed artwork of celebrities and musicians, almost every wall of the restaurant tells a story. One such art installation is comprised of musical instruments donated from Valley residents and arranged along one wall with the words “We’re Getting the Band Back Together” painted alongside.
Photo credit: Photos courtesy of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (top and far left), Fox Restaurant Concepts (bottom)