So Scottsdale March 2024

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WWW.SOSCOTTSDALE.COM | RICHMAN MEDIA G ROUP | MARCH 2024 MARCH MADNESS COOL FOR SPRING Where to go and what to do this season Chilled apps & veggie-infused cocktails FIT FOR AN EMPEROR Owner and CEO Rick Huffman gives an inside look Scottsdale’s newest luxury hotel, Caesars Republic
EXQUISITE RESIDENCE ON TROON COUNTRY CLUB'S PRIVATE COURSE 10773 E Quartz Rock Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255 5 Bed + Office | 4.5 Bath | 5,821 SQ FT | 4-Car Garage 602.320.8415 | LUCKY@RUSSLYON.COM | VIEW OUR LUXURY LISTINGS AT LISALUCKY.COM WINDY WALK ESTATES AT TROON VILLAGE $3,275,000 luxury living Watch Property Video at

When it comes to the North Scottsdale lifestyle and area real estate, these words represent The Luckys' commitment to excellence.




America’s Best REAL Trends | 2023


America’s Best REAL Trends | 2023

HONORED AS A "TOP 250 AGENT" IN THE NATION Wall Street Journal | 2018


Women’s Council of Realtors | 2015 - Present

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Laura, and Matt Lucky
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Your Entertainment and Dining Destination

arboleda • Culinary Dropout • Dominick’s Steakhouse • Eddie V’s Prime Seafood • Grimaldi’s Pizzeria • JoJo’s Shake BAR • Liz Modern Asian • Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls • Obon Sushi + Bar + Ramen • Puttshack • SOL Mexican Cocina • Sorso Wine Room • True Food Kitchen • Zinburger



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Justice Court vs. Superior Court Judge


In last month’s Q&A you said that a Justice Court has jurisdiction over disputes less than $10,000. Does the Justice Court have the same qualifications as a Superior Court Judge?

A: No. In Justice Court the Justice of the Peace is an elected politician who is generally not a lawyer. A Superior Court judge is appointed by the Governor and must be a lawyer.

Note: Justices of the Peace also have limited criminal jurisdiction. For example, in the 1970’s the movie “The Man who Loved Cat Dancing” starring Burt Reynolds and Sarah Miles was filmed in the Gila Bend area. During the filming of the movie, Sarah Miles’ boyfriend and manager, David Whiting, was found bloody and dead in Sarah Miles’ motel room. Sarah Miles had been in a fight that night with Whiting, and left her motel room to spend the night with Reynolds in his motel room.

A coroner’s inquest to determine the cause of death had to be conducted by the part-time Gila Bend Justice of the Peace, who was also a part-time plumber. Reynolds hired Phoenix attorney John Flynn (of “Miranda warnings” fame) for a $40,000 fee.

At the coroner’s inquest the Gila Bend Justice of the Peace ruled that Sarah Miles’ manager died of “accidental overdose/suicide,” and that Reynolds had no criminal responsibility. A few days later when Reynolds arrived at Burbank airport in Los Angeles, he was greeted by a horde of reporters. When one reporter asked what he thought of Arizona justice, Reynolds said that “Arizona is the only place that you pay $40,000 to be found not guilty by a plumber!”

To Submit your question to Christopher, please email

2200 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 221, Phoenix, AZ 85016 CALL US NOW 602.957.9810 Residential and Commercial Disputes Real Estate Contracts and Transactions Landlord-Tenant Disputes Disclosure, Easements, and Title Issues H.O.A. Law Realtors with Ethics/Commission Disputes Commercial and Residential Leases CHRISTOPHER COMBS, PRESIDENT
University of Arizona Law Review
Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, JAG ( 100+ Court Martials)
President of the Maricopa County Bar Association
20+ years Real Estate Broker and State Bar Certified Real Estate Specialist Experts at Solving your Real Estate Issues.


Taste the Cuisine of the Sun

Meet our new Michelin-trained executive Chef Remy Lefebvre

French-born, Chef Remy brings more than 20 years of global culinary experience at Michelin Star restaurants and luxurious hotels. Having cooked extensively in the Mediterranean region, Chef Remy brings a wealth of experience to Francine.

Phoenix New Times named FRANCINE Best Phoenix Restaurants

AZ Big Media voted FRANCINE Best Arizona French Restaurant

Modern Luxury Magazine named FRANCINE Best fine dining restaurant in Scottsdale

New menu this spring.

a Reservation 480.690.6180




Gateway exclusively funds Phase I and II cancer clinical trials, which often mark the first in-human study of promising new cancer drugs and therapies. Representing a critical first step in evaluating new cancer treatments to help patients feel better and live longer.








Gateway visit
more about




FIT FOR AN EMPEROR Inside Scottsdale’s newest luxury hotel, Caesars Republic
to go and what to do this spring
FASHION Playful elegance
THE COVER: Rick Huffman. Photo by Claudia Johnstone. Contents TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT, TEXT TO 480.399.6051



38 NOTICED Women



ARTrageous Gala


News to know

52 DO

Great events this month


Noteworthy happenings

58 OUT

AZ Wine Wagon’s new day trip to Sedona

59 OUT

James Beard Award semifinalists


Make-A-Wish Arizona’s annual Wish Ball


Dancing with the Stars Arizona


Multimedia artist Carolina Aranibar-Fernandez

16 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
of Cardone Ventures
Natalie Dawson
30 BEAT Master woodworker Jarod Huston
dedication to preserve tribal sovereignty
32 BEAT Ryan Benally’s
34 HIS STYLE Meet Patrick Burch
on the scene



87 INDULGE California-inspired carpets

88 WHEELS 2024 Mercedes-AMG SL 43

90 WANT Open Venues

92 HAUTE PROPERTY Edge of Paradise

94 PLACES Annecy, France





18 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
MUST-HAVE Facial fashion
ALLURE Shower fresh
DWELL Spathroom sanctuary
SHOP Shorts shake up
77 SHOP Pitch perfect
Administrative Law • Cannabis • Corporate • Cyberbullying • Decentralized Autonomous Organizations • Digital Asset Protection • Elections • Employment • Equine • Estate Planning • Family / Parenting Rights • Government Relations / Lobbying • Homeowners Associations • Immigration • Internet fraud • Land Use • Litigation • Medical Cannabis • Metaverse • NFT’s • Online Defamation / Cyber-Reputation Management • Real Estate Transactions • Real Property Appeals • Renewable Energy • Sports Law • Tax / Tax Liens • Water / Environmental • Web3 • Zoning How divorce treats you can come down to whether you have a most innovative law firm on your side. Started by one woman 22 years ago. It has grown to 57 team members today. Google us. We know you will like what you see. And the difference we make. Especially when it comes to our Family Law Department headed by Kaine Fisher. 480.505.3936 | 7144 E. Stetson Drive. Suite 300. Scottsdale. AZ 85251 |
20 So Scottsdale! March ‘24 FIVE consecutive years in CNBC’s Top 100 RIA Firms. Avity is now proud to offer services in Scottsdale and throughout the great state of Arizona. Edward C. Long, CFA Principal University of Arizona Alumni Disclosure: The annual CNBC FA 100 ranking was published on September 12, 2023 on CNBC receives no compensation from placing financial advisory firms on the list. Avity is required to pay a licensing fee for use of the CNBC logo in our marketing materials. 203-629-2800 | | Your Future, Our Focus Join our legacy of excellence and benefit from our deep market knowledge, time-tested analytical research, and unparalleled client service. Customized equity and fixed income portfolio management for multigenerational wealth, trusts, foundations, endowments, and retirement plans. Taste 96 DRINK Veggie Tales 97 DISH Scallops at Rusconi’s American Kitchen 98 CHEERS B&B Cocktail Lounge’s Wonder Bubble 99 CUISINE In the kitchen with Remy Lefebvre of Francine The Rest 22 TELL Editor’s note 104 SEEN Who went where and what happened 114 NEW IN TOWN Ambrogio15 Contents 100 FOOD FILES Cold opening 102 DINING GUIDE Where to eat
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March really is the “it” month of the year in Scottsdale. The sun is shining, but not too strong. The event calendar is stacked, but with activities and events you actually want to go to. And the city is abuzz, but it’s still possible to get a reservation at your favorite spot (as long as you made a reservation in advance, of course!).

For me, March signals a time where I enjoy going on walks with my family and dog, want to sit on my favorite patio and indulge a nice glass of rosé, or even brave the lawn – as long as it’s not too hot yet! – at a spring training game.

Speaking of Cactus League (check out outfit ideas for the games on page 77!), that’s just one of the exciting activities we’re featuring in our annual March Madness feature, which actually highlights happenings all through spring. From F&B events to new exhibits and more, there’s truly something for everyone to check out, starting on page 64.

Another must-do this month is visit the new Caesars Republic hotel, helmed by our cover subject, Rick Huffman. On page 42, he takes us inside the new luxe spot, which will certainly be a destination for locals and tourists alike – especially because it has two restaurants by Food Network legend and Italian restaurateur Giada De Laurentiis.

And for even more foodie fun: flip to page 114 to learn about Ambrogio15, originally from San Diego; enjoy fun cocktails produced with fresh veggies on page 96; learn about the local James Beard Award semifinalists on page 59; and find shareable cold starters, perfect for the warmer weather, on page 100. Or, if looking to indulge in a little vino like me, consider booking AZ Wine Wagon’s new Sip n’ See experience, which takes you from Scottsdale to Sedona for a day of art, culture and wine, on page 58.

Happy spring and happy reading!

All my best,

Connect with us!

Facebook: @soscottsdalemagazine

Instagram: @so_scottsdale_magazine

22 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
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24 So Scottsdale! March ‘24 In your corner & around the corner. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® Jeremy Mueller Ins Agcy Inc Availability and amount of discounts and savings vary by state. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company State Farm General Insurance Company Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas State Farm Lloyds Richardson, TX State Farm Florida Insurance Company Winter Haven, FL 3 locations to serve you: Scottsdale Rd/101 602-388-8382 Pinnacle Peak/Pima 480-515-5223 Carefree 480-488-2800 Publisher Bill Richman Vice President of Operations Stacey Richman Editor-in-Chief Gabby Leighton Creative Director Lalo Reyes Contributing Writers
Antioco, Alison Bailin Batz, Melissa Hirschl, Mandy Holmes, Kaylor Jones Elizabeth Liberatore, Afi Maita, Jim Prueter Photographers David Apeji, Claudia Johnstone, Augusto Herrera, James Sasser, Beverly Shumway Advertising Coordinator Stacey Richman Contact Us Editorial Advertising 480.229.3122 Online P: 480.229.3122 10632 N. Scottsdale Road Suite B-215 Scottsdale, AZ 85254 © 2024, RICHMAN MEDIA GROUP, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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Natalie Dawson is committed to helping others achieve success

A luminary in the world of business consulting and development, Scottsdale resident Natalie Dawson is the president and co-founder of Cardone Ventures, a dynamic enterprise that provides businesses with tools to skyrocket their revenue. An entrepreneur, coach and speaker, Dawson works seven days a week along with her husband, CEO Brandon Dawson, who

draws on multiple skills – he is a scaling expert, an investor, a business owner and an author with 30-plus years of experience with thousands of business owners. A galvanizing tour-de-force, the couple brings new standards to the business world, ensuring clients maximize their business’ potential and seize every possible opportunity.

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 27


Cardone Ventures has a simple but bold mission: to provide business owners with the tools to maximize success and develop scalable teams. Through immersive workshops, Cardone Ventures clients are coached on navigating the myriad of challenges associated with business development. Examples are: adding staff, retaining top talent, adding new locations, scaling their business, and creating faster and better companies.

A typical day for Dawson, who is also the best-selling author of TeamWork: How to Build a High-Performance Team, involves meeting with teams, helping them to grow, and discussing strategies and products. “Anyone passionate about what they want to achieve is who we work with,” she says. “My philosophy is that if you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t get others to.”

Dawson’s philosophy is not limited to entrepreneurs. “Anyone who works on themself can have more satisfaction,” she says. “It can be a better marriage or being a better parent. You don’t become great at something by being average. Every goal requires passion, discipline and good communication skills.”

Big Beginnings

Raised in Vancouver by two medical doctors, Dawson was a high-achieving high school student due to the high bar her parents set. Her fascination with the world of finance began to crystalize at just 12 years old. “I read The Starbuck’s Experience and found it fascinating,” she says. “It was all about branding and how the company created its iconic experience.”

Dawson took the book’s tenets to heart and has been running with them ever since. Following graduation, she attended the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science, where she studied macroeconomics. However, after just a year, she dropped out.

“I had an internship in the U.S. as a leadership development manager at a consulting company,” she says. “While there, I realized I was learning theory in London, but my job was teaching me practical application. I was responsible for leadership training for business owners, and the idea of developing leadership skills hooked me.”

A New Direction

When Dawson married Brandon, the two knew they were cut from the same cloth; both had sucessful backgrounds and wanted to create thriving companies. Cardone Ventures’ genesis resulted from their passion and the symbiotic relationship the couple forged between themselves and real estate mogul Grant Cardone and his wife, Elena.

The Dawsons realized they could soar to even higher heights if they collaborated with a company that had a massive audience, which Cardone could provide. Suddenly, the missing puzzle piece clicked in place. At a meeting in 2019, Dawson and her husband pitched their win-win merger proposal to Grant, the author of The 10X Rule, which advises businesses on how to increase their revenue by ten times. “We knew we could provide their clients with our business coaching expertise,” Dawson says. “We all brought specific skill sets to the table – Grant is a master

of social media, and my husband is the visionary who finds companies to train. I see myself as the integrator; I train teams, hire and fire, and provide organizational skills.”

Since the company’s inception four years ago, it has achieved a stunning result: 83 million dollars in revenue in just over three years with no startup money or outside funding. It is now worth 250 million.

“My job doesn’t feel like work to me,” Dawson says. “I believe I have massive potential to help people, and I feel I disappoint them if I’m not helping them be the best they can be. My commitment allows my whole life to work effortlessly.”

En Vogue

Dawson’s perseverance, confidence and charisma enabled her to be nominated for the Vogue 100 curated community in January 2023. Vogue editor Anna Wintour hand-selects members to be included in this elite and diverse group, who are global driving forces in the arts, culture and technology fields. Dawson has had the honor of being Wintour’s guest at fashion shows such as the 2023 Vogue World in London at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and the ballet celebration in London.

“It’s an incredible honor to be part of Vogue 100 along with so many accomplished and creative individuals,” she says. “I look forward to contributing my perspective and learning from the extraordinary talents in this esteemed community.”

Looking toward the future, there are plans for a new Cardone Ventures office in London. In addition, they are acquiring Scottsdale Promenade, with plans to host events there.

“Anyone can learn anything if they have the right mindset,” Dawson says. “The key is to be open to learning, asking questions and seeking knowledge.”

Learn more at

28 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
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Jarod Huston showcases prowess for woodworking through Indivisible Hardwoods + Creative Customs

Growing up, Arizona native Jarod Huston spent a lot of time in his grandfather’s workshop. As a result, Huston learned to build nearly anything, especially from wood.

“Working with our hands, and woodworking in particular, is a proud family tradition,” Huston says.

Huston continued to work with his hands while in college, and by the time he earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Arizona State University, he was also a fourth-generation master carpenter. “After graduating, I worked in both geotechnical and structural engineering, assessing the properties of native soils and evaluating building components in order to ensure structural stability and public safety,” Huston says. “However, I also spent much of my free time building everything from cabinets to entertainment centers for friends and family.”

By 2021, Huston was ready to take his passion for woodworking to the next level, founding Indivisible Hardwoods + Creative Customs in North Scottsdale ( “Through Indivisible Hardwoods, I have brought together similarly experienced, skilled woodworking professionals to create and scale projects of all sizes and for all budgets.”

The combination showroom, workshop and retail center boasts a collection of more than 80 species of wood and specializes in using exotic woods that Huston has hand-selected from around the world.

“Each sample is engraved with the full history of the wood – its source, primary uses, and density – to help educate clients on the best wood for their projects based on durability as much as aesthetics to ensure an ultrapremium final product,” Huston says.

The culmination of Huston’s life’s passion, Indivisible Hardwoods quickly became a go-to resource for interior designers seeking one-of-a-kind furniture and art pieces, as well as a popular shop for homeowners that have a vision for a piece but need help to bring it to life. “In addition to working with both interior designers and homeowners on custom pieces, we are a proud dealer of the best woodworking tools in the region – notably Festool and Woodpecker – so we have become a popular retail destination for fellow professionals and hobbyists as well,” Huston says.

In coming months, Huston looks to accommodate demand-fueled growth as well as offer workshops to help inspire a new generation of woodworkers.

30 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
Pulse BEAT

Peripheral Neuropathy: The Next Step


I believe we may have found a missing link in treating peripheral neuropathy. For those suffering it may be because the smaller, microvascular vessels are not functioning properly. There may be a lack of blood flow between the smaller vessels and the diseased nerves.


Blood contains the oxygen and nutrients your tissues need to survive. Good circulation is necessary to get the blood down to your feet. Once it is there, smaller vessels work to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your nerves and take away carbon dioxide. This exchange of oxygen and waste is vital. For it to happen, we need a healthy microvasculature.


Microvasculature contains small blood vessels (arterioles, capillaries, and venules). It is responsible for supplying nutrients and regulating blood flow. When there is a breakdown in the system the effects are far reaching.


Now there is a new treatment intended to promote healthy microvasculature. It’s a sterile, human tissue allograft which replaces or supplements the damaged microvascular tissue in your body with the hope to prompt it to start producing new cells.


The allograft is made up of microvascular extracellular matrix which contains arterioles, capillaries, and venules. Restoration of microvascular tissue should improve local blood which is necessary for healthy tissue function and to regenerate tissue. Once improved, the body can start the healing process to help repair damaged tissue.


We want to get more blood flow to the legs and feet so healing can begin. The goal of this new treatment is to do just that. I believe it is one of the most promising treatments for peripheral neuropathy today.

Neuropathy has too many people sitting on the sidelines. Pain, burning, tingling, numbness, cramping in your legs or feet, or issues with balance make it difficult to get up and get on with everyday living. But there is good news, there’s a new treatment for peripheral neuropathy that may make a difference.

Dr. Zang is a board-certified foot & ankle physician specializing in treating peripheral neuropathy & chronic foot pain.

For an appointment call 480-900-3434


Wesley Ryan Benally helps preserve tribal sovereignty through financial literacy

Wesley Ryan Benally grew up in Church Rock, which, back then, was a community of approximately 500 people (now with a population of about 1,500) near Gallup, New Mexico, within Navajo Nation.

“My mother and grandparents, all proud members of the Navajo Nation as I am, raised me to believe in the power of education and how it could help transform a community,” Benally says.

Taking it to heart, Benally focused on his studies while balancing his proud Navajo traditions with modern Western culture. As a result, he was accepted to the University of Arizona in 1999, initially studying engineering. “Fate had other plans for me, however, when I earned an internship with Navajo Nation Auditors General Office just a year into college,” Benally says. “Through it, I saw firsthand how auditing tribal programs and enterprises helped my people. Inspired, I changed my major to accounting and transferred to Arizona State University to pursue the degree.”

A natural in the field of study, Benally planned to take a job at one of the Big Four accounting firms upon graduation, but fate stepped in again.

“Hours before accepting the role, I connected with a small firm focused on working with tribes, which would allow me to use my education to transform my community just as my family taught me,” he says.

Since that day, now nearly 20 years ago, Benally has done nothing else. Today he serves as the national tribal practice leader of REDW Advisors & CPAs (, serving and supporting over 200 unique tribes and 500 tribal entities. Since 2017, he has also served on the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise board, helping create more than 1,300 jobs for fellow enrolled Navajos while distributing millions of dollars in revenue to its tribal government, and he is currently an instructor for the Tribal Financial Managers Certificate Program within Oklahoma State University’s American Indian Policy Institutes.

“Through REDW, we are also working toward increasing financial literacy across tribal communities, most recently volunteering with the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Native American Community Academy, and Native American Education Program to create curriculum and teach programs educating youth and adults alike on money-related matters,” Benally says.

Benally and his family carve out time to visit Church Rock to stay connected with their heritage.

32 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
Pulse BEAT
9377 E. Bell Road, Suite 367 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480) 245-6380 THE SECOND FIRST IMPRESSION Model


Patrick Burch’s style is a testament to his commitment to craftsmanship and his identity

Fourth-generation Phoenix resident Patrick Burch, the man behind Cave + Post Trading Co., embodies a style that seamlessly intertwines American craftsmanship and a touch of the Wild West.

Co-owning a clothing and accessories boutique with his wife has a profound impact on his personal style. At Cave + Post Trading Co., they don’t just sell clothing; they sell style – a style that reflects Burch’s own evolution.

His signature look is a testament to this style philosophy – worn-in raw or selvedge denim, a T-shirt, a vintage-inspired chore coat, a flat cap, and either canvas high-tops or well-worn Red Wing Heritage boots. “I am a big fan of traditional styles that are ‘masculine’ and fit for both going to work and going out,” he says.

Ralph Lauren stands as a significant influence on Burch’s style, along with modern shows like Peaky Blinders and Yellowstone

Burch’s style has evolved over the years, and he emphasizes the importance of being true to oneself, encouraging others to embrace what they love without being bound by societal norms. “Now, if I like something, I will go for it and just own it.”

What is your most prized possession in your closet? A vintage striped chore coat from RRL. The fabric is incredible. It looks 200 years old and has a dark denim with a light stipe that is just perfect.

What is your favorite brand? Freenote Cloth. This is an American-made brand and they use killer fabrics, have best in class quality and fits, and literally every last detail appears to have been thought through, down to the button and stitch.

How does music inspire your style? Music is incredibly important to my wife and me. We have vintage guitars on the walls of our store, in my office and at home. Music and musicians have always greatly influenced style, so it seems to make sense that someone with a men’s store would love music. We coordinate travel around music and have music events at the store.

34 So Scottsdale! March ‘24 Pulse HIS STYLE
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Amita Sall fuses elegance and purpose in every fashion choice

Amita Sall, the owner of AZ48 Notary Services LLC, is a businesswoman with a passion for mortgage and real estate. She also has a distinctive fashion sense that seamlessly blends East and West influences.

Sall effortlessly combines classic elegance with contemporary trends, a reflection of her diverse experiences and travels across the globe. Vibrant colors with a nod to her Indian heritage are seamlessly integrated into her fashion choices, creating a unique and culturally rich style palette. “My most treasured closet items are my Indian heirloom jewelry and vibrant saris, serving as links to my familial history and East Indian roots,” she says.

Sall does not limit herself to specific brands. Instead, she enjoys exploring diverse markets, local vendors, and boutiques globally. “Whether it’s the charm of a local market in Turkey or Morocco or the allure of a boutique on the streets of Mumbai, my shopping philosophy centers on affordable yet well-crafted finds that prioritize quality and a perfect fit.”

What are your favorite colors, patterns, and styles? Though I wear a lot of black, it is not my favorite color. I tend to favor outfits in solid colors with a hint of patterns such as ikat, polka dots, stripes, checkered, and floral. I also love paisley! Styles that are feminine, elegant, classy, and modest are more my style.

Who influences your style? In a fashion space often obsessed on youth, I find my style guided by a different compass – age, wisdom, and a personal sense of comfort. While many pursue the latest trends, I find resonance in blending runway sophistication and a hint of global street-smart flair.

What would you consider your “signature look?” My distinctive style revolves around the concept of black as a versatile canvas, forming the foundation of my wardrobe. Black is not just a color; it’s a statement of timeless elegance that effortlessly transitions from professional settings to casual encounters. A simple hairstyle – hair tucked behind the ears – and minimal makeup is my go-to look.

36 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
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Childhelp’s 19th annual soiree, themed Giddy Up for Kids, took place at The Phoenician

38 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
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Perfectly situated on the GOLF COURSE in Gainey Ranch Greens featuring a remodeled and meticulous home overlooking the 5th fairway of the Dunes Golf Course. This home features 3 bedrooms, one as an office and 3 baths, living and family room with fireplace and newer wet bar. The flagstone back patio offers lush vegetation and mountain views 7525 E Gainey Ranch Rd, 144 / Scottsdale, AZ 85258 / 3 beds / 3 baths

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Guests donned Mardi Gras glamour at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa for Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Arizona’s annual event

40 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
Claire Twombly Vanessa Hernandez Brittani Antunes Myra Weinberg Leah Dominy Morgan Gladwell

Radiant. Luminous. Captivating.











Scottsdale’s newest luxury hotel, Caesars Republic

Building a showstopping hotel from the ground up requires a perfect recipe. Start with a great location, sprinkle in a handful of amenities – think restaurants, spas, pools – and garnish with artful details that will leave the memory of the hotel fresh in the minds of guests and locals alike.

With its grand opening taking place on March 6, Caesars Republic, Scottsdale’s newest luxury hotel, has found just the right mix. A location just steps away from Scottsdale Fashion Square, with jaw dropping vistas of Camelback Mountain? Check. Lavish poolside bars, and two restaurants from world-renowned celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis? Check. And for Rick Huffman, CEO and president of property development and management

42 So Scottsdale! March ‘24

company HCW, the attention to detail in the interior design is a special point of pride.

“When you walk in the front door of the lobby, there’s a large, very unique print from photographer David Yarrow of a Ferrari with Route 66 in the mountain background,” Huffman says. From there, guests are drawn in by repeating wolf motifs, which harken back to the Roman myth of Romulus and Remus, twin brothers who were nursed to health by a she-wolf.

Also keeping in touch with Caesars’ Italian roots, the hotel serves as the home of two new restaurants from Roman-born Giada De Laurentiis, whose charming personality and modern Italian cuisine with Californian influences have long made her a favorite in the Las Vegas dining scene and beyond. Her third and fourth restaurants prove the perfect fit for Caesars Republic, starting with the elegant Luna by Giada.

“The restaurant is gorgeous, with an open glass kitchen and LED lights in the ceiling of part of the dining room, placed in the order of a constellation – the way the stars looked the night her daughter was born,” Huffman says. With special visits from the chef herself on the calendar, Luna is a guaranteed place to see and be seen.

And for more casual, grab-and-go Italian fare, Pronto by Giada features a mouthwatering array of pastries, paninis and antipasti ideal for any time of day. Indulge your sweet tooth with a scoop of gelato or while away the hours over a flight from the wine bar, which boasts a unique cocktail menu and over 40 wines available by the glass, with a spotlight on Italian and Californian wines.


With the promise of another hot summer in Scottsdale’s future, Huffman hopes to provide guests with an oasis in the desert. The hotel’s two pools are jewels in Caesars Republic’s crown, the place to be for everything from morning yoga and weekend brunch to a pre-lunch Champagne hour.

“Part of this property was zoned at 90 feet and part at 150 feet. It gave us a great opportunity to create a swimming pool on top of that 90-foot elevation while not wasting any land,” Huffman says. “There are beautiful wood floors, Venetian plaster,

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 43

glass railings with LED lighting, and a quarter-million-dollar television for sports – 13.5 feet long and 6 feet high. The outdoor cabanas have mister fans, safes, fridges, music. It’s a very elegant setting.”

This seventh-floor pool, which has unbeatable views of Camelback Mountain, is complemented by an equally elegant open-air bar and restaurant. Staffed by award-winning mixologists and talented DJs, the appropriately named SEVEN will be open for the public to enjoy.

On the first floor, the Cleopatra Pool & Bar serves as another, more family-geared space for guests to relax and take in the views – or unwind beneath the palm trees with the help of the poolside cocktail service.

In addition to the 20,000 square feet of event space – including meeting rooms, a ballroom and the Camelback Veranda,

“The restaurant is gorgeous, with an open glass kitchen and LED lights in the ceiling of part of the dining room, placed in the order of a constellation – the way the stars looked the night her daughter was born,” Rick Huffman says.

which doubles as a wedding venue – further standouts for Huffman are the suites, which make up around 30 of the 265 total rooms in the hotel. There are five penthouse suites on the executive floor, each over 2,000 square feet, boasting full kitchens, and 12-foot-high windows and terraces to make best use of the views of Camelback, McDowell, or Downtown. “You’ve got a pool table, a huge office,” Huffman says. “You could live in these things. They’re gorgeous.”

Italian for “she-wolf,” the “La Lupa” bridal suite has been designed to make the big day as seamless as possible. Decked out in classic neutrals, it’s the ideal place to relax while getting ready for the festivities – with the help of a luxurious tub and shower, the Champagne lounge, and well-lit (and well-mirrored!) makeup stations for the bride and bridesmaids.

44 So Scottsdale! March ‘24


From day one, HCW worked in partnership with Caesars to conceptualize the brand and style of Caesars’ first non-gaming hotel. It’s a long-term license agreement that Huffman is excited to debut in other U.S. cities in the coming years. There are currently over 55 million Caesars reward members, and they – just like all other potential guests – are on the hunt for something that feels new and fresh, Huffman says.

“My vision is to continue to do experiential hotels. People aren’t looking for mega hotels with thousands of rooms, but someplace with great food and bars, great security, in a great location in an urban area where they can walk to different attractions.”

Huffman worked in construction until age 21 before leveraging his passion for architecture into a career in development. He never attended college, and cites the key to his success as a penchant for good, old-fashioned hard work – which, for him, begins with waking up early and going to bed late.

“By 26 I started building houses, then bought and expanded my first resort

at age 35. Then we opened the Branson Landing in Missouri, a $450-million project, and won an ICSC [International Council of Shopping Centers] award. I had doubts every day, but you’ve just got to follow your gut. The economy is ever-changing, so you build for the worst days and build for the best days and hope it all works out.”

Not all dreams will take off, he says, but one of the biggest deciding factors is the way you treat those around you. Huffman is proud to say that some members of his team at HCW have been with the company for over 20 years. “We all take care of each other and we don’t take anyone too seriously. Life’s too short to do that. We just want to have a hell of a lot of fun.”

And though he certainly feels a sense of pride about creating unique buildings that will remain standing long after he’s gone, Huffman has never been too concerned about leaving a legacy. “It’s all about today. I’m alive, and I’m having a ball doing what I do. If you work hard and treat other people well, they’ll create their own legacy.”

To learn more and make a reservation, visit caesars-republic-scottsdale.

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 45



This year’s ARTrageous Gala, taking place April 6 at 6:30 pm., is themed Cosmic Crescendo under the stars at Scottsdale Civic Center to support Scottsdale Arts, which includes Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art, Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation, Canal Convergence and Civic Center Live. Gourmet food stations will feature cosmic-inspired dishes and drinks, incorporating elements of light and darkness to represent a solar eclipse. Guests will be entertained by a symphony of art forms, including dance, music, and contemporary art, as well as collaborative acts and interactive art stations. Awards will be presented for Herberger Awards for the Arts, Corporate Trailblazer, and Trailblazing Artist. General admission, $450; reserved seating, $650.

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 47


The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa recently unveiled new restaurant Faro & Brag. The fully renovated space, helmed by executive chef Chris Masco, focuses on modern cuisine and eclectic cocktails. The indoor-outdoor restaurant’s name draws inspiration from two historically popular games in Western saloons. Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus include fresh, seasonal and local ingredients in innovative ways, with plans to introduce monthly wine dinners and elaborate weekend brunches. To wash it all down, consider the signature cocktails, wines or bourbons flights.


The Japan External Trade Organization and the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles have partnered with 10 Valley restaurants to bring The Taste of Japan: Seafood & Sake Series, which will conclude March 9. Each restaurant has created unique, limited-time dishes that highlight Japanese seafood, including the Hokkaido scallop. Restaurants will also offer a special sake pairing to go with the dishes, which will be served raw or cooked. There are three participating restaurants in Scottsdale: Kay Sushi, Sushi Crush and Roka Akor.


European manufacturer Porcelanosa’s newest showroomed opened last month in Old Town Scottsdale. Spanning 2,800 square feet, the space showcases the company’s product offering, including facades and bath vignettes. Porcelanosa also manufactures ceramic and porcelain tile, natural stone, hardwood, mosaics, kitchen cabinets, faucets, shower systems, solid surfaces, and more. The Scottsdale location is one of 40 showrooms throughout the country.

48 So Scottsdale! March ‘24 Now LOWDOWN

please present spring training ticket to redeem offer.


College basketball lovers, rejoice! W Scottsdale will become a hub for all things March Madness with its new ultimate college basketball fan package. The Old Town Scottsdale hotel launched the package in honor of the Final Four and NCAA championship games happening April 6 to 8 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Available to book from April 4 to 9, guests will receive a stay in the hotel’s premier WOW suite, two tickets to each of the two tournament games, a day bed reservation at the property’s WET Deck for one of the three weekend days, two 50-minute treatments at AWAY Spa, and transportation to and from the arena. Rates starting at $4,000 per night.


Keymakers, a new local executive networking organization, launched last month. The member’s-only organization aims to connect business owners and those who hold C-suite roles through exclusive and memorable experiences. Founded by Jason Monczka and Cassie Wells, the new approach will connect executives in small groups. There are two categories of membership available, and members will have access to multiple events including celebrity chef-hosted luncheons, wine tastings, Navy SEALs experiences, and much more.


An estimated 2,000 classic and collector cars and 200 road art and memorabilia items are expected to cross the block at Mecum Auctions this month. The sixth annual auction will return to State Farm Stadium in Glendale from March 5 to 9, with gates opening daily at 8 a.m. Highlights up for grabs include: one of the first 300 Corvettes ever build, a two-time SEMA winner and Goodguys Street Machine of the Year winner, and two custom-built 2018 F1 Simulators with full-size F1 car shells on platforms and triple-screen computers, among others. $30 per person, per day, or $75 for a three-day pass.

50 So Scottsdale! March ‘24 Now LOWDOWN


Community Breakfast

March 7, J.W. Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

Hosted by Ryan House, this event promises to nourish both stomachs and spirits. The early morning begins with touching narratives showcasing the organization’s impactful efforts for children with life-limiting medical conditions and their families, spotlighting 7-year-old Kaylee’s journey with CHARGE syndrome alongside her family in this year’s feature video. Following the program, guests are invited to the venue’s outdoor terrace, where they can bask in the spring air, engage in friendly conversation and nosh on a delicious breakfast. For those on the go, grab a packed breakfast to enjoy on the road. Event proceeds benefit children and families at Ryan House in the coming year. 8-9 a.m. (check-in begins at 7 a.m.). Free (donations encouraged).

The Art d’Core Gala

March 16, Phoenix Art Museum

Artlink, dedicated to amplifying all forms of art and the talented individuals behind it, invites attendees to immerse themselves in a night of colorful splendor. From stunning visual displays to lively performances, and scrumptious culinary creations, this expansive event offers something for everyone. Guests are encouraged to dress creatively and mingle with over 600 artists, donors, advocates, and business leaders who are propelling the Valley’s creative community forward. Proceeds from this panorama-themed celebration benefit Artlink and its diverse range of community-based art events and initiatives. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $150.

Wines Around the World

March 21, The Clayton House

Taste different wines from across the globe while providing support for those who need it most at Family Promise of Greater Phoenix’s annual event. The nonprofit organization serves families with children who are currently homeless, or at risk of experiencing homelessness. In addition to wines from Europe and the United States, attendees will enjoy dinner, musical entertainment, a wine pull, and silent and live auctions. 8 p.m. $195.

Evening on the Diamond

March 23, Chase Field

Sports enthusiasts, mark your calendars! Set against the scenic views of Chase Field and idyllic spring weather, this event, presented by Crescent Crown Distributing, promises to be an exciting evening celebrating the National League Champion Arizona Diamondbacks. With a Jersey & Jeans theme, casual is best! And upon arrival, attendees will receive a 2024 Diamondbacks jersey to mark the special occasion. Enjoy an evening filled with team spirit, dinner, refreshments, and a special live performance by Andy Grammer. Event proceeds benefit the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, which addresses crucial needs in the Valley. 5-10 p.m.

Fresh Start 28th Annual Gala

March 23, The Phoenician

A pillar in the Valley for over 30 years, Fresh Start has been transforming the lives of Arizona women by empowering them to achieve self-sufficiency and use their strength to thrive. The annual gala, now in its 28th year, is a cornerstone event supporting the organization’s impactful work. Attendees will enjoy a signature couture cocktail reception, a gourmet dinner, an inspiring program, live entertainment, and dancing. Neiman Marcus will present a dazzling fashion show spotlighting Carolina Herrera, featuring creative director Wes Gordon. 6-11 p.m. $1,000.

Blueprints & Blue Jeans

March 23, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona invites attendees to experience a night of laidback elegance at its signature fundraising event. Less formal yet undeniably fun, guests can anticipate a cocktail hour, dinner, live and silent auctions, and entertainment to accompany the night. The evening’s program will share inspiring stories of lives touched by the generosity of habitat donors, with a special focus on the night’s honorees, Fred and Linda Milanovich and Cullum Homes. Event proceeds will help support the organization’s core programs, spanning home ownership, neighborhood revitalization, emergency repair, aging in place, and veteran-focused initiatives. 6-10 p.m. $350.

52 So Scottsdale! March ‘24 Now DO


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March 9, JW Marriot Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

Channel your inner “Dutton” at Child Crisis Arizona’s 46th annual signature fundraising gala, which will have a Yellowstone theme this year. Guests can expect upscale ranch decor inspired by the hit Paramount Network show as well as the dramatic beauty of the local Sonoran Desert, and the attire is cowboy chic, with guests encouraged to dress like the show’s iconic Dutton family. During the event, attendees will enjoy a gourmet dinner and signature cocktails, mechanical bull rides, photos with Burrito the burro, casino and Western carnival games, a whiskey tasting bar, and the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind cowboy or ranch hat with Scottsdale’s Rancher Hat Bar. There will also be live country music from Ryan and the Renegades, dancing, and a silent auction. 6 p.m. $400.

Movies in the Park

Through March 29, Biltmore Fashion Park

Each Friday in March, the Center Lawn of Biltmore Fashion Park will become an outdoor movie theater, showing favorite films, old and new. Bring chairs or blankets, and any leashed furry friends.

Scheduled movies include: Field of Dreams (March 1), Barbie (March 8), Happy Gilmore (March 15), The Breakfast Club (March 22), and Miss Congeniality (March 29). 7 p.m. Free. www.shopbiltmore. com.

Sun & Sounds

March 3-24, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Music is in the air this spring as Sunday concerts return to the

newly renovated outdoor space at Scottsdale Civic Center. Enjoy local music in a relaxed, pet- and family-friendly atmosphere with hot food from the grill, cold drinks, and good company. Two artists will take the stage each week with the following lineup scheduled: Taylor Glasheen and Nolan McKelvey (March 3), AJ Odneal and Sugar Thieves (March 10), Joey Gutos and King Summer (March 17), and Faun Flora and Treasurefruit (March 24). Noon. Free. www.scottsdalepeformingarts. org.

Rodeo Scottsdale

March 7-10, WestWorld of Scottsdale

Grab a pair of cowboy boots and a hat, and head to WestWorld’s Equidome arena for some Wild

West action. Also known as the Parada Del Sol Rodeo, this PRCA-sanctioned event features four days of heart-pounding excitement. Witness champion athletes participate in saddle bronc, bareback, roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and bull riding every day of the event. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. General admission, $25; Box seats, $100.

Spring Plant Sale

March 14-17, Desert Botanical Garden

Looking to refresh your outdoor space with native plants? Desert Botanical Garden will have more than 30,000 plants, succulents, cactus, and pollinator-friendly species to choose from at its annual plant

sale. Enhance the experience with an adult education pop-up class on heat-tolerant gardening, where experts from the Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society teach attendees which plants grow best in the heat and provide tips for helping plants survive the desert heat. Reservations are required for both the sale and the workshop. The first day of the sale is for garden members only. 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Classes: 9-10 a.m. and 10-11 a.m. Sale: Free; classes, $14.95 ($9.95 for garden members).

Fitech Fuel Injection Spring Nationals

March 15-17

The Goodguys are back with more than 2,500 hot rods, customs, classics, muscle cars, imports, and trucks. If it was built before 1999, chances it will be at the Spring Nationals show. There will be a Goodguys AutoCross, a Nitro Thunderfest Dragster Exhibition, a burnout competition, a swap meet, and a Cars 4 Sale corral. The family-friendly event will feature a kids model make-and-take and a kids zone with free arts and crafts, games and prizes. The final day is All-American Sunday, welcoming American-made or powered vehicles from any year. Times and prices vary.

Feeney/winthrop Benefit Concert

March 16, Tempe Center for the Arts

For a 16th year, the music group feeney/winthrop will perform a benefit concert in support of St. Joseph the Worker, an organization that assists unhoused and low-income individuals in securing sustainable, quality employment. The evening will feature acoustic music, and every dollar raised will serve the organization’s clients. 7-9 p.m. $20.


March 16, Phoenix Zoo

Indulge in an evening of adventure to support the Phoenix Zoo and Arizona Center for Nature Conservation. Book safari for tastes from around the world in six culinary and beverage experiences. Live entertainment, including an animal presentation at Doornbos Discover Amphitheater, will take place throughout the evening. Upgrade the journey to first-class to enjoy early entry and a hosted cocktail hour, a comedy show at the amphitheater, and additional hosted beverages during the evening. There will also be a raffle to win a 2024 Toyota

54 So Scottsdale! March ‘24

4Runner. 6 p.m. World Traveler (GA), $325; First Class Traveler (VIP), $500.

Spring Butterfly Festival

March 17, Butterfly Wonderland

Painted Lady butterflies will be released every hour at this family-friendly festival in appreciation of amazing butterflies. Kids are encouraged to dress up as their favorite bug or butterfly and participate in crafts, games, face painting, fun tattoos, Arizona State University’s Insect Lab, and free butterfly wing giveaways. Butterfly plants and jewelry will be available for purchase, and attendees can have their photo taken with Leslie The Butterfly Fairy. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free.

Mystery in the Museum

March 22, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

A full lineup of new and returning events are planned to celebrate Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts’ (SMoCA) 25th anniversary. Turn into a detective to unravel the Mystery in the Museum by cracking cryptic messages, solving puzzles, and following clues throughout the museum. Attendees will work in pairs or teams to decipher the riddles and find the clues for a night of art, intrigue and fun. 6:30 p.m. Individual, $30; pair, $45. www.

Arizona Jazz Fest

March 22-24, High Street

More than 20 local and national acts, including both iconic legends and contemporary favorites, will perform on High Street at this annual celebration of jazz music. Headlining acts include Charlie Wilson, Keith Sweat, Babyface, Anthony Hamilton, Teddy Swims, Robin Thicke, Jodeci, Johnny Gill, SWV, Eric Benet, En Vogue, Tower of Power, and many others. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Showtimes vary. Tickets start at $165 per day; Three-day pass, $435.

Celebrate Youth Gala

March 23, Scottsdale Hangar


Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale is gearing up to celebrate 70 years of commitment to youth in the community. Emmy Award-winning journalist Javier Soto will serve as the event’s master of ceremonies. The event will begin with a hosted bar and silent auction, followed by the gala and an after-party. The gala supports


March 23, Arizona Bitlmore

Take a “trip” to Spain’s alluring island, Ibiza, with Phoenix Children’s annual Beach Ball, taking place at Arizona Biltmore’s Spire Ball. Each year, the highly anticipated event asks guests to trade in their tuxedos and ball gowns for resortwear. Guests will enjoy a replica of the unbeatable atmosphere of Ibiza along with incredible food, delicious drinks, and extraordinary entertainment featuring celebrity DJs Pauly D and James Kennedy. The cocktail party is a vital source of funding, providing lifesaving care to sick and injured children in Arizona and beyond. 5-8 p.m. $1,500.

the nine Boys & Girls Clubs programs, which are centered around character and leadership, education, workforce readiness, health and fitness, and the arts. 5:30 p.m. $400.

Opera Rogue Gala

March 23, Arizona Opera Center

Red-carpet arrivals, an elegant cocktail hour under the stars, and a gourmet three-course dinner with wine pairings highlight Arizona Opera’s Moulin Rouge-inspired 10th anniversary gala. There will be live opera performances from Marion Roose Pullin studio artists, and special guest host John Holiday from NBC’s The Voice The evening will conclude with dancing and a special Champagne toast. 6 p.m. Individual tickets, $500; table of eight, $5,000.

Rock the Night Gala

March 23, Shrine Auditorium & Event Center

Join Phoenix Children’s Chorus for a night full of music and opportunities to support the youth choral organization. The fundraising gala

will feature performances of rock favorites by the choir’s ensembles. In addition, attendees will enjoy a VIP pre-party with a hosted bar and dinner stations, live and silent auctions, and a raffle, emceed by Rich Berra of Johnjay and Rich radio show. 5 p.m. Individual theater-style tickets; rock Star package (reserved cafe seating for eight), $2,000.

Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival and Arizona Rice Fest

March 23-24, Centennial Plaza Park

Local vendors will soon gather to share their buns and dumplings, from traditional to creative interpretations. Now in its fifth year, the festival will add the first-ever Arizona Rice Fest to its culinary escapade, with more than 15 businesses set to showcase their rice creations. The event will also feature a curated anime marketplace. Boba, desserts, and other Asian cuisine will be available as well. Food is not included in admission price. Ticket prices vary. 12:45-5 p.m. Instagram: @azbaodumpling.

Unleash the Love

March 28, National Bank of Arizona Conference Center

This year, Gabriel’s Angels is offering two chances to support its mission with both breakfast and lunch programs. Whether attending in the morning or afternoon, guests will meet some of the wonderful therapy dogs and learn about how the power of pet therapy can enhance the social and emotional development of vulnerable children. Breakfast, 7:30-9 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. www.

Home in One Golf Tournament

April 5, McCormick Ranch Golf Club

Tee up to help homeless pets at Arizona Humane Society’s fourth annual golf tournament. This scramble-format tournament will include breakfast and lunch, with fun for lovers of golf and animals. The golf tournament helps support programs that help treat pets who would be euthanized in other shelters. Registration, 6:30 a.m. Single golfer, $425; foursome, $1,700

56 So Scottsdale! March ‘24


AZ Wine Wagon’s new day trip to Sedona

Locally owned AZ Wine Wagon offers shuttle experiences from Scottsdale to the Verde Valley’s wine country through a hop-on, hop-off bus ride. This year, the company launched a Sedona Sip n’ See ride, delivering art, culture and exceptional wine without the planning that typically comes along with a daytrip to the majestic city.

The Ride

AZ Wine Wagon’s ( new offering runs each Friday and Saturday, taking passengers from North Scottsdale to the picturesque route through Uptown Sedona.

The luxe bus is a perfect photo opportunity from the outside, with comfortable, cushy black seats on the inside. Each Friday and Saturday, the bus departs at 9 a.m., with the return set for approximately 6 p.m.

Guests can book either by the seat ($99 per person) or reserve the entire bus for groups up to 26. The scenic ride will showcase the red rocks views Sedona visitors have come to know and love.

Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village

Once in the Sedona area, the first stop on the tour will be Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village (, an iconic, internationally renowned outdoor shopping experience.

Authentically fashioned after a traditional Mexican village, Tlaquepaque – which is a word from the Nahuatl Native Indian language, the ancient language of the Aztecs, translates to the “best of everything” – is found on the banks of Oak Creek in Sedona. A must-visit place since the 1970s, the vine-covered stucco walls, cobble-stone walkways, giant sycamore trees, and romantic arched entryways are timeless.

Tlaquepaque was originally conceived as an artist community – and still is. Patrons will find Sedona artisans at work in their galleries, which range from sculptures, ceramics, blown glass, contemporary paintings, Southwestern paintings, weavings, jewelry, decor and photography. There are also gift items, restaurants, and more.

Riders are encouraged to browse the shops and get a bite to eat – options of where to enjoy lunch range from Mexican cuisine and fine French dining to a brewery and lunch spots in a garden setting.

Alcantara Vineyards and Winery

Next, before heading back to Scottsdale, the bus will make its way to Alcantara Vineyards and Winery ( for the culmination of the adventure. The family-owned, sustainably farmed vineyard has over 20,000 vines and offers over 17 varietals. The options include rosé, white and red offerings. If looking for a variety, choose the wine tasting, which includes four 1.5-ounce tastings served in an Alcantara Vineyard-etched glass.

The relaxing, tranquil atmosphere includes a grass picnic area and a beautiful view of the Verde River. There is also music next to the winery. If still hungry, indulge in one of the items from the food menu, which ranges from shareable light bites to sandwiches and pizzas.

The winery, which offers complimentary tours, opened in 2004 by winemaker Ron Brumley, who focuses on regenerative viticultural practices and low intervention/natural wines.

58 So Scottsdale! March ‘24



Chefs and restaurants in the running for a James Beard Award

The James Beard Foundation recently announced its 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists. Nominees will be announced on April 3, and winners will be celebrated at the awards ceremony in June at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Here are the Valley chefs and restaurants that are currently candidates.

Outstanding Restaurateur

Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin were nominated for their restaurants Cocina Chiwas and Tacos Chiwas, which have locations in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. The pair take their love of their childhood food from Chihuahua, Mexico, and deliver it on a plate through their from-scratch recipes. and

Emerging Chef

Robert Centeno of Espiritu in Mesa is the only representative from the Valley to be nominated for this category. Espiritu, Spanish for “spirit” opened in 2022 and offers more than 100 mezcals (and tequilas). Expect Mexico City-style ceviche, tacos, inventive items like birria dumplings, and seafood and meat entrees.

Outstanding Hospitality

Family-owned, authentic Italian restaurant

Andreoli Italian Grocer has been a longtime staple in the Scottsdale area for over a decade. Italian-born chef-owner Giovanni Scorzo helms the kitchen, where he cooks up homemade, fresh and organically created food, like sandwiches, pasta and dessert, all inspired by his childhood.

Best New Restaurant

Persian restaurant, Ava Bakery Restaurant and Bakery, opened in north Phoenix in Novmeber 2022. Owners Ashkan and Diana Taheri wanted to bring the Persian flavors to Phoenix from Los Angeles, where they were part-owners of a popular Persian restaurant called B.B. Saara. The quaint, authentic spot is home to the original stone bread, and known for its sandwiches, though the menu also features entree plates, wraps, breakfast, and more. 480.906.9757.

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Bakery

Pastry chef Crystal Kass of Valentine in Phoenix’s Melrose district infuses Southwest ingredients into her popular treats. Though best known for her Sonoran wheat pretzel – thanks to New York Times – Kass’ pastry menu also features croissants, Danish, a sticky bun, cookies, scones, eclairs, and much more to devour.

Outstanding Bar

Located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix at the Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriot, Little Rituals serves up cocktails made with high-quality ingredients and freshly squeezed juices, homemade syrups, infusions, foams, and more.


Within the Valley, nominees include: Rene Andrade for Bacanora, Pornsupak "Cat" Bunnag of Glai Baan, and Claudio Urciuoli of Source. Bacanora (www.bacanoraphx. com) features a small, flavor-packed menu of wood-fired Sonoran comfort food in Downtown Phoenix. Glai Baan’s ( authentic Thai menu is focused on street food and snacks from the Isan region (northeastern). Gilbert-located Source ( is a counter service Mediterranean restaurant, wine bar and retail shop.

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 59


Make-A-Wish Arizona’s annual Wish Ball fuses baseball and glamour

Make-A-Wish Arizona’s annual Wish Ball serves as a poignant celebration of the organization’s mission – raising critical funds to grant wishes of Valley children battling critical illnesses. Every year, the impactful event takes place in the elegant ambiance of a ballroom. That is, until now.

Dena Zell, a devoted Make-A-Wish supporter, Wish Ball committee member, and Wish Ball co-chair, envisioned a departure from the conventional venue for this year’s event. Thanks to the generosity of Derick Hall, president of Arizona Diamondbacks and chairman of the MakeA-Wish National Board, that vision has materialized at Chase Field.

“We feel truly blessed to have Derrick Hall graciously support our vision of re-imagining Wish Ball beyond the ballroom and into the ballpark! We know this will

be a memorable evening that will leave an impact on all who join,” Zell says.

Aptly themed Field of Wishes, an Evening of Black, White, and Sparkle, this year’s gala promises a unique fusion of classic ballpark atmosphere infused with a touch of glamour. Although the dress code remains black tie, guests are encouraged to don sneakers or playful footwear. Event highlights include a hosted cocktail reception, live and silent auctions featuring highend items and packages, a scrumptious dinner, live entertainment, and dancing, all set against the breathtaking, 360-degree ballpark views.

Most importantly, there will be a FundA-Wish opportunity that provides attendees with an extraordinary chance to purchase a $10,000 wish. This impactful initiative holds the power to bring hope and joy to


What: The Make-AWish Arizona Wish Ball

When: March 9, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix

Tickets: $750

Information: www.

children confronting challenging times.

Reflecting on her introduction to the magic of Make-A-Wish Arizona in 2017, Zell emphasizes, “I was struck by the profound impact a wish had on not only the child but also on their entire family.”

In 2023, Make-A-Wish Arizona achieved an extraordinary milestone by granting 424 wishes to children and their families, marking the highest number in the chapter’s 44-year history. The organization aims to surpass this achievement by setting a new record this year, aspiring to grant 450 wishes.

“This means the funds raised for future wishes at this year’s Wish Ball are more critical than ever,” Zell says. “By joining us on March 9, you will play a crucial role granting more wishes for Arizona children grappling with critical illnesses.”

60 So Scottsdale! March ‘24



National Kidney Foundation of Arizona’s annual ballroom competition takes center stage

This spring, Valley nonprofits of all types are busy planning galas, golf tournaments, breakfasts, and luncheons to support their many worthwhile causes. The National Kidney Foundation of Arizona has taken a different approach, recruiting philanthropists, medical professionals and other notable community members to take part in its annual Dancing with the Stars Arizona event, with this year’s theme dubbed Feathers and Fantasy.

The friendly dance competition features Arizonans paired with professional dance instructors, vying for judge’s choice, people’s choice, and philanthropy awards. Each dancer commits to raising a minimum of $25,000 through online donations and ticket sales. Since its inception 18 years ago, the event has raised nearly $9 million, funding life-saving patient aid and organ donation advocacy programs throughout the state.

“The format of the event has really helped us reach more people than we would with a traditional fundraising gala,” says Leslie McReynolds, CEO of National Kidney Foundation of Arizona. “It’s a unique opportunity to engage individuals who may not have known about our organization and what we do.”

In terms of preparation, the foundation provides a set number of lessons for each dancer, but some go beyond those and pay for additional training.

“Individuals approach us the night of the event to sign up as dancers for the next year,” McReynolds says. “It is a commitment in terms of both time and money, but we get referrals from past dancers and for people who have great community reach and can serve as liaisons for the organization.”

The event is co-chaired by Jill Merrion and Dr. Katie Martin, both previous Dancing with the Stars Arizona competitors who have a personal connection to the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona’s mission. Now in its 60th year of serving patients

across the state, the organization is dedicated to providing education about kidney disease and helping patients overcome the challenges associated with it.

Dancing with the Stars Arizona is its biggest fundraiser, and more than 87 cents of every dollar donated goes directly back into the community. Every $100 raised provides 26 rides to life-saving dialysis.

Phoenix Suns and Mercury in-arena host Luis “Weezy” Egurrola will emcee the event. Champion dancer and choreographer Tony Meredith — who has worked on the hit show So You Think You Can Dance and numerous films, TV and Broadway shows — will be the event’s professional celebrity judge.


What: Dancing with the Stars Arizona

When: March 15, 5:30 p.m.

Where: The Phoenician, 6000 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale

Tickets: $550

Information: www.

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Bolivia-born Carolina Aranibar-Fernandez integrates art with social change in her new solo SMoCA exhibit

Multimedia artist Carolina Aranibar-Fernandez grew up in Bolivia, cementing her fascination with fabric – a textile she would eventually come to utilize years later in her artistic work.

She first remembers creating art in school at 8 years old, and her passion for art transofmred into a tangible career path when, after high school, she decided to pursue an undergraduate degree at art school. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2013 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016.

Since then, her career has skyrocketed, with residencies, solo and group exhibitions, fellowships, and more. Currently her work can be found at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) in a solo exhibition titled Oleaje, on view through Aug. 4. The large-scale installation works map and memorialize the rippling effects of a coercive global trade industry. This is part of the San Francisco-based artist’s overall inspiration behind her work.

“My practice addresses concerns of displacement, privatization of land, exploitation of natural resources, environmental issues, and the invisible labor that supplies global trade,” she says. “In a range of installations and objects that interweave fabrics, oral storytelling, ceramics, and video, I use hand-making processes and materials that draw from ancestral and contemporary craft.”

This is not Aranibar-Fernandez’s first foray into the art culture of Arizona, as she had a fellowship at Arizona State University. “The Projecting All Voices at ASU was important to me because this is the reason I moved to Arizona,” she says. “I was planning to be there for 9 months – the length of the fellowship but ended up staying 4 years, building important connections with community and friends that supported me along the way.”

In addition to fabric, beads, sequins, and embroidery, Aranibar-Fernandez enjoys working with soil and plants, another topic she feels strongly about. “I hope people are able to see the ways we over consume and that often we don’t know the history of what we get,” she says.

Furthermore, Aranibar-Fernandez’s work is inspired by the research she has done into the histories of resource extraction and the oppressive labor systems. “My practice looks at visible and invisible borders, as well as the displacement of bodies across land and water as a result of the exploitation of resources and labor that corporate capitalism continues to profit from,” she says.

Aranibar-Fernandez is currently working on a long-term project, which is a video with multiple locations around the world that are crucial for the shipping industry. “These videos are filmed 20 meters under the ocean surface,” she says.

To learn more about Aranibar-Fernandez and her work, visit or

62 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
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There is an undeniable energy in the Valley each spring. March, in particular, has a buzz all its own, with must-try activities and can’t-miss events popping up all over town. Here are 19 of the biggest and best things to do, see, sip, and eat this month, from new engaging experiences to tried-and-true events.

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Tranquili-Tea kicks off this spring at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Offered daily from 3 to 5 p.m. through April 30, the seasonal tea is set in picturesque Onyx Bar & Lounge, highlighting elevated, sweeping desert and Valley views. The menu begins with a selection of tea sandwiches, followed by both buttermilk and apricot scones served with lemon curd, clotted cream and orange marmalade. The highlight is the sweet course, a glorious selection of seasonal delights from award-winning pastry chef Yudith Bustos. Starting at $80 for two adults, or $125 with bottomless sparkling sips.

Wander Around Wildflowers

Through May, there are more than 20 species of 20 wildflowers and flowering plants in full bloom across the Valley, notably poppies, brittlebush, chuparosa and marigolds. Hiking paths and recreation areas are among the best places to view the fauna in their full glory, especially South Mountain Park and Preserve, Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, McDowell Mountain Preserve, Usery Mountain Regional Park, Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, and Piestewa Peak. All areas are free, but some may have parking fees.

Xperience the Ocean

Arizona Science Center invites guests to climb aboard an interactive replica of the most advanced marine research and media vessel ever built in the immersive exhibition OceanXperience, open through the summer. An exhibition designed for all ages, OceanXperience gives visitors access to OceanX’s renowned OceanXplorer vessel and the cutting-edge science, technology and media the ship uses to explore the ocean and bring it back to the world. There are diverse options for guided research missions, allowing guests to visit multiple times for a unique experience each time. The exhibition is included with an Arizona Science Center membership or general admission ticket. Kids under 3 are free.

Meet at Mowry

Mowry & Cotton, The Phoenician’s laid-back eatery known for bold flavors and a welcoming social atmosphere, has officially relaunched its popular dining series, Meet at Mowry. The

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 65

monthly event welcomes a “spirited” partner from around the world, and vintages from their prestigious collection are paired with sumptuous bites from the kitchen team at the storied eatery. On March 22, Mowry will welcome Clos Du Val Wine Co., a French-inspired Napa vineyard. Following events include: April 12, J Vineyards; and May 4, Woodford Reserve. Reservations are required. Starting at $165.

Adulting at Phoenix Zoo

There are two ways for adults to explore the Phoenix Zoo this season. First, guests can capture the beauty of nature like never before via Phoenix Zoo Animals in Focus Photography Classes. Available daily through April, the 18-and-over walkabout, hands-on photography class is led by one of the zoo’s expert volunteer photographers. It teaches the basics of composition, lighting and capturing stunning shots of animal residents. In addition, on March 9, the zoo will host Adult Twilight Camp, a chance for adults to explore the zoo after dark, complete with dinner and drinks. Prices vary.

Cactus League

Founded in 1947, Cactus League has blossomed into a baseball fan's paradise, with 10 local ballparks hosting 15 MLB teams daily for multiple spring training games taking place through March 26. The hottest tickets in town will likely be the iconic Charro Lodge at Scottsdale Stadium, home to the San Francisco Giants, and on the lawn at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.

Arizona Party Bike

Seeking a new way to explore the bar scene in downtown Scottsdale? Take a guided pedal pub crawl tour with Arizona Party Bike. The “bike” seats up to 15 people and has an electric motor to help folks pedal as well as a full sound system and LED party lights. During the two-hour ride, a guide safely steers participants to three local bars. And while some pedaling is required, it is made easier by the fact that guests can bring their own beer and wine on board.

Joya Spa

The custom-built, 31,000-square-foot Joya Spa at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at

66 So Scottsdale! March ‘24

Montelucia is the only Hamman-inspired spa in the region. Inspired by the Moroccan desert and Andalusia in Spain, Joya boasts luxurious treatments, ranging from traditional body polishes and facials to hypnotherapy and pink Himalayan stone massages. Planning a full day at the spa is especially lovely at Joya as the facility also features a bathing ritual circuit that dates back to ancient Rome and has a coed adults-only pool, cabanas, and a dining area.

Fernando Botero: El Maestro

For the month of March, Desert Botanical Garden is hosting Fernando Botero: El Maestro. The exhibit showcases the pioneer of figurative art through two monumental cast bronze sculptures — Dressed Woman and Reclining Woman — that showcase Botero’s unique and recognizable style known as “Boterismo.” The exhibition extends inside Dorrance Hall with an expanded gallery space that features 15 paintings and drawings, two small sculptures and a documentary on Botero’s life and work. Exhibit included with garden general admission.

Cocktail Confidential

Visitors and locals alike can craft the perfect cocktail under the guidance of JW Marriot Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa’s resident mixologist during the resort’s newest bookable experience, Cocktail Confidential: An Exclusive Mixology Class at Lincoln Steakhouse and Bar. The monthly experience includes a spread of hors d'oeuvres as well as interactive demonstrations of two to three cocktails per guest. The next events will take place March 10, with April and May dates to be announced in coming weeks. Tickets starting at $55 per person.


Yachtzilla, a six-piece live band that blends stadium-style energy with the smooth sounds of yacht rock, is bringing its breezy vocals and bouncy rhythms to the Showroom at Casino Arizona this spring, with shows set for 7:30 p.m. on both March 16 and 17. The self-proclaimed “monsters of soft rock” welcome all fans to sing along to every single song, and it is a blast when the entire audience gets going.

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 67

Boating at Tempe Beach Park

Tempe Beach Park offers peddle boats, swan boats, dragon boats, and even full-size boats for rent daily throughout the spring and beyond. In addition, Tempe Beach Park now boasts donut boats as well. The electric, circular vessels hold up to 10 people and features a round table in the center, perfect for conversation, beverages and snacks.

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery’s Brunch

For the first time since its debut in the Valley more than 10 years ago, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery is allowing advance reservations for its beloved brunch services on weekdays. Starting now, parties of four or more can visit the website or app to book a reservation. The news comes at a perfect time as the restaurant enhanced its menu for spring in recent weeks, adding a crispy garlic and avocado miso rice bowl, a ricotta soft scramble with spiced pepitas, chilaquiles with cilantro aioli, bread pudding French toast, and more.

Tortilla Flat

Though originally founded in 1904 as a stagecoach stop along the Apache Trail, Tortilla Flat – nestled within the Superstition Mountains just over an hour from Scottsdale – is now a popular day trip for couples and families alike. It boasts history, including a saloonturned-museum of sorts with stories of the Old West, Lost Dutchman’s gold, and the Native Americans who lived in the area for centuries. There’s also an old-fashioned country store with creamy gelato, a mercantile gift shop with collectibles and antiques, and a slew of momand-pop restaurants.

Harkins Moonlight Cinema

Throughout spring, enjoy movies under the stars every Friday and Saturday on the top level of the Brown Garage adjacent to Harkins Camelview at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Each week, viewers can enjoy a different hit movie – think everything from The Breakfast Club and Beetlejuice to The Hunger Games and Deadpool. Concessions, including the Harkins signature big screen burger, artisan flatbreads, freshly baked cookies, and popcorn, will be available for purchase from a walk-up concession stand. Beer, wine, nonalcoholic beverages, and cocktails will also be for sale. Starting at $14.50.

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Arizona Renaissance Festival

The 36th Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace is taking place every Saturday and Sunday through the end of March. The outdoor event boats a 16-stage theater, an outdoor whimsical village, a 50-acre circus, an arts and crafts fair, an iconic jousting tournament, and the chance to enjoy an authentic feast fit complete with whole chicken legs. Costumes are welcome. Starting at $33 for adults and $21 for children.

Tempe Festival of the Arts

Tempe Festival of the Arts will take place March 8 through 10 on the city streets of downtown Tempe. Expect more than 350 artist booths, representing visual arts including wood, photography, ceramics, wearable art, jewelry, and more. During the festival and shopping extravaganza, which will also include bountiful food and drink vendors and music, the best overall artist and the top artist in each category will receive cash honoraria awards.

State Troon Card

Troon Golf offers an annual card that gives exclusive offers and access to its more than 20 affiliated courses statewide, including Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, Boulders Resort & Spa, Dove Valley ranch Golf Club, The Club at Starr Pass, The Phoenician Golf Club, Sedona Golf Resort, Westin Kierland Golf Club, and Troon North Golf Club. Cardholders will receive 50% off standard golf rates at participating courses, priority tee times, and bonus access to more than 150 participating courses in Hawaii, the Bahamas, and more. Twosome, $529; foursome, $869.

The Ostrich Festival

The 34th Annual Ostrich Festival will take place March 8 through 10 at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler. The annual event is Chandler's largest festival and truly celebrates the city’s rich history and early ostrich ranching when ostrich plumes were all the rage in fashion. Certainly, there are tributes to the animal itself, as well as free-roaming ostriches in designated areas, but in addition guests will also enjoy live music, stage shows, more than 50 carnival-style rides and games, and classic festival food. Prices vary.

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The bright Arizona rays that will roll into town this month and continue through summer require a little extra eye protection – and provide an opportunity to make a fashion statement. The Bold Cat-eye Sunglasses in pink by Alexander McQueen will accomplish both goals. The psychedelic pink acetate sunglasses, which are fitted with solid smoke lenses, also come in black and burgundy hues. They feature bold volumes and temple silhouette, which are detailed with a contrasting silver Alexander McQueen signature. All eyewear from the brand is 100% certified UV protective (UVA and UVB rays). These particular frames, made in Italy, can also be fitted with prescription lenses. $375 at Alexander McQueen,

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Achieve the trendy “wet look” on your locks all day long

Hydrating mask, Living proof, $155 at Nordstrom, www.

Nourishing serum, Olaplex, $30 at Nordstrom.

Styling gel, Balmain $54 at Neiman Marcus, www.

Volumizing foam, Innersense, $28 at Citrine, www.

Large paddle brush, $8.99 at H&M, www.

Matte clay, Jack Henry, $28 at Citrine.

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For well over 20 years Rachell Hall has eased the makeup woes of an international clientele with her exclusive perfected signature procedures. Be beautiful at breakfast and still look fresh at four! Work out or go out your permanent make up will be perfect! Save time with any procedure. Always natural, always pretty, always perfect. Don't you deserve wash and wear beauty?

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Transform your bathroom into the ultimate spa-inspired space

Bath shelf, $35.99 at H&M,

Plush bathmat, Graccioza, $247 at Neiman Marcus, www.

Blanket/towel ladder, Renwil, $427 at Daniel House Club,

Pearlized vanity accessories, Pigeon and Poodle, $58$224 (sold separately) at Nordstrom, www.

Faux silver dollar eucalyptus tree, $399-$698 at Pottery Barn, www.

Electric aromatherapy diffuser, Serene House, $59.99 at Nordstrom.

74 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
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Embrace all warm-weather styles this spring

Navy cotton blend cargo, Ramy Brook, $265 at Nordstrom,

Olive stretch chinos, $59.50 at J.Crew, www.jcrew. com.

Abstract-print linen pull-on, Silvia Tcherassi, $420 at Neiman Marcus, www.

Blue scalloped belted cotton, Zimmerman, $450 at Net-a Porter, www.

High-waisted denim, Frame, $208 at Nordstrom.

Purple drawstring cotton, $12.99 at H&M,

76 So Scottsdale! March ‘24


Home run styles for spring training games and beyond

Knotted crystalembellished acrylic bag, Cult Gaia, $498 at Shopbop, www.

Straw logo bucket hat, Valentino Garavani, $790 at Nordstrom, www.

Striped T-shirt, $6.99 at H&M, www.

Off-white cotton overalls, Billabong, $79.95 at Nordstrom.

Pebbled pink leather sneakers, Nike, $89.96 at DSW,

Aviator mirrored sunglasses, Chloe, $415 at Shopbop.

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 77

EARRINGS: Gold and silver diamond-shaped, Judy Jansen, $169.

DRESS: Red midi ribbed sleeveless, Rosevelet, $160.

BRACELET: Metallic with clear stone, Judy Jansen $229. RING: Metallic with clear stone, Judy Jansen, $195. SHOES: Red sequin ankle boots, Top Moda, $195. All from Voila Boutique, 480.619.9616.

78 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
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NECKLACE: Black, gold and silver stone, Sorrelli, $459. JACKET: Gold metallic short-sleeve cropped, A.Z.I, $229. TOP: White and gold dotted, A.Z.I, $139. PANTS: Gold metallic, A.Z.I, $229. SHOES: Black sequin boots, Top Moda, $139. All from Voila Boutique, 480.619.9616.

EARRINGS: Silver and gold with pink and black stones, Judy Janson, $160.

NECKLACE: Silver and gold with pink and black stones, Judy Janson, $459.

JACKET: Black net midi, Samuel Dong, $295. DRESS: Hot pink ruched midi, Haute Monde, $129. SHOES: Black sequin boots, Top Moda, $139. All from Voila Boutique, 480.619.9616.

80 So Scottsdale! March ‘24

JACKET: Printed embellished blazer, A.Z.I, $279. BREAST PETALS: Gold, $55. BRACELET: Silver with blue stones, Sorrelli, $129. PANTS: Navy wide-leg, Last Tango, $129. SHOES: Red sequin ankle boots, Top Moda, $195. All from Voila Boutique, 480.619.9616.

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EARRINGS: Silver, gold and turquoise, $495. NECKLACE: Silver, gold and turquoise, $169.

JACKET: Sheer embroidered overcoat, Adore, $229.

DRESS: Lime green corset mini, Blashe, $119. SHOES: Multicolor embellished mid-calf boots, Azalea Wang, $195. All from Voila Boutique, 480.619.9616.

82 So Scottsdale! March ‘24

DRESS: Multicolor long-sleeve bubble mini, Samuel Dong, $349. SHOES: Pink sequin boots, $139. Both from Voila Boutique, 480.619.9616.

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 83
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EARRINGS: Black with clear stones, $95. TOP: Silver sequin button-down with tiger detail, A.Z.I, $179. BRACELET: Black with clear stones, Sorrelli, $199. PANTS: Black faux leather leggings, Spanx, $139. SHOES: Pink sequin boots, Top Moda, $139. All from Voila Boutique, 480.619.9616.

NECKLACE: Black and silver strand, $195. TOP: Multicolor mesh and faux suede zip-up, Belgin Francis, $329.


Rainbow, $39.99.

BRACELET: Black and silver strand, $149. PANTS: Black wide-leg, Last Tango, $129. SHOES: Red sequin ankle boots, Top Moda, $195.

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 85

Cancer and the heart: Not exactly a love connection

What may seriously damage the heart is disease, especially cancer and cardiovascular disease—the two most common causes of death in the United States. Research clearly indicates that the relationship between the two diseases often appears to be causal, not just casual.

The direct connection of heart disease to cancer is the subject of much current research since the cause and effect is not fully understood. The correlation between cancer to heart disease is well documented, however. In a 2023 article in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, cancer is described as a cardiovascular risk factor. The article also said an “analysis showed that a history of cancer was an independent and significant predictor of MACE (major cardiovascular events).”

Many of the treatments doctors use to fight cancer may do their job well, but at the same time, may cause serious damage to the heart—often many years into survivorship. In fact, the rising number of people living longer with cancer may be contributing to the rise in heart disease among patients who may have otherwise died before cardiovascular issues arose in decades past.

A record 20 million cancer survivors are now living in the United States. And while they’ve survived cancer, these patients may experience cardiovascular issues later in life because of damage likely caused by their cancer treatments.

In an effort to mitigate the danger to the heart, oncologists are increasingly working with cardiologists and primary care physicians to prevent and manage cardiac complications that may result from cancer treatments.


Just as cancer treatments are known to potentially lead to heart damage, evidence suggests and that people with cardiovascular disease are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer and die from cancer.

While the cause and effect to determine how heart disease may lead to cancer is not completely understood, the two diseases share many common risk factors.

“If you look at just risk factors overall, there’s a ton of overlap,” says Stephen Lynch, MD, Vice Chief of Staff at City of Hope Cancer Center Phoenix. “Smoking, for instance, is going to increase your risk for cancer and increase your risk for heart disease. Obesity and lack of exercise are risk factors for both.”


Cancer treatments impact on the heart have been known for decades. But only recently have the disciplines of cardiology and oncology connected to form the field of cardio-oncology.

This emerging specialty focuses on assessing and managing heart issues before, during and after cancer treatment and into survivorship.

“The world of cardio-oncology is a booming field of medicine where there’s a lot of research going so that we can continue to do better for patients in assessing and protecting their heart over time,” Dr. Lynch says.

Cardio-oncology involves three main areas of focus:

• Identifying high-risk cancer patients

• Preventing damage to the heart that may be caused during treatments

• Monitoring patient progress during and after treatment

Before cancer treatment begins, oncologists consult with a cancer patient’s primary care physician and/or cardiologist to identify chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, that increase the patient’s risk for cardiovascular issues. The information is then used to guide the patient’s treatment plan and dictate which therapies are prescribed, especially if a patient is going to need to be anesthetized.

“If we identify folks immediately that are

going to need some type of cardiovascular evaluation or preoperative assessment, then we have a program in our building to take care of that and we have a dedicated cardiologist on site,” Dr. Lynch says. “So that absolutely plays an important part in developing a treatment plan since many of the therapies an oncologist might utilize are potentially impactful on the heart directly.”

Doctors also work together to recommend prevention-based lifestyle changes, such as diet or exercise regimens designed for weight loss or smoking cessation programs to help patients lower their risk for heart disease. Once cancer treatment begins, the cardio-oncology team monitors how certain therapies may be affecting the patient’s heart and adjust, as necessary.

In the past, doctors used an echocardiogram to measure changes in the heart’s ability to pump blood, since lower rates may be a sign of treatment-related heart damage. Today, technological advances are helping to expand the options available to reduce patients’ risk of cardiac issues, even though the challenge remains difficult, Dr. Perre says.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing more heart risk from cancer treatments than ever before,” he says. “But we can’t stop the treatments because they’re working well to fight the cancer.”

As a cancer survivor, Dr. Perre knows his cardiovascular risk is higher than the average person’s. To treat his Hodgkin lymphoma, Dr. Perre was given a combination of radiation therapy and doxorubicin.

“I know I’m at a greater danger for heart problems,” he says. “That’s why I have to make sure I take the precautions I can and undergo the proper monitoring. Prevention and vigilance are such important components of cardio-oncology.”

For more information visit Call 602.883.1463 today to schedule a screening.



Infuse a sense of spring into any space with the new area rug collection from the collaboration between California lifestyle brand Trina Turk and area rug company Flor. Turk’s signature prints, colors and contemporary designs are steeped in the products, which are inspired by the designer’s global travels and love for vintage materials. Flor is a specialty design brand of Interface that was founded in 2003, and is known for its carpet tiles which are easy to install and responsibly sourced. The collection features five designs, each offered in multiple colors, ranging from vibrant hues to muted neutrals. The Twin Palms (shown here in pink) is a midcentury, geometric, whimsy option. Consumers can order by popular, standard rug sizes, or input a custom size, and receive the amount of tiles necessary to build that rug. $25-$36 per tile, depending on pattern.

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The brand debuts its first SL four-cylinder soft top in 60 Years

With beginnings as a LeMans racing car dating back to the early 1950s, Mercedes recognized it needed a lightweight, aerodynamic sports car to successfully compete at the track. Short for “Sport Light” or “Sport-Leicht,” in German, the SL launched as the first incarnation of Mercedes’ two-seat sports car.

The road-ready version of the Mercedes SL, unveiled at the International Motor Sports Show in New York in January 1954, was an immediate success. The 190 SL could be ordered as a coupe or convertible with a removable hardtop, a format the SL would adopt for years to come.

Over successive years, the SL strayed away from its svelte body figure, gaining weight including the heavy folding hardtop convertibles, and evolved into a glitzy, luxurious grand tourer. The current generation SL, introduced in 2021, returned to its racing roots when the German automaker handed the SL over to its high-performance AMG division with powerful iterations including its 805-horsepower E Performance plug-in hybrid engine in the SL 63 S E.

Recently, the German luxury brand returned to its lightweight SL roots by resurrecting a

soft-top roadster along with a 2+2 seat design for the first time since 1989. Tiny and odd, the back seat is best left for packages or golf clubs. Perhaps the biggest news is, for the first time in 60 years, Mercedes is resurrecting the four-cylinder convertible SL with the introduction of the AMG SL 43 powered via an electrically driven turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that delivers 375 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque courtesy of technology from its Formula 1 crew.

Pushing the “start” button brings attention-grabbing exhaust notes at a harmonic octave noticeably shrill from the burbling, popping notes from its more muscular, smooth V-8 counterparts.

While V-8 SL versions deliver dynamic acceleration, the SL 43 is less ambitious in its sprint to 60 mph. The nine-speed transmission offers up gear choices for smooth acceleration, but when tested there were abrupt gearshifts from more aggressive drive mode settings.

While the milder tempered SL 43 is a deal breaker for the SL aspired or not will most likely hinge on their appetite and budget for all-out high performance driving. For many, there’s no replacement for displacement.


2024 Mercedes-AMG SL 43

Base Price: $109,900

Price as Tested: $125,835

Engine: 2.0-liter, electrically driven turbocharged 4, with a 9-speed automatic transmission

Horsepower: 375

Fuel Economy: 23 mpg combined city/highway

Seating: 4

Fab features:

Luxurious top-down fun AMG performance handling

Killer good looks

88 So Scottsdale! March ‘24

What Makes Us Elite?

Every single visit is with Dr. Suescun. At most hormone replacement centers, you will NEVER see a doctor. You also have direct access to Dr. Suescun via cell, text & email.

There are no weekly visits required as with most hormone replacement centers. All medication is taken at home.

We schedule your visits at your convenience including evenings and weekends.

Membership with Elite includes body composition monitoring to achieve your individual goals. We follow your progress by analyzing & tracking your body fat percentage, muscle mass, weight etc. to track tangible results. All plans are completely individualized and doses of medication carefully adjusted for patients to meet their specific goals based on hormone levels and biochemical markers.

We stress the importance of nutrition in reaching the ultimate level of fitness, strength, and health and therefore provide our clients with personalized nutritional advice along with exercise and fitness counseling. Our goal is to help you stay in the best shape of your life and to achieve optimum health.




Open Venues provides first-time access to the country’s rarest spaces

Want to host an elaborate dinner party along the coastal hillside of Malibu? How about an intimate wedding reception inside a sandstone cave?

These out-of-the-box, once-in-a-lifetime experiences are now possible thanks to Open Venues, a new division of the imaginative event production team at Cloth & Flame that allows users exclusive access to book rare and historic properties and wild landscapes for every type of event. All properties are explored through the lens of logistics, planning, design, and production. Every venue is meticulously handpicked and intensively researched to understand its character and potential, resulting in deeply customizable events ensuring no one has the same experience twice.

The process of planning an event with the company begins with consumers discovering and comparing unique locations online before being connected with a dedicated concierge who delivers a high-touch experience, guiding them through the booking process, including venue selection, site scouting, booking and event execution. Once a venue has been chosen, Open Venues works to help facilitate the event from start to finish with personalized packages across three tiers: Venue Only, Best of Both, and Turnkey. Currently, Open Venues has a collection of 25 venues across Arizona, California, Utah,

and Nevada, ranging from wondrous outdoor spaces to architectural marvels.

Malibu Hilltop

Located along Southern California’s picturesque coastline, this remarkable mountaintop setting is underscored by awe-inspiring vistas and sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.

Flagstaff’s Aspen Forest

Tucked into the largest stand of ponderosa pines in the world, the Aspen Forest venue offers a truly unique setting within a rugged wilderness at an elevation of more than 7,000 feet. While Aspen Forest is a beautiful spot in every season, the real magic happens in the fall, when the alabaster-trunked Aspen trees transform to offer a canopy of golden leaves.

Moab Caves

Tapping into Utah’s rugged spirit, events start with an off-road Jeep ride to reach this enchanting venue. The idyllic setting, surrounded by raw, earthen interiors, offers a magical backdrop along with a tranquil mood courtesy of the sandstone caves. The immersive experience inside the caves, including its circular shape, results in a one-of-a-kind culinary opportunity.

Jerome’s Little Daisy

A historic miner’s hotel built in 1918 and meticulously renovated, The Little Daisy charms at every opportunity, most specifically on its rooftop and its breathtaking views of Jerome from its hillside perch.

Las Vegas Red Rocks

Just 30 minutes from the neon signs setting the Las Vegas strip aglow sits the Reserve at Red Rock, an outdoor event space that showcases towering sandstone peaks, impressive canyons and unique red rock formations at a remote desert location.

Sedona’s Venue on the Mesa

Stunning red rock views abound at this location revered as a spiritual vortex, a sacred place where swirling centers of energy encourage deep healing that leaves anyone feeling inspired and recharged.

Learn more at

90 So Scottsdale! March ‘24


We know how important it is to share the love of the game with your buddies. Gather your friends, lace up your sneakers, and take part in exhilarating pick-up games that will test your teamwork, strategy, and sheer determination. Every minute on the court will be a testament to the unbreakable bond you share with your fellow ballers.

Come play at the Village, scan the QR code for your Free 7-day

DC RANCH VILLAGE Scottsdale, AZ 85255 480.502.8844 GAINEY VILLAGE Scottsdale, AZ 85258 480.609.6979 OCOTILLO VILLAGE Chandler, AZ 85248 480.656.0045 CAMELBACK VILLAGE Phoenix, AZ 85018
VIP Membership


For otherworldly views, look no further than this Silverleaf property, located within North Scottsdale’s DC Ranch community. Perched atop the McDowell Mountains, this privately gated, 4.8-acre estate truly sits on the edge of paradise, offering panoramic views of the Valley and beyond. It comprises 7,375 square feet and boasts four bedrooms, 6 1/2 bathrooms, a four-car garage (expandable to six cars with lifts), a detached guest house, and high-end amenities at every turn.

The exterior's neutral color palette allows the surrounding desert landscape to truly shine. This muted yet sophisticated color scheme continues inside. The entryway welcomes with vaulted ceilings adorned with wooden beams, light-colored hardwood floors, and abundant natural light streaming in from the surrounding windows.

Minimalistic elegance extends around the corner, unveiling an open-concept kitchen and great room. The star of the great room is the aluminum bi-folding glass doors, merging indoor-outdoor entertainment spaces with ample seating. Complete with a fireplace, custom shelving and a nearby wine cellar accommodating over 1,000 bottles, this space is designed for luxury living. The airy kitchen is predominantly white, accentuated by a blue custom island and a patterned backsplash. Expect luxury appliances and a swing-door butler’s pantry. The kitchen offers easy access to an outdoor patio, complete with a built-in barbecue, via bi-folding glass doors.

The expansive primary suite is particularly noteworthy. The en suite features two large vanities, generous counter space, a spacious walk-in shower, and exquisite detailing. Tasteful details are also found in the first floor’s gym room and office space.

The rest of the home is made up of upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms, and a media/game room.

Outside, desert views are coupled with exquisite amenities, including multiple fireplaces, an infinity pool, and tons of covered seating areas.

21039 N. 102nd St., Scottsdale, AZ 85255. Listed for $11,500,000 with Tracey Gray of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty: or 602.980.2243.

92 So Scottsdale! March ‘24 Luxe HAUTE PROPERTY






The idyllic city of Annecy is charming all year round

While the words “Paris” and “romance” are tightly intertwined, there’s another charming city in France that lovers should consider: Annecy.

In just under four hours on a train from Paris (or a 40-minute car ride from Geneva, Switzerland), visitors will find a place that provides equally enduring moments of amour to treasure. Located in the Rhone Alpes region of France, this Alpine four-season setting is where love, scenery, cuisine, and architecture combine to form an exquisite tapestry. Twenty-two miles south of Geneva, Switzerland, this postcard-perfect city, known as the “Venice of the Alps,” is famous for world-class ski resorts and snow-capped mountain peaks that serve as a backdrop for the pristine Lake of Annecy. Considered to be Europe’s cleanest lake, due to pure mountain springs that drip from the mountains, it sports colorful small boats and canopy trees that add an additional layer of charm. Nearby is Champ de Mars, a popular picnic spot near “Lovers Bridge,” replete with locks put on by lovers who want a forever future.

Old Town Wonders

An ideal place for photo ops, Annecy is one of those places meant to be meandered through. Visitors can marvel at the canals, flower-covered bridges and narrow passageways while strolling around this picturesque city. The Old City (Vieille Ville) is rich with fairy tale charm, full of medieval brick and stucco buildings painted in pastel hues of yellows, browns and peach. Arch-shaped wooden shutters ornamented by flower window boxes add to the appeal. Visitors can easily spend much of the day wandering, indulging in boutiques, cozy cafes and restaurants while walking the narrow pedestrian-only cobbled streets. Some culinary highlights include fresh fish from the lake, creamy cheeses like reblochon, and vegetables from the surrounding countryside. The marketplace brims with cheese fondue, crepes and local delicacies.

Annecy’s most photographed and popular site is the Palais de I’Isle, a dramatic cultural icon that provides a glimpse into the town’s cultural history. Built in the 14th century on a small triangular island, this former dungeon dramatically juts out on the Thiou canal, mimicing a ship’s bow. Visitors can get a deeper appreciation of the area’s history by perusing a small museum inside the structure that contains art and artifacts. At night, the atmosphere is even more beguiling – ambient shadows couple with lights from the building’s windows, creating alluring shadows on the water. At the entrance to the Old Town and next to the Palais de I’Isle stands the Pont Perriere, considered Annecy’s most famous and beautiful bridge.

Peppered throughout the area are churches, such as Notre Dame de Liesse, cathedrals, museums, and heritage-rich landmarks, including the Chateau d’ Annecy, positioned on a hilltop with

94 So Scottsdale! March ‘24

commanding views of the area. Visitors can enjoy medieval sculptures, contemporary art, and local furniture within its historic walls.

The arts are alive and well in Annecy-Bonlieu Scene Nationale (BSN), which provides more than 155,000 spectacles each season. They include dance, music and even circus performances.

Outdoor Delights & Delicious Bites

Annecy is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with a plethora of sandy beaches, waterfalls, nature preserves, and gardens. Outdoor buffs can paraglide over the lake or enjoy time bicycling, sailboating, paddle boating, rowing, or kayaking. For intrepid hikers, there is La Tournette, a 6-mile hike that is not for the faint of heart; at 7,700 feet, it offers mesmerizing views of the city, the lake, towns, and historical monuments. If short on time, one of the best ways to experience the beauty is by takine a one-hour guided boat ride that provides a smattering of history and sights of the quaint surrounding lakeside villages. Adjacent to the lake are the lush and grassy Jardins de L’Euope (translating to “Gardens of Europe”), which contain 600 beautiful old trees of all shapes and sizes, numerous plant species, statues, and fountains.

Those who have worked up an appetite after their active day should wander into Tete de Cochon, an informal bistro where diners can write on the walls. Don’t be surprised if a group breaks into a spontaneous song. The trendy venue serves up sandwiches, paninis, muffins, tarts, baguettes, and more.

Or, if craving baked goods, Patisserie Philip Rigollot is the place to try. Head pastry chef Philip Rigollot holds two distinctions in the World Pastry Cup Championship, and the bakeries are famous for their pastries, cookies, pies, and cakes. “Mr. Smith” is his award-winning reworked version of apple pie. There is even a tea room with teas, coffees, and hot chocolates.

Through the Seasons

There is excitement to be found year-round in the magical Annecy. No matter the season, Imperial Palace proves to be a popular place for visitors to make their home base. Guests at this 4-star majestic building can begin their day with a leisurely breakfast on their balcony while soaking up peaceful lake views. Amenities include saunas, treatment rooms, an Italian restaurant, a French restaurant, a brassiere, and a casino. Dinner shows and jazz clubs complete the “Imperial experience.”

This month, tourists and locals alike can enjoy the Venetian Carnival in Old Town at the lakefront in late March. Seeking to emulate the famous Venetian festivals of Italy, elaborately masked participants don colorful masks and costumes.

Summertime provides a pyrotechnic musical show sporting lights and water displays. It is considered to be one of the best displays of its kind in Europe. There is also an International Film Festival in June.

If visiting in colder months, there are dozens of ways to enjoy the powder in wintertime. Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, tobogganing, snowshoe trekking, and snowmobiling are just some of the winter sports offered in Annecy.

Learn more at

So Scottsdale! March ‘24 95


Perfectly made cocktails produced with produce

While the old adage says to always eat your veggies, why not drink them instead? Here are some stunning spring cocktails, each starring one (or more) vegetable.

Safe Word Nook Kitchen

Here, Tito’s Vodka is combined with Chareau Aloe Liqueur, which is a plant-based spirit, and then the mixture is muddled with aloe, freshly cut cucumber, mint, and lime juice. After being shaken, the refreshing blend is then strained and poured over ice in a tall glass, garnished with both sliced cucumber and fresh mint leaves. $15.

Down To Earth

Poppy’s Office

Organic purple sweet potato steals the show in this vibrantly red spirited offering. It is infused into crisp Zephyr Black London Dry Gin. Over time, the natural earthiness from the purple sweet potato complements the bright elderberry botanicals in the gin. The resulting infusion is paired with Giffard Creme De Cacao, fresh lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, and black walnut bitters, together rounding out the starchiness of the potato and creating an unforgettable mouth feel. It is finished with a slice of dehydrated purple sweet potato. $16.

Oaxacan Corn Swizzle Garden Bar

A drinkable love letter to the flavors of Oaxaca, a southern state in Mexico known for its gastronomy, the swizzle is a beautiful blend of mezcal – native to Oaxaca – and liqueur infused with corn, a staple of the Mexican diet. The spirits are paired with lime for acidity, chipotle peppers for heat, and charred tortilla bitters for depth and the essence of the Sonoran Desert in a glass. It is finished with spicy corn nuts. $17.

The Haunted Highway Fat Ox

This cocktail proves that pumpkin should not be limited to use only

during the fall months. The handpressed offering prominently features pumpkin, which is combined with maple syrup for sweetness, as well as both Panamanian rum, which is known for its subtle marzipan notes, and rhum agricole, a complex cousin of traditional rum made with sugarcane versus molasses with a slightly grassy flavor profile. $18.

24 Carrot Hash Kitchen

A name that playfully references 24-carat gold, this orange elixir boasts fresh carrot juice, fresh lemon juice, honey syrup, and salty caper brine. The sweet-yetsalty result is poured into a flute rimmed with Old Bay Seasoning and topped with cilantro sprigs to add a burst of vegetal flavor and give the look of a real carrot. $14.

ROXX Tomatillo Mary Amelia’s By EAT

Showcasing the flavors of the Southwest and the locally made ROXX Vodka, this twist on a bloody mary is a marriage of tomatillos, serrano peppers, cucumbers, cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, green hot sauce, lime, wasabi, salt, and pepper. The glass is rimmed with smoked salt and expect a slew of vegetables –cucumber ribbons, olive, peppers, and more – as garnish. $14. www.

Dreamy Draw Bar Cena

Bright vegetal notes from fresh red bell pepper create a strong foundation for the complex layers in this drink, intertwining with rum, mango liqueur, fresh citrus, and egg whites. Choose between blanco tequila for brighter, fruitier notes, or mezcal to revel in the earthy and smoky flavors of the drink. $15.

96 So Scottsdale! March ‘24 Taste DRINK BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ



Since its inception in 2012, Rusconi’s American Kitchen has created hearty regional favorites from across the United States while showcasing seasonal ingredients. Newly added to the menu, the Georges Bank Sea Scallops ($36) are a celebration of spring. Chosen for their sweet flavor and firm texture, these particular scallops are especially perfect for caramelizing, which is done with precision in a cast-iron skillet before being plated with risotto made using Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, American Arborio rice, butter, mascarpone cheese, and English peas. The peas act to lighten and brighten the risotto’s overall flavor and transform the color from stark white to a vibrant green. The dish is finished with a salad of shaved English pea shoots, fennel, celery, and carrots and topped with a sweet-yet-earthy jus made from carrots and ginger. Rusconi’s American Kitchen, 10637 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix; 480.483.0009;

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B&B Cocktail Lounge seduces all of its guests’ senses with the Wonder Bubble

Given its name, patrons should expect quite the list of drink offerings at B&B Cocktail Lounge.

“We have 20 signature cocktails as well as 14 types of espresso martini and eight shareable options, so more than 40 items on the menu before even getting into the classic and traditional bar drinks,” says Haley Bauer, general manager of B&B Cocktail Lounge.

According to Bauer, given its prime location in Old Town Scottsdale, the swanky lounge exists to help guests start the evening off right with a few drinks and some light bites before a fun night out.

“Given this, many of our cocktails are designed to help get the party started,” Bauer says.

Among the most popular party starters is the Wonder Bubble ($17).

“We wanted a cocktail that complemented our raw bar, but also something with visual and aromatic wow factor beyond just a great taste,” Bauer says.

To make, crisp Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint is combined in a shaker with fresh cucumber juice, lemon juice, housemade simple syrup, and wasabi.

“We use the actual wasabi that we pair with our raw bar items; not a syrup,” Bauer says. “When shaken with ice and the other ingredients, it completely dissolves, leaving just a kiss of that distinctive nose and touch of heat without overpowering the refreshing notes.”

The liquid is then strained into a martini glass and topped with a lemongrass-infused edible bubble.

“When it pops, the guests are enveloped by the fragrance,” Bauer says. “As it is sipped, the lemongrass gives way to a delicately sweet yet botanical flavor profile with a kick.”

B&B Cocktail Lounge, 4222 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.590.1087;

98 So Scottsdale! March ‘24


In the kitchen with Remy Lefebvre of Francine

Remy Lefebvre is the executive chef of Francine, where he crafts seasonal and contemporary cuisine inspired by flavor profiles from across the French Riviera in a style that he calls the “Cuisine of the Sun.”

What is “Cuisine of the Sun?”

Since its inception, Francine has centered its menu around this concept. The term itself is based on a book of the same name that explores the rich vegetation, aromas, colors, and flavors across southern France, thanks in great part to the North Africans, Phoenicians and Romans who settled there. These authentic, uniquely Mediterranean flavors inspire our entire menu.

What are some of the new sun-inspired menu items at Francine?

We just went through a sweeping menu refresh and will continue to do so inspired by the seasonality of ingredients. Some of my favorite new dishes are the crab taramasalata, which is a creamy Mediterranean dip; the blue prawns, which we source from New Caldonia, a French territory in the South Pacific; the branzino in a salt crust, which is flambeed tableside; and the lobster with bucatini pasta.

What inspired you to cook?

My love of eating! I was born in France and grew up on the Ivory Coast, so was exposed to such a diversity of flavors and ingredients before I could even walk. I decided to make it my career, however, years later after working in international trade in Spain and deciding to change course. I got a job as a server, which led to back of the house, which led to more than 20 years in the kitchen.

Tell us about your journey to Francine. I’ve worked everywhere – Barcelona, Madrid, Hong Kong, India, the Middle East, and even Florida – cooking my twist on Mediterranean cuisine. Along the way, I met Francine founder Laurent Halasz. A few months ago, he called me with the offer of a lifetime.

What would readers be surprised to know about you?

While most Europeans love fútbol, aka soccer, I’ve been obsessed with American football my entire life and played running back throughout my youth, going so far as to try out for the Texas A&M team!

Francine, 4710 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale;; 480.690.6180.

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Chilled bites to start the night off right this spring

With the weather warming by the day, local restaurants are getting into the spirit of spring by moving away from hot and heavy starters in favor of chilled offerings. Here are some of the best options, ranging from light and refreshing to sumptuous and savory.

Shrimp Cocktail

The Mexicano

Originating in Peru more than 2,000 years ago, this dish incorporates the fresh flavors of succulent poached shrimp, crisp jicama, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, and refreshing cucumbers. Each ingredient is elevated by a chipotle-infused clamato sauce. It’s served in an oversized goblet, garnished with cilantro and fresh avocado. $19.


Ocean 44

Known for its freshness and purity, and always served on ice, Ocean 44’s exceptional Sasanian caviar selection is sustainably and ethically raised and provides a delightful burst of flavor with each bite. Each of the Sasanian offerings – buttery Imperial Osetra, nutty Royal Osetra, and creamy Siberian Osetra – is paired with fresh blinis and traditional accompaniments including minced onions, lemon wedges, and creme fraiche. Market price varies daily.

Whipped Honey Pistachio Dip

Wine Girl Scottsdale

Experience a symphony of textures with this sweet, nutty shareable. To make, chefs whip ricotta cheese until it’s light and airy. Once spooned into a bowl, the dip is topped with earthy, slightly sweet crumbled pistachios and then drizzled with organic honey. The creamy, dreamy result is served with miniature baguettes and pairs perfectly with the hot spot’s slew of spring wines by the glass and on tap. $14.

Deviled Eggs

The Montauk

An elevated take on grandma’s recipe – marrying comfort food goodness with a hint of sophistication without overcomplicating the dish, these devilishly tasty eggs start with hard boiled eggs. The yolks are combined with creme, put back into the whites, and are then topped with crispy bacon, truffle oil, potato sticks, and peppery arugula for the perfect bite. $9.

Pasta Salad

Fellow Osteria

While often relegated to a family barbeque or picnic, pasta salad shines at Fellow Osteria both on its own as a starter or as an addition to a main dish. It starts with freshly made fusilli pasta, which is chilled after being cooked until al dente. Then, lemon vinaigrette, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, olives, cucumbers, artichokes, arugula, feta cheese, and a smattering of pine nuts are added. After a good toss, it is chilled again before being brought to the table. $15.

Hama Chili


When Uchi opened its first location in Texas many years ago, this is the signature dish that put it on the map. The dish is made in house

100 So Scottsdale! March ‘24

daily and starts with thinly sliced chilled yellowtail. Once plated, the yellowtail is topped with ponzu sauce that has both citrus notes and a healthy amount of Thai chili peppers for contrast. It is complete with fresh orange slices. $24.

Burrata and Peppers

The Rosticceria

Given The Rosticceria was inspired by the simple, exquisite flavors that chef-owner Joey Maggiore enjoyed while traveling through Rome and Abruzzo with his wife, Cristina, and father, Tomaso, this dish is straightforward and sensational. The burrata is imported directly from Italy and served chilled with a drizzle of olive oil. It is plated with crisp toast points and smokey roasted peppers, which have similarly been chilled. $17.

Smoked Trout Dip

Pedal Haus Brewery

This chilled dip, offered at all three Pedal Haus Brewery locations, features mouthwatering smoked Idaho trout fused with a zesty lemon herb aioli and roasted garlic with a touch of spicy horseradish for a tantalizing kick. Adorned with a drizzle of chive oil, the tasty trout starter achieves a perfect balance of freshness and full-bodied flavor. It is served with warm, grilled Noble bread to dip and get the perfect bite. $14.50.

Hummus Trio

Pita Jungle

Each of Pita Jungle’s three popular chilled hummus offerings are available on their own or in this trio so all may be enjoyed by the

table. There is a traditional hummus made with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and garbanzo confit, of course, but also a roasted red bell pepper-infused hummus, and a jalapeno-cilantro hummus topped with tomatoes. The trio is served with white or wheat pita bread, which may be substituted for pita chips, tortilla chips, or a gluten-free pita. $9.99. www.

Blackened Shrimp Cocktail

ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho

Prepare for a shrimp cocktail with a twist. Here, four jumbo shrimp are seasoned with blackening spice before being hard seared on the flattop grill. Once just cooked and perfectly black and white to the eye, the shrimp are quickly chilled to ensure they retain their juiciness. Once cold, they are tossed with a pinch of lemon before being placed atop a bed of ice and thinly sliced cucumbers with aioli made using sesame oil and jalapenos. Lemons and parsley garnish the plate for flavor and looks. $24

Coconut Lemongrass Ceviche

Diego Pops

A celebration of spring with a pop of island and Asian flare, this ceviche starts off traditionally with shrimp, cucumber, Fresno chili, red onions, tomatoes, and cucumber. Then, things get interesting as lemongrass, which provides a ramped up citrus flavor with a hint of mint, as well as cilantro and coconut are added to the mix. Taking it over the top: It is served in a hollowed-out coconut! $16.

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Scotch aficionados from far and wide come to The Scotch Library, home to one of the largest collections of scotch in the Southwest. The library provides both seasoned scotch drinkers and those new to the golden liquor with more than 300 different whisky labels poured by Scotch Library ambassadors, who are experts in the areas of single malt and blend whiskies from Scotland. At The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, 6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale; 480.624.1202;; $$-$$$$


Formerly known as Black Mountain Tavern, this neighborhood restaurant in Cave Creek offers menu items that go beyond what you’ll find at your typical bar and grill. Sure, you’ll find plenty of burger varieties — including sliders with bacon, cheddar, peanut butter, and chipotle-raspberry jam — and sandwiches, but they sit alongside a grilled Duroc tomahawk pork chop, Thai chili walleye and other delectable entrees. Order the green chili mac as a side or a meal, and don’t forget the bourbon bread pudding for dessert. Of course, you’ll find all of your favorite bar munchies like wings, nachos, pretzel bites, and more on the starters menu. Salads and flatbreads are also available. The

extensive drink menu features specialty cocktails and a long list of beer and wine. Happy hour daily from 3 to 6 p.m. 30855 N. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek; 480.687.3223; www.; $$


Hopdoddy serves burgers made with fresh, all-natural ingredients prepared on fresh-baked buns. The hand-cut fries can be ordered as Parmesan truffle with truffle aioli, with green chile queso, or chili con queso. There are also a variety of milkshake flavors for a sweet treat. And every Hopdoddy features a selection of local craft beer. Happy hour Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. 11055 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.348.2337;; $$


A casual spot in Old Town Scottsdale, Social Tap focuses on high-quality ingredients, creative cocktails, and local craft beer. From the sandwiches to the tacos and wing sauces, everything from the kitchen is made from scratch. Dishes include mac and cheese, nachos, ahi poke, burritos, burgers, and a featured quesadilla of the month. Enjoy the large outdoor patio or the Balcony Bar rooftop lounge on game days or anytime. Happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Brunch, which includes a breakfast burger, chilaquiles, chicken and waffles, and brunch cocktails, is offered Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 4312 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale; 602.432.6719; www.; $$


The Green House serves up clean, California-inspired cuisine. As a scratch kitchen, everything — from pasta and dressings to sauces and desserts — is made in-house. Enjoy the popular seasonal dishes like the roasted sea bass and spinach pappardelle with a bottle of wine or a cold beer from the curated list on the beautiful wrap-around patio. The bungalow-style décor and fresh, simple yet flavorful dishes will make you feel like you’re on holiday. At Kierland Commons, 15024 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.889.9494;; $$-$$$


The Herb Box offers a fresh take on world cuisine. Whether dining for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch, it is a prime destination for locally sourced food with fresh, seasonal ingredients and traditional dishes inspired by Asian, Latin, and European flavors. The can’t-miss pastries and desserts are all made in-house. Glutenfree and vegetarian-friendly options are available, such as the butternut squash and corn enchiladas. The Shea location features live music from local artists every Thursday evening. Happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Two locations: Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road, and Old Town Scottsdale;; $$-$$$



Dirty Dough’s triple-layer cookies are stuffed with gooey cookie goodness. The soft, thick cookies are “dirty” with mix-ins and fillings using their proprietary method for packing in flavor. Classic flavors include stuffed chocolate chip, Brookie (brownie cookie), raspberry toaster tart, the Reverse (fudge filling wrapped in a chocolate cookie, wrapped in a peanut butter cookie), cookies and creme, and Muscle (stuffed with peanut butter protein). Two additional flavors are added weekly. 6501 E. Greenway Pkwy., Scottsdale; 480-590-7022; and at Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix; 602-293-3122; $


The flavor possibilities are endless at Duck Donuts, where each donut is custom-made to suit your preferences. Start with the signature vanilla cake donut, then choose a coating –bare, glazed, powdered sugar, chocolate icing, and cinnamon sugar are just a few options. Next, choose a sweet or savory topping and top it all off

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with a drizzle of hot fudge, marshmallow, salted caramel, or raspberry. Or choose from seasonal flavors, everyday assortments, or fan favorites. Go crazy or keep it simple. The menu also includes donut ice cream sundaes, coffee options, and breakfast sandwiches on a sliced donut. 15689 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale; 480.508.4194;; $


This French-inspired bakery started out on the farmers market circuit before opening a storefront in 2019. Known for authentic French baguettes and croissants, owner Jenna Leurquin (aka JL) does things a little differently, using sourdough bases and natural fermentation for the baked goods. Don’t miss the carrot cake, a favorite of the baker herself. Gluten-free options are available. Or, learn to make authentic French eclairs, croissants, or sourdough and baguettes at one of the on-site baking classes. 7342 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale; 480.859.4459;


This donut shop has built a reputation for its delicious and photogenic fancy donuts. Offering yeasted and cake donuts, the sweet spot’s specialties include the PB&J and s’mores with a toasted marshmallow on top. Donuts range from traditional (thnk classics like old fashions, devil’s food, and sprinkles) to fancy (maple bacon, caramel coconut, salted caramel), with seasonal flavors added monthly. The infamous croissant doughnuts are available on Saturday and Sunday only. 3213 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale; 480.500.5236;; $



Jerk spice fans, rejoice: Caribbean Palms is the restaurant for you! Diners rave about the jerk chicken, pork, burger, fish tacos, and wings. The menu also features customary Caribbean plates such as braised oxtail, curried goat, conch fritters, and rice and beans. Seafood makes up a good portion of the island fare, and savory pasta dishes do not disappoint. 2515 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.947.4343; www.; $$


Hula’s is a modern, urban twist on the classic tiki bars and restaurants of the 1950s and ‘60s. It’s known for colorful Tiki decor, island fare, and tropical cocktails, such as the Hurricane featuring three rums, the Pink Bikini

Martini with pineapple-infused vodka and watermelon liqueur, and the restaurant’s famous mai tai. Menu standouts include Hawaiian ceviche, pot stickers, and wings with spicy Asian barbecue sauce, as well as fresh fish plates, tacos, and from-the-land offerings. Brunch served Saturday and Sunday starting at 10:30 a.m. In Old Town Scottsdale and at High Street;; $$


This lively Latin Caribbean restaurant offers cuisine from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Central and South America. Tapas include empanadas, sauteed shrimp, and ham croquettes. Pressed sandwiches include the Cubano and jerk chicken, among others. Diners can also enjoy lamb curry stew, ropa vieja and mofongo. The menu also features Latin and Caribbean desserts, coffee, and cocktails. At Paradise Village Gateway, 4912 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale; 480.534.4110;; $$


The Drunk Munk a Tiki bar and Polynesian restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale. The island-inspired menu includes dishes like sweet coconut shrimp, specialty sushi rolls, and the Munk’s big burger featuring caramelized pineapple. The cocktail menu will send you to the tropics and back with the shareable rum punches and mai tais. Happy hour daily from 3 to 7 p.m. Brunch Saturday and Sunday with $15 bottomless penny mimosas. 7133 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale; 480.699.8454; www.thedrunkmunk. com; $$


Embrace the island life while dining and shopping at Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Bar & Store. Tommy Bahama’s vibrant theme is well represented in its tropical concoctions, like the Tahitian limeade and the secondstory lanai-style dining room. The restaurant is known for its world-famous coconut shrimp with papaya-mango chutney and is a proud partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program, serving sustainable seafood. At Kierland Commons, 15205 N. Kierland Blvd., Scottsdale; 480.505.3668; www.tommybahama. com; $$-$$$



Fans of New Mexico-style dishes have a new go-to in Scottsdale. The family-owned-and-operated restaurant has an array of authentic dishes like green chile rellenos, green chile

chicken lasagna, and red chile braised pork shoulder. Choose from five different varieties of enchiladas, which can be served classic side dishes like eggs, calabacitas, papitas, and black beans. The posole and green chile stew, and tacos are standouts. Or, try the rack of lamb or fajitas straight from the grill. 8977 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.590.8180; $$-$$$


The Sonoran cuisine at this rustic eatery has been an Arizona tradition run by the Corral family for more than 70 years. Guests can expect soft, thinly stretched flour tortillas, machaca, and burros on the menu. The tortillas and salsas are all made by hand, and margaritas are made by the third generation of Corrals behind the bar. The cheese crisp and sour cream enchiladas are two of the most popular items. 7328 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale; 480.946.2256;; $$


Modern Margarita offers a large selection of margaritas and cocktails alongside delicious dips, tacos, and tostadas served in a lively atmosphere with a spacious patio. If you can’t decide, bring some friends and order the taco flight with three each of chicken, pork, fried fish, carne asada, and veggie tacos. Try the Hangover menu, featuring breakfast burritos and bowls, as well as unlimited Bloody Marys or mimosas. Happy hour is from 3 to 7 p.m. and all-day Sunday. Located at High Street, 5410 E. High St., Phoenix; 602.795.8111; www.; $$


The aroma from the custom-built mesquite grill is undeniable, making it nearly impossible to resist the chicken and carne asada street tacos. Meats are cooked over an open flame for a true “street” flavor. Big quesadillas, packed bowls, and killer burritos are also popular options. Breakfast burritos are served daily until 11 a.m. Family meals are available and can be customized. Two Scottsdale locations: Scottsdale 101 and Old Town Scottsdale.; $


Sol specializes in Baja, Californiainspired Mexican cuisine with several types of guacamole, seafood, and a wide variety of tacos from spicy cauliflower to the filet and shrimp El Jefe, as well as vegan and glutenfriendly options. Sol offers several margaritas, from cucumber jalapeno

to blackberry ginger, as well as martinis, tequila, and mezcal. At Scottsdale Quarter, 15323 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.245.6708;; $$


Toro boasts distinct flavors from South and Central America, weaving in unexpected Japanese and ChinesePeruvian influences. So, you’ll find tacos and nachos alongside a selection of sushi and ceviche. Enjoy your meal with a mai tai, daiquiri, or mojito while taking in the golf course and mountain views. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At TPC Scottsdale Clubhouse at Fairmont Scottsdale

Princess: 17020 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale; 480.515.3364;; $$

Wine Bars/Lounges


With several Valley locations, this beloved wine bar is known for its changing selection of wines from Arizona and around the world, as well as its delicious bruschetta and boards. Specials include a $25 bottle and bruschetta on Monday and Tuesday evenings after 8 p.m. and $5 wines by the glass and pitchers of beer offered daily from open to 5 p.m. Two Scottsdale locations: Highland and Kierland Commons;; $$


When your group has beer and wine drinkers, Scapegoat Beer and Wine can play the mediator. Scapegoat rotates its taps and seasonal wine list to ensure there is always something new for guests to try. But don’t overlook the gourmet tapas menu items such as the classic Italian grinder on Noble sourdough, Greg’s signature wings, and the weekly rotating food specials.. 7150 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale; 480.292.7605; www.; $$


Sorso Wine Room is a sampler’s paradise with its wall of wine taps, allowing guests to try a variety of wines. Wine is also available by the glass or bottle, and there’s even a selection of beer. The food menu includes shareables, flatbread, bruschetta, salads, sandwiches, and charcuterie boards. Sorso offers a comfortable setting, a fun patio, and a market area with bottles, growlers, sweets, and wine accessories. Happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. At Scottsdale Quarter, 15323 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.951.4344;; $$

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Each year, this car collector’s paradise rolls into WestWorld of Scottsdale. Attendees enjoy browsing cars, seeing and bidding on exciting items across the auction block, and enjoying the other attractions the event has to offer.

104 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
Heather Berry and Andrew Cameron Madison and Dave Abercrombie Bethany and Drew Liebentritt Sean and Kim Jegen Nancy and Don Clark Angel and Jason Ashcraft Jacie Shandera and Brennan Peterson Shawn Bartholomae and Joanna Pixley Jayme Friermood Rachael Land
So Scottsdale! March ‘24 105
Macy and Christopher Crossland Jennifer and Chris McCrea Lori and Justin Scherf Kelley Benedict and Nicole Jenkins

Pawsitive Vacation Pet Sitting

There’s No Place Like Home


Paradise Valley La Jolla

Official Pet Sitter for The Hermosa Inn



TPC Scottsdale flooded with people during “The People’s Open,” an annual golf tournament that brings fans from around the world for golf and good oldfashioned fun. Though there was rain most of the week, it didn’t stop attendees from enjoying the luxury tents and excitement on the green.

Chad Rider and Kyra Tyler Alex Lehman and Molly Cook Taylor Jobes and Alex Bates Aimee Sims and Amanda Krenitsky Angela Kuhar and Taylor Nelson Payton Eckblad and Sierra Apodaca
We Redefine Petsitting 602.829.8402 Bonded and Insured
So Scottsdale! March ‘24 107
Taylor Alexander and Zach Levite Emma Sperber and Emily Zbick Jared and Heather Yalung Maura Maguire and Jennifer Porter



The Journey Venture Studio’s event supported its mission to close the racial and gender opportunity gap.

108 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
Dr. Jon and Aracelys McCain Michael and Jocelyn Jones Larissa and Arash Hoss Jahan Nurhussein and Dwayne Sansone Brandon and Stephanie Willis Rachel and Ryan Coffin Andy Cocilio and Valencia Villarreal Kevin Clark and Kelly Knapp Jada Allender and Alice Vilma Haley Dejong and Jason Daniels
So Scottsdale! March ‘24 109
Melissa Digianfilippo and Rhett Millard Craig Storey and Cheryl Calderwood Neda Hassanzadeh and Nima Deljavan
SCOTTSDALE’S BEST AIRBRUSH TANNING NO STREAKS NO ORANGE NO STICKY FEELING NO ODOR 602.315.3902 | @blushingglowairbrushtan 7190 E. Kierland Blvd., Scottsdale 85254 By appointment only In-Studio, Mobile, Special Events Gift Cards Available Vegan, Paraben and Cruelty Free. Shake your Shamrock with the Perfect Spray Tan. Pampered and Petite Pet Spa Specializing in dogs under 40lbs. 480.528.7159 Located inside The Fur District 4613 E. Cactus Rd. Suite 106 . Phoenix, AZ 85032 Personalized One on One Session in a Private Salon Suite Designed with your Pet's Ultimate Comfort in Mind. • Ultimate Comfort in Mind • Comfy Chairs • Fluffy Beds • Quiet & Warm Equipment • Soft Surfaces • Anti-Fatigue Mats YOUR STYLIST TIFFANY HAS 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE Let us give your pet the experience they deserve!
Sineria Ordoñez and Nikki Haro



Arizona’s private dyslexic school, The Jones-Gordon School, held its inaugural gala at The Clayton House. The evening raised critical funds and awareness for the school and its students.

110 So Scottsdale! March ‘24
Faith Katz and Maggie Roberts Sara Kilstrom and Jen Palmer Jeff and Angela Woudenberg Carla Acevedo-Yates and Awvee Storey Kelley Bird and Jeff Zupancic Scott and Melissa Wiegand Bob and Desarae Martz Alyssa Hall and Olivia Nieves Neal Jain and Jennifer Hill Marci and Alex Weisman
So Scottsdale! March ‘24 111 Visit for our latest issue.
Monica Yaeger and Marianne Donovan Megan and Tyson Hintz Adam and Chantelle Sabbath Heather and Tony Mohegan



This 13th annual event, hosted by Thunderbird Artists, took place along the Scottsdale Waterfront. Patrons browsed fine art, enjoyed live music and indulged in wine samples.


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artists directly to your door; Anytime, anywhere.
and Vaishali Arumugam
Manoj Christine Anderson and Tom Palestina Jessica Givens and Tom Field
So Scottsdale! March ‘24 113 Visit for our latest issue.
Olivia and Micheal Luck Nadine Pappas and Ron Kemp Liz Alvarado and Brenda Bahena Carson Krause and Katelyn Dyer


San Diego staple Ambrogio15 opens first Arizona location at Biltmore Fashion Park

In 2016, Italian natives Giacomo Pizzigoni and Andrea Burrone set out to create a pizza concept in their adopted new hometown of San Diego, California. Named Ambrogio15, with the number being a nod to the diameter of their pizzas, the concept’s use of authentic ingredients from across Italy was a hit in the beach town. So much so that as the brand grew to three locations in the area, the team’s vision for the menu did as well.

By 2019, the pair partnered with chef Silvio Salmoiraghi, whose Ristorante Acquerello in the Lombardy region of northern Italy near Pizzigoni and Burrone’s hometown of Milan holds a coveted Michelin star. Together with Salmoiraghi, the owners developed a chic tasting room concept called Ambrogio by Acquerello with new Italian cuisine showcasing what they call “materia prima,” or the best raw materials – in this case California-sourced ingredients – available daily.

Buoyed by the elevated version of their concept, this month the team will open the doors to Ambrogio15. The 5,000-squarefoot space takes inspiration and some menu favorites – including the Milanese pizza with

its signature paper-thin crust – from the brand’s other concepts but stands on its own with many dishes conceived solely for Phoenix by Salmoiraghi himself, in partnership with chef de cuisine Fabio Pizzigoni, a veteran of the acclaimed Park Plaza London Riverbank who will run the kitchen and service day to day.

Visually, Ambrogio15 seeks to evoke the style and aesthetic of Milan. As a result, the soaring two-story restaurant is awash in sleek woods with clean lines, floor-toceiling windows, and an ultramodern feel. Inside, guests can enjoy a buzzy lounge featuring a two-story wine tower before cuddling up in one of the many leather-wrapped booths in the main dining area. There is also a posh 12-person private dining room that offers an omakase chef’s tasting experience with its own bar.

While the menu has an impressive array of housemade pastas and signature pizzas crafted with hand-washed flour imported from a 191-year-old, family-run flour mill in Italy, there are also ample Italian-style steaks – some flambeed tableside – as well as seafood, and a raw bar with fresh oysters and crudos.

The beverage menu is a perfect blend of local and imported beers; natural wines made with organically or biodynamically grown grapes; and Italian-inspired beverages developed by award-winning mixologist Marco Russo, owner of Bar 1930 in Milan, which has been ranked among the world’s 50 best bars for the past five years. Standout cocktails include the El Milanese with Old Overholt Rye, Fino Sherry, hydroalcoholic shallots, saffron syrups and saffron; and the Piedras Negras, a twist on a margarita that uses Mezcal Vida.

Ambrogio15 is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m.

Ambrogio15, 2502 E. Camelback Road, Suite 112, Phoenix AZ 85016; 602.224.8001;

114 So Scottsdale! March ‘24 End NEW IN TOWN
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