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OPENING DOORS TO OPPORTUNITY. I’ve been called ‘the Human Connector’ because I purposefully bring people together in effective synergy knowing they can attain their goals in business-building. —Karen King-Brooks, Owner and CEO, The King Approach


Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

7010 E. Acoma Drive Suite 101 | Scottsdale, AZ 85254 | 602.367.2277 W W W.T H E K I N G A P P R O A C H . C O M


Pulse 15 UP CLOSE Adriana Ochoa creates a family legacy with Los Taquitos

18 BEAT ON THE COVER: Tortellini with swiss chard, mushrooms, and winter squash from Geordie’s at Wrigley Mansion, styled by Anna Shchekin, photo by Debby Wolvos,

Features 42 AND THE AWARD GOES TO… 40 people and places shaping the Valley’s food and beverage scene 60 VA-VA-VINTAGE Chic fashions from a different era


Uptown December '18

Eric Ramierz: the man behind the menus

20 BEAT Justin Arellano mixes things up at The Camby

22 HIS STYLE Meet Joshua Thompson

24 HER STYLE Meet Hayden Wolven

26 NOTICED Fashionable women spotted at events



3 4



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Contents Now 29 HOT TICKET

Burgers. Beer. Sports.

The Nutcracker

30 LOWDOWN News to know

34 DO Great upcoming events

36 CALENDAR Noteworthy events

Style 57 MUST-HAVE Chanel No. 5

58 SHOP Party on

59 SHOP Cold-weather wonders

66 ALLURE Stocking stuffers

67 DWELL Glam slam



Uptown December '18

Luxe 69 INDULGE Coffee clock

70 HAUTE PROPERTY Arcadia sophistication

71 WHEELS 2019 BMW X2

38 OUT Farm-to-table

40 EVENT Ignite Hope



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Taste 73 DISH Original Gravity’s Greco de Maris

74 DRINK Swanky sippers

76 CHEERS Berry White at Across the Pond

77 CUISINE In the kitchen with Matt Taylor, executive chef of Mora Italian

The Rest 10 TELL Editor’s note



Southern comfort

Who went where and what happened

82 NEW IN TOWN The Collins



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I’m not sure I would necessarily call myself a “foodie” but I sure do love the F&B world. Anytime a new restaurant or bar pops up in the Valley, I go online, research it and check my calendar to see when I can make my way over. I definitely have my oldie-but-goody favorites around town, but I also really enjoy trying new places. This month, were all about food and beverage in our first annual F&B issue. Can you tell by the looks of our cover? It’s an innovative pasta dish from Geordie’s at the Wrigley Mansion. As you can imagine, it’s been one of my favorite issues to put together. On page 42 is the piece de resistance – 40 people and places that have helped make the Valley food scene what it is today. From wine programs and local breweries to top chefs, perfect patios and innovative eateries, we’re naming our top picks in 14 different categories. We’re also featuring a few behind-the-scenes people including the chef who creates all of Upward Projects’ menus (pg. 18), the man behind La Grande Orange’s sweet treats (pg. 22), and a brand manager at Fox Restaurant Concepts (pg. 24). We’re also spotlighting indulgent Southern dishes on page 78 and luxe wine/liquor bottles on page 74. We’re also showcasing some locally sourced products that can be found on Phoenix restaurant menus (pg. 38) Outside of the F&B treats, the holidays are at the forefront. Stocking stuffers go glam on page 66, we have holiday party fashions on page 58, and get the lowdown on this year’s Arizona Ballet presentation of The Nutcracker on page 29. Dig in!

Best, Gabby Leighton Editor-in-Chief Find our magazine on Facebook!


Uptown December '18



(623) 979-4445 CHANDLER

(480) 705-4191


(480) 367-1717

Publisher Bill Richman

Vice President of Operations Stacey Richman

Editor-in-Chief Gabby Leighton



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Contributing Writers Alison Bailin Batz, Mandy Holmes, Taryn Jeffries, Elizabeth Liberatore, Brittany Maroney, Neyda Melina, Jalia Pettis, Jim Prueter

Photography David Apeji, Jenelle Bonifield, Elizabeth Marie, Claudia Johnstone, Mark Morgan, Beverly Shumway, Debby Wolvos

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Uptown December '18

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Adriana Ochoa shares how family recipes have built a Los Taquitos empire

At the heart of Los Taquitos’ success story is a love for family, friends and food from home. It flavors every inch of their four locations and has created a bond between seven siblings, with cooking in their blood. And it’s what their raving fans return for, week after week.

The story of Los Taquitos dates back more than 25 years, when the parents of the Ochoa siblings used family recipes to prepare small homemade tacos, serving them from a small hand-drawn cart. After moving from Mexico to California, they eventually relocated to Phoenix where they decided to put down

Uptown December '18


Pulse UP CLOSE roots and open a small restaurant. Years later, with guidance from their mother and inspiration from the memory of their father, the five sisters and two brothers have borrowed on those traditions and are building their own restaurant empire in Los Taquitos. Adriana Ochoa and her siblings opened the first location of Los Taquitos in Ahwatukee in 2000. The space was a previous florist shop that can only be described as tiny. “I suppose you could compare the excitement of opening that first restaurant as how you feel when you move into your own place,” says Adriana Ochoa, oldest sister and head of the Ochoa family business. “We had worked in our parents’ restaurant as kids, but now we'd be running our own. We laugh about how we opened. The day came that everything was ready and we basically said ‘okay, we're open now.’ The only difference was the door was unlocked and my brother fired up the grill. I don't know if we got more than a few people, but we were thankful.” Since that day, Los Taquitos has been serving up familyinspired dishes like delicious street-style tacos, burritos, ceviche, pozole, chilaquiles and other Mexican favorites. From their marinades to the use of spices, each recipe is followed just as it was years ago in order to deliver simple, authentic, great-tasting food. Yet, their success was not always certain. Like most restaurant operators, they faced stiff competition, high operating costs and seasonal shifts in visitors. In 2008, the economy crashed and Los Taquitos seemed on the verge of closure. That’s when they received a phone call from Food Network that would change their luck. “One of our customers contacted the show and told them [Food Network] about us. We didn't know about it until the production company contacted us,” Ochoa says After a serious vetting by producers, Guy Fieri appeared to shoot episode 61 of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for the Food Network, called Mex to the Max. The Ochoa sisters blew him away with their energy and use of cola and condensed milk when marinating their street tacos. Show host Fieri was head over heels for the carnitas street taco, calling it "killer” and claiming it was “one of the best he’d ever had.” “Guy [Fieri] and the production crew were really nice and a lot of fun,” Adriana reflects. “It was two days of cameras, bright lights, lots of cooking and a restaurant packed with people, all while we remained open. Guy had a lot of energy and was fun to be around; you could see that he takes cooking and food seriously.” Fieri remains a lifelong fan and recently returned to shoot an additional episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives at Los Taquitos, picking them as one of his favorite restaurants in Arizona. The episode is set to air in 2019 on the Food Network. Thanks to the show and their incredible recipes, Ochoa and her siblings have seen their business grow. Three of her sisters each operate one of the four locations in Phoenix, Chandler and at the Phoenix Airport, and they recently opened a fifth location on 32nd Street and Arcadia (her brother Rafael is the builder).


Uptown December '18

It’s no secret that this family is proud of what they do. Proud of their recipes, their craft and the joy that their food provides. “We work hard and take pride in cooking and preparing delicious, authentic food,” Ochoa says. “We really are a true, family-owned restaurant obsessed with cooking and serving great-tasting dishes. Having people come to your restaurant to eat your food is such a privilege, so we want to honor that as best we can.”


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Pulse BEAT

ONWARD AND UPWARD Eric Ramirez is bringing the good vibes to a menu near you


Have you ever wondered who is behind your favorite menu items at your go-to restaurants? If those eateries include Postino WineCafe, Joyride Taco House, Federal Pizza, Windsor or Churn, it’s Eric Ramirez. As the culinary director for local restaurant group, Upward Projects, Ramirez develops original and innovate dishes alongside the restaurant’s talented chefs, which is right up the Arizona Culinary Institute grad’s alley. Originally from Texas, Ramirez has called Arizona home for 15 years. After more than a decade spent in the kitchens at well-established restaurants throughout town, Ramirez joined the Upward Projects family and hasn’t looked back. Thanks to an impressive executive team, cool concepts, killer menus, and good vibes all around, he knew it was the perfect fit for him. “[I love the feeling of] Creating something out of nothing, and for that something to make people feel good, that’s amazing! That’s why we do what we do,” he says. Recently Ramirez and his team rolled out the first major revisions to the Postino menu, adding a new section called “Snacky Things” that includes shareable plates like Blistered Shishito Peppers, Crispy Cauliflower, and Meatballs with Goat Cheese. “Postino is as unique as they come. It’s an amazing concept and we get to grow it in some of the coolest communities that we love being part of. It’s time everyone knows who we are,” Ramirez says. Ramirez is currently adding seasonal updates to the Windsor and Federal Pizza menus and working to bring Postino to more people on a daily basis. In 2019, the Postino menu will receive another revamp and Joyride Taco customers will see new offerings. Ramirez relies on encouragement from his wife, friends and peers to experiment and explore his creativity in his career. “I look for inspiration in everything from reading books and social media, to going to new cities and new restaurants, and all the great food shows out there,” he says. When he’s not reinvigorating menus, Ramirez enjoys exploring the great state of Arizona and chasing his golf ball around one of the many Valley golf courses.


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Pulse BEAT


Justin Arellano mixes his way to victory in competition and at The Camby


Justin Arellano is smooth, but his career is thanks to actual smoothies. “After growing up in the Valley, I moved to New York City at 21, where I took a job managing a Jamba Juice,” Arellano says. “One of my regulars liked my speed, efficiency, and demeanor, so he recruited me to his coffee roasting company, La Colombe. One of my regulars there recruited me into the bar business.” That regular worked for Milk and Honey, one of the world’s preeminent cocktail consultancies during the 2000s. “Talk about trial by fire,” says Arellano, who trained for the next five years at Milk and Honey hot spots The Ship, Tribeca Grand Hotel and Little Branch. But then, while out at a friend’s bar one night in 2015, something unexpected happened. “I locked eyes with a woman at the bar, and fell in love,” Arellano recalls. “And while New York is amazing, we decided to move back to Arizona to be near family and to start one of our own.” In 2017, the couple moved to the Valley and got married in Sedona. At the same time, Arellano took a bartending position at The Camby hotel. Earlier this year, he was promoted to lead mixologist. “Trial by fire again. I was promoted two weeks before we launched a new dinner menu, which meant I had 14 days to dream up a new cocktail menu to pair with it,” Arellano says. He also took on another challenge: Bar Brawl. “Bar Brawl is an annual cocktail competition at Jade Bar where bartenders from across the region compete in Chopped-like rounds, getting mystery ingredients seconds before they are challenged to use them to make something mind blowing,” Arellano explains. Though it was his first time, Arellano won! And his winning cocktail was a doozy. “I infused Campari with coffee in a nod to my NYC roots, and then took it and the ingredients for a negroni and ran them through a Japanese coffee maker filled with hibiscus to infuse the floral flavors into it,” he says. But, despite this seemingly high-concept cocktail, Arellano is a proponent of making drinks that are accessible to all, something he strives to do at The Camby nightly.


Uptown December '18


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THE SWEET SPOT Chef Joshua Thompson has the recipe for a balanced look


The day is just dawning and chef Joshua Thompson is already buttoned up in a crisp chef coat, elbows deep in flour, creating the newest batch of laminated viennoiserie baked goods. Next up, a custom gelato. As the director of operations at La Grande Orange Bake Shop, Thompson’s chef whites are more than just a uniform, they are a snapshot of his personality and a window into his personal sense of style. Whether in jeans and a T-shirt or his work attire, Thompson appreciates clean lines and crisp tailoring. From the kitchen to the streets, you’ll find Thompson dressed in Massimo Dutti with matching New Balance sneakers, a leather wrist cuff and a dab of John Varvatos when he’s headed out at night. Thompson’s laid-back style and innate confidence has made him a perfect fit for LGO’s sweeter concepts. In addition to recipe development and implementation, he manages the profit and loss statement, sales and logistics for their wholesale division, and quality check on retail products. “I knew that I could grow this company, while growing with it. I was and I am still able to make a personal impact with my ideas and see them come to fruition.”

Favorite accessory: I finally broke down and bought a smart watch; the new Galaxy. I was afraid that I would be too attached to my phone but it’s actually been helpful. What is your No. 1 piece of style advice? Find something that fits you and your personality. You need to be comfortable in yourself and what you wear. Your sense of style can change, just like what you want for dessert. It doesn’t always have to be the same thing. What do you love about Phoenix? I have been here for about 12 years and I have seen lots of changes with new stores and great restaurant concepts coming forward.


Uptown December '18


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Hayden Wolven maintains a style strategy for herself and one of the biggest restaurant groups in town


Hayden Wolven doesn’t necessarily follow trends – she prefers setting her own. As a brand manager at Fox Restaurant Concepts (FRC), Wolven stocks her wardrobe with affordable, ever-changing looks that can keep up with her career in the constantly evolving restaurant industry. In addition to her stylish family, the food-loving fashionista finds inspiration around every corner within her job. “From the design and decor in our restaurants to the fashion-forward employees, I am so lucky I get to work in an environment where I am surrounded by great style,” she says. Wolven credits her time working at Culinary Dropout, her first position within the company, to impacting her personal style most where she learned expressing individuality through personal style is a celebrated part of the FRC brand. Although her love for camouflage and leopard print will never go out of style, Wolven is committed to keeping the majority of her looks clean and minimalistic. With a passion for graphic tees and the perfect fitting pair of jeans, she loves to shop at Manor at Uptown Plaza and stores like Zara and H&M for basics.

What is your most prized possession in your closet? A pair of long gold earrings that have a midcentury modern vibe that belonged to my grammy. She passed away last year and I wear them often to keep her with me, and keep her style alive. How does living in Arizona influence your style? I didn’t realize how much a region influences one’s style until moving away from Arizona [briefly to Chicago], not only the weather but the colors of the desert landscape cause me to lean into burnt oranges, mustard yellows, and army green (because cacti). What is your No. 1 style tip? Wear what makes you happy, don’t dress for anyone but yourself.


Uptown December '18

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THE PARTY IN THE GARDEN Phoenix Art Museum hosted its annual fall gala celebrating 60 years in the Valley


Aimee Josette

Diane Halle

Marina Moric

Anabel Konwiser

Cathy Dickey and Erika Dickey

Stephanie Lake


Uptown December '18




The 49th annual event, held at Arizona Biltmore, featured live music, dancing and an auction benefiting Honorhealth’s community programs BY DAVID APEJI

Kristin Melodic and Blair Melodic

Debbie Solomon and Brenda Rittenhorn

Sophia Low

Debbie Nicholson and Kristi Crozier

Elizabeth Purcell

Linda French and Tira Bhakta

Uptown December '18


Arizona Charitable Tax Credit & Foster Care Tax Credit

Your tax credit gift to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale directly helps local kids today and is building a brighter tomorrow for everyone. We now qualify for the Foster Care Tax Credit along with the Charitable Organization Tax Credit.

This year, give to both … It still won’t cost you a dime. 10533 E. Lakeview Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85258 (480) 344-5520 |


L O W D O W N / D O / C A L E N D A R / E V E N T / O U T / C U LT U R E


The magical visions of graceful sugarplum fairies, larger-than-life mice and marching soldiers synonymous with The Nutcracker are brought to life by Ballet Arizona’s annual rendition of the story this month. Over 150 performers donning innovative costumes (more than 260 total!) will tell the quintessential adventurous holiday tale at Symphony Hall. While Ballet Arizona’s nationally acclaimed dancers execute choreography by the company’s artistic director, Ib Andersen, The Phoenix Symphony will perform Tchaikovsky’s famous score live. The classic show captures the festive spirit of the season as an unforgettable event for all ages. Dec. 13-24. Times and prices vary.

Uptown December '18




Growing up in the kitchen of his family-owned restaurant group taught Someburros president and first-time author Tim Vasquez a lifetime of lessons, and he’s found a new way to share them with his new children’s book, The Taco Stand. The fictional story follows a family’s matriarch, Isabel, who’s cooked-withlove Mexican food catches the eye of a would-be investor who offers to transform her life with a major business opportunity. Isabel must weigh the importance of family and fortune, and between continuing her humble way of cooking for her community, or jumping headfirst into the world of big business alongside the investor. Vasquez’s own aunt, Linda Kay Ost, illustrated the 40-page book and a portion of the proceeds from book sales will benefit students at Frank Elementary School in Guadalupe, where the Vasquez family has deep roots.


This month, celebrate the holiday season at Uptown Plaza every Saturday before Christmas. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each week in December, guests can take pictures with Santa and hand off the giftwrapping hassle to the plaza’s pros. The photo opp with Santa and gift-wrapping are complimentary with proof of $50 or more in purchases at Uptown Plaza. There will also be hot cocoa and apple cider to sip while shopping, provided by Elly’s Brunch & Café. Guests can also opt to donate $10 to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Angels for a photo with Santa.


Uptown December '18


The thrilling Special Olympics event is back as participants have the unique opportunity to rappel off of a 27-story skyscraper in Downtown Phoenix. Funds from the pledge-based fundraiser will go to support 16,000 athletes across the state. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 13.



It all started with a conversation on Twitter. Zia Records and Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. have teamed up to release “Self-Titled,” the first installment in their vinyl-influenced craft beer collaboration series dubbed “33 1/3.” Inspired by classic debut albums, the brew features locally-sourced ingredients, including Grain R&D Black Barley and Sinagua Malt. The beer can be found locally at the Wandering Tortoise. or www.


Ballet Theatre of Phoenix, along with guests from Convergence Ballet company, presents a unique version of a classic holiday tale – The Nutcracker Swing. Featuring The Duke Ellington Nutcracker Suite and set to the original Tchaikovsky score, this innovative approach will pair traditional holiday music with modern, tap, jazz and swing dancing. The family-friendly performance will be held at Madison Center for the Arts, Dec. 15 (2 p.m. and 7 p.m.) and 16 (2 p.m.). or


Prose, the healthy and beautiful nail boutique located in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Arcadia (opening January 2019), is excited to celebrate their one-year anniversary and are offering all their guests complimentary glitter topcoats through December 31, 2018. Prose was founded with a vision to help everyone give their hands and feet the love and attention they deserve through thoughtful, healthy and beautiful mani and pedi services and carefully curated products. Guests visiting Prose for the first time can get their first mani and pedi for $50.


Uptown December '18


friends and family.

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Call us on your way home for take-out, also specializing in holiday parties. COME ON IN, WE CAN’T WAIT TO MEET YOU! 602.381.3159 // 3159 E. LINCOLN DRIVE . PHOENIX, AZ 85016 // WWW.LAMOREITALIANRESTAURANT.COM

Now DO


Holiday Prelude XXXIII Dec. 7, JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn When Phoenix Theatre Guild and Phoenix Youth Symphony pair up, magic happens. Holiday Prelude, now in its 33rd year, is nothing shy of magical. This annual fundraiser is Phoenix Youth Symphony’s biggest of the year. Guests will enjoy a pre-spring 2019 fashion show by Escada, a luncheon, prize drawings and holiday boutique shopping. Purchase one-of-a-kind treasures for everyone on your shopping list from over 20 holiday vendors. This festive celebration raises funds for both organizations hosting. 10 a.m. Fashion show tickets, $90-$125. White Christmas Gala Dec. 8, Arizona Biltmore Dreaming of a white Christmas? So is Ryan House. Join them for their holiday signature event, a White Christmas Gala. Held in The Gold Room of Arizona Biltmore, this elegant soiree celebrates the organization for providing unparalleled care for children and families navigating life-limiting or end-of-life journeys. Guests will enjoy a gourmet dinner and festive dancing to the musical White Christmas written by Irving Berlin. Gentleman are encouraged to tap into their inner Bing Crosby and don a white dinner jacket or tuxedo. Ladies, wear an evening gown that would make Grace Kelly proud. 6:30 p.m. $500. Phoestivus Dec. 13 and 20, Phoenix Public Market Phoestivus is inspired by the famous Christmas markets in Germany (called Weihnachtsmarkt) and Seinfeld’s Festivus, a parody and secular holiday celebrated in the show. Phoestivus returns to Phoenix Public Market, offering shoppers locally grown and produced gifts from more than 130 local vendors. Running the gamut is everything from prepared foods to jewelry to homemade holiday decorations. There will be a Phoestivus Ale (brewed by Phoenix Ale Brewery) on order as well as other fun happenings, like Phoestivus Reindeer (baby goats all dolled up) and a hipster Santa. 5-10 p.m. Free. 19th Annual Spirit of Community Leadership Awards Luncheon Dec. 14, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia Scottsdale Leadership is all about developing community leaders, and the Valley is full of them! The Spirit of Community Leadership Awards Luncheon is a celebration that honors and recognizes the accomplishments of effective community leaders, both young and established. This year, Diane Cusack, Suzanna Walden-Wells and Adway Gopakumar will be the afternoon’s honorees. Attendees – over 400 are expected this year – will enjoy a luncheon, reception and raffle. 11 a.m. $110. 53rd Annual Desert Ball Dec. 22, The Phoenician Resort Desert Foundation Auxiliary (DFA) 53rd annual Desert Ball is a celebration of family and friends, and it’s a tradition that gives back to the community. DFA will proudly present a group of 19 debutantes to the Phoenix community this month. Attendees will enjoy everything from a cocktail hour to a presentation to plenty of dancing to commemorate the newly inducted debts. Proceeds from the 53rd Annual Desert Ball will benefit two local nonprofits, For the Love of Travis and Kids in Focus. 6:30 p.m. $400. New Year’s Eve Gala Dec. 31, Arizona Biltmore Back by popular demand is the Phoenix Symphony’s extravagant New Year’s Eve Gala. Guests will ring in 2019 with music by The JJs Band, enjoy a cocktail reception, threecourse dinner and the opportunity to dance into the New Year with the full Phoenix Symphony orchestra. There will be other surprises sprinkled throughout the night, including a Champagne toast when the clock strikes midnight, decadent desserts and more. Proceeds from the celebration support the Symphony's education and community and health and wellness programs. 8 p.m. $500.


Uptown December '18



























Dec. 7-9, Phoenix Symphony Hall Troupe Vertigo will dazzle yet again with a return to The Phoenix Symphony for an all-new holiday show. The LA cirque troupe will amaze with their gravity-defying acts 40 feet above the stage, with moves set to festive, season favorites like White Christmas and Deck the Halls. Expect to see contortionists, jugglers, aerialists, strong men and more in a show that is sure take your breath away and leave you filled with holiday cheer. Show times and ticket prices vary. BY BRITTANY MARONEY

Grande Museum Auxiliary Indian Market. Visitors can try their hand at traditional skills like archery, atlatl spear throwing, community painting, beading, and pottery. Tony Duncan, five-time world hoop dancing champion will teach visitors of all ages how to hoop dance while Violet Duncan, former Miss Indian World and author, will be storytelling. 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. $10 general admission; $5, Museum Members with ID, American Indians with tribal ID, active duty and retired service members; Children 12 and under are free.

An Irish Christmas Dec. 5, Orpheum Theatre The noble traditions of the Emerald Isle take the stage and are reenacted with Irish dancers Caterina Coyne (principal dancer, Riverdance), world champion dancer Tyler Schwartz and Connor Reider (principal dancer Celtic Fyre, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, The Chieftains), as well as members of the Kerry Dance Troupe, The Kerry Voice Squad and the Kerry Traditional Orchestra. Celebrate the great tradition of butter-making, chase the wren on St. Stephen’s Day, draw down the


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half door for spectacular dance, enjoy superb music-making and singing of Christmas carols in an unforgettable Irish night! 7 p.m. Ticket prices vary. www.phoenix. Phoenix Festival of the Arts Dec. 7-9, Margaret T. Hance Park The Phoenix art scene comes alive at the annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts. Enjoy live entertainment, comedians, art demonstrations, and more! The Phoenix Mural Project, a hands-on community art project organized by acclaimed local muralist, Hugo Medina, is a signature

component of the festival. Fun, free, family activities include face painting, the teen art show and sale, and lots of fun with Phoenix Youth Circus Arts. Beer and wine will be available, sponsored by Hensley Beverage Company. Noon-5 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Free. Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary Indian Market Dec. 8 & 9, Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary Rich traditions and modern-day artists converge at the annual Pueblo

World Bazaar Phx Dec. 8, 19th Ave and Camelback Park and Ride World Bazaar PHX returns with more culture, cuisine and community than ever! With over 50 different vendors selling food, art, and homemade goods from around the world, it’s a perfect day for holiday shopping. Enjoy live music and dance performances from countries around the globe. Explore dozens of vendors and get lost in the various stalls featuring a plethora of unique items, including African beadwork, dresses, scarves, jewelry, baskets, Middle Eastern women’s fashion and jewelry, and craft goods. This family-friendly event is great for all ages and backgrounds. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Jim Gaffigan Quality Time Tour Dec. 8, Comerica Theatre Everyone’s favorite “funny dad” lands in Phoenix to regale us with stories of fatherhood, family observations, laziness and, of course, food. This hilarious comedian, actor, writer and producer is known for being a “clean” comic, using little profanity in his routines

and bringing a fresh take on humor to the stage. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $61.

purchase following the Dec. 29 4 p.m. performance. Times vary. $12$30.

The Mini-Magic Flute Family Day Dec. 8, Arizona Opera Join Arizona Opera for family fun in Phoenix! This is a great way to explore opera and make family memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss this beautiful adaptation of the Magic Flute, when the Queen of the Night persuades a prince to rescue her daughter from captivity under the evil high priest. Share your love of music, enjoy story time, and other fun activities with the Phoenix Opera! 11 a.m. Free, registration required. www.

Frances Smith Cohen’s Snow Queen Dec. 15-16, Herberger Theatre Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic wintery fairy tale and set to Prokofiev’s lush score, Center Dance Ensemble brings the wicked Snow Queen to life. Families will delight in the mystical world of sprites, gypsies and ice maidens, while young Gerda seeks to rescue Kai from the evil crystal palace. Take a break from The Nutcracker for this holiday favorite. Times vary by day. $28 adults; $23 seniors; $14 students.

The Board of Visitors 65th Annual Fashion Show Luncheon Dec. 8, J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa Fashion, festivities and fundraising collide at the 65th annual Fashion Show Luncheon. Hosted at J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, this annual luncheon brings together family and friends who support the Board of Visitors and its many missions. Fashions from Dillard’s, appearances by the Flower Girls, and professional models, are showcased in this classic holiday season event. 11 am. Individual tickets, $150. www. 17th Annual Christmas Pudding Dec. 8, Celebrity Theatre Hometown hero, Alice Cooper, will be burning down the house with special guests, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry at this annual fundraiser that raises money for Alice Cooper’s passion project for teens. Cooper’s twist on American Idol, this event has contestants complete with performances and live musical acts. It’s a night packed with surprise performances and guest appearances. After all, the proof will be in the pudding. 7 pm. Tickets start at $120. www. ALT AZ 93.3 Ugly Sweater Party Dec. 10 & 11, The Van Buren Bust out your ugliest sweater and get ready to jam for two days at the historic Van Buren. ALT AZ and Modelo Especial present The Ugly Sweater Holiday Party, featuring Young the Giant, Barns Courtney and more. New shows are being announced daily and its perfect excuse to dress to impress. 5-10 p.m. Ticket prices vary. www.

NEAL BRENNAN HERE WE GO TOUR Dec. 15, Stand Up Live Funny man Neal Brennan lights up the stage of Downtown Phoenix’s Stand Up Live, brandishing his own unique comedy style. The writer, director, and comedian is best known as the co-creator of Chappelle’s Show, for which he received three Emmy nominations. Known as “one of the funniest people on Twitter,” Brennan is sure to leave you cracking up and walking away with hilarious sound bites that only he can deliver. 7 pm. $25.

Phoenix Ballet’s The Nutcracker Dec. 14-16 & 20-23, Orpheum Theatre The Nutcracker is undoubtedly the most popular story of the season. Let the classically trained dancers of the Phoenix Ballet awe you with their skills, while they dance alongside renowned students who have brought home top awards and honors at major competitions including Youth America Grand Prix, the World Ballet Competition and the International Dance Competition. Danced to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, it’s a performance to cherish. Times vary. $25-$85.

Childsplay Presents: Ella Enchanted The Musical Dec. 15-30, The Herberger Theater Center Based on the book by Gail Carson Levine, this is Cinderella with a twist. The charming musical (with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma) follows Ella, a princess who is given the “gift” of obedience at birth. In true fairy tale fashion, the strong-willed protagonist must defeat her evil stepmother along with a hungry ogre and the troublesome curse to find her own voice and rescue herself for a happily ever after ending. Want to get an insider look at the show? There will be a backstage tour available for

Arizona National Livestock Show Dec. 26-30, Arizona State Fairgrounds For over 70 years, the Annual Arizona National Livestock Show at the Arizona State Fairgrounds has showcased the creme de la creme of horse flesh and livestock. Enjoy livestock shows, the Cowboy Classics Western Art & Gear show, a live working ranch horse competition, the ever-popular Chuck Wagon Cook Off, and a Farm Experience interactive area for children, great for all ages. Times vary. $10 parking. Symphony and Chill: The Music of the Flatscreen Dec. 28-30, Phoenix Symphony Hall Get off the couch and enjoy the haunting music from some of your favorite television shows, in a completely new way. Hear the thrilling scores from hit shows and films like Lost, Downton Abbey, Batman, Superman, The Adventures of Robin Hood, X-Men: The Last Stand and many more of your favorites performed live by The Phoenix Symphony. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. $25$103. Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade Presented by Cheez-it Dec. 29, Central Phoenix The Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade will showcase a pageantry of brilliantly colored floats, giant balloons, equestrian units, charitable groups, local celebrities and marching bands that will make their way down the 2-mile route through central Phoenix. Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwell has been named grand marshal of the parade and the Fiesta Bowl has invited teachers from across the city to march in the festivities as a show of unity. 10 am. Free. www.

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Local products featured on Phoenix restaurant menus Locally sourced food and beverages aren’t solely available at farmers markets anymore. Some of the Valley’s most established restaurants are embracing the farm-to-table concept by featuring local products on their menus.


Sphinx Date Co. For more than 60 years Sphinx Date Ranch has been providing dates, nuts and local artisan products for some of the Valley’s most delicious dishes and gourmet restaurants. If you didn’t know that the folks at Sphinx Date Co. produce fresh, locally sourced dates that are popular nationwide, you’re in for a treat! Grab a Date Bar from the bakery case at La Grande Orange, a scoop of pistachio gelato at The Grateful Spoon or visit the Compass Arizona Grill at the top of the Hyatt Regency Downtown for a naturally sweet taste grown in the state of Arizona. Iconic Cocktail Co. Made in small batches and focused on flavor, the masterminds behind Iconic Cocktail Co. never use artificial ingredients so it’s no wonder just one ounce of an Iconic Mixer is the perfect amount to sweeten your spirit, sparkling water, tea or coffee. The signature and seasonal mixers including Ginga Syrup, Spiced Honey, and Cranberry Thyme can be found in popular concoctions at Valley spots including Windsor, Provision Coffee, Clever Koi Central, and The Covenant. Schreiner’s Fine Sausage Founded in 1955, family-owned Schreiner’s Fine Sausage has been a Phoenix staple thanks to the signature red and white landmark that customers keep coming back to for generations. With over 60 varieties of sausage to choose from, Schreiner’s sausage can be found in the gumbo at Frasher’s Smokehouse, and on the menus at Matt’s Big Breakfast and Chicago Hamburger Company. Crow’s Dairy Crow's Dairy is a fifth-generation, family-owned and -operated dairy farm that produces farmstead artisan dairy products including their popular goat cheese. In 2008, after more than 30 years of milking cows, the Crow Family began milking their first herd of Nubian dairy goats and haven’t looked back. Small but mighty, Crow’s Dairy goat cheese can be found at more than 70 restaurants and resorts in town including Steak 44, Tarbell’s, Beckett’s Table, and famed Pizzeria Bianco. Chula Seafood Fresh fish, anyone? Established in San Diego, California, in 2009, Chula Seafood is a family-run fishery that purveys high-quality, fresh fish from the Pacific Coast straight to the Arizona desert. The boat, Chula, specializes in harpoon-caught and deep-set buoy swordfish in addition to species off the California Coast. In August of 2015, Chula began delivering fresh-caught fish straight from the boat to the Chula Seafood Fish Market and some of the Valley’s most established restaurants including Crujiente Tacos, The Henry, Culinary Dropout Phoenix, Gallo Blanco, The Collins, La Grande Orange, Chelsea’s Kitchen, and Farm and Craft Uptown.


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is the season when your thoughts turn to new things – like when a luxury sedan sidles up next to you at a stoplight and you yearn for that new car smell. It’s even more tempting when your mechanic says your older vehicle needs repairs. But while your automotive longing may be temporarily cured by trotting down to the dealership with your checkbook, it may actually be a bad financial move in the long run. For advice on repair and maintenance of vehicles, there’s no better resource than Shahe Koulloukian, owner of Mazvo Auto Car Care Center. And his advice starts with three little words when it comes to new-vehicle envy: get over it. “Sure, your current ride may be loaded with dings and pushing 8 years old, but that doesn’t mean you should start over,” Shahe points out. “Cars built in the past decade are more reliable than ever, and a few unexpected repairs are not reason enough to get rid of it.” Whether or not you hang onto your current car depends on a lot more than just whether it runs. Your car may operate well, but rust or collision damage can make it structurally unsound. The only older cars worth keeping are the ones that are reliable and safe, and Shahe ought to know: he and Mazvo’s staff of ASE-certified technicians have been keeping them that way for over two decades. Before you buy, Shahe advises, do this: Audit your repair bills. Add up all your repair receipts for the past three years, then divide by 36 months. If you’re averaging under $150.00 a month and your car is only a few years old, hanging on to it will free you from a new cycle of monthly payments, and

save a bundle in insurance, taxes, and other expenses – primarily depreciation, since the average is 20% the first year and 10% each year after that. “If your mechanic is spending more time with your car than you do and your repair bills are close to new-car payments, it’s probably time to trade up,” says Shahe. Keep finances in check. Know your budget and stick to it. Call your insurance company; ask how much more a new car would cost monthly in comparison to your existing coverage. Some consumers have liability coverage, or lower parameters to save on insurance premiums. With a new car purchase, you don’t have that luxury – the bank won’t approve your loan without full coverage. Buy on functionality, not emotion. Yes, the bells and whistles sound great, but are they necessary? Average out yearly mileage, and how many passengers you regularly transport. It can be easy to be “upsold” when shopping for a new car, but owning a 6-8 passenger 4x4 vehicle wouldn’t make much sense if you’re the only person in the vehicle every day and you never go off-roading. Research resale value. What if you were in a collision and the vehicle got totaled, or after a few years you need to get out of it for some reason? If it doesn’t have a great resale value, the payoff won’t be what you think. Cars are not investments – they depreciate the moment you drive off the lot – but you’d at least like to get back a good portion of the money you spent. Buying a vehicle with strong resale value is more important than buying what’s popular. To purchase or not to purchase? There’s a lot to consider. But if you decide to repair your current vehicle, at least where to have it done is a no-brainer.

Mazvo Auto Care Center | 4610 North 7th Street, Phoenix | 602-248-8711 or



Ignite hope by candlelight for the patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital


IF YOU GO… What: Ignite Hope When: Dec. 8, 4 p.m. Where: Pre-party at North High School, 1101 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix; Program and tree lighting at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, 1919 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, Tickets: $40 for adults; $10 for children ages 4-12; free for children 3 and younger Information: www.pchignitehope. com.

In its seventh year, Ignite Hope is back to bring holiday season cheer to patients at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. While a record-breaking 3,000 participants are expected to attend the event this year, Ignite Hope started as a small show of support by one of the patient’s families with a couple hundred people. “The Ignite Hope tradition began at Phoenix Children’s when friends and family of 15-year-old Katie Wagner, a patient who was diagnosed with cancer, held a candlelight vigil outside her hospital window,” explains Steve Schnall, senior vice president and chief development officer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation. “While Katie has since passed, the candlelight tradition has lived on to brighten the lives of thousands more patients.”


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The event is now an opportunity to celebrate all patients at the hospital. In addition to the increase in partakers, the evening has also evolved in many other ways. The festivities will kick off at North High School with a family-friendly pre-walk party prior to the vigil held outside of the hospital. Activities include face painting, superhero appearances, music, refreshments and an appearance from Santa himself. At 5:30 p.m., a battery-operated candle will be provided to participants 4 and older for a 1.1-mile candlelit walk to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, landing in the Phoenix Children’s Parking lot. In addition to Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) playing a live set as walkers arrive, patients will waive their own candles from their rooms and witness thousands of

people flooding onto the hospital grounds. Patients are welcome to come down and participate and the program will also be streamed on the TVs in each patient’s room. Once arrived, there will be an inspirational program (6 p.m.) led by Channel 12 News Anchor Paul Gerke. After the program, the night will end with the lighting of the hospital’s holiday tree. “Ignite Hope is a chance for the community to show patient families that they are not alone during the holidays. The outpouring of support is simply awe-inspiring,” Schnall says. Walkers are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped gift for patients who will be hospitalized over the holidays. Participating adults are asked to raise a minimum $100 to help the patients at the hospital.


Dr. Richard Jacoby, DPM of Extremity Health Center THE DOCTORS AND staff at Extremity Health Centers offer a combined 40+ years of experience in podiatric medicine to residents who live in and around the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. Under the medical direction of podiatrist Richard P. Jacoby, DPM, the practice provides diagnosis and treatment for stubborn, chronic foot and ankle pain and comprehensive and successful treatment of diabetic neuropathy. After graduating from college, Dr. Jacoby attended Villanova University before receiving his doctorate of podiatric medicine at the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine. He has participated in and taught thousands of hours of Continuing Medical Education over the past few decades. Additionally, he is a past president of the Arizona Podiatry Association and the Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons and co-authored the book “Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health,” correlating a relationship between sugar and inflammation. Extremity Health Center offers a variety of on-site extremity diagnosis and medical services, including surgery that are available for a wide range of issues, including foot and heel pain, bunions, ankle fractures and sprains, varicose veins, foot and ankle arthritis, diabetic foot, plantar fasciitis, toenail fungus and peripheral neuropathy and neuroma. Dr. Jacoby’s specialty is working with diabetic patients and he has a proven formula to resolve diabetic neuropathy. “What I’ve found is that the progression of most neuropathies is aggressive, insidious and invasive throughout the body.” “Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are the best product out there today, especially for neuropathy,” says Dr.


Jacoby of the most effect treatment he uses. “ Stem cells are miraculous in that they actively seek out inflammatory tissues and repair and restore tissue, tendon, tissue, bone, nerve or muscle. Stem cells also work in the repair of foot and ankle fractures and Achilles tendonitis. “Stem cells are the biggest paradigm shift in medicine since the germ theory and it’s absolutely true,” Dr. Jacoby explains of stem cell use in diabetic neuropathy. “Patients will get off their medicine, and in most cases will avoid surgery.” Dr. Jacoby uses the Dellon procedure for decompressing peripheral neuropathy. He has utilized the surgical procedure successfully on thousands of patients and none of them have needed a subsequent amputation. He says, “Dr. Dellon perfected the Dellon technique and did the research back in the 80s. I adopted his technique and trained with him 20 years ago.” There have been 100,000 amputations annually due to diabetic neuropathy since the implementation of the Dellon procedure and Dr. Jacoby says that adds up to two million avoidable amputations. “It’s a national disgrace,” he says. It is his belief that the FDA pushes medications that don’t work, which in turn, create situations where amputations are done. The Dellon procedure utilizing stem cells could save thousands of people from avoidable amputations. “Stem cells are the fountain of youth and I’ve used them myself for a severe herniated disc,” finishes Dr. Jacoby. “I was back playing tennis in three days and haven’t needed another injection since.”


7301 East 2nd Street, Suite 200 | Scottsdale, AZ. 85251 |


GEORDIE’S RESTAURANT Craving our cover? It’s tortellini with Swiss chard, mushrooms and winter squash ($24) from Geordie’s at the Wrigley Mansion (head by chef Christopher Gross) paired with Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé from France (8/glass, 72/bottle). While making the tortellini, chef Ashley Goddard, who created the menu item, adds activated charcoal, giving it the stark black color. In addition to the roasted mushrooms and delicata squash in the dish, it also features grilled acorn, asparagus, pesto and pink Swiss chard stems, which have been roasted, as well as greens and edible flowers for garnish.

40 places and people shaping the Valley’s food and beverage scene The flourishing foodie scene is something to be celebrated, from innovative menus and new restaurants to inspired cocktails and top chefs. In recent years, the Valley has truly become a feast of flavors, bursting with unique experiences and tasty temptations from dishes to drinks. Dig into our takes on the people and places that are putting Phoenix and Scottsdale on the culinary map. BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ


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MOST Artful

DOMINICK’S STEAKHOUSE In 2012, Dominick’s Steakhouse opened at Scottsdale Quarter. The ultra-luxe steak and seafood venue boasts one of the most popular and opulent bars in Arizona as well as an open-air dining option on the roof, complete with a reflecting pool that serves as the centerpiece of the elevated space. Here, everything is lavish and posh, from the dark decor and the crystal chandeliers to the prime-grade beef, twin lobster tails, and creamy mashed potatoes. For those looking to visit without breaking the bank, Dominick’s offers a specialty bar menu from 4 to 6 p.m. daily with dishes from just $10 and cocktails and wine starting at $7.

FNB FnB, and its chef Charleen Badman, have earned national acclaim for richly flavored menus showcasing Arizona’s agricultural community. Badman honed her skills at Rancho Pinot, where she worked alongside chefs Chris Bianco and Chrysa Robertson, before moving to New York City to continue her craft. By 2006, she was back in the Valley and launched FnB, where she makes locally grown vegetables shine, often with globally inspired ingredients. Even carnivores rave over her creations. The menus change with the season, but are sure to pair harmoniously with the ample wine menu featuring many Arizona makers as well as other rotating favorites.

OVERALL Excellence TOP TO BOTTOM: The bar at Domick's Steakhouse and a dish from FnB.

RESTAURANT PROGRESS With less than 40 seats, Restaurant Progress is technically small. But, the Melrose District establishment has become a big deal in the Valley. One of the most lauded Phoenix eateries in years, Restaurant Progress is headed by chef-owner TJ Culp, who worked for Fox Restaurant Concepts and at Zinc Bistro before becoming wellknown when he launched a hyper-popular series of pop-up dinners across the Valley. Chef’s tastings and a la cart dishes are both available on Culp’s refined American menu, which is updated every four to six weeks. The cocktail menu is similarly small by design, with a focus on seasonal, spirit-forward libations. Uptown December '18


ROARING FORK Known for its wood-fired rotisserie and open-flame grill, Roaring Fork has one of the best, most popular happy hours in town. In the bar, saloon and on both patios Sunday and Monday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m., Roaring Fork pours up $5 specialty cocktails as well as an impressive selection of $5 wines by the glass. They also have a robust menu of $6 soups and salads and $8 to $10 appetizers that run the gamut from guacamole and green chili pork to fish tacos and flatbreads.

EVO Offered daily from 4 to 7 p.m., EVO’s happy hour includes $7 red sangria as well as $5 well spirits, select wines, and both draft and bottled beers. But that’s just the beginning. In fact, it’s the food that really sets the happy hour apart. For $10 or less, nosh on items including bruschetta boards, mushroom pizza, an Italian-inspired burger, and fries two ways. In addition to that, stop by on Monday and Wednesday for a bonus deal during happy hour: The purchase of a bottle of wine gets you a free bruschetta board (Monday) and a free pizza (Wednesday).

Happiest HOURS ABOVE AND LEFT: A feast at Roaring Fork and bruschetta varieties at EVO.


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ROKA AKOR Roka Akor specializes in contemporary robata (meaning “fireside”) Japanese cuisine and features award-winning prime-cut steaks and seafood along with sushi, sashimi and tempura. During happy hour, offered from 4:30 to 7 p.m. daily in the bar and lounge, get 30 percent off several wines by the glass; 40 percent off specialty cocktails, house sake, shochu, house cocktails, and house martinis; and 50 percent off beers. Sushi and several items made on the robata grill are offered at deep discounts, and there is even an omakase tasting menu where guests can sample small bites of restaurant specialties for $45.

Perfect PATIOS

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: El Chorro, Isabella's Kitchen, and Olive & Ivy.




Part of the public Grayhawk Golf Club, this lunch, dinner and brunch hot spot is for far more than just golfers. The patio of this upscale-yet-rustic Italian-American eatery and bar overlooks the immaculately manicured 18th hole and offers dramatic views of Camelback and Mummy mountains in the distance. The outdoor terrace, patio and multiple semi-private courtyards have seating for more than 100 and even offer rocking chairs to watch the sunset in absolute comfort. The from-scratch kitchen cooks up seaonally inspired takes on triedand-true favorites such as pizza, pasta and bruschetta.

Nestled at the base of Camelback Mountain, El Chorro’s patio is among the most beloved in the Valley. Its legacy is just as impressive as its view: It was originally built as the Judson School for Girls in 1934 and was purchased and converted into a restaurant and lodge in 1937. Every meal here – there’s dinner nightly, Sunday brunch, and happy hour Monday through Saturday – is complete with a side of Arizona heritage and charm. The patio, which features a wraparound indoor-outdoor bar, is flanked with cozy fire pits and fireplaces as well desert views as far as the eyes can see.

Dining and drinking under the shady trees along Olive & Ivy’s expansive patio while gazing at the Scottsdale Waterfront conjures the feeling of being in the French Riviera, which serves as the actual inspiration for the eatery. The menu similarly reflects the vibe, offering plentiful wine options and shareable small plates with thoughtful touches. As the sun sets, thousands of twinkling lights strung between the trees light up the sky, making the patio as romantic as it is lush. Insider tip: Stroll along the waterfront, accessible from the Olive & Ivy patio, just after dark.

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Most INNOVATIVE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Binkley's Restaurant, SumoMaya Mexican-Asian Kitchen, The Churchill exterior.

BINKLEY’S RESTAURANT The one and only Kevin Binkley moved his flagship Binkley’s Restaurant from Cave Creek to Phoenix in 2016. With the move came innovation unlike anything the Valley has ever seen. Today, Binkley’s offers a 3 1/2-hour, multicourse dining experience each night. He locally sources as many items as possible, including many from his wife’s own garden. Most of the ingredients, in fact, were growing in a garden or swimming in the ocean within 48 hours of landing on your plate. Binkley also invites his guests to join him in the kitchen to watch as he preps courses, or even just to chat. At the end of the night, he sends guests home with goody bags, to boot.


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SUMOMAYA MEXICANASIAN KITCHEN Unique in both its striking decor and its fusion of Mexican and Asian flavors ranging from tacos and ceviche to wok dishes and a full sushi bar, SumoMaya is a multi-year winner of OpenTable’s “Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants” in the U.S. The vibrant atmosphere features a towering tree as a centerpiece, an open kitchen, floor-toceiling windows, and a partially enclosed patio for year-round enjoyment. All of these set a backdrop to the creative cuisine that’s meant to be a communal experience – the chefs recommend choosing three to five dishes to share. Be sure to try the craft cocktails and the bottomless brunch on weekends.

THE CHURCHILL The Churchill is a marketplace made of repurposed shipping containers. Yes, really! The laid-back concept alone is innovative, as are each of its 10 tenants. Within it, food and drink options include The Brill Line, a craft brewery; The Pobrecito, a cocktail concept; Freak Brothers Pizza; Sauvage, a wine store; Foxy Fruit, a smoothie and acai bowl shop; Provecho, a central Mexico-themed eatery; and Breadwinner, a sandwich concept by the team behind EVO. At the heart of it all is a 9,000-square-foot courtyard. A bonus: Each business at The Churchill is committed to devoting time each month to local community service efforts.

J&G STEAKHOUSE The Phoenician’s J&G Steakhouse, a 2018 Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence” winner, reopened in September after a three-month-long refresh and revitalization. But fear not, the wine program was not only maintained, but enhanced. The menu has 450 selections and more than 3,000 bottles. The offerings especially excel in pairing varietals from California and Burgundy, France, with the restaurant's award-winning menu, which was developed by lauded chef de cuisine Jacques Qualin. If you’re a first-timer, opt for the five-course chef’s tasting menu with sommelier-chosen wine pairings. You certainly won’t be sorry.

LON’S AT THE HERMOSA INN Lon’s features nearly 700 selections on its wine list and is a 2018 Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence” winner. The diverse selection is a perfect mix of small, sought-after boutique winery offerings with limited-production and well-known favorites from across the globe. The price points are similarly diverse, with budget-friendly options as well as those worth a splurge on a special occasion. The 6,000-bottle inventory is housed in three separate climate-controlled rooms, one of which is an underground functioning wine cellar. Lon’s even offers the chance for guests to dine in the subterranean wine cellar.

WINE Program TOP TO BOTTOM: Wine poured at J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician, underground wine cellar at Lon's at The Hermosa Inn, and Jaime's Wine Bar at Wrigley Mansion.

WRIGLEY MANSION With 900 different varietals and more than 6,000 bottles in-house, the Wrigley Mansion – including Geordie’s Bar and Lounge, Jaime’s Wine Bar, and Geordie’s Restaurant – boasts the largest wine selection in Arizona. It is a 2018 Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence” winner that goes beyond offering wine by the glass or bottle, but also offers an actual wine membership. At $75 per year, the membership includes significant discounts on wine at all venues on property as well as complimentary Champagne during Sunday brunch. Plus, members have access to privately arranged tours and tastings with partners in Napa and Sonoma. Uptown December '18


DIFFERENT POINTE OF VIEW Located 1,800 feet above the city at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Different Pointe of View is the longest consecutively awarded AAA Four Diamond restaurant in the Valley. Beyond the incomparable views, chef Anthony DeMuro serves up romance nightly with his modern take on high-end American cuisine. If you’re seeking something extra special, book the Insider’s View Dinner, which is offered monthly and limited to 12 guests. During the evening, guests can snuggle up to watch DeMuro cook a four- to six-course tasting menu paired with wine – and accompanied by a story from its winemaker, who joins the group for dinner.

Romantic RENDEZVOUS TOP TO BOTTOM: Different Pointe of View at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort and the patio at Elements at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa.

QUIESSENCE AT THE FARM Set in an actual farmhouse at The Farm at South Mountain, Quiessence is surrounded by a beautiful patio and trees for alfresco dining, complete with candlelight that sets the mood for the evening. To indulge in the ultimate night of romance, a reservation for the signature Brick Oven experience is a must. This eight-course chef’s tasting – like all food at the restaurant – features true farm-to-table cuisine and is situated at an exclusive table with only one reservation per evening. A private arbor with dreamy curtains sets the scene for any special occasion, whether you are on a first date, celebrating an anniversary, or proposing to your future fiancee.

ELEMENTS Elements restaurant is the heart of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa’s food and beverage operations, offering farmfresh American cuisine with Asian accents. Executive chef Beau MacMillan’s local ingredients are procured from a network of artisans and organic farmers to ensure that menus change monthly to reflect seasonal harvests. Food presentation is as compelling as the beautiful landscape that surrounds diners through floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides of the restaurant and large skylights to view the stars. Slide-away glass walls open to an intimate dining patio, which provides the perfect place to cozy up to your special someone.


Uptown December '18

Killer COCKTAILS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Honor Amongst Thieves, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, and Fat Ox.



The legendary Bitter & Twisted is not your average cocktail haunt. This year alone, Tales of the Cocktail – which are the awards that honor the world’s top bars, bartenders, spirit and beverage writers, and cocktail experts – named the bar among the top “High Volume Cocktail Bars in the United States” and its menu as one of the “Top 10 Best Cocktail Menus in the World.” They also just released their newest mixology menu featuring 32 pages of often-cheeky craft cocktail creations. While the previous offerings were focused on fairy tales, this menu took inspiration from the darker, more sinister sides to those stories.

Accessible through a “secret” door at Stock & Stable or a separate entrance upstairs behind the 7th Street restaurant, Honor Amongst Thieves tempts with a sultry, speakeasy vibe complete with dim lights, wood accents and plush booths lining the space. The drink menu itself, which often has new additions, is accessible to cocktail novices as well as seasoned sippers and is divided into four main categories: Single Cube, Served Up, Served on the Rocks, and Crushed Ice. On its menu, note it says, “We have secret neat stuff” at the bottom. Ask about it to uncover (and sample) their coveted collection of wines and spirits.

FAT OX This restaurant created by locally loved chef Matt Carter is quickly becoming as known for its hand-curated, seasonal cocktails as it is for its regional Italian cuisine. A chief reason: They barrel-age their spirits in-house. The aging process, a minimum of six weeks inside charred oak barrels, has an especially profound impact on their vermouth, bourbon and whiskey, bringing out complexities and subtle flavors over time. These spirits are expertly used in many of the cocktails, each of which has an Italian influence. Cocktails range from $12 to $17, but imbibers in the know visit during apertivo time (aka happy hour) from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. daily for specially priced beer, wine and cocktails. Uptown December '18



Top CHEFS LEFT TO RIGHT: Executive chef Sara Garrant of Bourbon Steak at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and chef Gio Osso of Virtu Honest Craft.





Sara Garrant serves as the executive chef of Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, providing fine cuts of beef, poultry and fish, all slowpoached in butter and grilled over mesquite wood. A native of Alaska, she grew up cooking fresh salmon brought in daily by local fishermen, then honed her talents at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa, Ontario, before training at the award-winning Noca in Phoenix. She began working with the Mina Group in 2013, eventually moving to Miami Beach to join his acclaimed Michael Mina 74 at Fontainebleau in 2015 before making her way back to Bourbon Steak in 2017.

When Gio Osso opened Virtu Honest Craft in 2013, Esquire magazine named it among the best new restaurants in the U.S. By 2014, the James Beard Foundation had similarly nominated it as among the best new restaurants in the country. Osso earned his cooking stripes on the East Coast before coming to the Valley in 2002, notably working with HMS Host to bring some of Arizona’s best restaurants to Sky Harbor Airport before opening Virtu. Osso’s vision is to transform his progressive, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine into – as he says himself – a beautifully composed symphony of sights, scents and tastes. And he is succeeding over and over again with his artfully crafted dishes.

Growing up on a dairy farm in the Midwest, Cory Oppold lived the farm-totable life quite literally. Though he initially moved to Phoenix after high school to pursue a career in architecture, after a few fine dining experiences he was inspired to instead study the culinary arts. Oppold was named executive chef of Atlas Bistro in 2014, where he not only dreams up a seasonal menu based on the concept that “food is art,” but a multicourse one that has a strong focus on vegetables. In fact, though he cooks up innovative takes on fine meats and seafood, veggies are often the colorful stars of Oppold’s visually stunning plates.


Uptown December '18

SANTAN BREWING COMPANY More than 10 years ago, SanTan Brewing Company opened its doors in Chandler’s historic downtown district, just in time for the recession to ravage Arizona. Yet not only did the brewery survive, it thrived, driving the Arizona beer industry forward. This summer, SanTan opened a 7,000-square-foot location in Uptown featuring flagship menu items, a massive patio, and, of course, beer. Among the brews are the hugely popular Devil’s Ale, HopShock IPA, Gordo Stout and Mr. Pineapple, as well as seasonal offerings including Sex Panther (available now through January) and Oktoberfest Lager.

HUSS BREWING CO. Founded in Tempe in 2013 by a husbandand-wife team (Jeff and Leah Huss), Huss Brewing Co. opened a taproom in Uptown in 2017. It offers both Huss and Papago beers (they acquired fellow local brewery Papago in 2016), including Scottsdale Blonde and Orange Blossom, two of the most popular craft beers ever sold in Arizona. Thanks to Leah, who is a culinary school alum, the small bites menu stands up to the beers, and they also give the option to order heavier items from nearby restaurants including Lou Malnati’s and Shake Shack.

Hoppin’ BREWERIES CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: SanTan Brewing Company, Huss Brewing Co., and McFate Brewing Co.

MCFATE BREWING CO. McFate, which has two locations – the actual brewery in South Scottsdale and the original Tap + Barrel in North Scottsdale – is the result of one man getting sick of suits and ties. In 2010, owner Steve McFate left his job in corporate America and headed to Denver to study craft brewing. By 2012, he made his way back to the Valley to focus on small-batch beers and opened his namesake concept. This time of year, don’t miss his seasonal Candy Bar Milk Stout. It’s the closest thing to a “dessert beer” perhaps ever produced, and it’s brewed with cacao nibs, vanilla bean, roasted peanuts and sea salt.

Uptown December '18


SNOOZE Snooze serves up eclectic twists on American breakfast classics, including everything from breakfast potpies and corned beef hash to quinoa porridge and breakfast tacos. The “Art of Hollandaise” section of the menu, offering six types of Benedicts or the option to mix and match two Benedict flavors, is a homerun. Similarly spectacular is the “Sweet Utopia” section with 10-plus pancake and French toast flavors as well as a pancake flight. The cocktail menu has over 20 cocktails, including twists on mimosas, bloody marys, and coffee plus local and regional beer selections.


MORNING Indulgences TOP TO BOTTOM: Breakfast potpie at Snooze and cajeta flapjacks at Otro Cafe.

Tucked into a nondescript strip mall on 7th Street, Otro Cafe is truly one of Phoenix’s hidden culinary gems. It’s owned by chef Doug Robson, who also founded the hip Gallo Blanco in Downtown Phoenix. Born in Mexico to parents of French, Vietnamese and English descent, he explores bright flavors from across the globe, especially Mexico. Tamales and chilaquiles are offered in several styles, and there are at least half a dozen dishes with spicy chorizo. Frequent diners know to always order the fluffy flapjacks – they make a great shareable side or even dessert. Their brunch is so popular, they actually offer it daily until 4 p.m. to keep up with demand.

RICHARDSON’S For 30 years, Richardson’s has brought the flavors of New Mexico to the Valley, especially at brunch. Offered daily, Richardson’s brunch is tailor-made for spice lovers with its jalapeno hollandaise and both red and green chile sauces offered with nearly every dish. The carne adovada and eggs and the carne adovada Benedict, both riffs on their ultra-popular carne adovada dinner entree, have the some of the most tender, flavorful pork you’ve ever tasted. Oh, and every day until 6 p.m., mimosas are just $6 each. A final wow: The Southwestern-inspired covered patio added in recent years makes for a beautiful backdrop at breakfast … or otherwise.


Uptown December '18


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The bar at La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval, steamed clams at Bar Pesce, and the interior of The Macintosh.

LA HACIENDA BY RICHARD SANDOVAL La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess unveiled an impressive multimillion-dollar facelift, not to mention a new cocktail program and dinner menu, in September. The update includes an expanded bar and lounge, the addition of both indoor and outdoor lounge seating featuring fixtures directly from Mexico, a new tequila display, and an artistic agave wall. To help develop new features on the menu, executive chef Forest Hamrick and Sandoval traveled to the hottest restaurants across Mexico over the past year and brought back some inspired recipes. The cocktails, which include 21 new options plus extensive tequila-tasting flights, are similarly spectacular.



In October, chef and restaurateur Cullen Campbell transformed his award-winning Crudo into Bar Pesce. Visually, the re-envisioned restaurant includes contemporary lighting and striking, gold-hued wallpaper, and the addition of a partition wall to add variation to the main dining room. There is also now an on-site wine cellar and a menu of 10 all-new creatively crafted cocktails. Of course, the most sweeping changes are to the menu, which now combines the twists on modern Italian cuisine that Crudo was famous for, plus exciting new dishes inspired by Japan, Vietnam and South America. Don't miss the fan-favorite crispy pig ears, the crab mi roll with lobster roe aioli, or the squid ink risotto with crab, chilies and uni (yes, sea urchin).

As of October, The Macintosh replaced Grassroots Kitchen & Tap in Phoenix’s Town & Country shopping center at 20th Street and Camelback Road. Originally opened in 2014, the initial restaurant was a spinoff of Common Ground Culinary’s Grassroots concept in Scottsdale, which continues to operate. The new venue pairs bold, brassy and energetic decor with a hearty yet approachable menu of modern comfort classics with distinct Southern influences — and nothing is over $24. The central bar was redesigned to feature soaring library shelves brimming with more than 30 different whiskeys; 20-plus domestic beers; and a smaller, more refined domestic wine program, accented with cocktails barrel-aged in-house. Uptown December '18


LEFT TO RIGHT: The exterior of Roland's Cafe Market Bar and the fish tacos at Blue Clover Distillery.

Rookies OF THE YEAR PARMA ITALIAN ROOTS Only open since September, Parma is already making waves across Arizona’s culinary community. Helmed by 28-yearold chef Chris Gentile, Parma offers ultra-flavorful, West Coast-influenced Italian cuisine among a comfortable yet chic ambiance. Think elevated pizza, daily handmade pasta, and charcuterie as well as hearty main courses with rich sauces and savory sides. The drink menu has an Italian vibe as well, with eight crafted cocktails for $12 each, as well as beers and wines, some imported directly from Italy. The restaurant has been on such a roll, it extended its hours and is now open for lunch daily and brunch on the weekends in addition to dinner nightly. Two musts? The fresh-baked bread and the gnocchi.


Uptown December '18

ROLAND’S CAFE MARKET BAR In April, Arizona culinary icon Chris Bianco partnered with Nadia Holguin and Armando Hernandez of Tacos Chiwas fame to open Roland’s, which is housed in a 101-year-old historic building oozing with character. Inspired by ingredients used in northern Mexico – especially from the state of Chihuahua – and the “simple is best” mantra Bianco has lived by his entire career, the menu is basic, but the flavors are anything but. You’ll find a steak sandwich that resembles a torta but made with bread by Pane Bianco, enchiladas, and a selection of desserts including scrumptious ice cream cookie sandwiches. Roland’s offers all-day dining; a coffee bar; a bar featuring craft cocktails, beer and wine; and to-go options like takeout burritos.

BLUE CLOVER DISTILLERY Blue Clover opened in February and launched its first run of housemade vodka in March, with plans to expand to other spirits in 2019. Guests who visit can watch the distillation process firsthand thanks to a floor-to-ceiling wall, all the while being treated to American and New Mexico-inspired dishes and drinks. Food options include a green chile cheeseburger, chorizo poutine, fish tacos, and the Southwest-infused house flatbread, which uses jalapenos, cilantro and green chile crema for a spicy finish. The bar itself, which boasts Blue Clover’s own spirits plus a full cocktail, beer and wine list, has a very industrial feel and an inside-outside concept with retractable garage doors and a massive, buzzy patio.

STEAK 44 Restaurants developed by the Mastro family always cause a scene. But the scene at Steak 44 — even four years after its acclaimed opening — is something out of a movie. Both the bar and dining room are prime spots for people-watching from open to close, and it is only getting better very soon. In 2019, Steak 44 will complete a million-dollar expansion to add a new dining bar, state-of-the-art butcher shop, and another intimate dining room. In total, the expansion will add another 2,000 square feet and 80 seats to keep up with demand.

HILLSTONE There are power lunches, and then there are lunches at Hillstone. On any given day, both well-heeled members of the community and industry titans from across the Valley gather at this upscale eatery to drink, dine and likely make major business deals. The open kitchen, the patio, and the massive bar (bigger than most restaurants in town on its own) add to the electricity buzzing throughout the sophisticated space. The menu is meant to impress, featuring everything from sushi rolls to USDA prime steak. Hillstone transforms into more of a date night spot for dinner, but with similarly well-to-do clientele.

SEE & Be Seen TOP TO BOTTOM: Sharing food at The Henry and the popular patio at Hillstone.

THE HENRY Follow the arrow to The Henry any time of day, quite literally – there is an arrow just outside the door that makes the perfect meeting spot. From morning until night, The Henry is a place where people meet and greet, gossip and gab, or even work. A truly versatile concept, guests can grab coffee to go on their way into the office, stop in for a lunch meeting or happy hour with friends, and then have dinner with the family. The Henry also buzzes with a flurry of morningtime activity during weekend brunch. It’s the kind of place where the baristas and bar staff know you by name, and you’re always bound to run into a familiar face. Uptown December '18



S H O P / FA S H I O N / A L LU R E / DW E L L


A classic fragrance – and one that is a longtime staple for many – has been reimagined with holiday spirit. For the first time ever and for a limited time only, Chanel No. 5 meets Coco Chanel’s favorite color. Packaged in a captivating ruby red bottle, this is a timeless collectible for loyal Chanel wearers or any fragrance aficionado. Chanel No. 5, which debuted on May 5, 1921, remains one of the bestselling perfumes in the world, made famous in part by Marilyn Monroe. The iconic essence was created by perfume designer Ernest Beaux with instructions from Chanel herself to craft a symphony of smells, where each component works together as a composition. True to her request, it became the world’s first abstract fragrance with a floral bouquet of rose, jasmine and lily enhanced by citrus notes and a sensual base of vanilla and amber. The 3.4-ounce eau de parfum is made in France. $160 at Saks Fifth Avenue, Uptown December '18


Style SHOP



Festive essentials to celebrate the season in style

Velvet jumpsuit, Each x Other, $950 at Lyst, Emery scoop-back dress, Dress the Population, $275 at Dillard’s, www.dillards. com. Sequined cropped biker jacket, Nour Hammour, $1,890 at Neiman Marcus, www. Cluster drop stone necklace, $118 at J.Crew, www.jcrew. com. Rectangle crystal clutch, Judith Leiber, $1,895 at Saks Fith Avenue, www. Glitter pumps, Gucci $1,200 at Bloomingdale’s, www.


Uptown December '18




ALL ABOUT OUTERWEAR Cold-weather wonders for every occasion

Reversible faux leather/suede with draped lapels, BB Dakota, $95 at Nordstrom, www. Embroidered jacquard with fur trim, Cinq a Sept $1,295 at ModeSens, Mixed tartan trench, Burberry, $2,490 at Saks Fifth Avenue, www.saksfifthavenue. com. Pink metallic puffer, Moncler, $1,595 at Neiman Marcus, www. Cropped leather with knit and shearling accents, $2,700 at Acne Studios, www. Sherpa with toggles, $350 at J.Crew, www.jcrew. com.

Uptown December '18



Multicolor jumpsuit, Futura Couture of New York, $225. From Fashion by Robert Black, 480.664.7770.



Uptown December '18

Mint green dress, Lillie Rubin, $225. From Fashion by Robert Black, 480.664.7770.

Uptown December '18


Velvet paisley dress, Donald Brooks, $475. From Fashion by Robert Black, 480.664.7770.

Metallic sequin dress with matching overcoat, Les Wilk, $750. From Fashion by Robert Black, 480.664.7770.


Uptown December '18

Silver tinsel minidress, Young Edwardian, $175. From Fashion by Robert Black, 480.664.7770.

Uptown December '18


Mustard dress with oversized sleeves, Jr. Theme New York, $175. From Fashion by Robert Black, 480.664.7770.


Uptown December '18

Black fringe dress, Ferman O’Grady, $225. From Fashion by Robert Black, 480.664.7770.

Cream fringe dress, Lilli Diamond, $275. From Fashion by Robert Black, 480.664.7770.

Uptown December '18




TINY TREASURES ’Tis the season for splendid stocking stuffers

Mini three-piece eye set, Laura Mercier, $35 at Macy’s, com. Lip stain and gloss kit, $49 at Jane Iredale, www. Cloudberry and lychee blossom bath bombs, Being by Sanctuary Spa, $15 at Ulta, www.ulta. com. Hand and cuticle cream set, Philosophy, $28 at Beauty Bridge, www. Blender, cleanser and storage kit, Beauty Blender, $40 at Beauty Bridge, www.beautybridge. com. Men’s Age Defender grooming set, Kiehl’s, $68 at Nordstrom, www.


Uptown December '18




GLAM SLAM Give your space the gift of glitz

Framed handcrafted artwork with gold leaf, RFA Fine Art, $1,540 at Neiman Marcus, www. Mirrored dining table, John-Richard Collection, $5,329 at Neiman Marcus. Faux fur pillow, Ugg, $65 at Dillard’s, Wood and brass credenza, $6,500 at Jonathan Adler, www. Four-tier cookie stand, Anthropologie, $158 at Nordstrom, Purple crescentshaped sofa, $3,940 at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, www.

Uptown December '18



H AU T E P R O P E RT Y / P L A C E S / W H E E L S / WA N T


There’s nothing like the scent of freshly brewed coffee to wake you up. The Barisiuer Coffee & Tea Alarm Clock, created by British industrial designer Joshua Renouf, does just that – and you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your bed to take your first sip. Encouraging the experience of a nostalgic morning ritual, the innovative clock brews steaming cups of coffee or tea while gently waking you. The striking piece features borosilicate glassware and a Scandinavian-inspired white and rubberwood finish with sophisticated technology, including an induction coil that boils water in just four minutes and a centralized milk vessel that keeps creamer chilled. A retro digital display, which dims in low light, shows the time and lets you set both brewing and alarm schedules. Coffee or tea can be stored in a sealed drawer that also holds an included stainless-steel spoon. $445 at Nordstrom, Uptown December '18





Uptown December '18

This five-bedroom, 5 1/2-bathroom home is located in the heard of the Arcadia neighborhood. The custom-built estate was originally constructed in 2015 by Santorini Homes and later renovated by Vista General. The two-story property is impressive from first glance with clean lines, manicured greens and meticulous attention to detail, from the brick accents to the careful placing of the window awnings. The home, which has a three-car garage, also boasts a fire pit on the front patio. The sophistication continues inside the almost-7,000-square-foot space with custom millwork and wide-planked, white oak floors. Throughout you’ll find wainscoting, subtle, stylish wallpaper, fashionable lighting fixtures and accents to make each room a unique showpiece. The great room is bright and airy with built-in shelving around a custom French limestone fireplace. The white and gray entertainer’s kitchen is equipped with Sub Zero/Wolf appliances, hand-crafted stone and tile, and ample storage. There are two different dining areas – one for more casual meals and the other for formal affairs. The master suite, which also has a fireplace, is spacious with a second-story patio. The en suite is dramatic, with a shower as its centerpiece. Double sinks and a built-in storage cabinet occupy the rest of the space. The remaining bedrooms and bathrooms in the dwelling follow suit, with unique wall colors and patterns, wainscoting and the same clean vibe found throughout. The spacious laundry room is as chic as the rest of the house, with ample storage, a farmhouse-style sink and a mudroom area right outside the door. The exterior, delivering Camelback Mountain views, boasts a spacious 713-square-foot newly built pool house with a kitchen and living room area. There is also a rectangular pool and spa, built-in barbecue, and extensive covered patio. 4615 N. Royal Palm Circle, Phoenix, AZ 85018. Listed for $3,995,000 with Rebecca Clayton and Lara Broadrick of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International realty; 602.799.8229 and 602.628.7332 respectively; Rebecca.Clayton@russlyon. com and



2019 BMW X2

Introducing the German automaker’s newest luxury subcompact crossover BY JIM PRUETER

VITAL STATS Base price: $38,400

The newest auto in BMW’s lengthy lineup of luxury crossovers is the compact X2. It’s essentially a sportier, funkier, sleeker, and slightly less roomy version of Beemer’s X1 subcompact crossover. Joining the wildly popular entry-level luxury crossover segment, the X2 offers the versatility of a hatchback with available all-wheel drive, an impressive-looking cabin, and performance that results in a near-perfect vehicle to satisfy even the most inflated car ownership expectations. In the interest of a fully immersive “Ultimate Driving Machine” experience, the X2 is powered by a 2.0-liter, turbo inline, four-cylinder engine with 228 horsepower connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. That combination delivers an impressive response with a satisfying sonorous – even a bit raunchy – engine sound. The truth is, you can quickly wind the engine to redline, reaching 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds. There are two models: the all-wheel drive xDrive28i (tested here) and the front-wheel drive sDrive28i. Exterior features include eye-catching alloy wheels, LED rear lights and headlights, and inverted kidney grilles.

The interior is definitely small, especially in the rear seat, where legroom is nearly nonexistent if the driver is on the tall side. Cargo space is even tighter than it is in the more upright X1 sibling. The sloping roofline presents an attractive and sporty exterior design but results in small side windows. The window on the rear liftgate is tiny and severely compromises rearward visibility. While drivers would surely welcome a blind spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert, surprisingly, these features aren’t available. Most operating controls are handled via buttons and knobs on the center stack, with some redundant controls on the steering wheel. BMW’s touch-screen iDrive infotainment and navigation system is user-friendly. Regarding the ride, it’s on the stiff side and may be too firm for some. Road noise is more than evident on rough road surfaces, and there is noticeable wind noise at highway speeds. Even with its shortcomings, the X2 is stylish, fun and easy to drive, and it comes with the cachet of the large BMW logos on the front, sides and rear of the car that stoke owners’ devotion and ardor.

Price as tested: $50,920 Engine: 2.0-L turbo inline four-cylinder Horsepower: 228 Fuel economy: 21/31 mpg city/ highway Seating: 5 Fab features: Easy to use tech features Nimble, confident handling Upscale interior

Uptown December '18




3160 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix

3159 E. Lincoln Drive, Phoenix

THE MACINTOSH 2119 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix

Christopher Collins, chef/owner of the Valley-based Common Ground Culinary, has reconceptualized both of his Phoenix restaurants to integrate each into the culture of their respective neighborhoods. The Collins Small Batch Kitchen has replaced the former Twisted Grove Parlor + Bar and the former Grassroots Kitchen & Tap is now The Macintosh. At The Collins Small Batch Kitchen, they will feature a compact menu that incorporates favorites dishes from all across Common Ground Culinary restaurants with the addition of a rotating menu of 4 to 8 specials daily that are limited in quantity. This way, they focus on whatever is fresh and in season. They are open 7 days a week, Monday-Wednesday, 11am-9pm, Thursday-Friday, 11am-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday, 10am-9pm. And join them on the weekend for can’t-miss brunch and a daily Social Hour. The Macintosh is a bold and energetic concept with a hearty yet approachable menu of modernized comfort food. Their dining room boasts a 21-foot, 22-seat community table perfect for hosting beer- or whisky-paired dinners. Although The Macintosh has kept Grassroots staples like the shrimp grits and braised short rib on their menu, they have also added new items like mason jar burrata and fried green tomato po’boy and slow smoked beef ribs to the list. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. and a fantastic brunch menu is served every Saturday and Sunday.

L’Amore Restaurant is a family owned and operated neighborhood Italian restaurant located in the heart of Phoenix. They offer fine Italian dining with a warm family atmosphere. Their wide-ranging menu boasts one of the best cioppino in town. They fresh make their soups from scrotch in house as well as their handmade pastas. The aroma from the fresh baked bread is captivating and are a great accompaniment to sop up the sauces from the linguini with clams or hearty spaghetti Bolognese. Classic entrees like veal saltimbuca and chicken marsala are a reliable dinner choice or choose from the ever changing daily fresh fish entrée or homemade ravioli that evening. They also have a wine list that would pair nicely with any dish on the menu and complement any palate. In addition, L’Amore is a lovely venue for a romantic and intimate evening out. There is live soft music on Thursday through Saturday nights by local musician Jimmy. Guests can enjoy entertainment in the beautiful tree lined patio over looking the Phoenix Mountain Preserves. If you’re thinking of a holiday party set up an appointment to speak to them about catering. They are open for lunch Monday through Friday starting at 11 a.m. and dinner nightly and Saturday at 5 p.m. and closed on Sunday. Cocktail hour is Mondary through Friday from 4:00 to 6 p.m.




In Latin, Greco de Maris translates to “Greek of the Sea.” At Original Gravity, Greco de Maris ($18) translates to “mouth-wateringly delicious.” A new Mediterranean-inspired dish on the menu, chef Derek Upton starts by seasoning salmon and cooking it in skillet with locally sourced herbs, garlic, thyme and olive oil. Once up to temperature, he adds a white miso honey glaze he’s made with Twisted Infusion Farms local honey to the top and brulees it to order. The sweet and savory salmon is then placed on top of a bed of sauteed garlic, crispy chickpeas, oregano and sage that have been drizzled with tangy tzatziki made with Greek yogurt, Persian cucumbers and Meyer lemons. It’s garnished with herbs, pea tendrils and radishes for added texture. Original Gravity, 4700 N. 12th St., Phoenix; 602.583.7628; Uptown December '18




SWANKY SIPPERS Seasonal spirits that double as pretty presents

Seeking something special to gift this holiday season? Here are some of our favorite high-end, limited-edition, and/or newly released brands and bottles to give (and maybe get for yourself) to make this festive time of year a little brighter and much merrier.

Hennessy X.O Festive Pack The Original X.O Cognac, created exclusively for the Hennessy family, is aged up to 30 years, which provides a rich, refined yet still powerful tasting experience. This limited-edition set contains a bottle of Hennessy X.O and two Thomas Bastide glasses. $190.

2013 J. Bookwalter Chapter 6 The Bookwalter family has been making wine for 12 generations from its vineyards in Richland, Washington. Each of the winery’s award-winning vintages is named for parts in a story – their family story. Chapter 6 is their most powerful cabernet, drawing you in with the flavors of black fruits, jam and fine oak. Chapter 6 is sixth in the line of these popular vintages, which began with Chapter 1 in 2002. $100.

Belvedere X Láolú Limited Edition Artist Láolú Senbanjo, who is best known for his collaboration with Beyoncé on the record-breaking video album Lemonade, partnered with Belvedere on this special-edition offering. The unique pattern is Senbanjo’s interpretation of the beauty, nuance and complexity of the liquid within the bottle. $30.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Artist Series For its Chateau Ste. Michelle Artist Series wines, winemaker Bob Bertheau crafts exceptional Bordeaux-style blends of unique power and character. Each vintage’s label honors world-class artisans such as Dale Chihuly, Alden Mason and Andre Petterson. The 2015 vintage produced incredibly ripe, rich and concentrated red wines contrasted with sophisticated layers and complexity. $65.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen Johnnie Walker master blender Dr. Jim Beveridge created this series of special releases. The newest release is Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen, which brings together eight treasured whiskies of no less than 20 years of age. At its heart is Port Ellen, which closed in 1983 and is one of Scotland’s most sought-after malts. $399.


Uptown December '18

21 Grams The 21 Grams brand is an artistic collaboration between Waters Winery in Washington and artist Makoto Fujimura to reflect the inspiration of the soul in creating fine wine and fine art. Only 100 cases of these wines are made each year, with the 2012 cabernet sauvignon available now. The label changes with each vintage and showcases Fujimura’s modern abstract art using the ancient Japanese technique of Nihonga. The winery donates proceeds from each bottle sale to the International Arts Movement, a nonprofit created by Fujimura. $125.

2015 Chalk Hill W.P. Foley II Cabernet Sauvignon Named for the Chalk Hill Estate proprietor William P. Foley and only available since mid-November, this deep, intense showstopper is made with the best barrels from the vineyard’s highest-rated cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot blocks. It was made by Foley himself to capture the heart and soul of his stunning property and of Sonoma itself. $160

Game of Thrones Single Malt Collection In anticipation of the hit HBO show’s final season, Diageo has launched a Game of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection. Popular single malts, such as Oban and Lagavulin, will take on new names for one of the main families – or houses – in the series, including House Stark, House Lannister and House Targaryen. There is also one in honor of the series’ famed Night’s Watch, which has served as its own “house” of sorts since the show’s inception $30-$75.

J Vineyards Sparkling Essentials Since 1986, J Vineyards & Winery has developed a reputation as one of the top sparkling and varietal wine producers in the United States. Each year, the winery offers the chance to purchase a “Sparkling Essentials” pack featuring three of their sleek, award-winning bubbles: Cuvée, Brut Rosé, and the 2014 Vintage Blanc de Noirs. $165.

Camus Borderies XO Produced in limited quantities, Camus Borderies XO offers a rare, exquisite tasting experience. Amazingly aromatic, the bottle was designed to look much like that of perfume. The center label is made from copper as a nod to the copper stills used to create the cognac, and the stopper is crafted from wood to reflect the oak casks where the cognac is aged. $199.

Coppola Storytellers There are six wines in this collection, each revealing stories that have influenced Francis Ford Coppola and his family throughout many generations. For example, I Mille, which means “in each thousand” in Italian and is a petite sirah in honor of Coppola’s great-grandfather Francesco Pennino who, with 999 other men, undertook a dangerous sea expedition that led to the unification of Sicily. $25-$120. Uptown December '18



SOUTHERN COMFORT Dig into indulgent, down-home dishes


Crispy Hot Fried Chicken Sliders

PNPK Craft Sliders + Wine Bar As the Texas-born owner’s favorite menu item, you know this Southern take on a slider is a must. The breading is much like Nashville hot chicken, made with cayenne pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt. Once fried, the chicken is sandwiched between a traditional or gluten-free bun – or lettuce wrap – and is topped with a dill pickle, coleslaw and spicy aioli. Two for $11, four for $20, or six for $29.

Shrimp, Sausage & Super Creamy Local Grits

Beckett’s Table Indulgent yet gluten-free, this entree features grits topped with spicy shrimp, hearty sausage, smoked onions, oven-dried tomatoes, braised greens, and a mustard-tomato jus. There is also an appetizer version with all the same goodness, just half the size. $25 (or $13 for the appetizer).

Crispy Chicken Biscuit

The Macintosh These may sound simple, but they’re so amazingly good that they sell out every night. The kitchen bakes its own Southern-inspired biscuits for this dish daily, which are married with a crispy piece of mouthwatering fried chicken and then topped with mustard-honey sauce and local pickles. They serve a little extra sauce on the side for those who like to dip, too. $5.

Fried Green Tomatoes

There’s home cooking, and then there’s Southern home cooking. Bursting with butter, cream and carbs, Southern dishes are some of the most flavorful and fabulous around. And thanks to many local chefs, tasting true soul food classics is easier than ever. Here are some of the most delicious dishes reflecting the comforts that only the South can provide.

Southern Rail While there are plenty of crave-worthy Southern options at this Central Phoenix hot spot, the fried green tomatoes really shine. The tomatoes, grown locally at Abby Lee Farms, are marinated in pickling liquid and then breaded with panko breadcrumbs, cornmeal and Cajun seasoning before being fried to order. They’re served with a creamy housemade pimento cheese. $11.

Blue Crab Hushpuppies

High & Rye Like Southern Rail, High & Rye specializes in all things Southern, creamy, spicy and spectacular. For something off the beaten path, try the blue crab hushpuppies, which are corn fritters made with lump blue crab meat and served with a zesty Creole aioli and house-pickled peppers. $13.50.


Uptown December '18

Chicken Pot Pie

Pig & Pickle This artistic, modern twist on a savory favorite is an intoxicatingly flavorful blend of crispy fried chicken, vegetables and potatoes smothered in rich, creamy gravy – much like the filling that makes up a traditional potpie. Rather than being served in a pastry shell, this version is topped with crisp, flaky, golden sheets of puff pastry. $23.

Hoe Cakes

The Larder + The Delta Hoe cakes are a Southern take on cornbread that get their name from being cooked on an iron pan called a hoe. These are amped up in a big way with king trumpet mushrooms, salami, corn, cured egg yolks, and a striking black garlic jus. $11.

No. 3: Lo-Lo’s


Texaz Grill This homestyle steakhouse features two varieties of ribs: beef back ribs on Tuesday night and pork spareribs on Sunday night. Both are slowsmoked over pecan wood and slathered with homemade barbecue sauce. The ribs are paired with a pickle spear, sliced onion, a salad, choice of potatoes, and white bread to sop it all up. Beef, $19; pork, $15.

Butterscotch Pecan Pie

Twisted Grove Pecans are the obvious star here. This award-winning pie combines butterscotch custard filling with candied pecans in a graham cracker crust. It’s topped with whipped cream and more candied pecans. For the holidays, order a whole pie until Dec. 22 at Sweet Provisions (Twisted Grove’s sister concept just a short walk away) for $24. A slice at the restaurant is $8.

Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles Founder Larry “Lo-Lo” White has been perfecting scratch-made soul food for more than a decade. He’s even developed his own waffle mix, seasoning salt, maple syrup, and hot sauce. Opt for a classic: option No. 3 on their “Hood Classics” menu, which is three pieces of Southern-style chicken served with two golden waffles. $15.

Catfish Po’ Boy

Switch Mississippi and Alabama produce the most catfish in the United States. It’s no surprise, then, that it’s a regional favorite, especially blackened or crusted with cornmeal and fried. At Switch, you can get your catfish po’ boy either way topped with housemade tartar sauce, lettuce and tomato. It’s served on a soft white roll. $13.

Southern Fried Chicken

Bobby-Q Just like Mom used to make – or, perhaps, just like you wish Mom used to make. Two boneless chicken breasts are breaded and fried, then covered with creamy gravy. A heaping portion of mashed potatoes are standard, and we recommend the mac and cheese as your second side. $17.50.

Smoked Babe on a Bun

Proof at Four Seasons Scottsdale Slow-cooked for five hours, pork is piled high with Carolina-style barbecue sauce, coleslaw and red onions. It’s layered on a soft pretzel bun with a side of housemade potato chips, more coleslaw, or mixed greens. You can also sub the side for hand-cut fries or sweet onion rings for $2 more. $18.

Uptown December '18



BERRY GOOD BERRY WHITE Across the Pond’s signature sipper is both pretty and powerful


Newly opened in October, Across the Pond is a 35-seat bar from the team behind Clever Koi. The cheeky, modern locale is located just across the walkway – or “pond” – from Clever Koi, in fact. Across the Pond offers traditional Japanese sushi, imported Japanese whiskies, beer, wine and a menu of 10 ever-changing craft cocktails as well as 10 classic cocktails from Clever Koi. And while all worth a taste, Across the Pond’s Berry White ($12) is a can’t-miss offering. “It starts with Momokawa Nigori Sake, unfiltered sake from Oregon that was the first ever to be certified organic. It boasts a rich, creamy taste with distinct tropical and citrus notes,” says Joshua James, both the co-founder of Across the Pond and the reigning Arizona Cocktail Weekend Last Slinger Standing bartending champion. He then adds Giffard Orgeat, almond-flavored syrup, for some sweetness. “Next is the Jelinek Amaro, an aperitif from the Czech Republic that has a hefty dose of bitterness,” James says. “But here is the kicker: we sous vide the Amaro with raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, adding balance and depth without artificial sweetness.” Finally, James adds lime and yuzu juices – both enhancing the tropical notes of the sake – and shakes then strains the mixture into a footed goblet with crushed ice, garnishing with mint and a dehydrated lime. “It’s almost like a Tiki cocktail in that it is spirit-forward and meant to dilute as the ice melts,” James explains. “By the time you’re done, you’ve got bright tropical and berry coming through, making you want number two.” Across the Pond, located at 4236 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; 602.296.5629;


Uptown December '18



CHEF CONVERSATIONS In the kitchen with Matthew Taylor, executive chef of Mora Italian

A native of Calgary, Alberta, Matthew Taylor moved to Arizona during high school and started his culinary career at the young age of 15. Since then, he has worked alongside nationally recognized chefs in top restaurants around the Valley and country. Taylor has always found his way back to his adopted home of Phoenix and is now the executive chef of Mora Italian.


When did you know you wanted to be a chef? My fascination with the kitchen began when I was working as a dishwasher, but my passion was ignited while attending the EVIT culinary program here in Mesa. I owe a lot to chef Michael Turcotte and the other instructors there for realizing my potential as cook and turning a love of food into a viable career path. What about the Arizona food scene has kept you coming back? Honestly, the people. I have found and kept so many lifelong relationships (including meeting my wife Melissa) from being a part of restaurants here. To you, food is: Sharing and giving. A selfless experience that crosses borders and cultures, and a catalyst for memories you might not have otherwise. If you weren’t a chef, you’d probably be… A marine biologist or archeologist. I have always been fascinated with work related to evolutionary studies, and the opportunity to spend a lot of time outdoors and have nature as part of my office. When you’re not cooking, where would we find you? Outdoors or spending time in small town Arizona. We love our getaways up to Jerome, Prescott and down to Bisbee, or on the ocean whenever possible. What food is your guilty pleasure? Ice cream and pecan pie. I’ve been known to put a whole pie down in one evening only to pay the sugar coma price tag later, but it’s worth it. Favorite food memory: A meal when I dined solo at Cochon while working in New Orleans. It was 2006, the restaurant had recently opened, and the city was slowly coming back to life after [Hurricane] Katrina. Despite all the devastation there was a definite energy of hope and celebration in the air. That meal and restaurant at that time seemed to be a culinary precursor to all the wonderfully prideful cooking that was to come as everyone rebuilt. Favorite food to cook: I really enjoy making pâtes and terrines. I have a soft spot for classic and often laborious preparations. 5651 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 602.795.9943;

Uptown December '18




Homeward Bound’s annual fundraiser, held at the Arizona Biltmore, featured an auction of hundreds of designer handbags and a luncheon, with proceeds benefiting the organization’s mission.

Candy Somers and Carole Downs


Robin Macy

Crystal Chestnut

Mara Schantz and Dina Firnstahl

Ginger Clayton

Alison Rose and Meg Perish

Britney Amato

Erin Eisel and Jennifer Eisel

Amanda Garmany and Amanda Spicola

Patty Sapp and Roseann Dunteman


Uptown December '18


Country recording artist Russell Dickerson performed live at this exclusive party, held at Earnhardt Lexus’ show room, benefitting Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation.


Mandi Cantor and Moira Hogan

Barry Goodrich and Kara Goodrich

Cassie Smith and Erin Regan

Allison Gloyd and Kate Keyt

Shannon Ackley and Sheri Sender

Toast This Grand Life happy hour

mon-fri 3-6pm

Scottsdale Waterfront 480.751.2200


Uptown December '18



A NEW TWIST Twisted Grove transforms into The Collins


Last summer, fourth generation restaurateur Christopher Collins, whose father is Wally Collins of the popular Wally’s Pub ‘n Grill, opened Twisted Grove Parlor + Bar in the Biltmore Plaza Shopping Center. Collins brought the concept, a spinoff of the Twisted Grove restaurant already operating in Scottsdale, to the area as a way of getting back to his roots, quite literally. “I was born and raised in Arcadia. In fact, I used to skateboard in the very parking lot where I opened Twisted Grove Arcadia,” Collins says. “My vision was to become a part of the neighborhood, and after a year, we decided to reimagine this Twisted Grove as something unique, something all its own.” Enter The Collins Small Batch Kitchen. The all-new look at The Collins Small Batch Kitchen has fresh, bold yellow shade canopies and verdant landscaping, including several large Swan Hill olive trees added to the outdoor dining patios overlooking 32nd Street. Stepping inside, guests are enveloped in plush, Parisian bistro-style decor, including a retro-modern toile wallpaper,


Uptown December '18

bold “Fjord blue” bar and dining room chairs, plus soft yellow and creamy white accents that complement the existing red brick and black-colored booths. “Adding to the intimate appeal, the central dining room booths now feature cozy captain’s chair seating and window pane-like patterned, frosted glass dividers, allowing each table to feel like they have the section to themselves,” Collins says. The menu features several favorite dishes from across all of the Common Ground Culinary restaurants, including the popular charred Brussels sprouts, Wonder Salad and the Arcadia Club, among others. It also features an ever-changing menu of daily specials, sometimes up to eight a night. “Offered in limited quantities, these specials will be dreamt up daily with whatever’s fresh, exciting with no restrictions on the style or type of cuisine,” Collins explains. As with Twisted Grove, which is still open in Scottsdale, The Collins offers both a can’t-miss weekend brunch and a daily Social Hour. Brunch includes everything from avocado toast and oatmeal to Croque Madame and French toast. Beyond traditional mimosas and bloody marys, the brunch cocktail menu has beer-infused mimosas using Four Peaks Sunbru, John Dalys (boozy versions of Arnold Palmers) and a concoction called the Twisted Julius, which has vanilla vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream and – wait for it – orange juice! During Social Hour, their version of happy hour 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily and all day Mondays, there are deep discounts on beer, wine, cocktails and eight of their most popular menu items. The Collins also has an expanded selection of unique spirits and craft beers as well as a broader wine program that Twisted Grove did, plus a revamped cocktail menu broken down into three categories: Refreshing, Direct and Mocktail (aka alcohol-free). The Collins is open Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Collins Small Batch Kitchen, 3160 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.7303533;




On Camelback

800 East Camelback Road Phoenix AZ 85014 | 480-990-7000

Profile for Richman Media Group

Uptown Magazine December 2018

Uptown Magazine December 2018