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FOOD & BEVERAGE I S S U E WWW.UPTOWNPHOENIX.COM | RICHMAN MEDIA GROUP | DECEMBER 2019

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Contents

Pulse 15 UP CLOSE The two women behind Kaleidoscope Juice

18 BEAT Christy Harper spices things up ON THE COVER: Frozen tropical fruit cocktail from Binkley’s Restaurant. Photo by Debby Wolvos, www.dw-photography.net.

Features

Maggie Norris of Whisked Away Cooking School

20 HIS STYLE Meet Daniel Webber

39 GOURMET GREATNESS

22 HER STYLE

Honoring excellence in all things epicurean

Meet Lauren Bailey

54 FASHION Glamorous gowns

4

19 BEAT

Uptown December ‘19

24 NOTICED Fashionable women spotted at events


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Contents Style 49 MUST-HAVE Seasonal glitz

50 ALLURE Winter wonderland

51 DWELL Entertaining essentials

52 SHOP Cozy capes

53 SHOP Arctic accessories

Now 29 HOT TICKET

Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins Tour

30 LOWDOWN News to know

32 DO Great events this month

33 EVENT Culinary Masters Charity Brunch and Golf Tournament

34 CALENDAR Noteworthy events

36 OUT Hidden hangouts

37 OUT Culinary-inspired spa treatments

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Uptown December ‘19


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Contents Luxe 63 INDULGE Poker made opulent

64 WHEELS 2020 Ford Explorer

65 HAUTE PROPERTY Santa Barbara Inspired 66 PLACES Culinary capitals

68 WANT Wine & wagyu

Taste 70 DRINK Celebrated selections

71 DISH

10 TELL Editor’s note

78 SEEN Who went where and what happened

New at T. Cook’s

82 NEW IN TOWN

72 CHEERS

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A die-hard drink

73 CUISINE In the kitchen with Justin Woodard of Genuine Concepts

74 FOOD FILES Perfect starts 76 DINING GUIDE Restaurants to know

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Contents

TELL

The food and beverage scene in Phoenix is clearly booming. From top chefs around the country bringing their talents here to local up-and-comers opening concepts right in the neighborhood they live in, there are tons of new restaurants in the Valley each month. I try to get around to visiting as many as I can, but the list keeps piling high as more and more amazing spots pop up. Apart from new restaurants and bars, there’s triedand-true favorites around town that have truly put the Valley on the map in the food and beverage world. From nationally acclaimed chefs from right here and restaurants that are quickly rising to fame, Phoenix is certainly a hub for all things F&B, including international cuisine, Southwestern eats, mixology masters and more. For the second year in a row, we are proud to introduce our annual food and beverage issue, highlighting all that Phoenix has to offer. Just like last year, we switched up our usual cover subject (usually a person) to showcase a delicious dish found nearby. This year, you’ll see the tropical fruit cocktail from the award-winning Binkley’s Restaurant. Binkley’s is just one of the restaurants being honored in our epicurean excellence awards (page 39), featuring 26 food and beverage greats. The rest of the magazine is filled with all things food and beverage, including spa treatments made with nourishing (and yummy!) ingredients (page 37), hidden cocktail hangouts (page 36) and a roundup of the country’s top culinary capitals (page 66). We’re also highlighting some of the season’s best luxury wine and spirits bottles (page 70) and got the scoop on an innovative meat and wine subscription service (page 68). In terms of movers and shakers, we profiled some amazing people involved in the foodie scene. The CEO of Upward Projects, Lauren Bailey, dishes on her style secrets (page 22); the owners of Kaleidoscope Juice talk branding (page 15); and meet Christy Harper, who has her own line of flavorful seasonings (page 18). While there were a ton of new restaurants and bars that opened this year, we have a special inside look at the Century Grand (page 82). I can say from personal experience, Platform 18 is even better than the buzz around it. Just don’t forget to make a reservation! Enjoy digging into all the issue has to offer! Best, Gabby Leighton Editor-in-Chief gabby@richmanmediagroup.com Find our magazine on Facebook!

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Uptown December ‘19


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Publisher Bill Richman

Vice President of Operations Stacey Richman

Editor-in-Chief Gabby Leighton

Creative Directors Lalo Reyes Anthony Cox

Contributing Writers Alison Bailin Batz, Mandy Holmes, Taryn Jeffries, Kaylor Jones, Shoshana Leon, Brittany Maroney, Neyda Melina, Jim Prueter

Photography Claudia Johnstone, Elizabeth Marie, James Sasser, Jess Simpson, Debby Wolvos

Advertising Art Director Lalo Reyes

Advertising Coordinator Stacey Richman stacey@richmanmediagroup.com

Contact Us Editorial gabby@richmanmediagroup.com

Advertising bill@richmanmediagroup.com 480.229.3122

Subscribe www.uptownphoenix.com

P: 480.229.3122 10632 N. Scottsdale Road Suite B-215 Scottsdale, AZ 85254 © 2019, RICHMAN MEDIA GROUP, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Uptown December ‘19


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Pulse

U P C L O S E / B E AT / H I S S T Y L E / H E R S T Y L E / N O T I C E D

BY BRITTANY MARONEY / PHOTOS BY CLAUDIA JOHNSTONE

FRESH SQUEEZED SUCCESS Two local women are nourishing the Valley through their products at Kaleidoscope Juice

No matter which Kaleidoscope Juice location you’re in, a light breeze drifts the scents of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the airy space, and the sound of chatter and laughter is only interrupted by the periodic whirring of blenders. Beneath the contour lies a story of two women joined together in their passion for

healing through juices, adaptogenic tonics and healthy food. The story starts with Alexander Maw, founder of Kaleidoscope Juice, who grew up in Vancouver with access to fresh, organic foods while cooking beside her father, a food and travel journalist.

Uptown December ‘19

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Pulse UP CLOSE healthful and all organic,” Maw says. “We layer ingredients which all work together for a specific purpose, such as our AntiInflammatory that includes fresh, raw turmeric root, ginger, lemon and orange. We build our juices around flavor, but really every juice has a specific purpose in mind.” Fresh-pressed juices are often known for their health benefits, such as easing the absorption of vitamins and minerals, while encouraging the absorption of nutrients.. “Cold press retains nutrients because it doesn't oxidize as quickly as centrifugal, which pulverizes the produce apart at a high speed. Because we opt for this process our juices are richer in flavor and nutrition,” Maw says.

An Organic Partnership

Together they would chop fruits and veggies, whipping up a rainbow of juices and raw, paleo recipes. This served as inspiration for Maw to begin a new journey of sharing her family recipes with Valley residents Maw launched the original concept as a food delivery service in 2012 in response to the pent-up demand for organic, cold-pressed juices in the Phoenix area. The company took off and now currently has five Valley juice shops. In addition to walk-in customers, Kaleidoscope also offers corporate juicing and catering programs, and even serves juices to the Phoenix Suns locker room. To this day, the company still abides by the same principles it was founded on. “From the start, it was important that our juices were

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Uptown December ‘19

Conceptualizing the juices came naturally to Maw, but over time she found she had to overcome knowledge gaps on everything from payroll to insurance to paying taxes, all while funding expansion. In addition, juice at Kaleidoscope is all organic with a short shelf life so mitigating waste and cold-chain logistics became a full-time job. “I was lucky to have two very special people in my life encouraging our growth,” Maw says. “I have a very supportive significant other who helps me with a lot of aspects of the business, despite being busy with his own career. The second person was Brooke.” Brooke McGregor walked into Kaleidoscope Juice six years ago as a customer, and immediately admired Kaleidoscope’s commitment to spiritual health and product transparency goals. After meeting Maw and learning the intention put into product, she joined the company behind the bar blending fresh juice. Now, over four years later, she is the co-owner and chief operating officer. “[From the very beginning] she acted like an owner by caring as much as I do about Kaleidoscope – our products, team and customers,” Maw says of McGregor. “I truly could not and would not want to do this without her. She earned ownership in this company.” It’s a true partnership for both of them. “Starting as a part-time employee, I have grown into the role of Alexandra’s business partner. It has been a humbling expansion of professional growth and I honestly would not have found my career purpose without Alexandra’s guidance,” McGregor says. Together, they continue to build the Kaleidoscope Juice brand, with two more stores, one in Central Phoenix and one in Gilbert on, the horizon. This winter, they will also be launching Illuminating Water, a new brand, in Whole Foods. Despite a packed schedule and countless sleepless nights, there is no slowing these two women down. “I love being a business owner and particularly love that we are a woman-owned business, but it still takes hard work, perseverance and is only possible with a supportive team and community,” Maw says. “Blend those things together and we are able to accomplish our mission: to nourish everyone so that they can go on to live happy, purposeful lives.”


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Pulse BEAT

SPICING THINGS UP Christy Harp of Tiny Little Chef is the master of seasonings

BY MANDY HOLMES / PHOTO BY CLAUDIA JOHNSTONE

Through her expertise on spices, Christy Harp creates flavor profiles that are simple and delicious. In addition to her roles as a professional chef and certified nutritionist, she is the founder of Tiny Little Chef Handcrafted Seasoning Blends. Before her venture into seasonings, Harp spent 20 years as a professional chef, including owning a successful catering and meal delivery service. During that time, she also started a membership-based recipe website with entries that often included her signature house, blackened, and Italian seasonings. It was Harp’s customers who inspired her to bottle and sell her homemade blended flavors, and Tiny Little Chef Handcrafted Seasoning Blends was born. “To this day, the customers are the heart and soul of my business,” Harp says. Harp’s passion for business ownership runs in her family, and she is inspired by her entrepreneurial-minded parents. “I grew up witnessing the manifestation of forward thinking entrepreneurship and success,” she says. She takes that ideal with her, nurturing her creative side to come up with new flavor blends. The Tiny Little Chef line started as five flavors and has grown to offer 19 options. “I can create a new flavor profile or recipe in my head in under a minute, usually in one try,” she says, noting her favorite part of the business is creating recipes that use the blends. The seasonings cater to all diets including keto, paleo, Whole30, and gluten-free. They are also free of sugar and dairy, with Harp putting an emphasis on high-quality ingredients. “I don’t use any fillers, preservatives or additives in my seasonings,” she says. Harp is currently in the process of expanding her line beyond seasonings to feature additional products including a collection of roasted nuts that utilize the flavorful blends. Her spices can be ordered on online (www.tinylittlechef.com or www.amazon.com) and can also be found locally at Chula Seafood and Uptown Farmers Market.

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Uptown December ‘19


Pulse

BEAT

TASTY TEACHINGS

Chef Maggie Norris of Whisked Away Cooking School celebrates a decade of business

BY SHOSHANA LEON / PHOTOS BY CLAUDIA JOHNSTONE

Growing up with a caterer as a mother, Maggie Norris was exposed to the kitchen at a young age but it wasn’t until her 20s that she discovered that the culinary world was her calling. After college, she received a cooking class as a gift, which reignited her passion and inspiring her to enroll at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Once graduated, Norris jetted to New York for an externship with the Food Network. After, she returned to Arizona where she worked at local restaurants and sold kitchen equipment. While in sales, she taught private cooking classes out of her kitchen, which eventually turned into Whisked Away Cooking School. The company is now celebrating a decade of business. “I meet so many types of people from different backgrounds, but everyone has something in common when they come here – they like food and they love to eat,” Norris says. In addition to hosting private events, Whisked Away offers monthly group classes covering topics such as brunch, seasonal cuisine and holiday dishes. Each of the monthly classes accommodates up to eight people and is built for all skill levels. “I welcome whoever wants to cook and eat,” Norris says. “I love sharing techniques and tips to help people be more efficient in the kitchen.” Whisked Away also offers classes for children and summer cooking camp. “The kids learn so much more than cooking,” Norris says. “It’s an opportunity to explore their natural ability in the kitchen, but they also learn table manners, nutrition and safety. The parents love that their kids are learning table manners and trying new foods.” When she’s not in her own kitchen, Norris teaches at the Desert Botanical Garden and regularly appears on Your Life Arizona. If you miss her segment, check out her Instagram (@whiskedawayaz), where she posts recipes and helpful how-to videos. “I’m very fortunate to do what I love,” Norris says. “I love the clink of silverware, the conversation and people enjoying the meal that they made. It is especially rewarding when someone has an ‘aha’ moment when they’ve mastered a new technique.”

Uptown December ‘19

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Pulse HIS STYLE

SOMM WITH STYLE

Daniel Webber’s fashion sense is just as balanced as the wines he suggests

BY MANDY HOLMES / PHOTO BY ELIZABETH MARIE

As a sommelier at new hot spot Maple & Ash, Biltmore-area resident Daniel Webber looks the part every night. “My career has a big influence on my style,” Webber says. “A perk of my job is they encourage self-expression.” Though wearing a suit is part his gig, the wine expert has become skilled at finding unique ways to spruce up his uniform with colorful ties and patterned shirts. Webber, who leans toward a more casual appearance when he’s off the clock, favors brands like Vans and RVCA to complete his signature look of a short-sleeve button-down and chinos, and often shops at H&M thanks to its wide variety of styles. The fashion-forward wine pro is a loyalist to his favorite colors: burgundy, brown and blue. “I can appreciate most patterns as long as they aren’t too noisy – floral is my favorite and my preferred trend is sneakers with suits,” he says. For inspiration, the sommelier turns to artists like Post Malone and Russel Brand because of their to their ability to stay true to themselves and not let public opinion steer their decisions when it comes to personal image.

How did you get in to the wine business? I spent time working with great wine at a few high-end restaurants in Scottsdale, Jackson Hole, and Flagstaff and I've been working in restaurants since I was 15 years old, so the transition was a natural one. What is your most prized possession in terms of fashion? My black two-piece suit by Alain Dupetit is a workhorse! It has a great fit, is affordable and can take a beating. Being in food and beverage means anything I wear is likely to get food or wine spilled on it and I love that I don't feel bad when my suit sees a tough service. It's functional, stylish and perfect for my line of work.

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Uptown December ‘19


Pro Tips to Make Car Repairs A Breeze An expert mechanic weighs in on how to take the stress out of your repair visit. Waiting to hear potentially expensive news about your car can be very nerve-wracking. It’s kind of like waiting on an important diagnosis at the doctor’s office: you feel powerless, with no idea what’s to come or whether you’ll even understand what you’re about to be told. Nobody likes that feeling. Though we can’t help with the doctor visit, we asked an expert — Shahe Koulloukian, owner of Mazvo Auto Car Care Center — how to make car repair a much less unpleasant ordeal. His first piece of advice? Empower yourself. “A little knowledge will go a long way,” says Shahe. “Start with skimming through your owner’s manual to learn the basics.” Here are his other pro tips for a positive car repair experience: DON’T BE INTIMIDATED. Never be afraid to ask questions, or to request an explanation in layman’s terms, or to ask for a detailed itemization of cost. If they decline or dismiss your questions, walk away! DON’T “CHASE THE PRICE.” Bargains can be enticing. But when it comes to the safety and function of your car, the quality and value of parts and service are much more important than the lowest price point. UNDERSTAND BASIC BILLING. Simply put, the repair shop has a set hourly labor rate that is matched to billable labor hours based on the automotive industry’s labor guide. Your first line of defense, advises Shahe, is this: “Ask for an itemized estimate of how much for parts and how much for labor. This will help you understand what you’re actually paying for, and gauge what makes sense and what doesn’t.” BE SPECIFIC. With decades of experience as the owner of Mazvo under his belt, Shahe says that vagueness is something he hears a lot – but it hurts, not helps, the customer experience. “The more you share as the car owner the less it will cost you,” he says. If you bypass the “I’m not sure” and go right to properly and honestly sharing the details, the repair shop will go right to the source and help diagnose the problem quicker and cheaper than chasing their tails and charging you for it. Take notes of when your car acts up – details like only going uphill, or only while braking. AUDIT THE REPAIR FACILITY. Shahe has no problem being transparent with his clients about the training and qualifications of Mazvo’s service technicians – and every reputable shop should be such an open book. He suggests asking if you’re able to talk directly to the owner if needed, and how long the technicians have worked there. “If they have 4 or 5 employees but the longest employee has been there a year or less for a shop that’s been operating over 10 years, it’s a big clue that something is not right,” he says.

LOYALTY IS KEY. Once you find a mechanic you can build a trusted relationship with, it’s important to keep coming back – not hopping from shop to shop chasing a discount. When you stick with one repair facility, they’ll have all the important details of your vehicle’s maintenance and repair history. Building a relationship with your auto shop through honest and open dialogue is critical to a positive experience. Since opening his business in 1996, Shahe has built Mazvo’s impeccable reputation on these exact principles – a willingness to be transparent about its practices and credentials, and a commitment to empowering customers with knowledge. Any auto repair shop worth its salt should do the same, he says. And if it doesn’t? Drive right on past.

Mazvo Auto Car Care Center / 4610 North 7th Street, Phoenix / 602.248.8711 or www.mazvo.com


Pulse HER STYLE

CHIC CEO

Lauren Bailey’s edgy style is reflected in her restaurants

BY MANDY HOLMES / PHOTO BY ELIZABETH MARIE

Whether she’s out on the town or shaping the Valley’s food scene with restaurants like Postino, Joyride Taco House, and Windsor, restaurateur Lauren Bailey rocks an edgy style that mirrors her recognizable brand. As the CEO and co-founder of locally based restaurant group Upward Projects, Bailey focuses on strategy, conceptualization and development for 13 restaurants from over five brands in three states. “I am typically going from the office to a job site to an airplane, so my style has to reflect and be flexible with those different settings,” she says. A shoe lover at heart, you can often find the 5-foot-10-inch red head sporting her favorite Stuart Weitzman boots or unique heels for any occasion. “I love A.L.C, Rick Owens, Alexander McQueen, Chloe, Theory, and vintage anything,” Bailey says of her go-to brands. The thrill of shopping for a bargain is not lost on this busy mom. Although she believes in investing in basic pieces that are easily interchangeable, Bailey also loves to hunt for a great deal at local favorite, Last Chance.

What is your must-have fashion item? A gray handbag that is versatile, big enough to hold my laptop and is well made so it can withstand my travels. Right now I am carrying the Celine Luggage Bag. It’s pretty awesome! How does your career influence your style? I have an art degree and my industry is very visual so it’s important to me that my personal style is relatable to our brand. I feel like I perform better when I am confident in my style choices for the day and they reflect the things I am interested in and care about. If you could trade closets with anyone who would it be? Julia Buckingham from Buckingham Interior Design. I love how she combines the most unexpected things and how she mixes new and old together for something so unique. Her style is so reflective of her amazing, infectious energy!

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Uptown December ‘19


THE FAIRY GODMOTHER OF FASHION AND BOOB WHISPERER

S

Scylvia-Elvira Danese of Danese Creations

cylvia-Elvira Danese, owner of Danese Creations, has been in business since 1971. Through her gift of custom designing, men and women can get all their custom designing, tailoring, alterations, bridal wear and all accessories, fabric, jewelry and the best fitting bra. “I’m a 3rd generation Custom Designer/Tailor in my family, I follow My Mother Maria and Grandmother Chapita,” said Danese. “My designs have made it to the Emmys, The Country Music Awards, the Oscars, the White House, The Oprah show, I’ve also been featured on First Edition, total Divas, all the local TV channels. It’s been an amazing ride for these last 48 years!” While Danese is proud of the accolades and the high profile clients that have graced her designs, some of her fondest memories are the ones that have changed the lives of others. “I saved a brides wedding day by making a beautiful, custom

wedding gown from scratch, on the day of the wedding, in 2 hours and 50 minutes, that is how I got dubbed “the Fairy Godmother Of Fashion”, she explains. “I’m also called “The Boob Whisperer” for the expert bra fittings that I do. Your boobs can either make you or break you. If they look good, you look good and feel good, sexy, young, (even if you’re old) thin, (even if you’re heavy), and your clothes fit well.” Danese is committed to helping every man or woman find their perfect fit, in addition women can get a free bra fitting. Clients need to set an appointment with her shop, and with zero obligations to purchase bras from her. “Most women just don’t know what a bra is supposed to do, how a bra is supposed to fit, how a bra has been designed, or what bra size is right for them. Industry estimates are that anywhere from 70 to 80 perfect of women are wearing the wrong size bra, although in my opinion, informed by more than 48

years of experience, it’s more like 90 percent. And there’s been no reliable source for women to go to and find out the truth about bras, bra measuring and bra sizing, until now.” If clients are not in the market for custom designing, you will find original Danese Creations designs, ready-to-wear one of a kind bridal gowns, mother of the bride or groom gowns, evening gowns, cocktail dresses, skirts, blouses, and more. Danese Creations prides themselves on being able to make custom garments from a picture or a drawing or an idea and she can do this all without requiring the client to be local. Above all, Danese has one goal for her shop “To do the impossible to get to solve all the sewing problems that come my way. My motto that I got from my Father Giacomo Danese is “Nothing is Impossible, Difficult but not Impossible”, she explains. “We never say no, it’s always yes we can, just say when!”

Contact Danese Creations at 602.955.1313 or www.danesecreations.com, 3902 E Indian School Rd #3, Phoenix, AZ 85018


Pulse NOTICED

NIGHT OF GOLD

HonorHealth Foundation celebrated the golden anniversary of this gala at Arizona Biltmore, with proceeds benefitting Desert Mission’s community programs BY ELIZABETH MARIE

Nicole Maas and Antonya Williams

Netta Shaw and Loralee Langkilde

Jennifer Hazelton and Lynn Moreno

Dr. Amy Axberg

Karen Dewitt and Tiffany Dewitt

Keri Fate and Tina Bhakta

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Uptown December ‘19


Pulse NOTICED

APPLAUSE! GALA

The Phoenix Theatre Company celebrated 100 years of service to the community with cocktails, dinner, dancing, and a show BY JESS SIMPSON

Sarah Suggs and Ellen Uhl

Jennifer Kush and Wendy Valenzuela

Dr. Stacie Stephenson

Wendy Beninato

Kristina Read

Molly Sodja and Char Hubble

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Uptown December ‘19


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Now

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

BY GABBY LEIGHTON

After a six-year hiatus, it’s like the Jonas Brothers never left the music scene at all. Back better than ever, real-life brothers and former Disney stars Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas recently released their highly anticipated comeback album, Happiness Begins, which is the fifth album from the band. The Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum powerhouse trio, with over 20 million albums sold worldwide, is currently on tour and will land in Phoenix to perform new hits, such as Cool and Sucker, at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Dec. 10. Prices vary. www.livenation.com.

Uptown December ‘19

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Now LOWDOWN

TROPICAL CHEER

Bitter & Twisted has temporarily been transformed into an islandstyle hideaway for the holiday season, complete with festive Tiki decorations. Called Sippin’ Santa, the pop-up will be in place through Dec. 28, serving a new menu of colorful Tiki concoctions, such as the Kris Kringle Colada and the four-person Jingle Bowl, along with a pared down version of the original cocktail menu. Collectable themed items, like barware and Tiki mugs, are also available for purchase. Additionally, 10% of all retail sales during the pop-up will be donated to the charity Action Against Hunger. www.bitterandtwistedaz.com.

BREW WITH A NEW ‘DO

Valley-based Huss Brewing Co. recently launched a new design for its iconic Papago Orange Blossom Ale. While the brew’s flavor and recipe, featuring refreshing citrus and vanilla-infused flavors, stayed the same, the can and packaging for the 15-year-old beer received a refresh. The updated look includes the same classic white and orange color scheme, with modern purple accents and Huss’ Arizonashaped logo. www.hussbrewing.com.

MOBILITY MADE EASY

StretchLab opened a third location in Arizona last month, found in the Arcadia neighborhood. Created in 2015, the boutique health and wellness franchise’s “Flexologists” provide guidance to identify tightness and imbalances in the body through stretching. The goal of class is to increase mobility and flexibility, helping to reduce pain, decrease muscle aches, and improve posture. The studio offers 25- and 50-minute one-onone assisted stretches as well as 50-minute small group stretch classes. www.stretchlab.com.

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Uptown December ‘19


HOLIDAY IN THE SUN

This month, Uptown Plaza will be the go-to place for holiday fun in the sun. For the first three Saturdays in December (Dec. 7, 14 and 21) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Central Phoenix shopping plaza will welcome guests for pictures with Santa in the courtyard. The family-friendly event will also have hot cocoa and apple cider for sipping, along with holiday-themed crafts and giant yard games. www.uptownplazaphx.com.

ART WITH PURPOSE

A new exhibit opened last month at monOrchid gallery downtown. Titled The Velvet Hammer, the art will be on display through Feb. 7. Created by local artist Judith Ann Miller, the work in this show features vintage advertisements and stock photos, remnants of her youth, references to events in the ’50s and ’60s, and social media commentary. Her exhibit focuses on the ambiguities and assumptions in life, questioning how we conform and twist ourselves to others expectations, or choose to defy them. www.monorchid.com.

ON-THE-GO GRUB

Michael Stone, owner of Taco Guild, recently founded SVC Mobile Hospitality with the acquisition of popular Phoenix food truck Rockabelly. Known for its wide range of local and global flavors as well as fun tacos, Rockabelly will still opperate under the same name, with Jordan Murray, who started the food truck seven years ago, as the creative food genius. The food truck will still serve its fan-favorites, but now expand to accommodate more corporate, private and wedding catering. www.rockabellytruck.com. Uptown December ‘19

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Now DO

GREAT EVENTS THIS MONTH BY MANDY HOLMES

PHOTO BY HAUTE PHOTOGRAPHY

White Christmas Dec. 7, Arizona Biltmore Resort Ryan House’s signature holiday fundraiser, White Christmas Gala is an intimate, joyous evening celebrating Ryan House and an homage to the musical White Christmas, which was written by Irving Berlin poolside at the Arizona Biltmore. The magical event will feature an elegant dinner and festive dancing to kick off the holiday season. Funds raised will support the mission of Ryan House, which is to care for children with unique life-limiting or end-of-life journeys. The evening will be capped off with live music from The Hamptons band and a snowfall on the terrace. 6:30 p.m. $500. www.ryanhouse.org. The Burgundy Ball Dec. 7, Omni Scottsdale Montelucia Resort Hosted by Cortney’s Place, a local nonprofit that provides a meaningful community-based program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will bring Morocco to the Valley at The Burgundry Ball. Guests can expect a fabulous Moroccan-themed evening that will include a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, and dancing to live music by the New Sensations band. Ladies are asked to wear colorful Moroccan fashions and men are requested to wear black or burgundy ties. 6 p.m. $350. www.cortneysplace.org. ACI Holiday Luncheon Dec. 9, Phoenix Art Museum As one of Phoenix’s premier holiday events, The Arizona Costume Institute’s annual luncheon will feature Tonne Goodman, former Vogue fashion editor, as this year’s guest speaker. Attendees will enjoy an elegant afternoon that will begin with a Champagne reception and raffle, followed by lunch, a style presentation and a book signing. The Arizona Costume Institute supports the Fashion Design Department of the Phoenix Art Museum and promotes fashion appreciation and design. 11 a.m. $250. www.arizonacostumeinstitute.org. Ignite Hope Dec. 14, Phoenix Children’s Hospital This annual event combines a holiday candlelight walk to show support for families coping with illnesses or injuries during the holiday season and a program showcasing stories of hope at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The family-friendly festival will include face painting, superhero appearances, music and caroling, refreshments and an appearance from Santa himself. Proceeds raised will benefit the Hope Fund, which is the hospital’s area of greatest need, funding everything from research to daily maintenance. 3 p.m. $40. wwwpchignitehope.com. BOV Fashion Show Dec. 14, JW Marriot Camelback Inn The Board of Visitors (BOV) invites you to its annual Fashion Show Luncheon, which will highlight the 2020 Flower Girls as a herald to the holiday season. The festive luncheon will bring together family and friends who support the BOV and its mission of serving the healthcare needs of the greater Phoenix community. A fashion presentation by Dillard’s and the famous BOV raffle, featuring trips to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe as well as a Louis Vuitton handbag, will be highlights at the daytime fundraiser. 10 a.m. $150. www.boardofvisitors.org. Red Brunch Dec. 14, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown At the eighth annual RED Brunch Gala, guests will be inspired to envision a world free of HIV. Resources raised at this year’s event will support 13 partner agencies that provide critical HIV services, testing, and prevention initiatives throughout Arizona. The brunch will feature a silent auction full of Arizona experiences and a Golden Paddle raffle for a chance to win a luxurious getaway. There will also be a Chandon ice luge and Belvedere bloody mary bar, as well as a delicious brunch and moving performances. 10 a.m. $100. www.redbrunch.org.

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Uptown December ‘19


Now

EVENT

TEEING OFF FOR ARIZONA’S FOSTER YOUTH Valley chefs golf and cook with children to support culinary education

BY SHOSHANA LEON / PHOTO BY AARON MARKUS

Arizona foster children will have the unique opportunity to golf and cook with local chefs at the Culinary Masters Charity Brunch and Golf Tournament, which benefits the Scott Foundation’s culinary arts program for Arizona’s foster youth. Along with golf and brunch, which will take place at Arizona Biltmore Golf Club on Dec. 7, there will be a chance to win a prize at every hole, including golf foursomes, vacation packages, sports memorabilia, gift cards and more. “Chefs are teaming up with our kids to golf and then prepare, plate and serve brunch to everyone participating in the event. This will be a first for our Scott Foundation kids as they have never golfed before,” says Colleen Walski, who founded the Scott Foundation as a tribute to her son Scott who passed away at age 27. “It will be great to see our chefs and kids take time to play and have one-on-one time together. It's not just the kids that benefit from their time with the chefs. Spending time with these kids to learn more about their stories and plans is inspiring and uplifting for all.” The mission of the Scott Foundation is to help Arizona’s foster youth realize their potential and prepare them for the future. Since its inception in 2007, the Scott Foundation has impacted more than 6,000 Arizona foster children. The Scott Foundation provides valuable life skills to these children and exposes them to several career fields, including culinary arts where they get hands-on experience in restaurant kitchens and at events. Chef Brett Vibber of Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine in Cave Creek has taken a leadership role in the Scott Foundation’s culinary arts program. He is one of several chefs that will be participating in the charity

brunch and golf tournament. Other chefs participating include Tamara Stanger of Cotton and Copper, Cory Oppold of Atlas Bistro and Flip Isard of Frites Street. “Under the caring guidance of chef Vibber, these kids have not only developed life skills in the kitchen, but found a caring community,” Walski says. “What began as a restaurant tour more than two years ago quickly turned into shared passion and family. Working side by side with chefs and local farmers, our youth learn about where food comes from and what balanced nutrition looks like, as well as how to prepare specific dishes and serve them.”

IF YOU GO… What: Culinary Masters Charity Brunch and Golf Tournament When: Dec. 7, 8 a.m. Where: Arizona Biltmore Golf Club, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix Tickets: $150 Information: www. scott-foundation.org.

Uptown December ‘19

33


Now CALENDAR

PHOESTIVUS

Dec. 12 & 19, Phoenix Public Market Inspired by Weihnachtsmarkt, the famous Germany Christmas markets, and Festivus from Seinfeld, Phoestivus will celebrate 10 years of its annual holiday markets this year. The markets will raise money for the Phoenix Public Market, a program of Community Food Connections. Both weekends will feature more than 200 local vendors selling handcrafted gifts and locally grown, produced and prepared foods. Festivities will also include baby goats disguised as reindeer, a hipster Santa and Phoestivus Ale brewed by Phoenix Ale Bewery. 5-10 p.m. Free. www.phoestivus.com.

BY BRITTANY MARONEY

Zoolights Through Jan. 19, Phoenix Zoo One of the Valley’s most beloved tradition returned late last month, as the Phoenix Zoo lights up the night in this year’s Zoolights! See millions of lights, hundreds of sparkling displays and experience fun-filled activities all amid the backdrop of the Phoenix Zoo. Great for the whole family and a wonderful way to get in the holiday spirit. 5:30 -10:30 p.m. $14.95. www.phoenixzoo.org. Christmas in the Rainforest, at Butterfly Wonderland Through Dec. 28, Butterfly Wonderland Celebrate in a world of wonder and beauty, at Scottsdale’s own

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Uptown December ‘19

11th Annual Festival of Trees Dec. 7, Arizona Opera Join the Greater Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for the 11th annual Festival of Trees. It will be an evening to remember with complimentary hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, holiday music, wreath and menorah raffle prizes, silent auction items, a live tree auction, and a grand prize travel tree that will be raffled off. Proceeds from the event will benefit several local nonprofit organizations. 7-10 p.m. $75. www.phoenixgaychamber.org.

Butterfly Wonderland. Christmas in the Rainforest combines festive holiday elements, with thousands of colorful butterflies, from around the world in the largest glass conservatory in the country. Don’t miss this delightful romp through a rainforest in the heart of the desert. 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. $24.95. www. butterflywonderland.com. Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker Dec. 5, Comerica Theatre Nothing says Christmas like the classic tale of The Nutcracker. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, as you step into a simpler time filled with sugar plums and holiday magic. With world-class performers, dazzling costumes,

stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, it’s a Christmas extravaganza that’s not to be missed. 7 p.m. Prices vary. www. comericatheatre.com. Home Alone, in Concert Dec. 6, The Phoenix Symphony Everyone loves the epic blockbuster that is Home Alone. Join Kevin and his family in a whole new way, projected on the big screen above the Phoenix orchestra. John Williams' enthralling score packs an extra punch and everyone’s favorite guest conductor, Stuart Chafetz, is at the reigns of this unique production. Family-friendly and open to everyone ages 5 and up. Showtimes at 2:30 and 7 p.m. Starting at $30. www.phoenixsymphony.org.

35th Annual F.Q. Story Historic Home Tour and Fair Dec. 7-8, 11th Avenue and Portland Central Phoenix It’s an evening not to be missed as you stroll through the historic F.Q. Story neighborhood and take in the sights and sounds of Central Phoenix, from 11th Avenue to Portland. The evening home tour (Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m.) will feature luminaria-lit sidewalks, festively decorated neighborhoods, along with a food truck, fire pits and a cozy seating area. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Online in advance, $15; day-of, $20. www.fqstory.org. Phoenix Festival of the Arts Dec. 13-15, Margaret T. Hance Park The Phoenix art scene will once again come alive at this annual festival. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, performances by comedians, art demonstrations, and The Phoenix Mural Project; a hands-on community art project organized by acclaimed local muralist, Hugo Medina. There will also be free activities for the entire family including face painting, a teen art show and sale, and lots of fun with Phoenix Youth Circus Arts. Friday, noon-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. www. phoenixfestivalofthearts.org.


Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade Dec. 14, Tempe Beach Park It’s the most amazing light show you have other seen… all on water. Take part in this amazing holiday tradition at Tempe Town Lake, as over 50 festively decorated boats will float on the lake. Attendees can enjoy food from on-site food trucks, get their holiday shopping in at the holiday market, and enjoy a glass of beer, all while watching live entertainment on the main stage. The festivities will begin at 4 p.m. and the parade will kick off at 7 p.m. Fireworks will proceed the parade conclusion. Free. www.downtowntempe.com. Disney Junior Holiday Party Dec. 15, Comerica Theatre Who has more holiday spirit than fan-favorite, friendly Mickey Mouse? The answer is no one! Get ready to sing, dance and clap to all of your favorite holiday classics, alongside your favorite Disney friends, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, the Puppy Dog Pals, Vampirina and more! There may even be a very special guest, ready to spread holiday cheer. Hint: its Santa of course! 3 p.m. $42-$52. www.comericatheatre.com. Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase Dec. 18, Talking Stick Resort Arena Phoenix was recently announced as the host city for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase and there is no place better to have a ball this holiday season. This month, St. Mary’s College will face Arizona State University on the court at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Basketball fans can take in all the sights of the Jerry Colangelo Classic and Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase, which continues to grow to celebrate the game outside of the museum walls. Prices vary. www.ticketmaster.com. Cirque Dreams Holidaze Dec. 20-22, Comerica Theatre This live holiday spectacular will truly electrify the holiday season. Don’t miss unforgettable performances, spectacular aerobic performances, and stunning pageantry in this critically-acclaimed Broadway musical that offers a Cirque flair. It’s the ultimate holiday gift for the entire family. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. www.comericatheatre.com. A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage Dec. 26, Comerica Theatre Everyone’s favorite holiday classic

FIESTA BOWL PARADE

Dec. 28, Central Phoenix As you start planning your gameday experience, don’t forget to begin the festivities early by attending the Fiesta Bowl Fan Fest Pregame Party and the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade. Beginning at 9 a.m. in 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. 9 a.m. Entrance to the parade is free. Playstation Fiesta Bowl (State Farm Stadium) ticket prices vary. www.fiestabowl.org.

will come to life in the all-new touring production of A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus, in addition to the whole Peanut’s gang as they produce their own Christmas play and learn what the holiday season is truly about. It’s a classic romp into one of America’s favorite classic stories. 4 p.m. Prices vary. www. comericatheatre.com. Cheez-It Bowl Dec. 27, Chase Field For over 30 years, fans have converged in Phoenix to watch the pigskin fly between Big-12 and Pac-12 teams. This match-up, formerly known as the Cactus Bowl, is a post-Christmas treat for football fans across the country.

Nationally televised, sports lovers can tune in and watch as two great teams battle it out in the Valley of the Sun, or head downtown to watch it live. 7 p.m. Prices vary. www.fiestabowl.org. New Year’s Eve Celebration Dec. 31, Phoenix Symphony Hall End the year with a bang! This magical evening will begin with a cocktail reception and include music and dancing to the famous Strauss waltz, followed by a threecourse dinner. The highlight of the evening will be the once-in-alifetime opportunity to dance into the New Year to the music of the full Phoenix Symphony orchestra. A Champagne toast, delectable desserts and many other surprises

will delight guests throughout the evening. 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $500. www.phoenixsymphony.org. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto Jan. 3-5, The Phoenix Symphony Classic composer Beethoven created only a single Violin Concerto but it’s one that continues to be celebrated all over the world. His vision will come alive on the stage of The Phoenix Symphony. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto will feature a performance from Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich, named 2018 “Instrumentalist of the Year” by Musical America. This presentation of one of the world's most classic musical pieces is a performance not to be missed. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. www.phoenixsymphony.org.

Uptown December ‘19

35


Now OUT

HIDDEN HANGOUTS Secret speakeasy-style bars and restaurants

Can you keep a secret? Head to these bars – that is, if you can find them – for past decade-inspired cocktails and alluring ambiance.

BY MANDY HOLMES

The Onyx Basement Lounge Surrounded by the art centric Roosevelt Row Arts District, Onyx is one of Downtown Phoenix’s eclectic venues located 20 feet below ground in the 100-year-old basement of popular wine bar and restaurant, Rott n’ Grapes. The modern yet cozy space features plush furniture and a dark ambiance for customers wishing to get comfortable while sipping swanky cocktails. The dress code is classy casual, but it’s always a good idea to dress to impress at Onyx. www.rottngrapes.com. Honor Amongst Thieves Located above Phoenix's Stock and Stable restaurant, the mysterious Honor Amongst Thieves is taking classic cocktails to new heights with the addition of unique flavors such as absinthe and fire water. Accessed by a winding staircase through the restaurant or separately behind it, visitors are encouraged to grab a seat at the rich wood bar or relax on a velvet couch to soak in the ambience. www. honoraz.com. Valley Bar Under a glowing red sign, you’ll find the entrance to Valley Bar. Once inside, a staircase takes you underground wherein lies the Rose Room, named after Arizona’s first female governor, Rose Mofford. The dark room with high top tables and a portrait of Mofford pays homage to the tough but well-mannered politician. Above the bar, floating metal twirls in front of light bulbs, casting shadows and silhouettes on the wall serving as the perfect backdrop to sip the bar’s signature drink, The Rose. www. valleybarphx.com. Melindas Alley Keep an eye out for the red bulb between Adams and Monroe streets off of Central Avenue. If that’s not enough direction, go to the northwest corner of the Renaissance Hotel and look for a set of double doors that are highlighted by a giant mural. Technically, Melinda’s Alley, which really feels like an underground alley, is located in the basement of The Renaissance Hotel and offers four rotating cocktails weekly plus the classic Manhattan. www.renaissance-hotels.marriott.com. Sanctum at The Grand Tucked away in the rear of the second floor of The Grand coffee shop and bistro you will find Sanctum, a small, intimate, dark room full of antique looking fixtures and gin centric drinks. The Roosevelt District spot provides a place to escape the hustle and bustle of life with a menu that is creative in a nod to the classic speakeasies that were. www.thegrandaz.com.

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Uptown December ‘19


Now

OUT

FARM TO SPA

Get pampered with culinary-inspired treatments

Food and drinks are no longer just for consuming. Valley spas are serving up face and body treatments utilizing edible ingredients that are both tasty and beneficial.

BY MANDY HOLMES

Super fruit Spa Biltmore at Arizona Biltmore offers the Organic Super Fruit Hydration Wrap, which features an antioxidant-rich coconut scrub that exfoliates the skin while preparing it for a mango enzyme mask. The powerful super fruit infuses the body with vitamins and minerals while creating a smoothing and refreshing effect on the skin. A custom massage helps to relax the mind while you inhale the exotic aromas. The finishing touch is a coconut body cream with collagen-boosting plant stem cells that will hydrate and refresh the skin. $240. www.arizonabiltmore.com. Wine To thoroughly enjoy the benefits of wine, don't just drink the juice — wrap your body in the antioxidant-rich Wine Down Wrap ($130) at Tocaloma Spa at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio. The super antioxidant resveratrol serum wrap is made of Texas grapes and green tea extract, helping to detox from the inside out. The hydrating application of agave oil and silky body milk will restore a healthy glow and deliver a seriously soothing detox rejuvenation. www.tapatiocliffshilton.com. Milk and Honey The Coconut Milk and Honey Wrap at Alvadora Spa at Royal Palms Resort and Spa combines coconut milk and local honey in a sweet-subtly spiced aromatic blend of essential oils. The treatment nourishes the skin with a heated body wrap containing antioxidants, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids. The Mediterranean-inspired retreat also has an in-house herbalist who can customize treatments. $175. www.royalpalmshotel.com. Mandarin Orange and Cranberry Give your skin a burst of fruit with the Camelback Signature Facial at The Spa at Camelback Inn featuring a refreshing blend of grapefruit, mandarin orange, cranberry and pomegranate. Botanical enzymes get rid of dead skin cells and help to moisturize and tighten your skin while antioxidants sooth and protect from environmental toxins. Hot stones are massaged into the hands and feet to further enhance the rejuvenating treatment. $175 www.marriot.com Coconut Silky smooth organic coconut oil is mixed with stimulating, cleansing sea salt in the Coconut Sumatra Body Ritual at The Sanctuary Camelback Resort and Spa. This intoxicating experience evokes the feeling of the tropics using moisturizing coconut extracts. Invigorating to the senses, skin maintains a healthy glow thanks to the full body exfoliation and relaxing coconut- and vanilla-scented Swedish-style massage. $269-$279. www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com.

Uptown December ‘19

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YEAR-ROUND SALES & SERVICE

» Restoration system products » Apparel and merchandise » Barrett-Jackson Endorsed Insurance » Vehicle sales » Vehicle purchasing » Repair and maintenance services » Detailing and reconditioning services

B OTH AVAILAB LE FO R IM M ED IATE PU R C HA S E

2016 CHEVROLET CAMARO YENKO

1956 FORD F-100 BIG-WINDOW CUSTOM PICKUP

The Barrett-Jackson Collection Showroom is the ultimate venue to sell, consign or purchase quality collector cars throughout the year. With a Service Department dedicated to collector and premium vehicles, this automotive destination also features restoration system products, official apparel, and Barrett-Jackson Endorsed Insurance. 480.306.8210 | BarrettJackson.com/Showroom 3020 North Scottsdale Road | Scottsdale, AZ 85251


Artistic

PHOTO BY DEBBY WOLVOS

EXCELLENCE

BINKLEY’S RESTAURANT While Binkley’s Restaurant does serve dinner (and boy, does it wow!), an evening at this Central Phoenix legend – in its 16th year – is much more than just food on a plate. Chef Kevin Binkley invites diners into what he calls an extension of his own home for a memorable coursed dining experience, taking guests on a culinary tour through the restaurant, with stops and bites along the way before finishing the evening in the main dining room. The innovative tasting menu changes weekly, with anywhere from 18 to 26 courses enjoyed over a period of around three (or more) hours. Though each menu is diverse in its offerings, spotlighted here is a frozen tropical fruit cocktail, one example of the type of seasonally driven dishes served. The restaurant sources ingredients locally from the adjacent Amy Binkley’s garden as well as McClendon’s Select and Crow’s Dairy. Binkley’s capacity is kept to just 20 people for dinner every Wednesday through Saturday, beginning at $200 per person. www.binkleysrestaurant.com.

Honoring excellence in all things epicurean

G

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BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ

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PHOTO BY DEBBY WOLVOS

For the second year in a row, we are proud to shine a light on the innovation and ingenuity that fuels the food and beverage industry across the Valley. With flair and finesse, local hot spots are disrupting the status quo when it comes to wining and dining. Toasting 2019 in the most delicious of ways, here are our 26 food and beverage honorees. ATLAS BISTRO Lauded chef Cory Oppold uses certified organic food from local purveyors such as McClendon’s Select and Twisted Infusions to create art on a plate at Atlas Bistro, a hidden gem tucked next to AZ Wine Company in South Scottsdale. The three-course tasting menu, offered Wednesday to Saturday, changes seasonally and starts at $65 per person, with a dessert or cheese course for an additional charge. You’ll find dishes such as beet pastrami (pictured here) with red beets, mustard custard, caraway seed crackers, pickled pearl onions, sour cream, and dill fronds. A bonus: Atlas is BYOB, so you can bring your own bottle of wine or buy one at AZ Wine before starting your culinary adventure. www.atlasbistrobyob.com. Uptown December ‘19

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Top

PHOTO BY MIKE MERTZ

CHEFS

CHARLES WILEY In 2001, Wiley opened Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa as executive chef and director of food and beverage. He then launched ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho in 2005. Finally, the man the James Beard Foundation named one of the best hotel chefs in America opened Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows in 2017. Today, he oversees all food and beverage operations for Westroc Hospitality, which developed and manages the three resorts. And while the world is quickly getting to know him from appearances on everything from the Today show and Live with Regis and Kelly to features in Bon Appetit and Wine Spectator, he remains as accessible and active in his local kitchens as ever, notably hosting his own supper club at Hearth ’61 one Sunday of each month. www.mountainshadows.com.

MATT CARTER An award-winning chef and concept king, Carter is the culinary mastermind behind Zinc Bistro, The Mission and Fat Ox. He also co-founded The House Brasserie. A Scottsdale native who trained in France, Carter’s goal has been to put the Valley on the culinary map since 1992 when he took his first professional cooking position locally under chef Christopher Gross. He also worked with Michael DeMaria, who was instrumental in helping Carter open Zinc Bistro in 2001. The next 18 years would be a whirlwind of wildly different menus and concepts. And though the menus at Zinc, The Mission and Fat Ox – French, Latin and Italian, respectively – are quite different, Carter’s approach of using simple, locally sourced ingredients that are expertly prepared and artistically plated at each has helped him achieve his original dream. www.chefmattcarter.com.

SAMANTHA SANZ This year was a big one for Sanz, chef de cuisine at Talavera at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, as she was nominated for the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, one of the culinary world’s most prestigious honors. Sanz’s passion for food began as a child in her native Mexico, where she would run through the kitchen of her family’s restaurant, tasting along the way. After culinary school, she worked her way up with positions at both Elements and Virtu. In 2015, at only 27 years old, Sanz took the helm at Talavera with the aim of bringing contemporary Spanish flavors to the masses. Her menus, featuring paella, dry-aged steak, Iberian ham, and a flavorful selection of tapas, are quickly becoming the stuff of legend. www.talaverarestaurant.com.

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Local LOVE

FNB FnB executive chef and co-owner Charleen Badman, the 2019 James Beard Best Chef Award winner for the Southwest, is a proud member of the Arizona Herb Association, nicknamed the Herbies, and an avid gardener. It should come as no surprise then that she and her team shine when it comes to showcasing locally grown herbs, spices and vegetables, some of which Badman grows in her own garden. Globally inspired flavors, usually from Asia and India, are infused into FnB’s homegrown ingredients – often solely vegetables – resulting in a menu that’s worldly and hyperlocal all at once. And one that Food & Wine magazine called “the epicenter of creative Arizona cuisine.” www.fnbrestaurant.com. PHOTO BY JILL RICHARDSON

PHOTO BY GIO OSSO

CARTWRIGHT’S MODERN CUISINE When chef Brett Vibber bought Cartwright’s in 2017, he did so with the mission of honoring the legacy of the American West by weaving its authentic flavors into every element of his menu. In the years since, he has taken the concept of authenticity to another level, namely by foraging for indigenous foods across Arizona and showcasing them on his menu. His foraging team works weekly to harvest and preserve more than a dozen ingredients that may come as a surprise to guests, including saguaro fruit, mesquite pods, cholla buds, banana yucca, and fiddlehead ferns, among others. He even offers an Arizona omakase menu starting at $95, which gives guests the chance to sample his latest foraged items as well as prime beef and wild seafood. www.cartwrightsmoderncuisine.com.

VIRTU The food crafted by Virtu’s executive chef and owner Gio Osso is inspired by all things Mediterranean – think handmade pastas, crudos and seafood, all of which he sources with care and conscientiousness. In 2013, when Osso endeavored to open the restaurant, which is tucked into Old Town Scottsdale’s charming Bespoke Inn, he did so with a vision to plan his ever-changing menu based on what local purveyors told him looked, smelled and tasted best at any given moment. And since the day Virtu opened, he has done just that by working with local and regional farmers and artisans to provide a true farm-to-fork experience. www.virtuscottsdale.com. Uptown December ‘19

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Special

OCCASION

CAFE MONARCH In 2017, Cafe Monarch in Old Town moved from its former home to a new, larger space across the street, one that includes an outdoor patio with both a dreamy fireplace and a water fountain as its centerpiece. This upgrade increased the already special ambiance so much that the restaurant was named one of the most romantic in the United States by Trip Advisor in 2018. And between the patio; the dimly lit interior; its Court of Master Sommeliers-trained servers; and delectable fixed-price, four-course tasting menus offered Tuesday to Sunday for dinner, it’s easy to see why. The restaurant is a romantic favorite for anniversaries, proposals, birthdays, and special date night. www.cafemonarch.com.

DIFFERENT POINTE OF VIEW The view is certainly different than anywhere else in Arizona at the longest consecutively-awarded AAA Four Diamond restaurant in the Valley. Perched atop North Mountain, the combination of glittering city lights and cactus-lined desert landscape is dizzyingly spectacular both day and night. As bold as the view is beautiful, executive chef Anthony DeMuro’s menu is refined yet approachable, including traditional steakhouse fare such as lobster bisque and filet mignon alongside unique entrees like Muscovy duck leg confit and butternut squash agnolotti. There is also a chef’s tasting menu that features five courses with optional wine pairings starting at $89 per person. Fair warning: This is among the top proposal venues in town, so be prepared to cheer on at least one happy couple during the experience. www.tapatiocliffshilton.com.

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GEORDIE’S AT WRIGLEY MANSION Originally designed in 1932 by Wrigley Gum’s owner William Wrigley Jr. as a 50th anniversary gift for his wife, Ada, this hillside mansion wows with its Spanish-meets-Monterey-meets-Mediterranean architecture and views of the city. Once inside, guests are treated to the iconic food of James Beard Award winner and executive chef Christopher Gross, who renovated and reopened the venue’s signature restaurant, Geordie’s, earlier this year with a refreshed look and new menu. Highlights include housemade pasta, house-smoked salmon, and Hudson Valley foie gras as well as a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list of more than 800 bottles. Whether in the ornate formal dining room or on the patio overlooking the city, families and friends flock here for year-round Sunday brunch and special holiday dining experiences, including Easter and Mother’s Day brunches as well as Christmas Eve dinner (reservations required). Insider tip: Make time before or after dinner for a drink at Jamie’s Wine Bar, adjacent to the regular bar area but with its own look and feel complete with rich woods, a fireplace and intimate couch seating. www.wrigleymansion.com.


Southwest FLAIR

RICHARDSON’S CUISINE OF NEW MEXICO Richardson’s serves a full menu inspired by the distinct smells and flavors of New Mexico. The sensory experience begins with the eyes, which marvel at the Saltillo tile, the gleaming copper bar, and the colorful Southwestern woven rugs that adorn the walls. The smell of garlic, chiles and slow-cooked pork dance around the interior as one listens to the laughter of other brunch or dinner guests in the booths nearby. Finally, the sensory experience culminates in the irresistible tastes of Richardson’s Southwestern dishes, from chipotle ribs and Schreiner’s sausages to Chimayo chicken and spicy carne adovada, all of which transport diners to Santa Fe without ever having to leave Central Phoenix. www.richardsonsnm.com.

DUST CUTTER Tucked into the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, the name of this modern-inspired urban saloon references the first drink cowboys would have postride to literally cut the flavor of dust from their mouths. Dust Cutter not only features Southwestern specialties such as hatch chile-infused corn bread and mesquite-smoked meats, but it does so while using a host of local vendors, including Hayden Flour Mills, Crow’s Dairy and Hickman’s Family Farms. In addition, a complimentary Evening Rituals program is offered Monday through Thursday at 6 p.m. wherein a guide takes guests through the making and tasting of a specialty cocktail that uses multiple indigenous Southwestern ingredients. www.marriott.com.

PHOTO BY JENELLE BONIFIELD

SIERRA BONITA GRILL This restaurant’s tagline promises “a Southwestern experience,” and it delivers on every level. Named for the first permanent cattle ranch in Arizona – Sierra Bonita Ranch in Willcox – the interior is an homage to the region, from its cowboy sculptures and Native American pottery to its rodeo- and Old West-inspired art. And while there are a bevy of delicious Mexican dishes on the menu, notably the Azteca soup, chorizo-infused SBG signature burger, and stacked enchiladas, Sierra Bonita aims give guests a full regional experience by offering dishes such as cowboy stew, which features bistro tenders, hominy, carrots, onions, chiles, and green chile mashed potatoes and Santa Cruz pasta, a decadent blend of roasted poblano cream sauce, grilled chicken, toasted pine nuts, tomatoes, salsa and panela cheese. www.sierrabonitagrill.com. Uptown December ‘19

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New in 2019

FLINT BY BALTAIRE Just opened in October, Flint’s concept is rooted in wood-fired American fare, but every dish is also accented with coastal Mediterranean and bold Middle Eastern flair. The seasonal menus are brimming with vibrant, smoky flavors and farm-fresh ingredients including shareable dips and spreads paired with house-baked pita bread, whole-roasted chicken carved tableside, and irresistible desserts such as burnt Basque cheesecake. The space itself is also a treat, featuring a stunning indoor-outdoor layout with midcentury modern furnishings and brass detailing where guests can unwind and enjoy lunch, dinner or cocktails. Bonus: Brunch and a rooftop dining area will launch in early 2020. www.flintbybaltaire.com.

PHOTO BY DEBBY WOLVOS

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Uptown December ‘19

VECINA Dotted with clever Latin twists, this modern American restaurant – named for the Spanish word for neighbor – opened in Arcadia’s former Kitchen 56 space in September. The popular patio remains but much of the former decor has been updated. The most striking addition may be a colorful mural from local artist Tato Caraveo that stretches nearly the length of a full interior wall. The kitchen is led by Cooking Channel Taco Wars champion and 2019 Arizona Taco Festival People’s Choice award-winner James Fox, who brings experience from Zinc Bistro, Southern Rail, Buck & Rider and The Mission. Fox’s menu takes a special interest in dreaming up new ways to showcase seasonal vegetables – such as broccoli with matcha-infused salsa, mangoes and spicy pepitas – and features several creative takes on tacos. www.vecinaphx.com.

HUSH PUBLIC HOUSE With only 40 seats, dimly lit Hush Public House is among the most intimate dining experiences in the Valley, and a unique one at that. Helmed by executive chef Dom Ruggiero, formerly of Chelsea’s Kitchen, FnB and Zinc Bistro, and business partner Charles Barber, the longtime bar leader at Zinc Bistro who acts as general manager and cocktail creator, Hush Public House specializes in modern American cuisine that makes use of locally sourced product as much as possible. The dinner menu features a total of just 20 options, which change regularly and range from halibut crudo and chicken liver mousse with liquor-infused cherries to smoked beef ribs with cucumber coleslaw. The drink menu has fantastic classic cocktails as well as an impressive wine selection. www.hushpublichouse.com.


Overall

PHOTO BY J MARTIN HARRIS

AMBIANCE

OCEAN 44 When Scottsdale Fashion Square approached the Mastro family about bringing a concept to the area as part of the shopping destination’s multi-million-dollar facelift, they knew they had to go big. Opened last year in the freestanding space formerly home to Harkins Camelview Theatre, Ocean 44 was built from the ground up to conjure the feeling of being seaside while being utterly seductive and dramatic – much like its sister locales, Dominick’s Steakhouse and Steak 44, but with a twist. Here, sustainable seafood takes center stage, including a raw bar that serves as a visual focal point upon entering the eatery. There are plenty of quiet nooks for intimate conversation and a lavish bar with cascading lights that provide ambiance and intrigue. All of the culinary delights are served from an elaborate glass expo kitchen, one of the many eye-catching features of the 12,000-square-foot space. www.ocean44.com.

TOCA MADERA Thanks to its captivating design, artful drinks, and modern organic Mexican cuisine, Toca Madera has made quite the impression since it opened in October. The open floor plan flows from the dining room, with its expansive skylight and towering tree centerpiece, to the kitchen to the ceviche bar to an intimate bar area in the back – all enhanced with custom woodwork, greenery, and bronze and brass details. With glowing fire tables in the lounge area and regular theatrical entertainment thanks to DJs and performance artists, the overall vibe is all things fabulous and fun, and it feels unlike anything Arizona has yet to see (the original Toca Madera is in West Hollywood). The agave spirit-focused cocktail menu is sumptuous and showy, with picture-worthy presentations that don’t skimp on quality, and organic ingredients are also used in the menu of mostly small or shareable plates. www.tocamadera.com.

MAPLE & ASH Hailing from Chicago, Maple & Ash opened this fall to quick local acclaim. The steakhouse’s space is distinctly refined with a contemporary color palette accented by timeless elements such as rich jewel-toned leathers, candelabras, and natural woods. Draped with semi-sheer and plush velvet curtains, the multiple dining rooms are centered around a celebratory atrium strung with a showstopping, custom-made chandelier. The lounge is warm and vibrant, featuring velvet seating and sleek, low-profile cocktail tables in a candle-lit atmosphere. Inspired by the smoke rising from a wood-fired grill, a swirling watercolor wallcovering is displayed behind the leather-bound bar, adding a dramatic ambiance to the space. The scent of maple and ash firewood roams the air as guests peer into the open kitchen, which is home to the 14-foot wood-burning hearth. www.mapleandash.com. Uptown December ‘19

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Unique for

PHOTO BY SHELBY MOORE

DRINKS

UNDERTOW UnderTow is a Tiki-inspired subterranean cocktail bar from the team at Barter & Shake Creative Hospitality, who also own the new Century Grand next door. The ultra-intimate space, located under Sip Coffee & Beer Garage in a reimagined oil change bay, is designed to transport guests to the belly of a spice trader’s turn-of-the-century clipper ship. Through commissioned artists, UnderTow’s decor revolves around the adventures of a revered ship captain. Similarly, the menu follows his journey in chapters (they are now on chapter six), moving the story forward and displaying cocktails in line with each chapter’s theme. The fully immersive, world-class cocktail experience also features rare rums from around the world and offers a variety of handcrafted, signature merchandise available for retail. www.undertowphx.com.

LITTLE RITUALS Open for less than a year, Little Rituals – founded by the innovative owners of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour – has already been nominated for 2019’s Best New Cocktail Bar in the West by Tales of the Cocktail. And while the honor is impressive, the bar itself may be even more notable, tucked into the fourth floor of the Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Phoenix Downtown. But make no mistake: This is not your typical hotel bar. On one side of the seating is a bird’s-eye view of the buzzing city below and on the other is a mural showcasing a who’s who of Arizona landmarks, politicians and pop culture references. Further upping the wow factor is the liquid CO2 glass chiller used to chill glassware, ice cubes made using nanofiltered water, and a cocktail menu divided into six categories ranging from elegant twists on classics to unique flavor combinations. www.littleritualsbar.com.

PIGTAILS For years, Valley residents have frequented the beer- and wineonly Whining Pig bars across Greater Phoenix. But when its Desert Ridge location opened this year, guests learned that in addition to the traditional Whining Pig, there was also a cocktail bar called Pigtails hidden down the venue’s back hallway. Dark with a full wall of greenery and succulents among the low booths, the large bar acts as the space’s centerpiece and gives a great view of the show the bartenders put on as they craft their cocktails. There are both traditional and more exotic options using barrel-aged whiskies, house-infused spirits, and even “desert after the rain” scented mist. Pigtails has proven so popular that a second location will open within a new Downtown Phoenix Whining Pig in 2020. www.thewhiningpig.com.

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Comfort

FOOD FIX

THE LARDER + THE DELTA Chef Stephen Jones’ The Larder + the Delta is all about comfort food from just one place: the American South. The menu is a journey through the rich tapestry of flavors that define Southernstyle food, both modern and nostalgic. In fact, many of the most indulgent offerings are a blend of both classic and modern dishes on the same plate. For example, Jones makes the juiciest, crispiest fried chicken and then serves it with dairy-free (but definitely not flavor-free) potato salad. He also succeeds on all levels with his updates of pimento cheese, pork ribs and Hoppin’ John (also known as Carolina peas and rice). Insider tip: “the good damn burger” really is that good! www.thelarderandthedelta.com.

BECKETT’S TABLE Though sophisticated and refined, executive chef Justin Beckett’s namesake Beckett’s Table in Arcadia may be the ultimate comfort food hot spot in Arizona. With the lion’s share of its main ingredients arriving from farms no farther than 30 miles from its kitchen, freshness is a hallmark of Beckett’s hearty American menu, which takes great pride in offering comfort food from around the country. As such, expect a unique spin on childhood favorites like grilled cheese, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and deviled eggs as well as items like shrimp and grits, hoe cakes, Atlantic salmon, and fork-tender short ribs. And no matter what, don’t miss Beckett’s dessert, especially the award-winning fig and pecan pie and the chocolate-dipped bacon s’mores. www.beckettstable.com.

SALTY SOW An American gastropub with decadent wine and swine, Salty Sow’s contemporary farmhouse fare makes use of familiar flavors while kicking things up a notch with thoughtful twists on traditional ingredients from the talented culinary team. For example, they add truffle oil to the deviled eggs, rosemary to the fried chicken and waffles, rib-eye steak to the tacos, and duck fat to the fries. Bacon is also made in-house and beef shoulder is slow-cooked all day, giving off mouth-watering aromas. Beyond the food, the restaurant has handcrafted cocktails, a variety of margaritas, an openair kitchen, and a relaxing outdoor patio with a fireplace and live music on the weekends. www.saltysow.com. Uptown December ‘19

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Style

ALLURE / DWELL /

S H O P / FA S H I O N

BY KAYLOR JONES

Stackable and sleek, Valani Atelier’s Hexa Rings embody the aesthetic of the season – red, white and green with a dash of glitz. The gemstones on these hexagonal rings, which are each sold separately, are available in three holiday-appropriate varieties: ruby, diamond and emerald. Made of 18-karat yellow gold, the rings can also be custom-engraved for a personalized gift. With strong lines and an architectural structure, these accessories serve as a standout addition to any soiree-ready ensemble. $1,500-$1,650 at Valani Atelier, www.valani.com.

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Style ALLURE

BY NEYDA MELINA

WINTER WONDERLAND Channel your inner ice queen with frosty shimmers and snowy whites

Liquid eyeshadow, Giorgio Armani, $28 at Nordstrom, www. nordstrom.com. Sheer nail top coat, Chantecaille, $28 at Neiman Marcus, www. neimanmarcus.com. Multiuse highlighter, Shiseido, $25 at Sephora, www.sephora.com. Liquid eyeliner, Givenchy, $34 at Neiman Marcus. Shimmering glow powder, Dior, $48 at Saks Fifth Avenue, www.saksfifthavenue. com. Limited-edition clear gloss, Chanel, $30 at Saks Fifth Avenue.

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BY NEYDA MELINA

Style

DWELL

ENTERTAINING ESSENTIALS Get-together gear for holiday hosting and beyond

Semiprecious stone cocktail picks with brass holder, $225 at Aerin, www.aerin. com. Cheese board and knife set, Michael Aram, $135 at Saks Fifth Avenue, www. saksfifthavenue.com. Three-tiered marble stand, $180 at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, www. mgbwhome.com. Blue Italian Champagne flutes, Spode, $80 (set of four) at Neiman Marcus, www. neimanmarcus.com. Brass place card holders, Jonathan Adler, $98 (set of four) at Jonathan Adler, www. jonathanadler.com. Etched serving tray, Anthropologie, $68 at Nordstrom, www. nordstrom.com.

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Style SHOP

BY NEYDA MELINA

COZY CAPES

Combat the cooler temperatures in winter’s chilly-chic trend

Faux fur, Toteme, $540 at Saks Fifth Avenue, www. saksfifthavenue.com. Monogram wool, Gucci, $2,890 at Nordstrom, www. nordstrom.com. Plaid cascade wool, Lamarque, $495 at Nordstrom. Tie-waist trench, Hatch x J.Crew, $298 at J.Crew, www.jcrew. com. Cashmere and wool sleeveless, Valentino, $3,980 at Saks Fifth Avenue. Windowpane cape scarf, $55 at Madewell, www. madewell.com.

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BY NEYDA MELINA

Style

SHOP

ARCTIC ACCESSORIES Bundle up in cold-weather wear

Leopard print headband, $24.50 at J.Crew, www.jcrew. com. Faux fur earmuffs, $12.99 at H&M, www. hm.com. Faux fur fingerless gloves, Pia Rossini, $40 at Neiman Marcus, www. neimanmarcus.com. Rainbow pompom beanie, $39.50 at Madewell, www. madewell.com. Herringbone down vest, Polo Ralph Lauren, $348 at Nordstrom, www. nordstrom.com. Plaid wool scarf, Ami Paris, $275 at Saks Fifth Avenue, www.saksfifthavenue. com.

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EARRINGS: Diamond and turquoise briolette, $5,800. NECKLACE: Yellow gold with diamond pave, $3,100. DRESS: Blue silk halter with leg slit, Danese Creations, $1,900. BRACELET: 18-karat yellow gold with diamonds, $55,000. RING: Colorless diamond coil design in white gold, $4,100. Dress from Danese Creations, www. danesecreations. com. All jewelry from Galicia Fine Jewelers, www.galiciajewelers. com.

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FORMALWEAR FOR HOLIDAY SOIREES

BY CHELSEA YOUNG AND KAYLOR JONES / PHOTOS BY CLAUDIA JOHNSTONE / STYLING BY STACEY RICHMAN HAIR AND MAKEUP BY PRIMP & BLOW; 877.373.7678 / MODEL: FORD/RBA / LOCATION: ARIZONA BILTMORE, 2400 E. MISSOURI AVE., PHOENIX; 602.955.6600; WWW.ARIZONABILTMORE.COM

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EARRINGS: Emerald and diamond waterfall, $4,750. DRESS: Rose gold with beads, Danese Creations, $1,647. BRACELETS: White gold stretchy diamond bangle, $5,300; rose gold stretchy diamond bangle, $5,300; yellow gold stretchy emerald bangle, $3,850. RING: Double emerald and diamond, $3,400. Dress from Danese Creations, www. danesecreations. com. All jewelry from Galicia Fine Jewelers, www.galiciajewelers. com.

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EARRINGS: Colorless diamond, $12,300. DRESS: Asymmetrical fuchsia, Danese Creations, $1,300. BRACELET: Cuff with 50 carats of chocolate diamonds, $39,000. RING: 18-karat white gold colorless diamond corset, $5,900. Dress from Danese Creations, www. danesecreations. com. All jewelry from Galicia Fine Jewelers, www.galiciajewelers. com.

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EARRINGS: Feather dangle with diamonds, Beverley K, $7,177. DRESS: Silver with sequins, Danese Creations, $1,143. RING: 15-carat blue sapphire with diamond split shank, $146,250. BRACELET: Baguette diamond, 14 Facets Collection, $17,460. Dress from Danese Creations, www.danesecreations. com. All jewelry from London Gold, www. londongold.com.

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EARRINGS: Indicolite tourmaline and Tahitian pearl, $3,500. NECKLACE: Tahitian pearl with colorless diamond toggle, $4,600. DRESS: Black shantung with open back, Danese Creations, $1,373. BRACELET: Pave diamond link, $7,900. RING: Colorless twotone diamond loop, $5,100. Dress from Danese Creations, www.danesecreations. com. All jewelry from Galicia Fine Jewelers, www.galiciajewelers. com.

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EARRINGS: Circular dangle with diamonds, I. Reiss, $4,950. NECKLACE: Gold choker with diamond center, I. Reiss, $3,600. DRESS: Multicolor embroidered silk organza, Danese Creations, $1,800. BRACELETS: Hammered cuff with filigree edges, $5,512; slim cuff with pave diamonds, $4,837; both I. Reiss. RINGS: Pave diamond, $3,712; diamond twist, $3,262; both I. Reiss. Dress from Danese Creations, www. danesecreations. com. All jewelry from London Gold, www. londongold.com.

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EARRINGS: Diamond dangle, 14 Facets Collection, $9,270. NECKLACE: 28-inch diamond, London Gold, $35,820. DRESS: Red with peplum waist, Danese Creations, $2,169. BRACELETS: Fiverow with milgrain accents, $20,700; diamond with swirls, $13,320; both 14 Facets Collection. RINGS: Oval diamond, Ascencio, $287,910; pearshaped diamond engagement, London Gold, $52,740. Dress from Danese Creations, www. danesecreations. com. All jewelry from London Gold, www. londongold.com.

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Luxe

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

BY KAYLOR JONES

Give a gift that adds playful luxury to holiday home entertaining with the Shagreen Poker Set from Aerin. This 300-piece poker set includes six colors of chips and two decks of playing cards, all stored in either a chocolate case (pictured here) or a cream version. With brass hardware, suede lining, and a wood veneer, the set also makes a statement when displayed on the coffee table. An heirloom piece meant to be passed from generation to generation, this set is sure to add a dash of opulence to game night. $2,500 from Aerin, www.aerin.com.

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Luxe WHEELS

2020 FORD EXPLORER The sixth-generation SUV is likeable but not loveable BY JIM PRUETER

VITAL STATS: 2020 Ford Explorer Base price: $36,675

The Ford Explorer, a family favorite for nearly three decades, is among America’s best-selling SUVs. The new sixth-generation 2020 Explorer is an even more capable, comfortable and spacious three-row vehicle. And with a new rear-wheel drive platform and a sportier design, it handles daily driving with poise and assurance. Options include the top-of-the-line Explorer Platinum (tested here) powered by a 3.0-liter, 365-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. A 400-horsepower V-6 is available for those who want a quicker, sportier feel. For the first time, Ford also offers the Explorer with a hybrid powertrain. The Platinum model comes standard with a twin-panel moonroof, allowing more light to flood over the tri-diamond perforated leather seating that outfits the most comfortable Explorer cabin ever. Other Platinum equipment includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door trim, and armrests as well as optional massaging seats. New E-Z entry second-row seats make accessing the power-folding third row an easy maneuver. A new Terrain Management System features seven drive modes to tailor your driving

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experience to road, weather and terrain conditions. The EcoBoost-powered Explorer also has a towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds. Standard technology includes a 10-inch LCD touch screen, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, several driver-assist safety features, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, and a wireless charging pad. Even with all of these positives, a few disappointments can be found with the new Explorer. The diminutive third row seats have minimal cushioning and leg and shoulder room. The interior lacks an upscale appearance, falling short of its competitors. The ride can be on the firm side, with bumps and potholes transferring into the steering column and throughout the cabin for an unsettled and noisy ride. Overall, the 2020 Ford Explorer is certainly improved over the previous generation, but it’s not a home run. As a family hauler, it will satisfy the needs of most buyers. But, with a price topping out at more than $60,000 (for the Platinum), it may not be the best choice for those who want a luxury-feeling SUV, especially considering the excellent new Lincoln Aviator Reserve starts at $56,190 and easily surpasses the Explorer.

Price as tested: $60,935 Engine: 3.0-L V-6 Horsepower: 365 Fuel economy: 18/24 mpg city/ highway Seating: 7 Fab features: Impressive standard safety and technology features Powerful and refined engine Attractive exterior styling


Luxe

SPOTLIGHT: SANTA BARBARA INSPIRED BY GABBY LEIGHTON

HAUTE PROPERTY

This 5,600-square-foot home exudes California living from the outside, with its Santa Barbara-style architecture and lush greenery lining the structure. The charm is apparent from first sight, with mature trees and an immense amount of shrubs and plants surrounding the house, seldom seen in the Southwest. The arch windows and dark wood door are also standouts. Greenery also borders as the property showcases dramatic views of the Phoenix Country Club golf course. The historic estate has been fully renovated, while maintaining its integrity. The front porch adds to the character, with a fireplace and space to entertain. Once inside, there are five bedrooms and six bathrooms. Two of the standout areas in the home are the sun-filled gourmet kitchen and the spacious living room. The kitchen has an oversized window that frames the golf course vista. The large, dark wood kitchen island/breakfast bar acts as a perfect accent in an otherwise light and white space, setting a nice offset to the white cabinets and gray backsplash. The living room boasts a large accent fireplace, adding style and coziness to the room. There are also French doors and windows around the space, adding warmness from the wood while bringing in natural light. Additional impressive interior finishes include hardwood floors, designer tile and classic lighting fixtures. Other highlights throughout the home are the wet bar, the formal dining room with gray wainscoting, and the laundry room, equipped with built-in mudroom features and accent walls. There’s also room for another washer and dryer set in the master suite. The guest house can be used as a studio-style living space or double as a kid’s play zone. It’s equipped with a kitchen, full bathroom, and spaces that would work for an informal living room and bedroom. 149 E. Country Club Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Listed for $2,370,000 with Grant Almquist of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, 602.615.2799 or grant.almquist@russlyon.com.

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Luxe PLACES

CULINARY CAPITALS Dig into 10 of the top U.S. food cities

BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ

From coast to coast, America’s top culinary cities are rewriting the book on all things gastronomic. Some specialize in fusion cuisine while others shine because of their locally sourced and freshly caught bounty. Here’s a look at 10 U.S. cities of particular epicurean excellence – and the can’t-miss restaurants in each.

Portland Ranked by some as the current best food city in America, Portland is unique in that it offers some of the most affordable high-quality food in the country. A chief reason why: It’s a mecca for award-winning food trucks, carts and pods. And we’re not talking hot dog stands – think handmade pastas, mouthwatering lobster rolls, and Asian delicacies. In addition, the region’s distinct Pacific Northwestern cuisine, highlighting game meats, seafood and shellfish, has put the city on the foodie map. Best bets: Le Pigeon, Canard and BG’s Food Cartel.

San Francisco PHOTO COURTESY OF VISIT PORTLAND

It’s no surprise that a city on the cutting-edge of technology and innovation is also among the top food cities in America. Its unique combination of high-end chef’s tasting menus and white-glove service with eclectic, culturally diverse food markets, holes-in-thewall, and funky chef-owned spaces make San Francisco a must on any gourmand’s bucket list. The metropolis is also noteworthy for its proximity to both Napa and Sonoma wine countries as well as for helping pioneer the farm-to-table movement. Best bets: Benu, Quince and Atelier Crenn, all with three Michelin stars each.

New York City There’s a reason why New York has its own styles of cheesecake, bagels, pizza and chowder. The first real foodie city in the U.S. remains one of its best today. Each of its boroughs – Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens – is individually known for its chefs and restaurants, not to mention the iconic Chinatown, Little Italy, and Greek and Jewish neighborhoods that have produced some of the top chefs in the world. Best bets: Rainbow Room, Tavern on the Green, and Delmonico’s, which was the country’s first fine dining restaurant.

Seattle

PHOTO BY DAVID REAMER

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Though nicknamed the Emerald City and known for its fair share of clouds and rain, Seattle’s dining scene makes the city shine bright year-round. Beyond the coffee and indelible Pike Place Market, the area’s fertile soils and access to oceans, rivers, lakes and Puget Sound make it one of the best places in the world for produce and seafood. Seattle’s diverse population also means it’s one of the top spots for food from places ranging from Korea to Africa. Best bets: Canlis, Lark and JuneBaby, all James Beard Award winners.


Las Vegas Thanks to the lavish casinos and resorts in Sin City, renowned chefs from around the world including Charlie Palmer, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, and Wolfgang Puck have chosen Las Vegas to showcase some of their most sumptuous dishes. Tasting menus, wine pairings, and luxuries like foie gras and caviar abound, often in the most opulent of settings. Best bets: Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, Craftsteak and Restaurant Guy Savoy.

Chicago In 2015, the James Beard Awards’ chef and restaurant categories moved from New York to Chicago’s Civic Opera House, signaling to the world that the Windy City was worthy of culinary respect of the highest order. Beyond popularizing twists on comfort foods such as deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs, Chicago is among the American epicenters for molecular gastronomy and home to beloved celebrity chefs including Rick Bayless and Stephanie Izard. Best bets: Alinea, Smyth and Girl & the Goat.

Miami If you’re a fan of flavor and spice, Miami is likely to be your top food city. Inspired by a rich melting pot of cultures from Cuba, Peru and Colombia to Mexico, Haiti and Puerto Rico, expect a combination of twists on Latin American and island fare as well as some familiar comfort foods given the city’s location in the heart of the Southeast. Think Cuban sandwiches, ceviche, churros, and tons of seafood. Best bets: Le Jardinier, Joe's Stone Crab and Matador Room.

Los Angeles

PHOTO BY ZACK BENT

Some say it’s the trademark coastal cuisine that makes the City of Angels special. Others point to its health-conscious options or its street food scene. And even others say its LA’s popularization of the fusion movement that merges diverse types of cuisine. And they’re all right – the cuisine of LA cannot be put into a box. It’s in a category all its own. Best bets: Vespertine, Providence and n/naka.

Denver In recent years, the Mile High City has earned plenty of press for its legalization of marijuana and continued dominance as a top craft beer region. But media including Conde Nast, Zagat and People magazine are finally giving Denver its due as one of the most exciting food cities. Chefs from Asia, Europe, New York and LA are flocking to Colorado’s capital to cook their own styles of food as well as Rockies-inspired and New American cuisines, often with a nod to the slow food movement. Best bets: Tavernetta, Ultreia and Bar Dough.

Charleston No list would be complete without a city that has Southern charm. From low country boils to grits, Charleston offers all things Southern comfort in spades, along with a cornucopia of other culinary treasures. The city has experienced a food renaissance with hundreds of innovative new restaurants melding the flavors that make dining in the South unique, with modern twists and influences from cultures around the world. Best bets: Fig, Slightly North of Broad and Husk. Uptown December ‘19

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Luxe WANT

WINE & WAGYU

Innovative subscription service offers specialty cuts of meat and California wines

BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ

For the wine and food lover in your life, a subscription-based gift that keeps on giving – in the form of wine and wagyu – might just be your best holiday bet. This joint offering from a family-owned and -operated California ranch and vineyard has an unlikely beginning. In 1985, Julio Palmaz – then a doctor of vascular radiology – revolutionized medicine when he invented and patented the balloon-expandable heart stent, an implantable device meant to save the lives of those with heart disease. In 2006, the Argentinian-born Palmaz was inducted into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame for his efforts. His wife, Amalia, also a native of Argentina, served as president of her family’s mining business, Cristamine S.A. And though they moved to the U.S. in the 1970s, the couple never forgot their South American roots. Both grew up in ranching families where grassfed, pasture-raised animals are the norm, not the exception. To honor this tradition, the Palmaz family now owns and operates Genesee Valley Ranch in Las Plumas, California, where cattle are raised

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under meticulous conditions, fed a superb diet, and monitored daily to create some of the finest wagyu beef available. Under the family’s guidance, the ranch – formerly a stagecoach stop and restaurant – is now a popular destination and community resource. An old general store now serves as a used bookstore, and the restaurant menu showcases local products including wagyu beef from the ranch. The Palmaz family also owns and operates Palmaz Vineyards in Napa, California. The vineyard boasts 610 acres of planted grapes and an 18-story wine cave where a team of farmers and winemakers work together to create award-winning cabernet sauvignons, chardonnays, rieslings, muscats, and an Argentinian-style blend called brasas. In an effort to give their fans around the globe the chance to experience both their wagyu and wine firsthand, Palmaz now offers a package through its Brasas Food & Wine Society wherein clients who chose to be members of one of their wine clubs can also become subscribers to their farmto-fork ranch club for a nominal added fee. Members are sent wines two weeks before their public release and can create a custom wine selection based on preferences. There are three tiered options ranging from the Chacra Club ($3,671 per year), which includes 14 bottles of wine and semimonthly deliveries of premium cuts of meat, to the Estancia Club ($7,688 per year), which includes 54 bottles of wine and semimonthly deliveries. Cuts include smoked wagyu beef sausage, wagyu bratwurst, tomahawk steak, osso bucco, New York strip, beef bacon, and more. Memberships with beef or wine only are also available starting at $350. Additionally, membership also includes invitations to exclusive events such as a Northern European wine cruise and a traditional Argentine barbecue. Registration for 2020 subscriptions is now open. To learn more about membership, visit www.palmazvineyards.com.


UPDATE YOUR LOOK, IMPROVE YOUR IMAGE!

New York Trained Custom Clothier Opens Arcadia Location ‘I studied men’s fashion at FIT in NYC and designed for Macy’s and Calvin Klein Jeans. Over the past 15 years, I have studied many successful men to fully understand what it takes to be more effective in business. What I have found is it all starts with how you present and feel about yourself. If you need to update your look, improve your image, or find clothes that fit, contact me. I bring my keen eye for fashion and design skills to create the right look for you and your lifestyle. Let me help you take your business to the next level.’

Q. Contrary, a local custom clothier, recently opened its first retail location in Arcadia. New York trained designer, Mary Zarob, owner of Q. Contrary, assists men and women with styling and creating a wardrobe of business and casual clothes that fit better, allowing customers to achieve their best look in today’s fashions. Q. Contrary offers custom made and ready made suits, jackets, slacks, and shirts. In addition to tailored clothing and alterations, Q. Contrary offers a line of Travis Mathew golf attire and men’s accessories. With the opening of Q. Contrary’s Arcadia location at 3188 East Indian School Road, the latest spring fabrics have also arrived. Visit the store or call 602-301-6987 to update your wardrobe for the new season.

3188 East Indian School Road 602-301-6987 • www.qcontrary.com @qcontrary.mary


Taste DRINK

BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ

CELEBRATED SELECTIONS Wines and spirits that wow this holiday season

Whether you’re shopping for a spirit or wine enthusiast, or want to treat yourself for making the “nice list” this year, these high-end bottles make for the perfect present. Just as special on the inside as they are beautiful on the outside, the limited-edition and celebrated selections are the gifts that keep on giving.

Moet Imperial Brut 150th Anniversary To mark the 150th anniversary of Moet Imperial, Moet recently unveiled this limited-edition bottle as a crowning tribute to the precious 150-year history of this remarkable Champagne. The bright fruitiness, seductive palate and elegant maturity here are dizzyingly luscious. $45. www.moet.com. Heaven's Door 10-Year Tennessee Straight Bourbon Developed in partnership with Bob Dylan, each bottle artfully showcases distinctive welded iron gates that he created in his studio. Expect delightful hints of vanilla and baked bread thanks to the eight years it spends aging in American oak barrels. $130. www. heavensdoor.com. Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend Designed to honor the 20th anniversary of Joy Spence, the female master blender in the spirits industry, this limited-edition rum is made from a blend of award-winning vintages, some aged 35 years. It has nuanced flavors of orange, spice, warm vanilla and coffee. $249.99. www.appletonestate.com. 2015 Iridium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Named for one of the rarest elements on Earth and recently gifted to all 2019 Emmy Award winners, Sterling Vineyards only produces 80 barrels of this offering per year. Rich and opulent, it bursts with classic Napa cabernet notes of mocha, cassis and dark fruits, accented with oak spice and caramel toffee and is complete with a memorable and lengthy tannin-filled finish. $250. www.sterlingvineyards.com.

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Era Napa Valley 2017 The latest vintage of Alpha Omega’s flagship wine, Era is the perfect convergence of Old World tradition and New World technique to create a harmonious blend of rich flavor and structure. Made from a blend of cabernet sauvignon and touch of malbec from six prized Northern California vineyards, expect notes of plum, cassis, elderberry and cherry here. $300. www.aowinery.com. Schramsberg 2001 Reserve Late Disgorged This one-of-a-kind, 1.5-liter sparkling wine was aged over a decade on its lees, allowing it to mature with bigger, bolder flavors. To the taste, there are complex flavors of apple, grapefruit, peach, and candied ginger balanced by vibrant acidity and a touch of roasted almond nuttiness. $375. www.schramsberg.com. 2019 Mod Sélection Rosé Champagne This Rosé de Saignée undergoes a proprietary cold-soak maceration at harvest, maximizing freshness and vitality utilizing the rare Saignée method. The pale salmon-hued nectar draws you near with its rick and seductive bouquet. On the palate, luscious fresh red fruit and extra-fine mousse harmonize to create a long, succulent finish. $400. www.modselectionchampagne.com. Clase Azul Ultra This extra añejo tequila is the crown jewel of the Clase Azul portfolio. Produced in limited quantities in a decanter made from platinum, sterling silver and 24-karat gold, the collector’s item is aged for five years in sherry wood casks from Spain and is smooth yet intense, with both oaky and sweet characteristics. $1,899.99. wwwn.claseazul.com.


Taste

DRINK / CHEERS / CUISINE / FOOD FILES / DINING GUIDE

BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ / PHOTO BY ELIZABETH MARIE

In September, James Beard House-featured chef Lee Hillson returned to T. Cook's at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa as executive chef. During his first tenure (2000-2012), he made national headlines for his rustic Mediterranean cuisine and globally inspired ingredients. With Hillson’s return, he brought many of his all-time menu classics as well as several new seasonal offerings. Among the highlights: Chef Lee’s pasta carbonara ($29); pan roasted Mary’s Organic Chicken breast ($30); T. Cook’s Mediterranean paella ($38); braised beef short rib ($40); and pan seared branzino ($45). T. Cook’s, 5200 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.808.0766; www.tcooksphoenix.com.

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Taste CHEERS

A DIE HARD DRINK Holiday cheer for fans of a hotly debated Christmas movie

BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ / PHOTO BY MELISSA HORN

Every December, people from all over the world come together for one reason: to argue whether Die Hard is a holiday movie or not. (Seriously, it is a thing). And while the debate rages on again this year, one thing is for sure: the Bruce Willis classic is the inspiration for one of the Valley’s best seasonal cocktails. Available at the Miracle at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, the festive Christmas pop-up bar located within the restaurant through Christmas Day, the Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r! ($16) is a clear homage to Willis’ iconic catchphrase in the action movie franchise. “Given it is spirit heavy, much like the variation of Long Island Iced Tea called Adios Mother F****r, the name is doubly perfect ,” says Wade Gruenewald, Blue Hound general manager. There are three different rums in the cocktail. “We use dark rum from Barbados for its tropical flavor, South American rum called Cachaca for its sweetness, and overproof rum from Trinidad & Tobago for its spice,” Gruenewald says. A puree made in-house of earthy purple yams, coconut and nutty orgeat are then added to a shaker with the rum and ice. “We top it with pineapple juice for acidity, shake and then strain over crushed ice in a mug shaped like Santa’s bottom,” Gruenewald says. It’s garnished with a sprig of mint, powdered sugar to resemble snow and a Christmas-themed tropical umbrella. According to Gruenewald, it tastes like a cross between a caipirinha and mai tai, but with a healthy dose of holiday whimsy. Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, 2 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix; 602.258.0231; www.bluehoundkitchen.com.

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Taste

CUISINE

CHEF CONVERSATIONS In the kitchen with Justin Woodard of Genuine Concepts

BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ / PHOTO BY MARK MORGAN

Justin Woodard is the corporate executive chef of Genuine Concepts, where he oversees the menus and in-house culinary teams for The Vig, The Little Woody, The Womack, The McMillan and Ladera Tavern y Cocina.

What inspired you to cook? I remember sitting on the counter in the kitchen watching my grandma cook and she would let me help put dishes in the dishwasher. When I was tall enough to reach everything, I got to help her cook…and hand-wash her fancy china. But cooking was not your first career? I was in prison first…but not behind bars! I was in law enforcement in the early 2000s. I worked at Lewis Prison in Buckeye (where I oddly spent a lot of time hanging in the staff kitchen). I also worked as an animator before my sister and best friend encouraged me to follow my passion and enroll in culinary school at 25. Tell us about your culinary journey to Genuine Concepts: My first job was at the Boulders Resort. On day one I accidentally picked up a scalding hot cast-iron skillet and nearly burned my fingers off. On the way home, I told myself it was only up from there. And it has been. I stayed there several years, and then worked under Beau MacMillan at Sanctuary before coming to The Vig in 2013. I was named Genuine’s corporate executive chef in 2016. What has been the highlight of your career to date? In January, I competed on Chopped with a doozy of a mystery basket: Spam, cooked beef Wellington, spätzle and kohlrabi (a German turnip). My planned tart didn’t set in time, so I didn’t win, but it was wildly fun. What is your favorite and least favorite ingredient? I am obsessed with vanilla beans. It’s actually the secret ingredient in my Vig short ribs and maple salmon. I hate spinach and sauerkraut. What would surprise readers about you? At 42, I have four kids. While that isn’t surprising, their age range – my oldest is 23 and youngest turned 1 in October – surprises many. Also, I am a grandpa. Genuine Concepts, 4214 E. Indian School Road; 602.283.5991; www.genuineconcepts.us.

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Taste FOOD FILES

PERFECT STARTS Kick off your meal with amazing appetizers

BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ

Cheddar & Potato Pierogis

Culinary Dropout These European-style dumplings are made by wrapping dough around a savory filling – always a base of cheddar and potatoes but then complemented with seasonal add-ons – and pan-frying. For the winter months, crispy Brussels sprouts, mustard creme fraiche and fresh herbs will be the featured complements to bring in an earthiness perfect for the colder days and nights. $10. www.culinarydropout.com.

Mora’s Italian Bread

Mora Italian This board of your dreams consists of four types of bread as well as four accompanying spreads. Two of the breads – the focaccia Genovese and Stromboli with smoked mozzarella and soppresata – are made in-house, while the other two – the ciabatta and country bread – are sourced from nearby Noble Bread. Each of the spreads – the artichoke bomb, eggplant caponata, mascarpone butter and roasted garlic parmesan – are made from scratch daily. $10. www.moraitalian.com

Arancini

Federal Pizza Federal Pizza elevates this traditional stuffed rice ball by combining scratch-made risotto with a mixture of parmesan and mozzarella that have been infused with herbs. Once fried, they are plated on top of Pomodoro sauce, grana Padano and fresh basil for an added infusion of flavor and optional dipping. $9.50. www.federalpizza.com.

Common Ground Brussels

The Macintosh Crispy and sweet, these delicious bites will make a veggie lover out of anyone. To make, Brussels sprouts are charred to crispy perfection. Then, they are tossed with candied bacon and garlic that has been cooked low and slow to obtain a more roasted flavor profile. The contents are plated in a mason jar and onto a charcuterie board then drizzled with a sweet balsamic reduction to finish. $11. www.themacintoshaz.com.

Rustic Waffle Bites

People say to save the best for last, but not in this case. Ensure the first bites during your special nights out this month are memorable with these sensational, shareable starters.

The Little Woody Bar These savory waffle bites are mini in size but mighty in flavor. The rich, buttery flavor in each waffle is perfectly tempered when the dish is sprinkled with cinnamon mascarpone and then drizzled with vanilla bourbon syrup. Each tasty morsel makes for a sweet yet savory way start to any meal. $7. www.thelittlewoodyaz.com.

Italian Meatballs

North Italia Each of the three massive meatballs, made from a combination of beef and pork, offered as part of this starter is braised to perfection, covered in a housemade rustic marinara and then topped with fresh grana Padano. They are served in a hot cast-iron skillet accompanied by creamy, dreamy polenta that has soaked in some of the marinara tanginess from the skillet, making it extra crave worthy. $13. www.northitalia.com.

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Thai Style Kalbi

Ocotillo The name here might be a little deceiving as Kalbi is traditionally Korean barbequed short ribs, often cut in a very specific manner and with a flavor profile between tender, juicy bulgogi and flank steak. While the style and cut are both Korean here, the ingredients used to flavor the meat as well as serve as garnish – chilies, curry, cilantro, garlic and sesame oil – result in a distinctly Thai spiciness in every bite. $17. www.ocotillophx.com.

Bruschetta Board

Timo Wine Bar Though many restaurants offer a bruschetta board starter – and all are thoroughly delicious – Timo’s is especially great for groups due to the sheer number of options available. Every order gives guests the chance to mix and match three bruschettas from 10 overall options, including classic and meat-topped varieties as well as some with more out-of-the-box toppings including pork belly with agave nectar and sweet chili sauce, sauteed mushrooms with brie and a balsamic reduction, and Spanish dry-cured ham (jamon) with serrano peppers, ricotta and Arizona dates. $12.95. www.timowinebar.com

Short Rib Dumplings

Cactus Fries

Tranquilo at The Clarendon Hotel Yes, real cacti are used in this vegetarian dish! To make, cactus called nopales, which are known from their flat pads and have a moist, crunchy texture that’s a bit like okra, are panko crusted and then lightly fried. When plated, they look almost like extra-thick-cut fries and are served with a spicy jalapeno dressing for dipping. $8. www.goclarendon.com.

Stock & Stable More pillows of deliciousness than traditional dumplings, these crowd pleasers start with short rib that has been braised slowly over hours until each piece on its own will melt in your mouth. Once perfectly cooked, the short rib is tucked into a dumpling dough wrapper, pan-fried and then steamed, resulting in a soft dumpling with a crispy crust. The dish is topped with pickled onions and scallions and then served with a sauce made of sweet figs and hot chilies. $14. www.stockandstable.com.

Grilled Spanish Octopus

Bluewater Grill This appetizer starts with fresh octopus that has been simply grilled with olive oil, salt, pepper and sweet Spanish paprika until it has a slight char and crispness on the ends, but still retains its tenderness. It’s served on top of a bed of fingerling potatoes and an aioli infused with smoked paprika, and then topped with pickled onion for texture as well as hint of acidity. $14. www. bluewatergrill.com.

Angels Wings

Angels Trumpet Ale House Both the Angels Trumpet Ale House downtown and its sister location in Arcadia are known for this signature starter dish. While traditional angels wings are made by taking marinated meat, breading and frying, these are actually ultra-premium chicken wings fried and served with the guest’s choice of the housemade hot sauce or the eatery’s popular honey-infused Moose Drool Brown Ale sauce. The dish also features carrots, celery and blue cheese dressing. $11.50. www.angelstrumpetalehouse.com.

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Taste DINING GUIDE

NAMI

Nami offers up a bevy of vegan pastries along with breakfast and brunch options that could easily convert the most devout meat eater – at least for one meal. When you are ready to relax and fully enjoy the flavors, ingredients and craftsmanship of stellar wholesome and healthy offerings, get yourself to Nami for the breakfast or brunch (Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.). The menu varies from decadent doughnuts to hearty biscuits and gravy, and don’t forget to finish your meal with the tSoynamis ice cream treat. The food will fill your belly and the community feel will fill your soul. 2014 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 602.258.6264; www. tsoynami.com; $

BY TARYN JEFFRIES / PHOTO BY EMILY THOMAS

AMERICAN

BRAT HAUS Brat Haus is an urban beer garden featuring a combination of 28 German, Belgian and American craft beers. You can keep things traditional with their haus brat or go outside the box with a rattlesnake and rabbit brat. The Belgian fries and Bavarian pretzels are the ideal match no matter which brat you opt for. The open-air, dog-friendly patio, complete with plenty of lawn games, makes it the perfect stop for a weekend hang or weeknight dinner out with friends. 6025 N. 16th St., Phoenix; 602.975.6419; www.brathausaz.com; $$ DOUGHBIRD File this local spot in the “why didn’t anyone think of this before” category. Doughbird joins the rich, complex flavors of rotisserie and wood-firing, creating a menu with specific focus. Doughbird’s pizza options range from traditional pepperoni to Brussels sprouts to bacon and barbeque chicken. On the rotisserie side, choose from chicken, prime rib, caramelized cauliflower and Scottish salmon with the side and sauce of your choice. The large dining space is serving up farmhouse vibes while the open kitchen lets you see your food in each phase of the preparation. 4385 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602.345.9161; www.eatdoughbird.com; $$   SHAKE SHACK This East Coast favorite landed comfortably in the middle of the desert and brought iconic burgers, cheese fries and decadent concretes with it. Shake Shack’s burgers display clean, fresh flavors no matter the toppings you opt in for. The cheese fries retain their crispness, even beneath all that creamy, gooey cheese. This particular location at Uptown Plaza has even introduced two concrete flavors that embrace the area; the ‘mallow monsoon and camelshack. 100 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.903.3240; www.shakeshack.com; $$  

ASIAN

CHINA CHILI Whether you are looking to enjoy Cantonese-, Szechwan- or Hong Kong-style dishes, you will be met with many options at China Chili. You’ll find many familiar choices as well as some potential new favorites. The seafood blossom soup and chicken corn chowder soup are local favorites. The service is always friendly and food comes out of the kitchen in ninja-like speed. 302 E. Flower St., Phoenix; 602.266.4463; www.chinachilirestaurant.com; $$

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Uptown December ‘19

NISHIKAWA RAMEN Named for the place where the owner’s journey began (a town in Japan), Nishikawa Ramen is working to perfect the art of ramen. From the broth to the noodles, the complex flavors and unique ingredients are drawing fans in from all over the Valley. Diners are invited to choose from five different ramen bases and 10 additional toppings. You can also choose from eight different donburi bowls, all full of flavor, history and craftsmanship. 3141 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602.368.8774; www.nishikawa-ramen. com; $$ THE CLEVER KOI This modern Asian noodle and dumpling house has become a neighborhood staple. The Clever Koi has a cozy, laid-back atmosphere and all of the design touches down to the cutlery reflect the modern fusion theme. The menu is exciting and will certainly encourage diners to try something new, like the braised “pig face” dumplings. 4236 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; 602.222.3474; www.thecleverkoi. com; $$  

BREAKFAST

D’LITE HEALTHY ON THE GO In a world of fast-food fat-laden breakfast sandwiches, D’Lite is a mecca for those looking for a fast, healthy start to their day. Devotees can’t stop talking about the signature breakfast buzz shake, made up of vitamins, whey protein, espresso shots, nonfat milk, banana, peanut butter and chocolate syrup. In addition to a variety of breakfast drinks, the fast-casual spot offers an assortment of burritos, sandwiches and other stick-to-your-ribs breakfast items that you can feel good about devouring. 3214 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602.368.9445; www.dlitehealthyonthego.com; $ HASH KITCHEN Hash Kitchen is the place where your wildest brunch dreams come true. Its menu boasts dreamy dishes like banana split brioche French toast and s’mores pancakes for those with a sweet tooth, and the Flintstone Turkey Hash for those looking for something substantial on the savory side. If you’re of the belief that no brunch is complete without a mimosa or bloody mary, you haven’t lived until you partake in the mimosa flight or the Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar (the largest in the state.) Be sure to come hungry and with a thirst for a good time! 4315 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602.612.5580; www. hashkitchen.com; $$  


PROVISION Provision is much more than just your average coffee bar. The coffee program is absolutely stellar, with beans coming from Burundi, Rwanda, Guatemala, and Ethiopia and the honey lavender latte is just as outstanding as it sounds. Provision also has a wide variety of pastries from some of the top bakeries in town. Stop by in the morning for little extra energy and a sweet treat or after work for a glass of wine or beer and a light snack. 4501 N. 32nd St., Phoenix; 602.626.3866; www.provisioncoffee.com; $$

ITALIAN

CHRISTO’S RISTORANTE Open since 1986, Christo’s is one of the longest standing independent Italian restaurants in the area, and with a track record like that they must be doing something right. Head to Christo’s for your next date night; the romantic elegance decor will truly set the mood. Whether you’re looking for the simple flavors of a dish like the angel hair pomodore or something more complex and layered like the veal Christo, you’ll find something for every taste and occasion here. 6327 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 602.264.1784; www.christos1.com; $$ L’AMORE ITALIAN RESTAURANT Expect to be greeted with a warm smile and welcoming interior at L’Amore. Fine dining with a family atmosphere is more than just a catchy tagline here. The staff at the familyrun restaurant treat every diner as if they were guests in their home, from the hospitality to the setting and the love put in every dish. The chicken saltimbocca is a lovely introduction to the restaurant’s menu; the flavors are stellar and the quality shines through in each bite. 3159 E. Lincoln Drive, Phoenix; 602.381.3159; www.lamoreitalianrestaurant.com; $$ PUBBLICO ITALIAN EATERY This family-owned restaurant may be Central Phoenix’s best-kept secret, but we’re ready to share. From wood-fired pizza and handmade pasta to classic Italian dishes like chicken parmesan and cioppino, you’d be hard-pressed to find a family favorite that doesn’t measure up to your memories. Start off with the calamari, which has the perfect amount of breading that is light and crispy, serving as the perfect match for the rich, classic marinara it comes with. From there, no matter what you order, you really can’t lose. 5813 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 602.601.5651; www.pubblicoitalianeatery.com; $$  

MEXICAN

CRUJIENTE TACOS Here in the Valley, you can easily find a taco joint on just about every street corner. When it comes to Crujiente Tacos, there is nothing typical here. The space is sleek and modern with surprise elements like street art within the light fixtures. You’ll find a creative array of taco choices like ahi poke, tempura avocado and Korean fried chicken along with a lamb option with birria sauce. Make sure to order an Arcadia margarita; the jalapeno and cilantro flavors will pair perfectly with your tacos. 3961 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.687.7777; www.crutacos.com; $$ DILLA LIBRE UNO If you’ve lived your whole life thinking that quesadillas are just simple tortillas stuffed with cheese and the occasional shredded chicken, Dilla Libre Uno is about to blow your mind. With more than 10 varieties of gourmet “dillas” there is an option for any craving you might have. You’ll find traditional flavors like carne asada and carnitas available alongside the popular buffalo chicken and bahn mi-style dillas. There’s even a vegetarian option made with the Impossible Burger. The exciting menu, full bar and creative cocktail options are sure to make this a neighborhood favorite. 1339 E. Northern Ave., Phoenix; 602.399.4024; www.dillalibre.com; $$   TACO GUILD Housed in a former church, there may be some divine intervention at hand in the kitchen because the tacos served at Taco Guild are heavenly! As a nod to the history of the building, many items throughout the restaurant are originals that have been repurposed. You’ll find a story in the furniture, the menu and the service ware. To continue the theme, guests can choose from Old World or new school tacos. Taco Guild also has a great selection for weekend brunch and specialty cocktails. 546 E. Osborn Road, Phoenix; 602.264.4143; www. tacoguild.com; $$  

MODERN AMERICAN

ARTIZEN Upon walking into the lobby of The Camby Hotel you’ll find a beautifully appointed space with a touch of whimsey. From fixtures to art and accoutrements, this place is dazzling and designed to impress. The inventive cuisine at Artizen, The Camby’s on-property restaurant, matches the vibe and personality of the resort. With a variety of dishes, ranging from shared plates to full personal portions, you’ll find the

perfect dish for any craving. Artizen also offers an inspired tasting menu if you’re not in the mood to make any decisions. 2401 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.522.6655; www.artizenaz.com; $$ PERSEPSHEN Persepshen is looking to shift the way you look at eating seasonally and locally. Husband and wife owners Jason and Katherine Wright garnered a following at local farmers markets thanks to Katherine’s pastries and breads that have a large presence on their farmto-table menu. The warm and inviting dining room rivals that of the wait staff. Perspehen’s menu changes frequently, giving you plenty of reasons to visit often. 4700 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; 602.935.2932; $$$ TRUE FOOD KITCHEN True Food Kitchen has created a community of conscious eating. You’ll smell it when you walk in the door and pass by the herbs growing beside you. You’ll see it in the environmentally conscious dining room and you’ll definitely taste it in the wellness menu. Whether you are gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan or just want a healthy meal that satisfies in flavor, you’ll revel in your options here. 2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.774.3488; www.truefoodkitchen. com; $$

SEAFOOD

AHIPOKI BOWL This Japanese and Hawaiian fusion concept has lots of people talking. Enjoy the freshest ingredients available while you create your signature poke dish in a fast-casual environment. You can load up your bowls with a variety of proteins, sides, sauces and toppings or you can keep it simple with just a few of the fresh ingredients. The possibilities and flavor combinations are nearly endless. 1928 E. Highland Ave., Phoenix; 480.508.5536; www.ahipokibowl.com; $ BLUEWATER GRILL Looking for fresh seafood in the Valley? Bluewater Grill is meticulous in its standards and refuses to serve its customers anything but the best and freshest seafood. You can taste those standards in every bite from the cedar plank salmon to the gemelli pasta with shrimp and scallops. Stop by and get hooked! 1720 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.277.3474; www.bluewatergrill.com; $$ KOI POKE Koi Poke adds a little touch of fancy to the traditional bowl options with lobster and Champagne butter. The

eatery also serves generous cuts of sashimi, allowing you to really experience the buttery flavors of your protein lightly dressed with the sauce of your choice. The toppings get a little drama (and added health benefit) with shaved Brussels sprouts and kale. Up the ante on your healthy bowl additions and you won't feel bad about trying the Hawaiian snow ice for dessert. 4280 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602.368.2222; www. koipoke.com; $$ SUSHIHOLIC Finally, a sushi joint that fits any occasion. You can bring in the family for a relaxed dinner or gather your friends together for an upbeat happy hour; there is room here for everyone and every occasion. Sushiholic’s kitchen receives fresh fish daily and all items are made to order, so there is no need to wonder how long that roll has been sitting out. The sushi spot has a wide variety of creative sushi rolls and the descriptions are so enticing, you’ll be coming back to try them all. It’s always happy at this spot as happy hour is from 2 to 8 p.m. daily and reverse happy hour begins at 8 p.m. 3957 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.956.2354; www. sushiholicaz.com; $$

VEGETARIAN

GIVING TREE CAFE If you’re looking for a meal comprised of thoughtful flavor combinations and conscientious sourcing all in a welcoming, inclusive space, Giving Tree Cafe has you covered on all fronts. The restaurant has forged relationships with all its vendors, from farms to bottling companies, to ensure that every item used falls in line with its environmental ethos. The thoughtful menu is made up of a variety of sandwiches, salads and hearty entrees, all-day breakfast options and dreamy dessert options. 2024 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 480.630.0200; www.givingtreecafe.com; $$ WHYLD ASS If you’ve visited the Flagstaff location, you already know that the hype is real and WHyld Ass has brought that to the Valley. From the on-tap kombucha and specialty smoothies, fresh juices and chlorophyll water to the beloved breakfast burritos and falafel burgers, everything here is homemade with your health and the environment in mind. All the ingredients are 100% plant-based, organic and GMO-free, served on and with biodegradable and compostable materials. 4810 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 602.237.6724; www. whyldass.com; $$

Uptown December ‘19

77


Seen EVENTS

THE PULSE OF THE CITY SOIREE

Banner Health hosted its annual gala at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia where guests enjoyed a concert, dinner and a live auction. Funds raised went toward expanding behavioral health services and programs for Arizona children and teens.

Alexa and Nik Bentzinger

BY ELIZABETH MARIE

Gina and Fletcher Clarcq

David and Kasie Valade

Olivia Laux and Matt Cooley

Alejandra and Genaro Valladolid

Erica Gallo and Brice Belling

Lea Cheshareck and Krystal Keilholtz

Kimberly and Keith Reitzel

Chris and Mary Schubert

Elevsis and Alexis Delgadillo

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Uptown December ‘19


A MCNIGHT TO REMEMBER

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona hosted this internationally-themed gala at JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. Proceeds helped provide lodging for families who require medical resources.

BY BEVERLY SHUMWAY

Ashlee Murphy and Joel Pasinski

Lisa Evans and Troy Swope

Miguel Gutierrez and Yessica Zarraga

Brent and Madie Schlater

Sarah and Michael Read Boeder

LET’S TOAST TO THE DROPOUTS PHOENIX

SCOTTSDALE

CULINARYDROPOUT.COM

TEMPE

GILBERT

CULINARYDROPOUT Uptown December ‘19

79


Seen EVENTS

7 CHEFS & 7 BARTENDERS SERIES

Guests gathered at Ocotillo Restaurant for an evening of food and drinks prepared by local superstars. The Phoenix Diners Collective event showcased the work of chefs and bartenders from restaurants and bars including The Gladly, Tratto, Sidecar Social Club, and Bitter & Twisted.

Kaden MacFadyen and Julie Dang

BY JESS SIMPSON

Ashley Hatfield and Zack Hendrickson

Lyndsi Hastings-Mundy and Libby Lingua

Jiten Sidhu and Linda Trinh

Ashley Messerly and Randy Flick

Tyka Chheng and Robby Weyers

Ashlee Hajizadeh-Amini and Lexi Johnson

Abel Arriaga and Lauren Wyckoff

Lisa Godwin and Chanel Godwin

Yve Dizes and Raymond Wang

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Uptown December ‘19


IMAGINE: A BLACK + WHITE AFFAIR

Almost There Foster Care and Community Canine Project hosted this third annual event at Wrigley Mansion. Event guests were encouraged to show up in black and white attire for heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, live music, and puppies.

Bob and Bethany Willis

BY JAMES SASSER

Randi-Lea and Tyler Mussro

Bradley and Desiree Briggs

Mike and Kelli Zampino

Mary Niebroski and Scott Burdman

Jennifer Zito and Heather Foreman

Emily Grieff and Laurie McGhee

Brianne and Brian Carrillo

Alec Gentile and Meredith Willis

Shirley and David Silva

Uptown December ‘19

81


End NEW IN TOWN

THE GRANDEST OF OPENINGS Century Grand debuts three experiences under one roof in Arcadia

BY ALISON BAILIN BATZ / PHOTO BY GRACE STUFKOSKY

The story of Arcadia’s newly opened Century Grand dates back to 2016. “That year, we opened CounterIntuitive, in Scottsdale, which remained until 2018,” says Jason Asher, co-founder of Barter & Shake Creative Hospitality. “For us, it was an incubator for concepts we wanted to test in the market.” At CounterIntuitive, new concepts were rotated into the bar semiannually, each historically based. “That brings us to Century Grand. We’d long toyed with something related to the Prohibition era, but not a speakeasy,” Asher says. “Instead, we looked to inspiration the way we would at CounterIntuitive, by thinking about the art, food and characters of that time.” The team’s favorite character: George Remus. Known as the “king of the bootleggers” during Prohibition, the pharmacist and attorney shrewdly found creative loopholes around the laws, especially via the pharmacy where he gave “prescriptions” for libation-infused medicines. “Century Grand is a fictionalized world based on Remus,” says Asher, noting to take some liberties with the story,

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Uptown December ‘19

they changed his name to Hollis Cottley Pennington and incorporated the history of the expansion of the railroad, which also happened at that time. Once inside the 3,800-square-foot space, guests can choose between three distinct experiences. First, there is Century Grand’s dining room, which has seating for 32 inside and 20 on the patio and is designed to transport all who enter into an art deco version of a 1920s train station. There, guests can enjoy both food and drink inspired by that period. “Sacha Levine, previously of FnB and Ocotillo, oversees our entire culinary program. We’ve challenged her to create dishes inspired by the most popular foods of the 1920s,” Asher says. “As such, she has taken everything from tuna salad, shrimp cocktail and beef Wellington and elevated them with modern techniques and local produce.” Then, there is Platform 18, the immersive, elevated cocktail bar. Platform 18 is a replica of a 1926 Presidential Pullman train car, complete with 16 “windows” that take guests on a journey through snowy Colorado terrain, thanks to modern technology. Finally, there is Grey Hen, a period-themed whiskey bar and retail bottle shop with 85 single barrels of whiskey from across the United States as well as a total of 400 different whiskies for purchase. “We also offer neat pours from our selection and a menu of classic cocktails. And on Jan. 17, 2020 – the 100th anniversary of Prohibition – we will transform the space a bit to resemble a pharmacy (but still a sneaky whiskey bar) of that time, where guests will have to receive a ‘prescription’ from us to buy booze,” Asher says. Century Grand and Grey Hen are open daily from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. Platform 18 is open daily from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. 3626 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; www.centurygrandphx.com.


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Uptown Magazine December 2019  

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Uptown Magazine December 2019  

www.uptownphoenix.com