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Best Of 2001

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Best Of :: Food & Drink

Best New American Cuisine

When chef Jeffrey Beeson took over tiny Convivo this year, a great thing just got better. The setting in this modest place off a strip mall parking lot is casual, but the eats are all glamour -- American classics goosed up with unexpected flavors. Local produce is a star here, and we get our daily vitamins with the Convivo Collection, an ever-changing assortment of grilled vegetables that might include leeks, red pepper, Japanese eggplant, carrots and zucchini, delightfully paired with garlicky hummus, salami, barley salad and pecan-crusted goat cheese. Appetizers are adventurous -- an edgy house-cured salmon nesting with crispy fried ravioli in a pineapple butter sauce with peppery nasturtium leaves, for example. Entrees are outright excitement, such as coconut-crusted ahi tuna topped with fried calamari and slicked in plum-marigold-mint vinaigrette alongside soba noodles. And for dessert, our favorites are the guajillo chile-squash flan in fragrant cinnamon syrup, or a fudgy ancho-chile brownie. With food this stunning, we're more proud than ever to say that we're American.

Readers' Choices

Best Margarita Spot
Macayo's
several Valley locations

Best Mexican Restaurant
Macayo's
several Valley locations

Best Salsa
Blue Agave Oyster & Chile Bar
Shops at Gainey Village
8787 North Scottsdale Road, Suite A-102, Scottsdale
480-607-9222

Readers' Choices

Best Breakfast Spot
International House of Pancakes
several Valley locations

Best Downtown Executive Lunch
Durant's
2611 North Central
602-264-5967

Best Romantic Restaurant
The Melting Pot
8320 North Hayden, Scottsdale
480-607-1799
3626 East Ray, Ahwatukee
480-704-9206

Best Healthful Eating
Pita Jungle
1250 East Apache, Tempe
480-804-0234
1949 West Ray, Chandler
480-855-3232

Best Late-night Meal
Denny's
several Valley locations

Best Outdoor Patio
Dos Gringos
4209 North Craftsman Court, Scottsdale
480-423-3800

Best Happy Hour
Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar
several Valley locations

Readers' Choice

Best Bakery
Paradise Bakery
several Valley locations

Readers' Choices

Best Classic Pizza
Papa Johns
several Valley locations

Best Desserts
Cheesecake Factory
15230 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
480-607-0083

Best Gourmet Pizza
Pizzeria Bianco
623 East Adams
602-258-8300

Readers' Choices

Best Barbecue
Honey Bear's Bar-B-Q
5012 East Van Buren
602-273-9148
2824 North Central
602-279-7911

Best Chinese Restaurant
P.F. Chang's China Bistro
several Valley locations

Best Coffee House
Starbucks
several Valley locations

Best French Restaurant
La Madeleine French Bakery and Cafe
several Valley locations

Best Greek Restaurant
Greekfest
1940 East Camelback
602-265-2990

Best Indian Restaurant
Delhi Palace
5050 East McDowell
602-244-8181
16842 North Seventh Street
602-942-4224
933 East University, Tempe
480-921-2200

Best Italian Restaurant
Olive Garden
several Valley locations

Best Japanese Restaurant
RA Sushi Bar
411 South Mill, Tempe
480-303-9800
3815 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
480-990-9256

Best New Restaurant
Garduo's Margarita Factory
Shops at Gainey Village
8787 North Scottsdale Road, Suite A-102, Scottsdale
480-607-9222

Best Sandwich Shop
Subway
several Valley locations

Best Seafood Restaurant
Red Lobster
several Valley locations

Best Smoothie/juice Shop
Jamba Juice
several Valley locations

Best Southwestern Restaurant
Z'Tejas Grill
several Valley locations

Best Steak Restaurant
Outback Steakhouse
several Valley locations

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Best New American Cuisine: Convivo

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