10 Best New Metro Phoenix Restaurants of 2014

Ribs from Little Miss BBQ
Ribs from Little Miss BBQ
Lauren Saria

Now that 2014 has officially come and gone (and now that I've caught my breath from the holiday season), I'm ready to look back on the collection of new restaurants that joined our local scene in the last year. I ate all over the Valley in 2014, trying new restaurants and re-visiting old ones but these ten spots stand out from the pack. As a whole, I think they represent the face of Phoenix as a restaurant town right now and paint a bright picture for where we're headed in the coming year.

See also: The 10 Best Things I Ate in Metro Phoenix in 2014

Little Miss BBQ

The first restaurant on this list should come as little surprise to anyone who's been paying attention to the Phoenix food scene for the last year. Since opening in spring of 2014, Little Miss BBQ has established itself as the gold standard of barbecue in the Valley -- but the truth is, owners Scott and Bekke Holmes bring more than just excellent food and passion about that food to the table. This restaurant captures the spirit of modern Southern barbecue in a way that no place else in this town does. Yes, each and every bite of 11 hour smoked brisket will transport you to somewhere far, far away. So will the hospitality and spirit of this small but remarkable spot.

Miso grilled sea bass skewers with pickled vegetables and grilled citrus
Miso grilled sea bass skewers with pickled vegetables and grilled citrus
Lauren Saria

SumoMaya Mexican-Asian Kitchen

If attention to detail and ambition count for anything when it comes to food, then it would be wrong to not acknowledge Scottdale's SumoMaya on this list. Though the restaurant's lengthy menu of fusion cuisine may not always hit quite the right pitch, it's undeniable that this restaurant offers something fresh for Phoenix diners. And it's not all glitz and glam at this stylishly designed spot (though that's certainly one part of the restaurant's draw), there are also expertly-executed dishes such as the sweet yet spicy salmon ceviche and simple wood-fired skewers of miso marinated sea bass.

The Tavern's lamb burger
The Tavern's lamb burger
Evie Carpenter

The Tavern

Chez Pannise and Cafe at Chez Pannise. The Girl and the Goat and the Little Goat Diner. Tarbell's and The Tavern. The point is, there's something to be said for the more casual, cozier counterparts to upscale dining establishments. In general they have a distinct personality from their sister spots and the same can certainly be said for Mark Tarbell's The Tavern, which opened in the space adjacent to his namesake restaurant. The cuisine here is of the same, excellent, seasonal style you'll find next door, but served at a slightly more affordable price point and with an approachable level of pretense.



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