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  • New Japanese joint Roka Akor gets the details right

    Article

    New Japanese joint Roka Akor gets the details right

    Somebody at Roka Akor really did their homework. When I heard that this spin-off of Roka, a London-based Japanese restaurant, was coming to Scottsdale, I felt ambivalent. On one hand, the menu looked mouthwatering. But I wondered whether we really...

    by Michele Laudig on July 10, 2008
  • Article

    Ikitai, naa: Geisha A Go Go rocks Old Town

    Bryan Chittenden and Greg Donnally, the guys behind two of Scottsdale's most pop-tastic hangouts -- Stingray Sushi and Drift Polynesian Restaurant -- are opening a new place tomorrow night, and it just screams Japanophile. It's called Geisha A Go Go...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on February 21, 2008 @ 4:11 pm
  • Article

    Think Bink: Chef Kevin Binkley opens his long awaited bistro

    Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek is one of this area's hottest culinary tickets, and it's no wonder -- chef-owner Kevin Binkley crafts his ever-evolving menu with obsessively sourced top ingredients, graces customers with a flurry of exquisite amus...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on February 20, 2008 @ 5:40 pm
  • Article

    May and McGrath: Bring on the BBQ!

    I just got a spontaneous protein craving courtesy of chef Aaron May, who confirmed the delicious rumor that he's collaborating with chef Robert McGrath on a new barbecue concept. They're working on securing a location as we speak. Chalk it up to one...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on February 19, 2008 @ 4:32 pm
  • Article

    Digestif debuts at SouthBridge

    Hell, it's already last week's news, but last week I was among the legions of the severely flu-stricken (ack!), so here's the belated skinny on the latest high-profile restaurant opening: Chef Payton Curry is already cooking up a storm at Digestif, ...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on February 19, 2008 @ 12:12 pm
  • Eliot Wexler is banking the success of Noca on his food knowledge and local connections

    Article

    Eliot Wexler is banking the success of Noca on his food knowledge and local connections

    There's an urban myth that 90 percent of restaurants close within the first year. Turns out, it's more like 26 percent, but still, it's a daunting figure, especially in this economy. But there's one new restaurant whose success I'm betting on, if ...

    by Michele Laudig on July 3, 2008
  • Article

    Blades of glory: Japanese cutlery at Phoenix Knife House

    Chefs and samurai have something in common: their blades. Samurai might have lost their right to carry swords in the mid-19th century, but that doesn't mean that the sword-making tradition disappeared in Japan. In the case of the Kikuichi swordsmith...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on February 8, 2008 @ 12:07 pm
  • Article

    V-day dinners around town

    What, you didn't make Valentine's Day dinner reservations yet? Me neither. We'd both better get crack-a-lackin', because there's only a week left. Here's the lowdown on several restaurants featuring special multi-course meals... Canal Restaurant: Fo...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on February 7, 2008 @ 5:10 pm
  • How do health-conscious stores Fresh & Easy, Sprouts, and Sunflower compare with the mainstream?

    Article

    How do health-conscious stores Fresh & Easy, Sprouts, and Sunflower compare with the mainstream?

    Call me a shopaholic. I didn't realize I had a thing for grocery stores until I sat down to write this column, reflecting on how strolling the aisles of brightly lit supermarkets has been such a relaxing pastime over the years. As a kid, I had...

    by Michele Laudig on June 26, 2008
  • Article

    Union Wine Bar & Grill pours its final glass . . .

    Yeah, yeah, I've blogged plenty about stuff that's in the works for the local dining scene, but unfortunately I can't always be the bearer of good news. Today's latest tidbit is a total downer: Union Wine Bar & Grill, one of 2007's most-anticipated n...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on February 5, 2008 @ 5:09 pm
  • Article

    Chef Matney's Back: Eddie's House set to open next month

    Unless you attended the Taste of the NFL culinary event last weekend, or unless you're a member of the ritzy Golf Club Scottsdale, you probably haven't had a taste of chef Eddie Matney's cooking lately. There's nothing wrong with big-ticket parties...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on February 5, 2008 @ 1:04 pm
  • Article

    The Great 2008 Boom: Talavera, Estate House, Bourbon Steak and more...

    If you love going to restaurants, this is a really good time to be hungry. The new year has already brought a flurry of new places to eat, drink, and be merry, and there's more to come. Talavera, which replaces Acacia as the Four Seasons' fine dinin...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on February 1, 2008 @ 3:41 pm
  • Pizza A Metro offers up tasty Italian and wood-fired pizza by the meter

    Article

    Pizza A Metro offers up tasty Italian and wood-fired pizza by the meter

    How do you say "wildfire" in Italian? I can't tell you, but that's the idea I get when I think of the incredible buzz about Pizza A Metro, a fantastic new Italian restaurant in Central Phoenix that's recently jumped to the top of my list of hidde...

    by Michele Laudig on June 19, 2008
  • Article

    Food-centric film fest at PVCC

    I'm not sure what appeals to me more -- the fact that Paradise Valley Community College's spring film festival is full of food-obsessed flicks, or that they're all free. Dinner Rush (2001), set in an Italian restaurant, kicks off the lineup tomorro...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on January 29, 2008 @ 12:36 pm
  • Article

    Bomberos is the bomb, yo

    One of my good friends just got back from a fabulous vacay in Buenos Aires, "The Paris of South America," where he had all the great food and wine he could handle. Argentina might be the one place left in the world where the currency exchange rate do...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on January 25, 2008 @ 11:47 am
  • Jamaican joint The Breadfruit brings Rastafarian cuisine downtown

    Article

    Jamaican joint The Breadfruit brings Rastafarian cuisine downtown

    One of the most intriguing things about Phoenix is how people can reinvent themselves and find success here. We need to make a bigger deal about the beauty of the blank canvas that is our cultural scene. Let me start by celebrating the latest exam...

    by Michele Laudig on June 12, 2008
  • Article

    What will they think of next?

    This morning's batch of email came with a press release for caffeinated, B vitamin- and taurine-enhanced Snickers bars. What the... ??! "To meet consumer needs and help millions of Americans take back their energy-zapped afternoons, SNICKERS Brand ...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on January 23, 2008 @ 4:32 pm
  • Article

    Vicarious thrills via YouTube

    I enjoyed being a fly on the wall for a friend's dinner at Moto in Chicago, courtesy of YouTube. The video is dark and doesn't go all the way to the end of the meal, but it still gives you a sense of what the night was like. Fun! More people oughta d...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on January 21, 2008 @ 2:45 pm
  • Summer Guide: Cheap eats

    Article

    Summer Guide: Cheap eats

    My natural instinct is to haul ass on the highway, but lately I've been hyper-miling in my econo-car. Around my neighborhood, I've been riding my beach cruiser. Several of my coolest new wardrobe additions have come from the Goodwill. And instead of...

    by Michele Laudig on June 5, 2008
  • Article

    Fun with fake food!

    I doubt you've ever questioned how seriously the Japanese take their fake food, but just in case you have, check out this Iron Chef-style fake food contest. From the glistening plastic meat for a mock shabu-shabu display, to the faux piece of ebi tem...

    @ Chow Bella by Michele Laudig on January 15, 2008 @ 2:23 pm
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