Like flower buds almost ready to bloom, a new crop of local restaurants is gearing up to debut in March, and from the looks of it, this will be one busy season. The trend is toward accessible, affordable fare, even at a couple of upscale resorts.
At the InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa -- a luxury destination in Paradise Valley, where President Obama stayed -- will be opening ROQ: An American Outdoor Bistro on March 4. The concept is choose-your-own comfort food, with a "pit stop" menu that allows you to pick your protein, seasoning rub, sauce, and side dishes, and nine kinds of fries, from garlic fries with blue cheese dip to Japanese fries with teriyaki wasabi dip.
At Biltmore Fashion Park, Stingray Sushi will launch its second (and long under-construction) outpost on March 10, serving up a new menu that will also be served at the original location in Old Town.
More openings are in the works for mid-March. Always-bangin' Arcadia tavern The Vig expands to a second spot in uptown Phoenix, located inside a renovated Ralph Haver building at 16th Street and Bethany Home.
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Have you noticed that striking new building on Scottsdale Road at 2nd Street? It will soon be RnR, a restaurant and lounge from the same people behind Suede. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, RnR will open March 11.
Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana will debut March 12 at The Borgata in Scottsdale, offering authentic, wood-fired Italian pies.
And after a hiatus from the spotlight, James Beard Award-winning chef Robert McGrath returns to the scene with his distinctive Western fare at Renegade Canteen, located in North Scottsdale at The Shops at 94 Hundred Shea, inside the space that used to house South Beach.