October was a dramatic month for the Valley dining scene. We said good-bye to the short-lived but well-received downtown restaurant, The Local, and learned that we'd never see Eliot Wexler's Noca open again. This week will be your last chance to dine at chef James Porter's Petite Maison in Scottsdale; he and his wife Wendy announced last month that they sold their cozy spot to new owners.
But despite some big losses, there's still plenty to look forward to as we head into the busy season. We counted dozens of new restaurant and bar openings around town with more coming just around the corner.
- Forge Wood-Fired Pizza, Phoenix
- Shakes and Cones, Scottsdale
- Revo Pizzabar, Tempe
- Zinburger, Gilbert
- The Mission at Minder Binder, Tempe
- Linger Longer Lounge, Phoenix
- Rollover Doughnuts, Phoenix
- Social Box Neighborhood Eatery, Chandler
- GRAZ Kitchen Fresh, Chandler
- The Pig's Meow, Phoenix
- Cherrytree Smokehouse BBQ, Phoenix
- Angry Crab Shack and BBQ, Phoenix
- The Normal at Graduate Tempe, Tempe
From our First Taste: "We also ordered the cauliflower pizza ($16), which features hunks of cauliflower with pistachio pesto, leeks, Gruyere cheese, and a generous helping of baby arugula. For fans of thin, floppy pizza, this will hit the spot."
"According to the Shakes and Cones website, the shop is serving chocolate and vanilla soft serve that's "certified organic, non-GMO Project Verified, certified kosher, and gluten free." The soft serve is contains 6 percent butterfat and is additive and preservative free."
"The new restaurant was created by the founder of the well-loved and now-defunct Tempe brewpub Bandersnatch and will serve a menu of European-style pizzas, pastas, and salads. Oh, and did we mention online ordering and delivery seven days a week? Revo will have that too."
"The restaurant serves a selection of burgers, salads, sandwiches, and sides made with ingredients such as fried eggs, Maytag bleu cheese, roasted poblano peppers, and applewood smoked bacon."
"As of last week, Minder Binders is back in a new form. Thanks to a new group of owners the barn has been remodeled -- extensively -- and is now home to a restaurant and drinking establishment dubbed The Mission @ Minder Binder."
"Drinkers can look forward to 16 draft beers as well as four 'craft drafts,' or cocktails on tap. There will also be a food menu, which Scott says will be larger and more diverse than what's available at The Little Woody."
"It seems clear that Rollover Doughnuts still needs to work on perfecting their brioche dough. The good news is that once they do they have a few sweet and savory creations that could easily become some of our favorite guilty pleasures."
"Social Box ... aims to combine food with community stewardship by donating a portion of each month's proceeds to nonprofits that help kids, veterans, hunger, and support other causes that affect the Chandler neighborhood."
"Chandler-ites looking for a breakfast and lunch destination can add a new restaurant and juice bar to their list of options. GRAZ Kitchen Fresh, located at 1005 S. Arizona Avenue in the San Tan Gateway Center, opened earlier this month and is serving a menu of salads, sandwiches, and juices."
"The Pig's Meow offers 20 tap handles and somewhere between 65 and 100 beers in the bottle and can. There also are 25 wines by the glass (soon to be 35) and Malkin says he'll launch a bottle program soon."
From our First Taste: "Now we're always down for a meal of lobster and steak, but we have to admit there's something deeply satisfying about eating an entire surf and turf feast while wearing a plastic bib and eating with your hands. It seems like the most natural thing to alternate between bites of garlicky seafood and picking up a rib to gnaw on."
"The first dining option at the Graduate Tempe will be The Normal, a diner-style restaurant. The Normal will serve breakfast all day, as well as soups, sandwiches, and shakes."
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- The Local, Phoenix
- Le Chalet, Glendale
- Hot Dog Stop, Scottsdale
- Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, Mesa
"It was a bright but short run for The Local. The downtown Phoenix restaurant opened on Roosevelt Row this spring, and almost exactly six months to date from its official opening, it has shuttered."
According to a letter on the restaurant's website, Le Chalet closed its doors this month because owner Alain Keller was unable to reach an agreement on a new lease with the landlord. The restaurant opened in 2010 and served a menu of both sweet and savory crepes.
This Scottsdale destination for New York's famous Sabrett hot dogs has closed its doors. It will become a new restaurant, Lucky's Burgers and Hot Dog Grill.
"East Valley residents with a love for country music and southern eats will have quite a drive to get their fix now that Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill has closed at Mesa Riverview. The restaurant and bar is moving all the way up to North Phoenix, specifically to the High Street dining/retail/residential complex at 5310 East High Street."