Restaurant News: The local restaurant gold rush shows no sign of slowing down. Here are some dining spots I'll be checking out:
* Rodizio Grill: Looking to fill up on meat? This Brazilian restaurant will give you a powerful animal-protein boost. It will offer multicourse dinners, at one set price, featuring waves of skewered meat--beef, pork, poultry--prepared on a churrasqueira, a Brazilian grill. Servers wear gaucho outfits. The restaurant will open in the fall, near Arrowhead Towne Center on the west side.
The proprietors currently run three successful Rodizio Grills in Colorado--this is their first out-of-state outlet. You might recall two other Brazilian restaurants have tried to make a go of it in town, but failed: Both Cafe Brazil and the Rio Brazilian Steak House (another rodizio-style restaurant) never got up quite enough steam.
* Il Palio: Yes, another Italian restaurant. Look for familiar northern Italian fare: risotto alla Milanese, ravioli stuffed with crabmeat, veal marsala, chicken with sausage, shrimp fra Diavolo. Il Palio is at 9619 North Hayden in Scottsdale. Call 922-3567.
* Saki's Pan-Asian Cafe: The Valley's love affair with Pan-Asian cuisine continues. Already this year we've had ObaChine, Roy's and Restaurant Hapa. This place is scheduled to open in the fall at Fashion Square Mall, in the digs formerly occupied by Aldo Baldo. I'm expecting good things: Saki's proprietors are the folks behind Sushi on Shea and Sushi on Mill.
* Coco Pazzo: You guessed it--an Italian restaurant. The owner currently operates Coco Pazzos in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. They serve traditional Tuscan dishes, to which the chef applies what he calls "poetic license." This latest Coco Pazzo branch is at 4720 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Call 946-9777.
* Jamaica Miah's Cafe: Not every new place is a fancy, big-bucks, white-tablecloth operation. This place is cheap, small and ethnic. Check out brown stew chicken; steamed whole red snapper; red beans, veggies and dumplings simmered in seasoned coconut milk; and jerk chicken. Nothing goes for more than $9.95. The restaurant is at 2700 West Baseline in Tempe, at the northeast corner of 48th Street and Baseline.
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* Timber Lodge Steakhouse: This is a Minnesota outfit that's looking to fill the niche between the high-end and low-end steak-house market segments. The restaurant has a limited menu, with entrees in the $12 to $18 range. I hear they'll be coming in soon with several branches.
* Palladium: This place sets a new standard--it has closed before it opened. It was to be a fancy French restaurant. The New York proprietors got the place all ready--the tables were even set. But at the last minute, they decided not to go ahead. I hear their wives weren't happy in Phoenix and wanted to go back to the Big Apple.
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