This year marks the 25th anniversary for Vincent Guerithault's quintessential French restaurant Vincent on Camelback. Vincent made his mark on the Phoenix dining scene with classic French haute cuisine in the 1980's. He quickly gained notice for his successful application of traditional French culinary technique incorporating southwestern ingredients found in his then new home, Arizona.
Guerithault continued to be a pace setting chef, opening The Camelback Market, a seasonal (Oct-May) Saturday outdoor market featuring local produce, French breads, pastries, crepes, wine, and other local and imported comestibles, in 1990. Vincent's Market Bistro, a casual bistro transporting guests with its Parisian bistro experience in food and ambiance, opened in 2003. Vincent Van Go Pizza, a mobile wood-fired pizza oven debuted in 2008, providing fresh baked pizza at The Camelback Market and for private catering events.
A main ingredient of Guerithault's success is attention to his customer. "Dining trends indicate that people want a more relaxed dining experience," he says, "We've heard that from our customers too." The new Blue Room adds to Vincent on Camelback the dimension of "a casual neighborhood space where people come to as a destination, or before or after a movie, game or other event."
more from new from Vincent after the jump
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The Blue Room, a series of small interconnecting, intimate spaces, evokes a French wine bar lined with plush banquets against walls decorated with French illustrations and magazine covers. An unobtrusive flat screen TV hangs ready for airing black and white films, food and cooking presentations, and perhaps even an occasional sporting event.
The casual fare menu in The Blue Room includes a selection of fruit and cheese, hors d'oeuvres and small plates. The menu features an assortment of small plates designed for tasting, sliders-choose beef, lamb, salmon,shrimp, duck, or crab, a salad trio-choose roasted cauliflower, lentils, ratatouille, roasted corn with goat cheese and asparagus, or a trio of "Croque" sandwiches-ham and Brie, tomato basil and mozzarella, pear arugula and blue cheese.
Expect Gougeres, filled with melting St Andre and topped with Gruyere, and fresh house made potato chips served plain or sprinkled with chipotle, cumin, or Parmesan. Vincent's French desserts, (we sampled a trio of pot de crème- vanilla bean, caramel and chocolate) are available as well as a selection of boutique wines. Menu items range from $3 to $8.50.
The Blue Room opens Monday, January 24, with weekday service beginning at 3pm, Saturdays at 5pm.