Phew! We think we can declare the dreaded summer slump officially over. That's because, with a very busy Arizona Restaurant Week wrapping up and only two spots on our closing list, it looks like most of our favorites have made it through the dead zone and into fall. While it's a damn shame that we did lose two Phoenix staples this September, we're also seeing new life in the dining scene all across the Valley.
- Delice Bistro, Tempe "The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weeknights, but will be staying open until 2:30 a.m. to take advantage of Mill Avenue bar-goers with a need for something sweet (and not liquid) to cap off their night."
- Cuff, Glendale "Harvey's vision for Cuff's food is to offer New American cuisine with a Southwestern twist. And considering that the restaurant will be pouring a selection of craft brews, expect the kind of food you'd want to eat with a cold beer. There's also a menu of classic cocktails"
- Butcher Block Meats, Chandler "The traditional butcher shop sells a variety of beef, pork, and chicken products, as well as meaty packages such as The Omaha, which includes petite sirloin steaks, tri-tip steaks or roast, hamburger patties, boneless pork loin chops, and boneless chicken breast for $69."
- Vivo! Ristorante, Scottsdale "In addition to lunch and dinner, Vivo! offers an array of Italian food products including wine by the bottle, dried pasta, and more."
- Marigold Maison, Phoenix "The menu offers a wide variety of regional specialties in a way that makes Indian cuisine feel immediately accessible. The price point may exclude it from being an everyday dining spot, but for a quality and portion of food the value feels right."
- Shabu Fondue, Phoenix "The idea is pretty simple: Choose your type of broth and a handful of meats and vegetables you want to cook in it. Pretty much like with Swiss fondue. The broths are heated by an electric boiler mounted in the middle of the table and kept boiling throughout the meal."
- Sol Diablo Cantina, Tempe "In addition to the menu of tacos, entrees, and starters, Sol Diablo Cantina also offers a full bar with options such as the Casa Margarita ($6) and both red and white sangria ($5). Other drinks include three types of Sol Mules ($7) such as the Mexicana made with tequila, cilantro, cucumber, and mint."
- Mucho Macho Taco, Phoenix "You can choose familiar combinations such as Skirt Steak Asada with grilled scallions, queso fresco, and pico de gallo or Crispy Baja Fish with cheddar cheese, chipotle creama, pico, and cabbage. But there are also some more unique choices including the Roasted Turkey Mole with celery, bacon slaw, and pecans and the Bacon taco with lettuce, pico, and creama."
- Wild Game Sports Grill, Phoenix "According to the owners, this means wild boar bacon, bison sliders, venison/elk chili, and more will be on the menu."
- Perfect Pear Bistro, Tempe "The restaurant is scheduled to open the last week of September in south Tempe about six miles from the original location in Ahwatukee. The menu includes Italian and American classics such as eight different bruschetta options, soup, salad, and several pasta dishes."
- Rock Lobster, Chandler "The new concept translates to the addition of three new teppanyaki tables where diners will be able to have an interactive dining experience -- as in, the food will be cooked right in front of them."
- Bad Water Brewing Tap Room, Scottsdale
- Stingray Sushi, Scottsdale "After a decade of success in Old Town Scottsdale, the original location of Stingray Sushi has closed its doors. The restaurant's lease is up, but owners say they're already looking for a new location in the area. The goal is to reopen a Scottsdale sushi outlet in 2015."
- Noca, Phoenix "According to a sign posted on the door, Noca is closed for "house cleaning." But the cryptic note doesn't give any details about when the restaurant will reopen -- if at all."