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Restaurant Progress

702 W. Montecito Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85013
602-441-0553
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Restaurant Progress

Lauren Cusimano

Dining at this compact eatery occupying the eastern-most suite of the historic Wagon Wheel building in the Melrose District feels like a visit to Biosphere II: Loads of plants and greenery mingle with natural wood and light, creating an earthy experience unlike any other in the Valley. The constantly changing, seasonally driven, five-course tasting menu at Restaurant Progress is overseen by chef and owner TJ Culp, who plates mostly upscale, New American fare. Among the dishes we’ve sampled here are soy-cured watermelon, scallop crudo, skin-on pork belly rillon, tagliatelle ragu, short rib bourguignon, and rabbit ballotine. The small but passionate team has recently added a brunch on Sundays that includes — as with the a la carte and tasting menu — offerings from local purveyors like Proof Bread, Arcadia Meat Market, and more. (And just FYI: This is the same team behind Dino’s Napoletana, the backyard pizza operation at the neighboring Thunderbird Lounge.) Walk-ins are welcome, but we recommend a reservation.

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