Miso Marinated Sea Bass from SumoMaya
The first time I dined at SumoMaya I fell in love with chef Matt Zdeb's miso glazed eggplant. There's something seriously satisfying about the way the caramelized miso plays with the richness of the eggplant. Now Zdeb's added a miso sea bass to the menu and I promise you, it's just as great. You'll get tender pieces of Chilean sea bass skewered and grilled over wood after being marinated in miso. The light sweetness of the miso combined with a punch of umami makes for a great bite.
Margherita from Virtu Honest Craft
You wouldn't expect to find a great take on a margarita at a Mediterranean restaurant, but then again, Virtu Honest Craft is up for a Best New Bar award from Food & Wine magazine. Virtu's Margherita artfully blends the coolness of cucumber with the heat of Calabrese chiles to make a drink that's refreshingly, light but not shy in the spice department. The cocktail also features fresh lime, Altos tequila, orange liqueur, agave nectar, and a dusty orange rim of salt, sugar, and paprika.
Smoked Wings from Mother Bunch Brewery
When you get sick of eating the usual deep-fried, dry chicken wings, head to Mother Bunch Brewery and take a stab at their one pound order of smoked wings. The meat is moist and packs a smoky punch that makes a nice contrast to the brewery's MB sauce. I can't tell you what's in it, but I can say that it's neither too spicy, nor too sweet. Instead it strikes a nice balance between spicy and smoky meaning you can power through the whole order of wings without feeling like your mouth is on fire. This is exactly the kind of elevated bar food I like to eat while watching Sunday football -- preferably with a cold pint of Arizona beer on hand.
Sweet Corn Risotto from Binkley's Restaurant
With truffles and lobster and lardo and cheese this dish from Binkley's Restaurant is just about as decadent as they come. The small, unassuming plate of sweet corn risotto may not look like much when it arrives at your table, but about three bites in you start to realize just how filling such a rich dish can be. Along with a creamy blend of cheese and sweet corn kernels, this risotto held nuggets of buttery lobster meat and pieces creamy Berkshire lardo. A touch of green onion was simply not enough to cut through the richness, particularly since the server also shaves thick pieces of Burgundy truffles on top of the dish.