9 Best New Restaurants of 2012 in Greater Phoenix

This year, the variety of new restaurants in the Valley has more breadth and depth than ever before: comfort-food-meets-gourmet in Scottsdale; artisan pizzas by a legendary baker in Central Phoenix; and knockout Italian eats in east Mesa.

When I made this list, I wanted a selection of restaurants offering distinctive fare -- places you couldn't wait to return to and tell your friends about -- and with options for various tastes and wallet sizes. Find a few that fit your fancy and pay them a visit in the new year -- they'll appreciate it.

The House Brasserie Set in a charming little1920s bungalow, chef Matt Carter's newest restaurant in Old Town is a sophisticated spot serving American cuisine with touches from all over the globe. From charcuterie and cheeses, tapas-style shared plates, stellar side dishes, and entrees like the noteworthy Berkshire pork country ribs, there's something for nearly every palate. Bonus: Al fresco dining on the equally charming patio.

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld