Arizona Restaurant Week Kicks Off Affordable Fine Dining on Friday

Affordable fine dining lands in Phoenix this weekend.
Affordable fine dining lands in Phoenix this weekend. Evie Carpenter
Friday marks the beginning of Arizona Restaurant Week, a biannual festival of $33 and $44 three-course prix-fixe menus at fine dining venues across the state.

Some, like Ajo Al's Mexican Cafe in Arrowhead, are even offering meals-for-two for $44, including cocktails. Along with a slew of national chain restaurants, like Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, there are several decidedly local restaurants offering special menus for the week, like Paradise Valley's El Chorro, a favorite of Arizona's rich and famous when it opened in 1937, where the menu includes classics like lobster bisque and peppercorn-sauced filet along with the restaurant's beloved homemade sticky buns. With locations in downtown Phoenix and Gilbert, a more contemporary favorite, Clever Koi, will be serving a menu featuring rabbit dumplings, short ribs, and pad thai.

Restaurant Week will run May 19-28, and there are 126 participating restaurants all over the Valley, which are organized (with menus) by area on the Arizona Restaurant Week website.

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Felicia Campbell has written about food, culture, and cars for digital and print publications all over the world and is the author of The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia (Andrews McMeel, 2015). Her husband learned quickly that she’d rather get a bag of avocados than a bouquet of roses.