August saw a couple old favorites shutter, but as the old fades, more than half a dozen newcomers have opened, looking to become new favorites with their perfectly flamed grills, superior cocktail programs, and new farm-to-table concepts. They have their work cut out for them as they scramble to get operations into butter-smooth shape before the off-season ends. Overall, it was a promising month for the metro Phoenix dining scene.
Ahipoki Bowl, Phoenix
Poke fever continues. At CityScape in Downtown Phoenix, Ahipoki Bowl opened its fifth Valley location. The outpost serves poke using the now-popular build-your-own-bowl approach. Ahipoki has further expansion plans on tap for 2018.
The Covenant, Paradise Valley
The latest restaurant to embrace the trend of extensive oven cooking is The Covenant, a local- and produce-driven restaurant on Tatum and Shea boulevards. Everything that is cooked is cooked in one of two huge ovens: bread, pitas, octopus, tomahawk stead. Garage doors on the Tatum side open to cool off the room. A shop serving coffee and pastries will open within the restaurant at the end of September.
Masterpiece Coffee + Donuts, Arcadia
These doughnuts are a symphony of textures and flavors.
Fried-to-order doughnuts are the highlight of this new Arcadia shop. Dial what you want on your doughnut into an iPad, choosing from a range of icings and toppings, or opting for a preset doughnut themed according to a world-class artist (like Picasso or Monet). Sip coffee while you wait. Doughnuts are $1.50.