Chow Bella

Chow Bella's Top Phoenix Food Stories of the Week

Every week, there's a cornucopia of new Phoenix food news, features, and reviews to report here at Chow Bella. If you're like most people, you probably just don't have the time to get to all of it. It's kind of like those burgers at Old Town Whiskey; it just won't all fit in your mouth . . . or in this case, your day. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed.

Chris Bianco Changes Up the Kitchen at Italian Restaurant, But Is That Enough?

When pizza guru/restaurateur Chris Bianco brought chef Claudio Urciuoli onboard to run his generically named Italian Restaurant -- which opened in Central Phoenix last January -- the partnership promised to be interesting, at the very least.

Both men have earned stellar reputations for their meticulous sourcing, and both have definite opinions about what Italian food is and isn't. As it turns out, their opinions regarding the direction this particular Italian restaurant should take simply were too different to make the alliance work.

Read the full story about changes at Bianco's Italian Restaurant.

-- Nikki Buchanan

P.F. Chang's Sold in $1.1 Billion Deal

On the heels of opening a new concept and acquiring a majority interest in True Food Kitchen, Scottsdale-based P.F. Chang's announced recently it is selling more than spicy chicken and wontons.

The Phoenix Business Journal reports that P.F. Chang's is being acquired by a private equity firm in a deal valued at around $1.1 billion. The firm, Centerbridge Partners in New York, will buy all outstanding shares of P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc. to the tune of $51.50 per share, making the cash offer around 30 percent over the company's closing stock price yesterday.

-- Laura Hahnefeld

April Restaurant Openings and Closings

Apparently, April is a good month to open a restaurant in the Valley. Everything from Somali food to a reopened classic threw a hat into the Phoenix culinary ring last month. Check out the full list of Phoenix restaurant openings and closings.

-- Ando Muneno

Cinco de Mayo Dining Roundup 2012

The annual alcohol-fueled celebration of Cinco de Mayo takes place this coming weekend and it seems every restaurant and bar has some sort of fiesta planned for the occasion.

While most Mexican joints are content to trot out the Mexican kitsch and offer cut-rate prices on whatever cerveza they have in stock, a few eateries and other Valley establishments will offer special dishes and unique festivities -- ranging from tortilla-making to tussles between luchadores.

Check out our list of some of the coolest restaurant events and special eats to be had around town.

-- Benjamin Leatherman

Laurie Notaro's Army of Foodies (Part Two)

I'm sorry, but there are always more. As soon as I hit save on my Army of Foodies list, I came up with another five.

While these Amuse Douchers aren't always as prominent in everyday foodie structure, they are there. Thankfully, most of them will move on in about three months to whatever the next trend is, since they came to foodiedom after ReadyMade went defunct and the publisher started sending Better Homes and Gardens in its place. This is what happens when you no longer get photo instructions of a cute girl in skinny jeans demonstrating how to turn abandoned bikes into hanging lamps or a guy with a beard upcycling any objects with a bottom into a portable barbecue.

Shhhh, shhhh. It's almost over.


See Notaro's full Army of Foodies list.

-- Laurie Notaro

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Eric Tsetsi
Contact: Eric Tsetsi