With old favorites opening up new locations and many beer and wine focused concepts popping up, there was a lot to check out in the restaurant scene in February. Unfortunately, not all restaurants felt the love around Valentine's Day, though, with some area institutions shuttering permanently.
- V95 Wine Lounge, Scottsdale "The folks behind Chandler's Vintage 95 wine bar and eatery have brought the booze to a new concept in an unexpected place. Called V95 Wine Lounge & Coffee Bar, the new spot offers a varied selection of wines by the glass and bottle, light dining options, and a full coffee bar."
- Juicd Life, Phoenix "Cold-pressed juices come in 10 different flavors, each of which is named for its healthy benefits. The 16-ounce juices ($9.50) come in varieties such as "Metabolize," a combination of beet, cucumber, jalapeño, lime, and pear, and "Hydrate," with lime, mint, and watermelon. These cold-pressed juices are made by compressing the fruits and vegetables in what are called masticating juicers."
- Hula's Modern Tiki, Scottsdale "The Scottsdale location will serve the same menu of island-fusion fare, including dishes like Island Style Poke, Duke's Pork Luau Plate, and a Hula Burger with grilled pineapple, hula sauce, and cheese. The restaurant also offers a selection of fresh fish, which can be prepared in a number of ways: lemongrass, macadamia nut or coconut encrusted, Jamaican jerk-style, pan-fried."
- Mejico, Phoenix "Now Obed de la Cruz has brought the family's specialties to Central Phoenix at Mejico, his new restaurant located in the former home of Linda's on Osborn, just up the street from Bink's Midtown."
- Grabbagreen, Scottsdale "Grabbagreen offers all-natural foods in a fast-casual setting. Diners can choose from breakfast bowls, fresh juices, smoothies, as well as hot and cold entrees. The restaurant, which has another location at 15689 North Hayden Road, comes comes courtesy of first-time owners Kelley Bird and Keely Newman."
- Pink Pony (Reopened), Scottsdale "Chef Fawcett has created a menu of upscale New American cuisine for the new Pink Pony. There are a few fun surprises in there -- for example, the fried bologna sandwich -- but for the most part, there are plenty of familiar options, including housemade pretzels with fondue, slow-roasted pork belly, and a pizza with mushrooms and truffle oil."
- Scramble, Scottsdale "And though you'll still be able to order favorites like the "brizza" (breakfast pizza), eggs Benedict, and French toast, Scramble Scottsdale will debut several new menu items for both breakfast and lunch. Additions include huevos rancheros, cinnamon apple Energy Cakes, and strawberry stuffed French toast on the breakfast side and a selection of sandwiches, wraps, and salads for lunch."
- Central Wine Bar, Phoenix "The wine bar will have four beers and six wines on tap with food options including cheese, sausage, and fruit plates. Bottles of wine also will be available, with a corkage fee of $5 to be able to enjoy them on site."
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- The Tavern, Phoenix "The Tavern offers diners a "Seafood Bar," with options like oysters, crab, lobster, mussels, and clams, as well as charcuterie boards (sourced from France, Germany, and Italy) and a selection of sharable plates, salads, and entrees. In addition to the expected wine bar fare like a market veggie plate, you'll find plenty of upscale and interesting dining options."
- Draft House Eatery & Lounge, Peoria "Draft House will bring a menu featuring English-style pasties to the west side. The turnovers often come stuffed with meat, cheese, or potatoes and a "Draft House" pasty will feature organic and free-range meat."
- Chao Urban Asian Eatery, Chandler "Chao Urban Asian Eatery boasts a large, casual patio with fire pits for chilly winter dining and a full bar inside. We have some dishes from the primarily Chinese- and Thai-inspired menu for you to check out, along with happy hour details."
- Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen, Mesa "The new location should be serving such classic Cajun dishes as jambalaya, red beans and rice, and shrimp rémoulade in the next few weeks. And don't worry, Phoenix fans, there's something in the works for you, too."
- Portland's, Phoenix "Portland's Restaurant, the eatery and wine bar in downtown Phoenix that was a mainstay for more than a decade, closed its doors for good on Thursday, February 20. But there's good news for fans of the restaurant and its food and drinks. "
- GoodyTwo's Toffee Company, Scottsdale "The good news is that you'll still be able to order all your favorite GoodyTwos treats online or by phone -- and GoodyTwos ships worldwide and also offers local delivery, so your sweet fix is never really that far away. You can also pick up GoodyTwo's Traditional & Sweet & Salty Toffee at Bodega in Scottsdale."
- Cajun Seafood Corner, Mesa "The Mesa location of Baby Kay's will take over what used to be The Cajun Seafood Corner and is expected to open by February 14."