The third Arizona Restaurant Week is underway as we speak, with a huge variety of participants enticing newbies and regulars alike with three-course meals at a special price of either $29 or $39. The price depends on the place -- a spot like Roaring Fork will set you back $29, while something more upscale, such as Prado, runs $39. And at some restaurants, the prix fixe includes a beverage as well as dinner.
Considering that the event continues through this coming Sunday, this is an opportunity to try a lot of different cuisines, and to hang out in a lot of different atmospheres. If you really want to make the most of it, you could dine out the next seven nights in a row and get a killer sampling of the Valley's top spots.
Where would I go, if left to my own devices this week? Here are seven picks:
I'd hit up Roka Akor for butterfish tataki with white asparagus and yuzu, Korean spiced lamb cutlets, and banana cake with orange cream and housemade ginger ice cream.
Since chef Claudio Urciuoli is serving Italian food at Prado now -- the restaurant started off as an upscale Spanish restaurant -- I'd like to try his porcini ravioli, branzino with polenta and braised greens, and apple crostata.
At Different Point of View, I could go for lobster bisque, and ancho-seared pork tenderloin with a honey corn cake, charred shallots, baby summer squash and pepita pesto, and dried bing cherry and tarragon reduction. What's for dessert? No idea, but the first two courses sound good enough to entice me.
Bourbon Steak's day boat scallops with cauliflower and fava bean succotash sound good, along with a Kobe flat iron steak, and Macallan 18 butterscotch pot de creme with nutmeg beignets and a toffee float.
I'm drooling at the thought of The Mission's Peruvian clam stew (almejas al vapor), chorizo porchetta, and pumpkin bread with cream, butterscotch, pepitas, and vanilla bean ice cream.
Chef Vincent Guerithault's cooking has never done me wrong. At Vincent's on Camelback, sign me up for brie and figs en croute with mesclun salad, a New York strip steak with green peppercorn sauce, and a magnificent Grand Marnier souffle.
And at POSH, I'd entrust all three courses to chef Joshua Hebert, who never has a set menu anyway. If Restaurant Week is all about experiencing local restaurants, and you want to get a true taste of this place. omakase is the only way to go.