New Year, new restaurants.
Several new restaurants opened in metro Phoenix over the holiday season, including Ladera Taverna y Cocina, a Mexican restaurant and bar located on north Central Avenue in Sunnyslope. Longtime neighborhood residents will remember the space as the former home of Corbin's Bar & Grill.
Ladera is the latest restaurant from Genuine Concepts, the group that brought us the Vig, and retro-inspired neighborhood bars like Cobra Arcade Bar, the Womack, and the Little Woody.
The menu is described as “an authentic take on modern Mexican cuisine” and features a small selection of tacos made with freshly-made tortillas, and house specialties that include regional dishes like mole, cochinita pibil and pescado a la veracruzana.
The drink menu looks robust, with specialty cocktails, a wine list that leans heavily on Spanish varieties, and enough agave-based spirits to put down a small army.
Meanwhile, in Scottsdale, the signature restaurant at the new Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa officially opened in December. '
The Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen focuses on "contemporary Sonoran cuisine" served in a unique setting. Guests dine with a full view of the restaurant's glass-box exhibition kitchen, where executive chef Adam Sheff and his team prepare small, shared plates and entrees with a strong emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. Many of the dishes are grilled on an oversize plancha, a central feature of the kitchen.
Breakfast options include chilaquiles, porridge made from Sonoran wheat berries, and a blue corn short stack served with an orange-poppy seed custard. Dinner specialties include cornbread with tomato-jalapeno jam; sweet corn soup with pickled shrimp and with popcorn; and grilled quail with adobo mop sauce, avocado, lemon, pistachio, and cilantro.
In the northwest Valley, a new locally owned Mexican restaurant inspired by the street food of Tijuana opened last month near the Peoria Sports Complex.
Revolu Modern Taqueria + Bar (the restaurant's name is a reference to Avenida Revolución in Tijuana) has a sprawling, creative menu that includes a guacamole flight, torta sliders, tacos (about nine varieties), bowls, salads and a whole menu dedicated to "flying saucers" — crispy flour tortilla tostadas topped with options like house-made chorizo and egg, veggies, and carne asada.
It may not be mid-January yet, but it looks like 2017 is already offering up more than enough reason to break all kinds of healthy eating resolutions.