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Limelight Dipping Bar & Grill Stays a Little Greek, Gets Unique

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For those who may be mourning the recent passing of My Big Fat Greek Restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale, fear not. The same folks behind the eatery, one of several in the Arizona-based chain, have re-opened the location as Limelight Dipping Bar & Grill.

Opened for a little over two weeks, Limelight, which kept My Big Fat Greek's chef, Lefty Karropoulos, will focus on new American cuisine for a "casual dining price" (between $10 and $30.) The restaurant and bar is also venturing into the club atmosphere and late-night-eats business, staying open until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The menu is sizable. The highlight being the "dipping bar," which isn't a physical bar, but a selection of 15 signature sauces in categories of sweet, savory, and spicy -- meant to be paired with (mainly) kebabs, gourmet burgers, and pizza. There are also appetizers, salads, and sandwiches.

All dishes are made in-house and a couple of desserts come courtesy of local purveyors like Mamalee's in Paradise Valley and Laura's Gourmet Granola in Tempe.

And while some Greek-inspired food has stayed on the menu, there's also Italian, Mexican -- even French fare. And by the looks of some of the items, chef Lefty is having himself some fun.

Limelight's menu sports such curiosities as Dorito Skins (potato skins with nacho cheese Dorito crumbles), a lobster cake sandwich, a side dish of ratatouille, "voodoo" dipping sticks, and a one-and-a-half pound Lava Burger infused with Chef Lefty's Ghost Pepper sauce (finish it in 20 minutes and Limelight will name it after you.)

I tried the "Voodoo Sticks," kebabs of tender, spicy sirloin deliciously paired with a creamy wasabi yogurt dipping sauce (each entree can have up to two dipping sauces, after that, they're 75 cents a pop -- hell, try a bunch); and the Butternut Caneohe Burger topped with charbroiled butternut squash and roasted red peppers on a toasted pretzel bun. Although the butternut flavor was absent, I enjoyed the flavorful hand-crafted patty, and the side of tomato basil sauce. The pretzel bun was strong enough to hold all the ingredients and didn't have an overpowering pretzel flavor. It was a unique and scrumptious surprise.

The food was good, and the service friendly and knowledgeable. The one drawback, in addition to restrooms sorely in need of updating, may be the restaurant's interior, which appeared to have been renovated in a hurry. It's cavernous, cold, and gray, gray, gray -- I'm hoping it's a work in progress.

Limelight Dipping Bar & Grill appears confident in its post-Big Fat Greek game right out of the gate. I'm eager to go back and try more of chef Lefty's food along with those yummy dipping sauces.

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