It's (pretty much) spring, and with the ideal weather comes many dining events happening in the Valley. From cooking classes to afternoon tea next to an olive grove, a Roaring '20s-themed dinner to a St. Patrick's Day scavenger hunt at some of Old Town Scottsdale's best wineries, March's calendar is not one to ignore.
Here's a quick guide to some fun food-savvy ways to spend the month.
Jazz and Jambalaya SeriesSundays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29
300 West Camelback Road
This lively series is starting up again at Southern Rail. Sip on sazeracs and enjoy Chef Justin Beckett’s signature jambalaya while listening to live jazz on the patio. You'd swear you'd flown somewhere else. The weekly Sunday night event continues through April 26.
Prohibition Wine DinnerWednesday, March 4
7114 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale
Here's a chance to go back. Picture a time, about 100 years ago, when alcohol was outlawed and Americans were just starting to learn about authentic Italian cuisine. Oh wait, you're in present-day Scottsdale. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., Marcellino Ristorante will take guests on a historic journey during a five-course meal paired with regional Italian wines from Fontanavecchia Vineyard. Cost is $200 per person plus tax and gratuity, and reservations are required.
LON’s Last Drop Dinner SeriesWednesday, March 11
LON's Last Drop
5532 North Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley
LON's Executive Chef Jeremy Pacheco and Azunia Tequila's Travis Nass are teaming up for the final dinner of this series at LON's Last Drop. Nass will share his passion and inspiration behind all the handcrafted spirits while you get to eat up. The three-course meal is $99 per person. Make a reservation by calling 602-955-7878.
In Season Cooking SeriesWednesday, March 11
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
2 East Jefferson Street
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails Executive Chef Dushyant Singh is launching his new In Season cooking series. Guests will enjoy light bites plus beer and wine samples centered around seasonal ingredients and local purveyors. The March session will focus on produce like Brussels sprouts and fava beans. Tickets start at $30 and include tax and gratuity.
Nordic Mead Making & TastingSunday, March 15
710 West Montecito Avenue
Learn how to make mead like the Vikings with this workshop from 5 to 6 p.m. at Thunderbird Lounge. Mead is made from fermented honey, water, and spices, just to give you an idea. But no worries, all supplies and ingredients are included with the ticket, which is $35. And you'll leave with your own batch of mead to take home and ferment.
Shamrocks & Shenanigans Wine Scavenger HuntTuesday, March 17
Scottsdale Wine Trail
7134 East Stetson Drive, #B110, Scottsdale
Gather up a group of (up to) four people and hit this interactive St. Patrick's Day event hosted by five wineries on the Scottsdale Wine Trail. Check-in begins at the LDV Winery Tasting Room,. Each stop includes three tastes at each winery, as well as a commemorative wine glass to take home. Teams will have three hours to finish the hunt, and prizes will be awarded to the fastest and most accurate teams. Cost is $30 per person, and preregistration — at least a day in advance — is required.
Agave on the RocksFriday, March 27
Desert Botanical Garden
1201 North Galvin Parkway
Celebrate tequila, music, and food while wandering the trails of the Desert Botanical Garden. Sip on a margarita while trying, and most likely enjoying, culinary treats from Valley restaurants and caterers. The event, which takes place from 6 to 8:30 p.m., costs $75 a person.
Farm to Table Plant-Based Cooking ClassSaturday, March 28
The Farm at South Mountain
6106 South 32nd Street
Learn about authentic farm-to-table, plant-based cooking with award-winning cookbook author Melanie Albert. She'll lead this early spring class at the Botanica market at The Farm at South Mountain. Tickets are $55.
Great Gatsby Pairing Dinner
Saturday, March 28
MATCH Restaurant & Lounge
1100 North Central Avenue
MATCH Restaurant & Lounge is no stranger to themed dinners, and March's event is all about The Great Gatsby. Each of the five courses will be paired with a different themed cocktail inspired by the book and the Roaring '20s, from Oysters Rockefeller to rib-eye steak and a Meyer lemon yogurt cake. For more information, call 602-875-8080.
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Afternoon TeaSunday, March 29
Queen Creek Olive Mill
25062 South Meridian Road, Queen Creek
Enjoy afternoon tea in the olive grove from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Queen Creek Olive Mill. Guests will enjoy finger sandwiches, pastries, cakes, scones, and hot tea. A Champagne bar will also be available for an additional fee. Tickets, which are $25, are available via the Queen Creek Olive Mill Facebook page, but seating is limited.
PCG and MGP Tasting DinnerTuesday, March 31
Phoenix City Grille
5816 North 16th Street
Phoenix City Grille chef Micah Wyzlic and MGP Ingredients master blender David Whitmer are teaming up for a five-course tasting menu. Starting at 6 p.m., guests will receive an Eight & Sand old fashioned welcome cocktail before sitting down to enjoy a first-course salad. That's followed by a spice-cured pork belly, spiced duck confit, coffee-rubbed roasted beef tenderloin, and a Mexican chocolate tart. Reserve your spot by calling 602-510-7174.