We're starting out in 2019 with 19 new restaurants and a few closures, plus a new Chow Bella food editor and a new Scottsdale eatery backed by an experienced duo. Here's what you need to know from the food scene from the past week.
December Restaurant Openings and Closings
The Phoenix metro area is closing out the year with the opening of 19 new restaurants. New dining options include an all-you-can eat Brazilian steakhouse, a micro-brewery serving smoked barbecue, a bagel joint that features fresh-baked, New York-style bagels, and an Italian-influenced restaurant making handmade pasta dishes and sourcing vegetables and herbs from a local community garden. Sadly, three restaurants will not make it into the New Year. The December casualties included Holy Crab, a seafood concept that closed after a mere seven-month run, and Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, a neighborhood pizzeria and bar that shut its doors after 16 years of business.
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Meet Lauren Cusimano, Phoenix New Times' New Food Editor
Phoenix New Times' culture and food writer, Lauren Cusimano, has accepted the position of food editor. Cusimano is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and has written for several Valley publications, including State Press Magazine, PHOENIX Magazine, and True West Magazine. She began working for New Times in 2015 as a proofreader. "I can’t tell you how excited I am to cover, and learn even more about food and drink in this city and the many amazing people behind it. I want to dive deeper into our many great farmers' markets and underrated eateries, get to know more chefs and bartenders, cover important topics like food waste, and better explore growing restaurant hubs like Glendale, Peoria, Mesa, Gilbert, and more," says Cusimano.
Local Sultan of Meat to Open Scottsdale Restaurant This Month
Dom Ruggiero, formerly the executive chef at Chelsea’s Kitchen and other LGO hospitality restaurants and more recently a butcher at The Meat Market in Cave Creek, will open a restaurant this month with Charles Barber. Barber has been the head barman at Zinc Bistro in north Scottsdale for many years. Currently under construction, Hush will be a 44-seat restaurant. It is on North Scottsdale Road in north Scottsdale, not too far south of Kierland Commons, right by The Rooster Tavern. The food will be New American, a term that doesn’t really mean anything and allows for great flexibility. “It will be a little bit of everything,” Ruggiero says. “Without me having to work for somebody else, I can do my own food. There’s going to be more Italian.” Hush will have its soft opening later this month.