Top Five Phoenix Food Stories of the Week

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Every week, there's a cornucopia of Phoenix food news, features, and reviews to report here at Chow Bella. If you're like most people, you probably just don't have the time to get to all of it. It's kind of like those burgers at Old Town Whiskey; it just won't all fit in your mouth ... or in this case, your day. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed.

Six Oktoberfest Celebrations in Metro Phoenix

Ready for a heavy dose of brats and beer? The official Oktoberfest season kick-off is this Saturday -- we already told you this morning about the celebration beginning this weekend at Brat Haus with free beer! -- and we've got the details on all the Valley's celebrations happening over the next few weeks. So break out the lederhosen and get ready to party!

Check out the full list of Oktoberfest Celebrations in Metro Phoenix.

--Shannon Armour

Chefs Robert McGrath and Matt Taylor Debut Signature American Dishes at Market Street Kitchen

Are there high expectations for Market Street Kitchen, the new restaurant of American fare at DC Ranch in north Scottsdale? You might say that. Times two.

Two, meaning the two notable chefs that will head up Market Street Kitchen's, er, kitchen: James Beard Award-winner Robert McGrath (formerly of Spotted Donkey Cantina, Renegade Kitchen, and Roaring Fork) and Matt Taylor (the 20-something chef who left Noca this May and who also did a stint at Metro Brasserie).

As the restaurant's executive chef and chef de cuisine, respectively, McGrath and Taylor will be working for Keeler Hospitality Group, which currently operates Spencer's for Steaks and Chops, a Hilton property, and Portland Prime at the Portland Downtown Embassy Suites.

See what diners can expect from Market Street Kitchen.

--Laura Hahnefeld

(More) Craft Beer on Mill Ave. at the Handlebar and Grill

If Mill Avenue were a Monopoly board, Julian Wright (the man behind La Bocca, Canteen, and the now defunct Library Bar and Grill) may have just snatched up Park Place and the Boardwalk.

You'll find his newest property, the Handlebar and Grill, just around the corner and up the street from Canteen, the always-crowded tequila bar that opened in 2010. The Handlebar, a bike-friendly joint, recently opened to the public and looks to cater to the older, more "chill" folks that Wright insists frequent the street that's become known for wasted co-eds, frozen desserts and dirt cheap drinks.

It's hard to imagine a new drinking hole that would dare specialize in anything but craft beer - and Handlebar is no exception.

See what you can find on tap at Handlebar and Grill.

--Lauren Saria

An Interview with Chef Pete DeRuvo of Davanti Enoteca and a First Taste

There are many times in life when the real thing doesn't live up to the buzz that preceded it (thank you very much, The Dark Knight Rises). This isn't the case with Davanti Enoteca. All the talk you may have heard is true.

Nikki Buchanan sat down with Chef Pete DeRuvo for this week's Chef Salad interview. Laura Hahnefeld also has a first taste from the recently opened Davanti Enoteca.

See what all the buzz is about.

--Laura Hahnefeld and Nikki Buchanan

Is Barrio Cafe's Take on Mexican Food Authentic? And Does It Matter?

Editor's Note: The final post in our "Eating 16th Street" series about Barrio Cafe has drawn quite a bit of criticism, so when Sharon Salomon -- a Phoenix-based food writer, dietitican, investor in Barrio Cafe and one of chef Silvana Salcido Esparza's culinary school instructors -- asked to write a guest post in response, we said yes.

The Chow Bella post about Barrio Café written by Alex Rodriguez earlier this week irritated me. In fact, it really pissed me off.

Ms. Rodriguez is of course entitled to her opinion but it was the tone of her writing and what she chose to attack that left me livid.

We food writers often try to define what is meant by authenticity in ethnic cuisines. Maybe way back when cultural groups were more isolated and before there were hundreds of food magazines, thousands of cookbooks, celebrity chefs on television and before international travel was common, authentic recipes existed. But that was then. Nowadays the food world is a melting pot and no place is that more evident than in the United States.

See Sharon Salomon's full response.

--Sharon Salomon

Don't forget to check out Chow Bella's continuing list of 100 Tastemakers.

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