Under the canopy of an endless Scottsdale sky lies one of the most dynamic and burgeoning dining scenes in the Southwest. The city’s culinary influence can be felt—and tasted—throughout the region, thanks to its vibrant mix of flavors and experiences. From regionally-focused cuisine made with local, farm-fresh ingredients; to food trucks dishing out globally-inspired street fare; to luxurious resort restaurants helmed by the world’s top chefs and sommeliers, Scottsdale is the dining destination of your dreams.

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July 2017

By Susan Lanier-Graham

Foodies are in for a treat with chef-led dining experiences in Scottsdale, which abound throughout the city. I love chatting with chefs and getting to know about their food passions. Here are a few of my favorite chef-led culinary adventures.   LON’s at The Hermosa Inn The Hermosa Inn is an authentic Arizona luxury hideaway that was once the home of cowboy artist Lon Megargee. LON’s, the inn’s culinary masterpiece, is one of my favorite restaurants with one of the most magical patios ever—and a culinary team to match the settings. Dining at LON’s is always an experience, but some of my fondest memories

Chef Matt Carter admits he started his career with a big chip on his shoulder. Believing French food was the best, it may seem like his latest venture Fat Ox, an Italian fine dining restaurant, is merely a vanity project. The truth is, Carter has been tossing around the idea of opening a modern Italian eatery for some time, even before he launched his first restaurant Zinc Bistro, a French-themed café. “I have always been interested in pasta making, but the last 10 years, I’ve ramped up my focus,” he says. For all his restaurant concepts—which include The Mission, and The House Brasserie—Carter’s culinary

A good wine bar should serve a wide spectrum of customers from neophytes to wine aficionados, and present an ambiance that will create a lasting impression. Here, in no particular order, are the top restaurants and bars in Scottsdale where you can sip, sample and savor your favorite varietals.   Kazimierz World Wine Bar From the hidden back entrance and gourmet small plates to a wine list that’s thousands of labels long, this speakeasy is a wine lover’s paradise. Try a wine flight or let your server help you navigate the wine list and select the best wine for your palate.   FnB Restaurant FnB’s front-of-the-house

We Arizonians may be famous for prickly pear and saguaro cacti, haboobs, and shunning daylight savings time, but one thing I’ve learned after living in Scottsdale for 20 plus years – we love a good drink! The cocktail industry explosion has risen to new heights in Scottsdale, with many mixologists using local ingredients – including alcohol made at distilleries right here in the Valley of the Sun. One distillery that’s gained lots of local and national attention is Outrageous Homebrewers Social Outpost (O.H.S.O). This casual, indoor/outdoor brewing company has three Valley locations, each attached to an eclectic restaurant and boasting a

Say “buh-bye” to deep-fried burritos smothered in neon-orange cheese – the fare at these Nuevo Latino hotspots is farm-fresh, fabulous and filled with all the signature flavors you love.   The Mission Chef Matt Carter’s menu of contemporary Latin cuisine is an all-star line-up of braised meats, fresh seafood and handcrafted cocktails. Start with an order of Grilled Street Corn or 12-ingredient Tableside Guacamole (better yet, try both), then move on to the succulent Pork Shoulder Tacos for two. For a perfect pairing, consider a Blood Orange Margarita or Watermelon Basil Mojito.   La Hacienda at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess With a menu crafted by Celebrity

A day tasting in wine country evokes images of endless vineyards, wide-open spaces and a bucolic countryside. But imagine having the wine country experience in the heart of a city.  That’s what you’ll find in downtown Scottsdale, a new hotbed for wine tasting rooms. Now Arizona probably isn’t your first thought for a wine vacation – maybe you didn’t even know the state had a fast-growing wine culture. But in the last two years, the region has become an oenophile’s paradise. Having lived here for 18 years, I remember the infancy of Arizona wine. It wasn’t pretty. For years, I shied away

Some beer lovers may flock to Portland and Seattle, but why not leave the rain behind and head to sunny downtown Scottsdale? The city is abuzz with breweries perfecting the art of beer making and restaurants serving up local suds. Grab some friends and walk, bike or take the trolley for a day of sipping, savoring and inadvertent spilling.   Goldwater Brewing Co. This family-owned and -operated brewery’s tiny taproom boasts 10 craft beers all poured straight from the tanks. Visit the downtown Scottsdale establishment and sample the Desert Rose, which is made with organic Arizona cactus fruit and other indigenous botanicals.   Craft 64 Named

Thanks to a world-class collection of mid-century modern architecture and even a few stray Tiki bars, Scottsdale is the perfect place to throw back a few throwback cocktails in style.   citizen public house An award-winning gastro-pub in the heart of downtown Scottsdale, citizen public house is well worth the visit for its modern, meaty takes on traditional American comfort foods, as well as the extensive list of handcrafted and house-aged cocktails. But if you step outside and squint at the soaring roofline, you can tell that this trendy pub was once home to an altogether different type of cocktail palace. Yes, back

Discovering new flavors is one of traveling’s greatest joys. But in a city that offers literally hundreds of dining options, where do you start? Here, in no particular order, are 10 signature Scottsdale dishes to kick off your culinary explorations.   Charred Octopus at Virtú Honest Craft One of the stars of Chef Gio Osso’s stellar menu of Mediterranean cuisine, this succulent dish features slow-cooked octopus that’s marinated and charred to perfection. The dish gets a little kick from the calabrese chili butter, while the lemon chickpeas and arugula and fennel side salad cool things off.   Tableside Guacamole at The Mission All guacamoles are not

Why just settle for ho-hum sports bar food when you can whet you whistle at these top local gastro-pubs? Short for gastronomy and pubs, these classy taverns first started popping up several years back in the land o’ pubs, (aka Great Britain). And now the trend of serving up hearty, chef-crafted fare in a casual-yet-boozy environment has taken the Scottsdale by storm. So let’s take a tour of four of the city’s finest gastro-pubs.   Culinary Dropout Tucked into the bottom floor of the Scottsdale Waterfront towers in downtown Scottsdale, this stylish neighborhood tavern features an expansive patio and even offers live music