Restaurant To Try This Week: Distrito

Distrito, Chef Jose Garces’ new modern Mexican restaurant, is now open at The Saguaro in Downtown Scottsdale.


Distrito’s culinary focus is the diverse street food of Mexico City, known in that country as the Distrito Federal and Mexican Barbacoa, or barbecue. Guests can order from a selection of slow roasted meats, served with traditional Mexican sides. Barbacoa dishes include: Suadero en Adobo, black angus beef brisket, dry adobo rub; Costillas, Berkshire pork spare ribs, chipotle-cider mustard bbq; and Pollo a la Brasa, Yucatan-style rotisserie chicken, orange-guajillo glaze. A menu of small plates includes: Huaracha Los Hongos, flatbread with forest mushrooms, huitlacoche sauce, questo mixto black truffle and corn shoots; Mahi Mahi Tacos with chipotle remoulade, avocado, red cabbage and lime; Ceviche de Atun, yellowfin tuna with Serrano-coconut sauce, lime sorbet, tomatillo and tostadita; and Equites, sweet corn with queso fresco, chipotle and lime. Guests can enjoy watching house-made tortillas and guacamole being prepared in Distrito’s made-to-order station.

The Margarita Bar houses over 100 varieties of tequila and offers an exciting array of drinks including Jefe, or “Chef,” Garces signature margarita made with Don Julio reposado tequila, combier and lime.

Garces’ created an outdoor “patio kitchen” with seating for up to 70 guests who will be able to watch chefs cooking on a custom smoke pit and grill. Opening this spring, the patio kitchen will overlook the grassy lawn, fountain and greenery of the Scottsdale Center for the Arts plaza. Featuring a 600-pound capacity smoker and a four-foot long rotisserie grill, both will be wood-fired using local hard woods such as local hickory, oak and orange woods to achieve sweeter, earthier tones in the smoke. A variety of meats are smoked daily including Tender Belly Berkshire Pork Ribs, Snake River Farms Kurabuta Pork Shoulders, Harris Ranch Black Angus Brisket, co-op raised Colorado Lamb Chops and Mary’s Organic Air-Chilled Chicken, as well as a daily selection of fresh whole fish. Garces uses different signature dry and wet rubs to correspond to each meat, using a variety of fresh and dried Mexican chillies, fresh and dried herbs and toasted spices.

Garces’ original Distrito restaurant in Philadelphia has been featured in Food & Wine, GQ, Glamour and Bon Appetit, which noted that “the menu is pitch perfect.” In its annual “Best of” issues, Philadelphia Magazine voted Distrito “Modern Mexican 2010” and “Best Restaurant 2009.” Distrito and was included on Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List 2009 as one of the world’s top 50 restaurants. In 2008, Esquire magazine named Distrito among the best new restaurants in the country, while locally, The Philadelphia Inquirer named it best overall new restaurant of 2008.

For more information or to book a reservation, please call 480.970.4444 or visit

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