Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) is once again here, taking place May 21 to May 30, and there’s no better time to get out and try something new. Participating restaurants offer a great variety of their most popular and most unique dishes to guests at great price points. Three-course prix-fixe menus are available for $33 or $44 per person.
And you can feel even better about going out for ARW, since when you order takeout or stop in at any of these great places, you’re also helping small business owners and local communities recover and rebuild. Arizona Office of Tourism has the lowdown on just some of the cuisines and dishes not-to-miss this Spring 2021 Arizona Restaurant Week.
“We’re proud to be a long-time sponsor of ARW. Restaurants are an important part of the visitor experience and are critical to our state’s economy,” says Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “Arizonans are our state’s largest visitor group, so we encourage everyone to enjoy a night out and try a new place for a great price!”
Phoenix and Chandler
Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill is known for combining traditional Asian cooking techniques and ingredients in non-traditional ways to create bold flavors. Start with the classic chicken lettuce wraps or spice it up with the jalapeno-yellowtail roll. Just make sure to ask for more spicy ginger-soy sauce; you’ll definitely want a second serving. The gluten-free New Wave Pad Thai makes for a perfect entrée, combining traditional pad Thai flavor with an unexpected sweet tamarind-chili sauce. End your meal with the banana caramel spring rolls. You’ll be glad you did!
Ever think you’d see carne asada inside a sushi roll? As a virtual restaurant located inside Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill’s Scottsdale location, Ghost Street Asian Taqueria tickles the taste buds by combining modern Asian flavors with the joyous wonder of tacos. The can’t-miss items here are the duck carnitas tacos and Wokin’ Hot carne asada tacos. Don’t forget to pair either of these with the amazing wok-charred street corn.
Urban Margarita hangs its metaphorical hat on making high-quality, uncomplicated Mexican dishes using fresh ingredients, homemade sauces, locally sourced produce and premium quality meats. Start with the simple elote-style corn chowder, which is just enough to serve as a great lead-in to the grilled shrimp enchiladas as an entrée. In addition to the freshly grilled shrimp, the star here is house-made tomatillo-cream sauce, which will have you considering ordering seconds.
Kaizen provides its guests a special mix of Japanese and Latin cuisine that appeals to both the most developed sushi palate and novice sushi diners. Start with the Karaage (soy-marinated fried chicken) topped with togarashi dust, which is a toasty, sweet spice mix that finds its way to many Japanese dishes. Follow it up with the even-better nigiri trio or sashimi, and you’ll understand why this Downtown Phoenix eatery chose the name Kaizen – the Japanese concept of continuous change and improvement.
If you love the wide variety of cuisine found throughout Mexico, then you owe yourself a meal at Chantico, which prides itself on flawlessly blending old and new with a focus on local, healthy and organic. Start this culinary adventure with the red chili pozole. The fresh ingredients transform this well-made traditional dish into a powerhouse starter. Follow it up with the mesquite-grilled achiote chicken or grilled baby back ribs, which constantly vie for the title of guest favorite. And for good reason, as the authentic flavors will immediately transport you south of the border!
Executive Chef Beau MacMillan is well-known for the ever-evolving, farm-fresh, locally sourced American cuisine that graces guests’ taste buds at elements. And the offerings for Arizona Restaurant Week are no exception. We don’t even know what the Soup of the Day will be yet, but you should definitely try it, as it’s guaranteed to be fresh and expertly prepared. The cavatelli green carbonara (of course, including a poached hen egg) provides an unexpectedly surprising take on this traditional Italian dish. You’ll have missed out if you don’t order the yuzu-coconut panna cotta for dessert!
The Fat Ox, named after iconic Italian Bue Grasso cattle, promises modern riffs on Italian fare not limited to a particular region or cooking technique. And it delivers. The made-to-order at your tableside Caesar salad always seems to set the right tone for the meal. Chef Matt Carter and his team hand-pull cheeses, craft more than a dozen pastas in-house and craft amazing entrees each day. You really can’t go wrong here, but the 8-oz. Linz prime filet or Pacific swordfish really exemplify the expertise and fearlessness in this kitchen. Then show how brave you are by finishing this amazing meal with the banana tiramisu – another twist on a classic.
Phoenix, Peoria and Chandler
Hands-down the coolest aspect of the Sicilian Butcher is that its provides a wide variety of tasty options with which to build your own meal. Whether it’s dry-aged steak, lamb, ahi tuna or lentil or eggplant parmigiana, any mix of the 15 varieties of gourmet meatballs are a must for your charcuterie board. Add in one of eight sauce options – the spicy arrabiata and Parmigiano cream sauce are amazing – and some Italian-cured meats, and your set for your tour of Italy, Arizona-style!
The Roaring Fork embodies Old West tradition of cooking over a simple wood fire by preparing all of its delicious items using wood-fired rotisserie, open-flame grill or wood-oven roasting. And for Arizona Restaurant Week, it’s offering its must-try 8-oz. bacon-wrapped filet mignon. Take a guest so they can order the braised beef short ribs with the just-spicy-enough horseradish mashed potatoes, and share it all. You won’t be disappointed. Finish it off with the chocolate and toffee pecan pie.
In addition to an expansive selection of Spanish tapas from stuffed piquillo pepper with crab meat and saffron sauce to glazed mushrooms with albarino and garlic, Tapas Papa Frita is known for creating mouth-watering Catalonian, Basque and Andalusian cuisine. Don’t miss the manchego-crusted mahi and saffron rice entrée. Then on your second visit, be sure to order the vegan Portobello Pua pasta with truffle oil, basil and garden tomato sauce.