The most recent and captivating entry into the Valley’s burgeoning culinary landscape is PYRO, an upscale hotspot that has become the buzz of the town. PYRO combines the essence of an American bistro with the flair of a Japanese izakaya, offering incredible atmosphere, service and a refreshing infusion of style through sophisticated cocktails accompanied by beautifully grilled steaks on an open flame, all set against an elegant geisha-themed decor.
Upon entering, one is struck by the ample ambiance in this vibey Biltmore-area restaurant. The interior design takes inspiration from a 1930’s Japanese casino managed by “Madam Geisha,” incorporating elements such as fixtures reminiscent of the 1950’s, geisha patterns and velvets. This aesthetic unfolds against the backdrop of a classic cocktail bar, outfitted with warm lighting, and a glowing neon snake centerpiece that evokes Alessandro Michele’s iconic recent Gucci work.
PYRO is a new concept from Flagship Restaurant Group, an Omaha-based outfit best known in the Valley for Ghost Donkey, Palma and Châm Pang Lanes. The group has developed a reputation for cool concepts, exceptional service and quality food and drinks; PRYO exceeds on all three fronts. This is a place that has already developed a loyal customer base that includes trendy young people and local professionals and it is easy to see why.
The restaurant gets its name from its innovative open-flame approach showcased through a specially crafted hearth. This fire gently burns amidst a blend of wood and charcoal in the open-air kitchen where guests can watch the PYRO team skillfully smoking, grilling, roasting and searing a diverse array of menu ingredients — a subtle touch that coalesces elegantly with the downtempo house music and moody lighting.
The menu at PYRO is uniformly stellar; everything we tried during our visit was perfectly balanced and prepared. Standouts include a 40-day dry-aged bone-in ribeye with house-made pickles and PYRO jus; mouthwatering Dungeness crab noodles with Meyer lemon, crème fraiche and smoked trout roe; and what they are boldly declaring the “World’s Best Branzino” served with pickled ginger shoots, Tokyo turnip and herb salad and lemon-chili vinaigrette. There is also sushi, salads and a little of something for everyone, including a gluten-sensitive menu (a welcome touch for a fine dining establishment).
PYRO offers a solid selection of cocktails, many with an Asian flair like a matcha-espresso martini or a sake spritz. There is also a fantastic collection of wines on hand. “We offer a unique wine list that not only features some of the most well-known producers from around the world but also some lesser-known gems from smaller producing wineries,” says PYRO manager and sommelier, Nisa Paris. “These vineyards strive to use sustainable resources which coincides with Chef’s focus on quality and creates pairings unique to the palate.”
PYRO is elegant but relaxed, evolved but unpretentious. It makes a great place for a casual dinner, quick drink or special occasion or first stop before a night out on the town. In short, someone just lit a match to the Phoenix dining landscape. Worth checking out (if you can get a reservation, that is).
For more information about PYRO restaurant in Phoenix, visit pyrophx.com.
4300 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. 125
Phoenix, AZ 85018