Now open on Roosevelt Row in the heart of Downtown Phoenix is a unique and charming neighborhood restaurant, First & Last. This original restaurant concept was created by powerhouse couple Robb and Ashley Hammond, who have a combined 40-plus years of restaurant experience.
The Hammonds created this modern American, chef-driven concept in a historic building on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Roosevelt. It is an intimate, cozy space with high ceilings, inviting seating and a second-floor dining space that can be perfect for a private gathering. As you walk in from the front entrance, you will see an expansive bar that supports the extensive wine and craft cocktail program. If you walk in from the back entrance, you will be escorted past the kitchen window in which you can see the talented team hard at work.
The menu is ever-changing, using the freshest ingredients Chef Robb can find that week. Growing up in the rural Midwest, Robb learned the foundation of handcrafted food at an early age. Having spent a good deal of his life in Chicago working in the kitchens of James Beard-winning and Michelin-starred chefs, Robb was taught the commitment it takes to work at the highest possible level and strives to create remarkable experiences for his guests through food.
We started our meal with the yellowfin tuna tartare toast, which has a very unique spin with tapenade, crispy capers and apple, adding a texture and taste you don’t typically find in a tuna tartare. The grilled Thai carrots is also a wonderful appetizer with barrel-aged fish sauce and a cucumber-onion salad –– another unique combination of flavors and textures.
While the entree options change frequently, you will likely find the same proteins on the menu, but different cuts and preparations. We had wanted to try the Chula Seafood monkfish, but it had sold out, which is a testament to how truly fresh ingredient is here at First & Last. The pork belly served with polenta was a new dish on the menu that night, and it was hands down the best thing we ate.
If you’re a fan of a good cocktail, you are in for a treat at First & Last. The handcrafted cocktail menu offers unique, delicious and also very photogenic drinks that offer something for everyone. They also all have fun names like “Good time, not a good guy” and “Fun in small doses.” The Urban Sombrero was one of our favorites, made with mezcal, amaro, falernum, pineapple, cinnamon, lemon and coconut milk.
First & Last is open Wednesday through Sunday from 4 to 10 p.m., with happy hour offered from 4 to 6 p.m. daily. To see the full menu and additional information about First & Last in Downtown Phoenix, visit firstandlastphx.com.
1001 N. 3rd Ave. Ste. 1
Phoenix, AZ 85003