Where to eat on the patio this weekend (The House Brasserie)

In New York, Marni and I left no carbohydrate behind. I’ll show you photos next week. You’ll be sick. We came home vowing a life dedicated to chicken and vegetables. Then I went to dinner at The House Brasserie in Old Town Scottsdale to celebrate spring, and to see my friend Shauna, and to enjoy these gorgeous patio nights, and it all fell apart.

You want to go there this weekend for dinner — it’s my new favorite patio in town, and just the place to honor these breezy evenings.


It’s from the team behind The Mission — chef Matt Carter and manager Brian Raab, who always makes you feel as if he’s so happy to see you.


The menu is a little Southern, a little American, a little “whatever-Matt-wants,” as Brian says.


We wanted farro salad with arugula and salame, and jerk chicken on Arizona fry bread.



Go, and happy weekend.


P.S. Hayden Flour Mills is up for Entrepreneur of the Year — the company makes those gorgeous flours in Chris Bianco’s pizza and other cool carbs around town. If they win, they get more money to revitalize their old, beautiful building and to feed us. Vote here.

By |2013-04-12T08:04:34-07:00April 12th, 2013|Travel|3 Comments

Localove: Federal Pizza opened Monday on Central Ave.

One of the first customers at the new Federal Pizza, now open in a historic building on Central: Nancy Beadle, the widow of famous architect Al Beadle, who designed the building where pizza is now being served. Nancy stopped by to scope the place out and the staff ran out to greet her once she gave up her name, said Federal co-owner Craig DeMarco. She told DeMarco she was excited, but he said he and his staff were more awestruck than she.

Those Beadles – kind of a big deal.

Also a big deal in Phoenix right now: finding adaptive use for important, historic buildings instead of tearing them down. Federal used to be a bank, hence the name. The owners are dedicated to finding new uses for old things. (These are the genies behind Postino and Windsor, as well.) And now let’s talk about the pizza, which has brussels sprouts on top, and is fantastic.

I’ll tell you right now: this year’s trendy food thing is brussels sprouts. They’re everywhere. And toasted marshmallow, too, which is also on the menu at Federal Pizza,but we’ll come back to that.

On day one, the Federal Pizza room was crowded, even before 7 p.m.

The place has a sweet midcentury swank working on its behalf: vintage lamps, orange booths, collected melamine teacups, and vintage salt and pepper shakers. And all that fantastic Beadle architecture to admire. (Notice the clerestory windows and the pillars they connect to, over which I marveled all night.)

I was very impressed by this mural painted by a local artist. It looks like quotation marks, which any journalist especially loves. Restaurants by Craig and Kris DeMarco and Lauren and Wyatt Bailey are always visual feasts.

I could spend many happy hours on this patio — thankfully, it’s in my hood.

Food: all of the pizzas were created by MJ Coe,  master of MJ Bread and husband of Tammie Coe. The crust tastes like MJ, which  means good. We inhaled those brussels sprouts, and the corn coins coated in fennel, herbs, and pecorino cheese.

They even serve wine coolers in mini bottles — flavors like grapefruit ginger and strawberry rhubarb.

And, of course, toasted marshmallow for dessert. This time, it’s on top of chocolate pudding and an Oreo crust. And it comes in a Mason jar, of course.

Federal Pizza is at 5210 N. Central in Phoenix. Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. 602-795-2520.

By |2012-10-23T05:21:28-07:00October 23rd, 2012|Travel|4 Comments

New discoveries: Royal Coffee at the Biltmore

I walked past this about 20 times before Maggie and Marissa brought it to my attention: on the bottom floor of the new Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa at the Biltmore, there’s an outpost of Royal Coffee. We met Marni for a post-workout cup and I thought I’d show you around.

The exterior is midcentury marvelous.


Inside: granola chic.


Marissa, the Vanna White of scones (baked by Urban Cookies):

Even the coffee was pretty, and we loved the Alessi cups. (There’s even an Alessi at the Biltmore, so you can get your own.)

P.S. Is anyone else in utter mourning over the orders closing at the Biltmore? I feel like I lost a dear friend, and I did, really. That’s one of my favorite places in Phoenix.

By |2011-02-24T14:32:34-07:00February 24th, 2011|Travel|1 Comment


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