With acclaim as the first restaurant to curate an Arizona-only wine collection, FnB at the historic Craftsman Court in Downtown Scottsdale is a culinary treasure for more reasons than one. Owners Chef Charleen Badman—who recently won the James Beard Best Chef: Southwest award!—and front-of-house manager and beverage director Pavle Milic join forces to combine a menu of thoughtfully prepared, locally inspired dishes with the perfect selection of beverages. FnB is best experienced at sundown or later when a warm glow of light floods the restaurant, illuminating the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Born and raised in Tokyo, Nobuo Fukuda has cultivated his craft as a chef in Arizona for more than 30 years. Known for his visionary food combinations and masterful presentation, Fukuda’s Teeter House in Phoenix offers dishes that simultaneously challenge and honor traditional Japanese cuisine. During daytime hours, Teeter House is reminiscent of an elegant Japanese teahouse—a charming 20th century bungalow with baby blue walls and hardwood floors—then transforms into funky and lively izakaya by night. The restaurant has a lunch and dinner menu, serving dishes like house-cured salmon, tuna tataki and more.
It’s hard to compete with the variety of fantastic Mexican fare in Arizona, but Barrio Café easily stands out as one of the best. The folk art murals on the outside walls are unmistakable, but it’s the food created by Chef Silvana Salcido inside that make this Valley restaurant shine. Iconic menu items include the cochinita pibil, chiles en nogada, chef's tableside guacamole and the churro rellenos. Barrio Café offers some 300 choices of hand-selected tequilas, Mexican wines and beers, as well as traditional Mexican soft drinks like horchata and housemade jamaica, a type of hibiscus tea.
Geordie’s Restaurant & Lounge (pictured)
Geordie’s Restaurant & Lounge at landmark Wrigley Mansion has long been a local favorite for luxury date nights, special occasions and entertaining out-of-town family and friends. Diners can enjoy happy hour, lunch, dinner and decadent Sunday brunch with menus featuring grilled steaks, fresh seafood, house-made pastas and the season’s best ingredients. For a little pre-dinner drink, the sleek, sexy Jamie’s Wine Bar offers 25 premium wines by the glass and an extensive list by the bottle. Come September, Chef Christopher Gross is opening Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion, a 26-seat tasting-menu restaurant. It will feature a hearth-driven tasting menu filled with elegant yet whimsical dishes in a setting that can be best described as a “work of art.”
James Beard Award-winning Chef Chris Bianco’s eponymous pizzeria, with locations in Heritage Square and 20th Street and Camelback, serves up some stellar slices. The pizzas, which are crafted with ingredients from local farmers, are cooked in a wood-fired oven and rely on the simple knowledge of what makes a superb pizza: great dough, flavorful sauce, fine cheeses and the right balance of all three. Tratto, another Bianco gem located at Town & Country in Phoenix, is fresh and beguiling with an ivory color scheme and a full view of the kitchen, complete with shelves full of fresh produce and bottled ingredients. This Italian eatery and cocktail bar channels the spirit of the Southwest with Bianco’s dedication to Arizona-grown foods, and its lineup of fresh pastas are worth the wait for a table.