- 21. deseo
Even with a new face in the kitchen, Chef Derek Biazo of deseo at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa has kept the Nuevo Latino restaurant a food force to be reckoned with. Don’t dare miss a starter of ceviche and a freshly muddled cocktail, though a pick among the menu’s South American wines will also keep you satiated. For a meaty main, check out the feijoada wagyu or Duroc pork chops. kierlandresort.com.
- 22. The Gladly
From the just-opened raw bar to one of the Valley’s best happy hours (every day from 3 to 6 p.m.), The Gladly in Phoenix has been an area favorite since it opened in 2014. The restaurant is home of The Original Chopped Salad, which has its own Facebook page, but the menu’s impressive dishes do not stop there. Try the duck meatloaf, shiitake wagyu burger and, for dessert, the banana cream pie jar. thegladly.com.
- 23. Prado (pictured)
At Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, Prado dishes up incredible wood-fired Spanish-inspired eats in a beautiful fine-dining atmosphere. This New Year’s Eve, diners are invited to elevate their holiday dining experience at a fireside table reserved exclusively for you and your guest, complete with vintage Champagne, dedicated service and an over-the-top seafood tower. The experience can be capped off with floral arrangements, candles, live entertainment, a midnight balloon drop and luxury overnight accommodations. omnimontelucia.com.
- 24. NEWBIE Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar
You can find this wonderful Valley newcomer at The Camby in Phoenix. Decked in deep blues and rich copper tones, Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar impresses the eyes before moving onto the taste buds. Kick off your meal with the unique burrata salad, with roasted strawberries and hazelnut vinaigrette, before digging into a hearty main dish. Perhaps the sage tagliatelle or pork osso bucco? artizenaz.com.
Check out the new Sunday brunch!
- 25. NEWBIE Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
Since opening its doors in 2015, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour has become the top spot in Downtown Phoenix for innovative, sometimes over-the-top cocktails. Its 32-page Book O’ Cocktails (which is a work of art itself) features dozens of unique and delicious offerings, whether you want something timeless and traditional or outside of the box—or cup, rather—like the Duck Bath Punch, presented in a miniature porcelain tub. Hungry? You can’t go wrong with Chef Bob Tam’s ramen “Momo” burger, served on crisp ramen buns. bitterandtwistedaz.com.
Tales of the Cocktail nomination in 2016!
- 26. NEWBIE Ocotillo
New to the Phoenix dining scene, Ocotillo has already made a good impression thanks to its New American menu—with an Arizona flair—and its too-cool outdoor dining spaces. Though sizable fish, meat and pasta entrees are available, order up several ever-changing small plates and salads and grab a spot at the high-rise community table. ocotillophx.com.
Buzzworthy: The on-site coffee bar is open until 2 p.m.
- 27. Nobuo at Teeter House
From his James Beard Foundation Award to his 30 years of experience, Chef Nobuo Fukuda has long been a culinary tour de force in the Valley. At his Modern Japanese restaurant in Phoenix, Nobuo at Teeter House, the gourmet genius dishes up the super-inventive and artful omakase that he has become known for. nobuofukuda.com.
- 28. Pizzeria Bianco/Tratto
Renowned chef and pizza maker Chris Bianco created next-door-neighboring restaurants Pizzeria Bianco and Tratto in Phoenix. Pizzeria Bianco, a rustic building of brick and wood with two Phoenix locations, serves what has been called the nation’s best wood-fired pizzas like margherita and Biancoverde with smoked mozzarella. A bright and inviting establishment with a white color scheme and colorful jars of foods adorning the shelves, Tratto offers upscale Italian cuisine and cocktails. pizzeriabianco.com; trattophx.com.
- 29. POSH Improvisational Cuisine
Hospitality and a personalized touch to one’s dining experience are taken to a whole new level at POSH Improvisational Cuisine. A high-end establishment in Scottsdale, guests provide the chef with their dining preferences and dislikes, as well as food allergies or restrictions. A specialized menu is then created with each guest's unique desires in mind. While there is no set menu, seasonal offerings include fennel-dusted California halibut, shaved porcini mushroom salad and prime New York strip with wild mushroom ragout. poshscottsdale.com.
- 30. Barrio Café
Barrio Café, from former Woman Who Moves the Valley, Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza, creates regional Mexican cuisine including sopas (thick tortillas with vegetable and meat toppings), tacos and enchiladas among a variety of other authentic dishes, along with an extensive list of margaritas. With its vibrant, street-style art on the walls and in the parking area, this eatery is always lively and bustling with patrons. barriocafe.com.