Taste Tidbits

BBQ 2015 FB-24

Foodie news roundup for the week of March 14.

For the first time ever, Carlson Creek Vineyard‘s Grenache grapes yielded more than expected, allowing them to create a 100 percent Grenache. The family-owned vineyard will be releasing the Grenache at their Willcox tasting room on Easter weekend (March 25-26; closed March 27 for the holiday), where they’ll be offering complimentary tastings. For those who can’t wait, the Grenache is available now on CarlsonCreek.com, where they will be offering free shipping on orders of two or more bottles with the promo code FREESHIP.

This Saturday, March 19, Arizona’s largest barbecue event, the Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival (pictured), returns to downtown Chandler from noon to 10 p.m. with 20,000 lbs of ‘cue, 200 kegs of craft beer and 20 bands. Headlining this year’s entertainment will be Granger Smith. During the Great American Barbeque and Beer Festival, guest of all ages can participate in a variety of themed zones, including the Kids Zone, the Live and Local Stage, Bravo Fan Experience, Food Eating Competition Zone, Desert Wind Harley Davison Pavilion, March Madness Lounge and more entertaining zones. General admission tickets are available online for $12 at www.chandlerbbq.com and $15 at the gate. Children 12 years of age and younger are admitted for free.

The Italian Festival brings Italian culture, food, fashion and more to Scottsdale for its biggest year yet. Hosted by the Italian Association of Arizona, a local nonprofit, this two-day celebration will double in size, taking up the entire Scottsdale Waterfront on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, 2015. The event features everything from live music and unique, hand-crafted Italian items, to wine tastings, authentic Italian cuisine and artists straight from Italy, like A’ Ziarella. Of course, no Italian event would be complete without gelato, Italy’s favorite dessert. $10 entrance fee. Children under 12, veterans and Italian Association members are free.

It’s all going down on Thursday, March 24, when over a dozen of the Valley’s top restaurants and local chefs will light up their grills and compete for the title of Best Burger in the Valley during the annual Burger Battle from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale. Tickets to this event include all the burger tastings you can eat, ice cold Leinenkugel’s beer, fries, dessert, lawn games and live entertainment by the Groove Merchants. General admission tickets are $65 during presale and $75 at the door. VIP Admission is $85 and includes early entry, meet and greet with local celebrity judges, a VIP gift and access to the exclusive lounge area.

International Brazilian recording star, Jim Porto, appearing for the second time in the US, will join forces “on stage” with Marcellino Ristorante’s co-owner Sima Verzino and her trio for an epic night of music and food on Thursday, March 24. Porto has had a wildly successful career across Europe, Brazil and Latin America. Shows take place at 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.

The Vic Bar + Kitchen has opened its doors, and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer incredible views, at The Victory Club at Verrado in Buckeye. The public restaurant’s farm-to-table menu, expertly crafted by Executive Chef Robert Douglas, is centered on cooking in its purest form, showcasing the flavors and fresh produce of each season. Seven days a week, diners are welcome to Graze, Chow Down and Share from-scratch creation.

Burger Theory, a new gourmet burger concept offering local craft beer and build-your-own-burgers, is now open off of 44th Street and McDowell. This new burger restaurant is popping up all over the country and is making its way to the Valley. Enjoy gourmet burgers, salads, local craft beer and even breakfast. (In fact there are more than 4,300 combinations of burgers including turkey, chicken and veggie patties.)

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is offering 30 days of giveaways for the duration of spring training. If you post to Twitter or Instagram a photo of you at a spring training game with #GrimaldisGrandSlam, you can win a $25 Grimaldi’s gift card.

Bonefish Grill is creating martini madness every Monday during the rest of March. The fresh fish experts — known for seasonal seafood and other wood-grilled specialties — are offering their signature, handcrafted martinis for just $5 at the Phoenix Bonefish Grill.

Flourish at CopperWynd Resort & Club has just rolled out their new brunch menu. Offered every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the brunch menu includes a number of savory dishes or smaller plates that will appeal to appetites of all sizes. Dishes include avocado toast, buttermilk biscuit benedict, waffle BLT and much more.

Set to take place on Monday, March 21​, Liberty Market’s upcoming Community Dinner will feature favorite dishes from now-defunct restaurants that molded our chefs’ early careers with the theme “Dead Restaurant Revival.” (Restaurants will include Scottsdale’s former Bloom, Fiamma and Cafe Terra Cotta.) The dinner is open to the public with sign up at the Liberty Market Strada Bar. Limited seating is available for up to 30 people. Dinner will start at 6:30pm. Cost for dinner is $60 per person, and an additional $20 per person with our wine and cocktail pairing.

On Wednesday, March 23, The Boulders Resort in Carefree will be hosting a specialty wine dinner event complete with a reception and a four-course meal paired with wine by The Starz of Constellation Brands. $129 per person, not including tax and gratuity, with the reception starting at 6:30 p.m.

Zappone’s dishes up a Cooking with Wine Cooking Class Saturday at noon. The cooking class is $50 and includes lunch, recipes and one glass of house wine. Make reservations at zapponesbistro.com (space is limited).

At Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers, celebrate March Madness with killer beer specials. Beer bucket specials: Buy six, save $6. Buy 12, save $12.
Mix and match from more than 100 bottled and canned beer.

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