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Best Restaurants in Phoenix, AZ

by Rita Connelly

It should come as no surprise to anyone that many of Phoenix’s best restaurants are found in the various resorts in the area. After all, with its amazing weather, breathtaking scenery and the laid-back and oh-so-modern lifestyle The Valley of the Sun lures countless visitors year round.

That doesn’t mean those lovely resorts are the only places you’ll find great eats. In fact, some of the best places are found in tiny strip malls or upscale shopping sites. And, then of course, there are those out of the way places, the well-kept secrets that only locals know and are not so inclined to share.

What follows is a compendium of some the area’s best dining spots. You’ll find a high-end restaurant that takes its inspiration from Native American foods, a Mexican spot that will take you deep into the heart of Mexico and a funky soul food joint that will teach you a thing or two about food combinations. There are many long-time favorites and new places that are winning raves.

All restaurants are in the Valley, but when “out of town” we let you know. Also note the different area codes. You’ll also have to get used to the habit of getting directions by cross street or an explanation of the streets where these places are “between”. Hours of operation have tendency to change with the season so it’s best to call ahead for details. Some places don’t take reservations; at others, you won’t get a table unless you call ahead.


Arlecchino Gelateria
4410 N. 40th Street
602 955-2448
To quote one gelato aficionado when talking about Arlecchino’s gelato, “When you taste it you will know…believe me there is nothing like it.”  Why would he speak with such conviction?
Maybe it’s because owner Moreno Spangaro makes only eight or so flavors fresh everyday using only the best, natural ingredients he can find. His chocolate for example, has not just three kinds of quality cocoa powder, but three different premium types of dark chocolate. The pistachio contains only the best Italian nuts and rest assured any fruit gelato is made from the freshest fruit in season.
Perhaps the gelato is so outstanding because Spangaro knows what he’s doing. He did spend almost two years in his native Italy under the tutelage of a master gelato maker.
Or maybe the gelato rocks because Spangaro keeps the recipes a secret.
Who knows? All visitors need to know that in spite the tiny size of the shop, the frozen treat that is produced there is like no other this side of Italy. Watch for the lines that form out the door. Open from late afternoon until around 9:00 p.m.; a little later on weekends.


 Barrio Café
2814 N. 16th Street
602 636-0240
Moderate to expensive.
Barrio Café has earned a reputation for serving more than just the “usual Mexican food”. Indeed, there will be no chips and salsa on each table here. Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza dug deep into her roots as a daughter of a California baker and even deeper back to into Central and Southern Mexico for her inspiration.
For starters, a basket of warm bread and a tapenade will appear at the table. From there, you can order the guacamole that is prepared tableside and depending on the season will be flecked with pomegranate seeds or dried cherries. The winning entrée choice is the slow cooked (twelve hours) Cochinita Pibil, roasted pork with anchiote rojo and sour orange. Seafood lovers will swoon over the Enchiladas Del Mar, where shrimp, scallops and crab top blue corn tortillas. The wine list is impressive but it’s the tequila menu – with over 200 choices – that will knock your socks off.
And while the place is open for both lunch and dinner the Sunday brunch is not to be missed.  No reservations.


Binkley’s Restaurant
6920 E. Cave Creek Road
Cave Creek
480 437-1072
Earning kudos from Food & Wine (The Go List 2007), the Arizona Republic (Best New Restaurant -2004), and the Scottsdale Culinary Institute (Best  Chef) and many, many more, this charming Cave Creek eatery calls the food they serve, American Eclectic.
Chef Kevin Binkley honed his talents at both The French Laundry in the Napa Valley and The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia. His wife Amy, a seasoned foodie in her own right, works the front of the house with charm and finesse.
Only the finest and freshest ingredients are used in preparing the ever changing three tasting menus and the full menu, as well. With the help of sommelier Dan Parrott all the wines are matched with great care and priced with the diner in mind.
And while this is four-star dining at its finest, the atmosphere is totally comfortable without an ounce of pretension. Eat on the patio, at the bar, in the wine room or the gracious main dining room where artwork from nearby Bonner David gallery is displayed. Dinner only. Reservations strongly recommended.


Cowboy Ciao Wine Bar & Grill
7133 E. Stetson Drive
480 946-3111
Moderate to expensive.
One perusal of Cowboy Ciao’s menu will tell scads about this eclectic eatery. Combining a tongue-in-cheek approach and a sincere effort to give diners truly great food, Chef Bernie Kantak and staff offer plenty of delightful and delicious options. Reading the menu will make you smile; supping on the globally influenced menu offerings will make you positively swoon.
The décor reflects the menu. Part Italian Renaissance, part cowboy cool and with just enough kitsch thrown in for good measure there will be plenty to ogle as you await your meal.
Kick off your meal the Big Biceps Salad (an homage to Popeye and Octopi) where spinach, octopus, gorgonzola cheese and celery are married with the best quality olive oil. Those with anchor tattoos get a discount (see what we mean by tongue in cheek?). The mushroom pan-fry with double-cooked polenta has won raves from numerous critics.
And don’t forget to order one of Pastry chef Tracey Dempsey sinful creations.
The wine menu is extensive - and humorous - but the folks here take pride in the fact that many of the options come from smaller producers. Lunch is also a blast! 


1919 W. Chandler Boulevard
480 963-4490
A sure sign of success in the hospitality business is when owners, managers and staff of successful restaurants make your restaurant one of their favorites. Such is the case with Cyclo. Outstanding Vietnamese food is the draw here. Roll in the unbelievably affordable prices and you’ve got yourself a winner.
At the same time both modern and funky, traditional and exotic, part of its popularity is due to owner Justina Duong. She’s bright, attractive, energetic and interesting just like her food.
Décor is eclectic and highlighted by many wire sculptures of the restaurant’s namesake, the cyclo. A cyclo is the three-wheeled pedicab found throughout Vietnam.
People rave about the Banh Xeo, a crispy crepe and the Tom Rang Hat Tieu, the black pepper shrimp starter. Of course, a full array of noodles dishes and phos are also on the menu. Throw in one of the special Vietnamese beverages such as Vietnamese coffee, plum soda and preserved lemon soda (no alcohol) and you’ve got yourself an authentic, and totally delicious meal. Closed between lunch and dinner and on Sundays and Mondays.


905 N. 4th Street
602 254-6424
Inexpensive to Moderate.
Tucked into a former bungalow in downtown Phoenix is the incredibly hip, always happening Asian restaurant known as Fate. Hong Kong born Chef Johnny Chu stirs up amazing progressive Asian fare with passion and creativity.
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays you’ll find a d.j., music, candle light, a whole lot of fun, and of course, great food! Chef Chu has been called a visionary in his approach.
Staff recommendations include the Cantonese Black Dragon where chef mixes his famous black dragon bean sauce with broccoli, onions, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, carrots, bok choy, sweet peas, baby corn and your choice of chicken, beef, or tofu. Shrimp will cost you only slightly more. Or opt for the House Dynamite. Here you’ll find sweet peas, pineapple, bamboo shoots, carrots, baby corn and peanuts in a sweet, spicy sauce (and any of those protein choices). A nice choice of wine, beer and other beverages are available.
Décor is part modern, part old Phoenix. The local artwork changes monthly and is, of course, for sale. Lunch and dinner.


Kai Restaurant
5594 W. Wild Pass Boulevard
602 225-0100
The staff at Kai – which includes consulting James Beard Award winner Janos Wilder – takes the idea of eating locally to heart. Located on the Sheraton Wild Horse Resort and Spa and just minutes from both an Indian reservation casino and downtown Phoenix, this is a one-of-a-kind restaurant.
The inspiration is the bounty that is grown by Native American tribes. Wilder and Chefs Michael O’Dowd and Jack Strong, use such unusual ingredients such as tepary beans, saguaro cactus and quail eggs to create their unique menu.
Much of the food, even some of the fish, is grown by the Native Maricopa Indians on the nearby Gila River Reservation. Other ingredients, such as buffalo, come from the Cheyenne River tribe or the Sea of Cortez in neighboring Mexico. The mole is made from pumpkin seeds raised by Tucson’s Native Seed/SEARCH, an organization devoted to preserving heirloom crops. All the other touches incorporate the Native American culture: glassware, plates, and artwork.
Views are stunning from wherever you sit. It should be noted that the dress code discourages denim and hats and shorts are not allowed. Dinner only.


Kazimierz World Wine Bar
7137 E. Stetson Drive
480 946-3004
The Kazbar, as this wonderful wine bar calls itself, is the sister restaurant to Cowboy Ciao. With the same chef, owner, wine options and attitude you can expect an evening here will be a real hit. Sea Saw is also part of this Scottsdale trifecta.
The wine menu is huge, but certainly not stuffy and proves both instructional and amusing. An example: “listen, I’m as skeptical as you about ordering a 6 year old fume (from Mexico no less), but this won me over…..”
The food offerings are every bit as charming and offbeat. For example the “Kantak and Kasperski Go To a Bar”, which consists of a variety of smoked sausages and pretzels.
Kantak and Kasperski, by the way, are the chef and owner respectfully.
And as part of the fun, in a salute to the old time speakeasy, Kazbar doesn’t draw a whole lot of attention to itself. Look for the small sign, walk toward the back, enter through a most interesting door and there you are. You won’t need a password. Also, food is served until 1:30 a.m. making this a great spot to stop for a bite on the way home from an evening at the opera. Dinner and late night.


La Locanda
10201 N. Scottsdale Road
480 998-2822
No website
If you’re in search for some authentic Northern Italian food, then La Locanda is the place to go and has been for over fourteen years.
This is a cozy trattoria reminiscent of something you might find in the chef’s hometown of Milan. It noisy, but not rushed, with a rustic elegance not found elsewhere. Service is casual AND first class. Plan on spending a long, comfortable time at your table.
The staff boasts about the veal dishes and don’t get them started on the risotto! And the osso buco?  the best in town according to the friendly servers. And of course, all the pastas are great since they’re made fresh daily. Wines are a part of it all, but you’ll also have your choice of over one hundred vodkas all impressively displayed in the bar.
The staff strongly suggests that you make reservations, because on any given night the place is packed to the rafters. Dinner only. 


Lo-Lo’s Fried Chicken and Waffles
10 W. Yuma Street
602 340-1304
Lo-Lo’s proves you don’t have to be fancy to bring in the crowds. Serving what is said to be the best soul food in Phoenix, this tiny spot claims Charles Barkley and Amare Stoudemire as part of its legions of fans (former and current Phoenix Suns players, just in case you didn’t know).
Larry White, otherwise known as Lo-Lo, earned his stripes working for his grandmother Elizabeth White, of Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Restaurant; the Valley’s other soul food fave. White puts his years of experience – he claims he began serving teas and other drinks at the tender age of three – to great use here. The house specialty KK’s #1 includes three pieces of crispy fried chicken prepared Southern style, two lighter than air waffles, two eggs with cheese, onions and grits. Phew! With a large jelly jar glass filled to the brim with sweet tea this is a feast and then some.
Other soul food offerings include catfish, red beans, cheesy grits, mixed greens, mac and cheese, candies sweet potatoes, and some sinfully good, Sanny Sands Red Velvet Cake. Eggs, omelets and a variety of breakfast meats are also available.
In this tiny converted house, décor is casual and hip with photos of the famous and not so famous hanging on brightly painted walls. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Lon’s at the Hermosa
5532 N Palo Cristi Road
Paradise Valley
602 955-7878
Chef Michael Rusconi’s serves his Artful American cuisine in one of Phoenix’s most historic and beautiful hotels, The Hermosa Inn. Built by renowned artist Lon Megargee in the 1930’s, the site includes lovely adobe architecture, lush desert views and a wondrous assortment of Megargee’s acclaimed Western art.
Rusconi’s artwork includes signature plates such as natural boneless beef short ribs with Tahitian vanilla scented sweet potato mash with mild ancho chile chocolate sauce and a grilled beef tenderloin accompanied by white truffle macaroni and cheese and wilted greens. Rusconi and his wine staff have collected many perfect pairings in the cellar.
Gourmet magazine calls Lon’s at the Hermosa one of the Southwest’s Most Distinctive Restaurants and USA Today named it one of the area’s Top Restaurants. Numerous Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence also attest to the restaurant’s commitment to offering guests a wonderful dining experience. Dinner only.


Marcellino Ristorante
1301 E. Northern Avenue
602 216-0004
Chef Marcellino Verzino and his charming wife/partner Sima go out of their way to ensure guests have a totally wonderful experience at their contemporary Italian restaurant.
The couple met in Italy where Marcellino was winning raves for his cooking and Sima was developing a fan base of her own with her R&B musical talents. They moved to New York where they both had successful careers, but then luckily for us, to Phoenix where they opened Marcellino Ristorante.
The handmade pastas here are unique in that they are infused with herbs and such intriguing ingredients such as porcini mushrooms, squid ink and saffron. Every night is different so the servers bring a tray with the daily pastas and sauces to the table to help you decide. The tray is then whisked off to the kitchen for the freshest preparation (highly recommended is anything with lobster).
Meanwhile, Sima will stop by and chat.
The dining room is as dramatic as the service with two tiers, velvet curtains, flocked wall paper and other elegant touches. Live music is featured Mondays through Wednesdays; other nights you’ll be serenaded with good old Italian music overhead. Dinner only.


Matt’s Big Breakfast
801 N. First Street
602 254-1074
Matt’s Big Breakfast is what would happen if Mel’s Diner joined forces with Alice Waters.
They have all the accoutrements you’d find at your local diner: leatherette chairs trimmed out in chrome, orange Formica topped tables, a funky counter that adds just a few more seats to this wee place, thick mugs for your piping hot coffee and a nice, noisy crowd just about all day long or at least until 2:30 p.m. when Matt’s closes.
And yet, there isn’t a diner in the country serving the quality ingredients that chef Matt Pool uses to prepare his diner eats. For example, the eggs come from free-range chickens and for the likes of Matt’s butter burgers Harris Ranch beef is used.   The griddlecakes and Belgian waffles are served with real Vermont maple syrup and farm fresh butter. For lunch, the Cincinnati style chili is topped with real Wisconsin cheddar cheese and sweet onion. 
There will be a wait but soon you’ll be seated and enjoying your meal. Don’t let those folks standing in line make you feel the least bit guilty. They’ll get their turn. Breakfast and lunch only. Tuesday thru Sunday.


15024 N. Scottsdale Road #160
480 948-2055
20004 N. 67th Avenue, Glendale
623 537-4500
Moderate to Expensive.
Thoroughly modern in both menu and décor, North brings an Italian touch to the Kierland Mall, with another spot in Glendale. There is a nice buzz at both locations. Right away you’ll notice the “wall” of floor to ceiling windows that both reflect the interior glow of the large drum lights while allowing for some great views.
The wine list is small but well-researched and all choices can be purchased by the glass, the terzo, which is just a tad more than a glass and a half or by the bottle.
Kick off your evening with the seasonal antipasti plate to share or perhaps the fried calamari tossed with a splash of lemon and peppery arugula all for your very own. Then comes the hard part. Should you go with one of the thin crust, perfectly crisp pizzas.
(fennel sausage and caramelized onion? Prosciutto and goat cheese?) or opt for some pasta or one of the plates of the day? Highly recommended are the short ribs “osso buco” that are served with roasted root vegetables and a creamy white polenta. Any side dish will please. Your pleasant server will help you choose a homemade dessert. Lunch and dinner daily.


Olive and Ivy Restaurant & Marketplace
7135 E. Camelback Road
Scottsdale Waterfront
480 751-2200
Moderate to Expensive.
This latest addition to the Fox Restaurant family created quite a buzz along the Scottsdale Waterfront when it opened in late 2006. Part restaurant, part market, part get-and-go café, part new California, part Old World, this charming spot offers diners a little bit of the best of everything.
At the market the trained baristas will pour you a cuppa Joe while you choose from a worldly assortment of baked goods or a scoop of in-house gelato. Lunches include sandwiches, quiches and more. Be sure to scan the wine list for the perfect bottle to pair with you picnic lunch.
If it’s more of a full scale dining experience you’re craving eat in the sophisticated, yet comfortably casual dining room. Here the offerings include such starters as falafel with a cool cucumber and mint dressing or an assortment of flatbreads. Entrees include a “painted” lamb Moroccan style or potato gnocchi with caramelized onions, shaved Parm and sweet corn. And you’re bound to find a nice wine; there are 45 choices by the glass alone. The only problem you might have is making up your mind. The market is open for breakfast and lunch only, but the bar and restaurant are open for lunch and dinner.


Pane Bianco
4404 N. Central Avenue
602 234-2100
The menu is small but don’t let that fool you. The four sandwiches – three regulars and a fourth market sandwich, the daily special – and two salads prove that simpler is better. Chef Chris Bianco uses the same attention to fine ingredients and preparation that goes into the pizzas at Pizzeria Bianco (see below). For example, the tuna comes from Portugal and the tomatoes are purchased at local farmers markets  And of course, the wonderful aromatic bread is made in the wood-fired ovens, usually by Bianco himself.
A couple of items you should know: One, Pane Bianco is only open for lunch. Two, there is no seating, so it’s all get-and-go food, ideal for a picnic. Three, libations are all non-alcoholic. And four, Pane Bianco is beginning to have a following not unlike its sister a block away, so you might want to get there early. Lunch only.

Pizzeria Bianco
623 E Adams Street
602 258-8300
Word on the street is that there will be a wait when you visit Pizzeria Bianco. Word on the street also says the food is more than worth it. Using homemade cheese and sauce, the finest imported meats, high quality olive oil, flour from Sicily and fresh veggies, Chef Chris Bianco turns out killer pizzas. Baked quickly in his famous wood-fired oven, the pizzas have won praise from foodies all over the country. Some even claim that a visit to Phoenix isn’t complete unless you have a pie at Pizzeria Bianco.
There are less than a half-dozen pizzas, although there are plenty of extra toppings if you so choose. Small plates and salads and homemade country bread round out the menu.
Chris Bianco is a James Beard Award wining chef and the restaurant has been featured in too many food magazines to count. In fact in Peter Reinhart’s book “American Pie” there is a whole chapter devoted to the place and such food luminaries as Jeffery Steingarten and Ed Levine have proclaimed the pizza her to be the “Best in the World”. Local faves are the Wiseguy which is topped with house-made, pecan-wood smoked mozzarella, roasted onions and fennel sausage that Bianco makes himself.
Located in historic Heritage Square, you can always wait next door at Bar Bianco or at one of the outdoor picnic tables. Plan on a little extra time and expect to develop a food addiction. Reservations are accepted for parties of six or more but you will not be seated until the entire party arrives. Dinner only.


Postino winecafe
3939 E Campbell Avenue
602 852-3939
Postino means mailman in Italian and is a most appropriate name for this wine bar, which is located in a former historic post office.
Here the vibe is cool and cozy, the wines are eclectic – and changed out regularly - and the menu is perfect for noshing.
A beginning cheese course will be matched with the perfect wine by the knowledgeable staff. Or try one of the several panini or bruschetta as you relax in the deep comfort of a club chair. Desserts include a few traditional favorites like tiramisu and creme brulee, but the lemon parfait with fresh berries and blackberry sauce is an ideal ending to your meal.
In the evening lights go low and romance heats up. The large firehouse doors are opened, adding an al fresco feel to the place.
Special deals are available on Mondays and Tuesdays, but everyday between 11:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m. all wines are available by the glass for the amazing price of $5.00. Lunch and dinner.


Rancho Pinot Grill
6208 Scottsdale Road
480 367-8030
Moderate to Expensive.
With the warmth of an old Arizona ranch house and a menu that emphasizes farm fresh ingredients, Rancho Pinot is a pleasant blend of old and new.
The skeleton of saguaro cactus adds charm to the cheerful dining area room. Western art hangs on the walls. From your seat in the dining room you can see both the wood-burning oven and the wine cellar. You’ll feel a part of the comfortable atmosphere immediately.
There are no greasy fryers, no gas burners to take away from the clean, honest flavors of the food. What you see is what you get. One critic compared it to your mom’s cooking if your mom was a world class cook. The menu changes on a regular basis.
The wine list is award-winning (with plenty of the namesake wine on the roster) and the genial staff will be happy to help you pick the ideal paring.
In its fourteen year history, Rancho Pinot has won numerous awards for both their food and wine. It continues to be a great place to take out-of-town visitors, but that certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop in when you’re craving a delicious meal. Dinner only. Closed on Mondays.


10315 N. Scottsdale Road
480 905-1308
Chef Razz, as he in known throughout the valley, has quite a following. For over twenty-nine years folks have followed Chef Erasmo Kamnitzer to his various kitchens. Twelve years ago he opened this tiny spot in Scottsdale. With only sixteen or so seats, guests sit together around the same open kitchen/bar and watch Razz work his magic.
His philosophy is simple “Everyone comes to have fun” and he will go out of his way to make sure you do. While the menu has roots in Classic French cuisine, international options have been updated to keep things lively and interesting.
Highly recommended for first time visitors, is the tasting menu with some new items and with favorites that chef has developed over his many years in the kitchen.   Some of the choices are created practically on the spot; others have been a part of the repertoire for years. That same experience, wisdom and passion can also be found in the wine list.
Dining at Razz’s is both an intimate and fun experience thanks to outstanding food and Chef Razz’s charming and passionate personality. Dinner only. Closed Sundays and Mondays.


Roaring Fork
4800 N. Scottsdale Rd.
480 947-0795
The awards for this Valley favorite are too numerous to mention (okay so we’ll name a few – 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Zagat Guide Excellent rating, Gourmet magazine 2003  - one of America’s Best Restaurants, Best Hamburger “Arizona Foothills” 2004).
This is an “American Western Bistro and Bar” that offers both Western elegance and casual comfort, which is apparent the minute you walk through the doors. You’ll see a magnificent fireplace and smell the tempting aromas of the restaurants famous rotisserie chicken. There’s another fireplace in the lovely Arizona Room, the restaurant’s enclosed patio.
From the copper menus, that reflect the importance of the metal in Arizona history, order the signature duck breast with onion jam, sour cherry mustard and “little cabbages”. Or grab one of the award-winning burgers in the Saloon, where the atmosphere is more laid back. The staff is friendly and professional and will help you choose a superb wine from the thick wine list binder. Don’t miss the extended Happy Hour in the Saloon starting at 4:00 p.m. and going until 7:00 p.m.
Anyway you look at it Roaring Fork is a winner. Dinner daily.


Sea Saw
7133 E. Stetson Drive
Moderate to Expensive. 
See Saw is brought to you by some of the same folks that own Cowboy Ciao and Kazimierz World Wine Bar. The restaurants share the wine menu and the same commitment to serving only the best, but Sea Saw stands out in its own right.
Here Chef Nobu Fukada, the 2007 James Beard Association Southwest Chef of the Year, brings drama and flair to what he calls his “tapanese” menu: small plate of sinfully fresh ingredients served like works of art and in ways you cannot imagine.
Especially popular is the Omakase (or trust) wine paired tasting menu. The offerings change on a regular basis, as is to be expected by such an artistic chef.
Don’t be surprised when Chef asks you to participate in the preparation with a hot stone of individual burner Shabu Shabu. Of course, Chef Nobu contributes his share of “work” and that is when the fun starts: a bit of uni here, a slice of toro there, even some sliced duck breast in a lovely sauce.
This is dinner theater of the highest order. Dinner nightly.


Sportsman’s Fine Wine & Spirits
3205 E Camelback Road
6685 W. Beardsley
While Sportsman’s claim to fame is the extensive wine and spirit offerings two of the sites also house bistros that were designed specifically with the store’s potable offerings in mind.  
With between eighty and ninety wines available by the glass you’re sure to find something to match your mozzarella and tomato panini or chopped chicken salad.
Sharing a charcuterie plate or cheese board is a great start or end to any evening. The baked brie wheel is an employee recommendation.
If just sipping is what you have in mind the folks at Sportsman’s would be happy to pour several three ounce flights. There are also monthly wine tastings, complimentary drop-in tastings, winemaker dinners and wine classes. Check the web site for the Calendar of Events.
This is one of the few places around where you can shop and eat at basically the same time. Watch for another bistro coming soon to the wine shop on Scottsdale Road.
Food served throughout the day.


3213 E Camelback Road
602 955-8100
Moderate to expensive.
Tarbell’s is a neighborhood restaurant with a nice polish to it. Chalk that up to the shared values and varied talents of the long time staff.
French trained in food and wine, co-owner and Chef Marc Tarbell brings not just outstanding skills but a strong desire to give people the best. Anne Ballman, operating partner, wine buyer and business manager adds her varied talents and vitality. Many of the staff have been there for many years, including the Chef de Cuisine Paul Steele who worked his way up the ranks in the Tarbell kitchen.
But it is more than a shared history that makes this cozy spot such a favorite. Here you’ll find fresh, organic, seasonal ingredients, copper accents, white tablecloths, an award-winning wine list and so much more.
Regulars love the Grilled Scottish Salmon on a crispy potato cake and molasses-lime glaze and Marc’s Famous Spaghetti and Meatballs. The mozzarella is made in house as are the pastas. And if you’re looking for a killer burger be sure to sample Tarbell’s; it has won the “Best Place to Eat at the Bar” from both the New York Times  and The Arizona Republic. Dinner only.


Zinc Bistro
Kierland Commons
15034 N. Scottsdale Road
408 603-0922
Visitors from near and far compare this wonderful bistro to something one might find in Paris. Whether you dine indoors at one of the marble topped tables, on the romantic vine-covered courtyard with the lilting music of a fountain or on the sidewalk tables out front where you can do some great people watching, you will agree – even if you’ve never been to Gay Paree.
The lovely zinc bar (zinc also means bar in French) will catch your eye as will the gleaming wood accents and pristinely white tiled floor. There is a feeling of family at Zinc. That’s because the staff believes in giving the best service possible and in Chef Matt Carter’s philosophy of preparing only the best.
The menu changes on a regular basis but there will always be a halibut dish. The rosemary chicken, an all-time favorite, is fragrant and moist. And the pomme frites, which are served in a small bucket, are not to be missed. Wine, as expected, is heavily French and most are available by the glass or bottle. Often owner Terry Ellisor acts as bartender on occasion. There is an Off Hours menu that has won raves and awards, including the “Best French Bistro in the State” from the New Times. Lunch and dinner.



Rita Connelly lives in Tucson, Arizona where she enjoys the sunshine, the laid back life and all the great restaurants The Old Pueblo has to offer.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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