Rusconi’s American Kitchen

February 22nd, 2013

10637 N. Tatum Blvd. Suite 101B

Phoenix, AZ 85028

480.483.0009

It’s nice to have an independently owned restaurant at the N/E cross-roads of Shea and Tatum. Not to mention a chef who has earned his marks under the tutelage of some of the valley’s finest. My first opinion is usually based on the wine list, of  which I ordered a Merlot-yes Merlot, and was extremely satisfied. The price was reasonable too at $8, and next time, I just might go ahead and trust the $5 special they are offering. I have to be honest, the environment was pleasant right off the bat, and I am sure that the few tables out front will be hard to get during spring and fall. The lunch I had was just okay, there really wasn’t enough meat on the short-rib sliders to justify the use of the tasty bun, and I prefer a little more kick to the horseradish sauce-why else eat it? The chocolate mousse with pear topping dessert was to die for. Did I really have to share it? It was delicious! So, for a nice place to sip wine and  devour dessert I’ll go back. My verdict is still not out on the food, so I’ll be happy to give it another try and let you know.

JAVINOS Wine Bar and Restaurant

March 7th, 2010

14795 N. Northsight Blvd.

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

480-315-9900

Open every day for lunch and dinner; closed Sunday.

Apparently this restaurant has been waiting for us to try for three years. The signage is misleading. Timing is everything. On a walk in our neighborhood, fortunately it was close to dinner time and I didn’t feel like cooking. We walked up to JAVINOS to see what it was all about, and our first impression, was casual and approachable-inviting. A quick perusal of the menu showed the prices were reasonable and there were plenty of items to choose from. We decided to give it a try. I looked around to see what the seating options were and there appeared to be three separate areas: the bar with tables and booths facing the kitchen, brick oven flames and televisions, the patio (enclosed as it was evening, but I think the sides open up in good weather) complete with a water fountain, and a more formal dining room which had a Tuscan living room feel. We opted for a booth in the bar area. The waiters were still learning the new, price reduced menu, but were eager to please and be helpful. The manager was friendly and gave us the scoop on this privately owned restaurant. The owners for which the J and A stand for, wanted a venue for their winery in Argentino. I sampled a couple of  reds, their Malbecs, which had a nice flavor to them. I ordered off the appetizer list and was impressed as I enjoyed a vegetarian stuffed red bell pepper, the three short ribs, a set of three which sat on a bed of french fries priced at $6 each. My husband went for the pizza, and was equally satisfied, though he eyed my dishes with longing-yes, I shared, reluctantly I admit. I was savoring every bite. The Happy Hour offered two beers on tap: Fat Tire and Peroni, for a mere $2, and glasses of house wine are half off! We are excited to have a neighborhood spot within walking distance, and are looking forward to returning there. Did I mention they use all Angus beef, and their half pound burgers are only $10? Or was it $8? I’ll have to go back and find out.

Mac’s Broiler & Tap

August 8th, 2007

6430 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe at Guadalupe

480-755-3050

neil@macsbriolerand tap.com

This is Tempe’s version of a Cheer’s bar, small, intimate and local, with a great grill menu and selection of beers as well as a full bar. I split a gorgonzola burger with my sister and was delightfully stuffed. This is a place I’ll bring my husband back to visit!

Joe’s Farm Grill

August 8th, 2007

3000 E. Ray Rd.

480-563-4745

Sun-Th 11-9, Fri-Sat 11-10

www.joesfarmgrill

By the same owners of Joe’s Real BBQ in Gilbert, comes a farm-friendly restaurant, using as many local ingredients from their own Agritopia fields and supplementing through other local farmers as well. Using the most healthful ingredients such as local natural beef for their burgers, and transfat free oils for frying, dressings and marinades, Joe’s takes common foods such as pizzas, fries, salads, and ribs to the next level. The menu changes to reflect what’s in season. I appreciated the clean lines and minimalist decor which makes this a popular spot for young families, not having to worry about spills, and the view of what’s left of the surrounding farm, including picnic tables under the trees, was inviting and soothing on the eyes. They are also conscientious about recycling the paper, plastic and glass products. Place your order at the modern counter, but try to have your mind made up as a line quickly follows behind you. Desserts seem to be popular for ice cream lovers with items such as fresh berry shakes, and sundaes.

The Farm at South Mountain

February 1st, 2007

6106 S. 32nd Street, Phoenix just south of Southern

Quiessence Restaurant & Wine Bar 602-276-0601

Morning Glory Cafe & Bakery 602-276-0601

The Farm Kitchen 602-276-6360

Call for hours or go to www.thefarmatsouthmountain.com

Choices abound here at the farm, located in the midst of a pecan grove, you feel like you’ve gone to California for the day. Enjoy a fresh, country breakfast outdoors at the Morning Glory Cafe. They offer omelets, french toast, quiche and homemade granola, as well as fresh muffins to start. Portions are big, but take your time as you refill your own coffee in this lovely outdoor setting. Open from 8am-11am weekdays, or 8am-noon on weekends.

Or how about lunch on a picnic table or by a fountain in the patio consisting of homemade soups, fresh garden salads, sandwiches and desserts, and a cup of pecan flavored coffee. The Farm Kitchen is open 8am-3pm daily.

If it’s dinner your after, begin with happy hour, Tues.-Fri. from 5-7pm, or dinner from 5pm-10 pm (lunch from 11am-2pm) at Quiessence. Near the back of the property, they offer contemporary American farm fresh cuisine. Literally, they use fresh picked produce from Maya’s garden out front!

Take time to enjoy wandering the property, visiting their Garden Territory gift shop or Cottage Gate Antiques. This is just another way to spend more time relaxing here as you won’t be in any hurry to leave.

Crackers & Co. Cafe

February 1st, 2007

535 W. Iron Ave, #131, Mesa @ Country Club

480-898-1717, www.crackersandcompanycafe.com

7am-2:30pm, daily

This breakfast and lunch restaurant is a nice place to go, especially with your lady friends for the decor, though men like it too. They have a wide range of menu items, breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, salads and fresh soups. I always save room for their incredible berry cobbler, or german chocolate cake but they have other yummy desserts as well. There is always a crowd here, and some patio seating available when the weather permits.

Blu Burger Grille

February 1st, 2007

15425 N. Scottsdale Rd.

480-948-3443,

11am-9pm, closed Sunday

www.bluburger.com

I recently discovered this small, hidden little gem of a burger joint. The owners bake everything fresh on site, and use quality ingredients to build their burgers, well, you build them to be exact.  Not just beef (Angus or Kobe) mind you, but you can choose from crab cake, veggie, lamb or turkey as well. Choose from four types of buns, sauces, cheeses, and other extra toppings, along with a side of fries (skinny or sweet ), cole slaw, onion rings. Or, let them build one for you. Beer and wine are available, as is outdoor seating.

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