Where My Foodies At?
Seriously, I know I am not the only one that before going to a new town has already searched Instagram for the best-looking dishes. I will be intimately familiar with a menu before walking in the door. Especially since COVID has forced restaurants to have updated menus online so their QR codes can work. I don’t care for all the social distancing and sure miss chatting with my neighbor at the bar, but I do like that restaurants are updating their websites more frequently.
Best Steakhouse Ambiance Anywhere
First of all, if you haven’t been upstairs to the rooftop pool to eat at Dominick’s Steakhouse, you really haven’t truly experienced Dom’s! This is one of two restaurants by the same local owner in Scottsdale. Neither Dominick’s Steakhouse nor Ocean 44 will disappoint you. The same can be said for their sister restaurant Steak 44 in Phoenix. In the height of busy season, I have never felt rushed or forgotten. Since stupid COVID and social distancing required restaurants to rethink things, Domnick’s and Ocean 44 both created distance by adding gorgeous floral arrangements on the tables that can not be used. An elegant solution for an amazing experience.
These chicken fried lobster tails are my favorite thing at the moment. They’re worth the visit alone, but seriously, as good as the food is, you know what’s better? The service.
It’s Like A French Bistro Scottsdale Style
I love chill places with good music that have a fun vibe where you feel welcome any time you stop in. That’s Zinc Bistro in North Scottsdale located in Kierland Commons. The menu is Chef Matt Carter’s creation and he’s one of my favorite chefs in Scottsdale, I Love Fat Ox! and The Mission is great, but the energy is unique to Zinc. The only thing better than eating dinner at Zinc is having lunch at Zinc. The daytime crowd is always in full swing, the music is the perfect tempo for conversation and enjoying the perfect Scottsdale weather and we’re obviously referring to October to May and not June to September. My favorite thing here is everything. Those espresso martinis, the smoked tuna sandwiches, the onion soup, the fresh oysters, the champagne, the beignets, the music, the people, the decor……
Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen
What happens when there are too many cooks in the kitchen? I’ll tell you, at Fat Ox it results in heavenly goodness. The menu is from Chef Matt Carter but in the kitchen, we are lucky enough to have the fabulous Rochelle Daniel, Maribel Silva and Chops Smith. I am not sure how they create so much magic but what comes out of those swinging doors is a whole bunch of happiness. I’m not really sure what my favorite thing on the menu is because the offerings change so frequently. Since COVID the 25-layer lasagne has disappeared as well as their happy hour which is yet another tragic loss you can attribute to 2020. All of their pasta is made in-house and the rosso creste di gallo with duck sausage is one of my favorites, however, the veal meatballs are something you have to try.
Desert Seafood At Its Best
There’s an aquarium here in the desert too so don’t think just because we’re land-locked seafood shouldn’t be on your dinner plate. Ocean 44 in Old Town Scottsdale is newer to the scene and is barely 2 years old. The service here is splendid. The restaurant is beautiful and no matter where you sit and the food is fabulous. If you try nothing else, the lobster stuffed escargot are absolutely divine and there’s enough to share.
Lobster escargot on my TikTok feed.
Escargot at Ocean 44 in Scottsdale ##fyp ##digscottsdale ##foodie♬ Spotlight - TikTok
Small But Go Anyway
Stupid COVID hit everyone hard but especially the small restaurants. The only thing worse than being closed is trying to keep your staff employed and plan a menu with 25%-50% of your typical capacity. Scottsdale, like Sedona, is a seasonal resort town that heavily relies on tourism. Many fine dining establishments make the majority of their income during the busy season and struggle during the summer. The summer of 2020 was not only the hottest on record, the mandated closures killed a lot of businesses.
Go Curbside Instead of Drive-Thru
Some of my favorite smaller restaurants have limited or no dining inside. Instead of sitting in the long like at Mickey D’s, do your local economy a favor and spend money that will make a different in your own neighborhood. Here are few of my favorite smaller restaurants where you may do better going curbside than trying to get a seat inside.
Hush Public House is a fabulous place with so many delicious items on the menu it’s hard to choose. Hush has recently started offering brunch on the weekends, I haven’t been yet but their crab hush puppies are on the menu and they are to do for! The menu changes frequently for dinner at Hush but one of my favorites is the butcher’s country pate. Definitely give these guys some love!
Hot Noodles, Cold Sake is the name and also what’s on the menu. This is one of the best, if not the best ramen I have had in Scottsdale. Chef Josh Herbert created a ramen night at his restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale that did so well, he closed the space and opened up a ramen only spot in North Scottsdale. This is a spot I frequent winter and summer and you should too!
Parma Italian Roots is in North Scottsdale and is a perfect spot for date night. I went to this place when it was first transformed from a popular sports bar to its current incarnation and was amazed. Read my post about how well appointed it is, how amazing the food is and why you must try the focaccia bread.
One For Each Day
Make a commitment to yourself to help your community. Show your support for local restaurants by changing your routine. Grab a brunch, go out for lunch, order curbside and skip the UberEats fees but avoid the corporate chains where you can and help keep everyone in business. While this post is just 7 small restaurants and there are dozens more I want to tell you about, now you have a reason to try a different place every day of the week.