Caffe Boa Bistro closes its doors

Caffe Boa Bistro, the East Mesa offshoot of Tempe's popular Caffe Boa, has closed for business. Employees at D'Vine, the wine bar next door to the shuttered eatery, as well as at the original Boa location just off of Mill Avenue (which is still running at full steam), confirmed that the Mesa shop is no longer in business, but no further details are available. Owner Jay Wisniewski couldn't be reached ...

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Stay cool!

When the weather gets extreme, I start justifying more splurges. Cold oysters on the half-shell and a glass of champagne? Mexican seafood cocktail? A margarita, or an icy milk tea with boba? The heat has me thinking my survival depends on such treats. I headed over to Tempe for a random lunch (really, I just wanted an excuse to check out doodads and accessories at Urban Outfitters) and discovered that ...

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Crudo is closing, and chef Cullen Campbell is going pop-up

The days of the edgy eatery tucked into a Scottsdale hair salon are nearly over. Crudo chef Cullen Campbell tells me that he's not renewing his lease, and that the restaurant's last day will be July 16. Since it opened in 2009, taking up the in-house cafe and front patio of the Steven Paul Salon, it amassed a cult following for Cullen's inventive dishes, from raw madai with Meyer lemon to polenta ...

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Sweet Republic gets sweet props

There's a double dip of good news on Sweet Republic. Not only was the Scottsdale artisanal ice cream shop, owned by Jan Wichayanuparp (left) and Helen Yung, named one of the best ice cream spots in the U.S. by Food + Wine, but it was also featured among an elite group of shops for Ellen Brown's gorgeous, recipe-filled new book, Scoop: 125 Specialty Ice Creams from the Nation's Best Creameries. Just ...

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FnB suddenly goes BYOB

FnB owner Pavle Milic always humbly referred to his Old Town Scottsdale restaurant as a “little gin joint,” but he had no idea it might be considered an illegal speakeasy. Milic and chef/co-owner Charleen Badman made the shocking discovery a week ago Friday night, when three representatives from the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control came into the restaurant to inquire about the status of their liquor license. ...

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Chef Chris Curtiss says farewell to Noca

Big news! Noca executive chef Chris Curtiss, whose creative take on contemporary American cuisine earned the restaurant a James Beard Award nomination just months after its August 2008 debut, has left the restaurant to pursue other culinary options. A whiz with seafood and seasonal produce, Curtiss made skate wing a signature dish, dedicated tasting menus to such ingredients as McClendon tomatoes, and turned lobster from esteemed purveyor Ingrid Bengis into a ...

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Barrio Cafe chef Silvana Salcido Esparza is heading to SouthBridge

A little chunk of Old Town Scottsdale’s most desirable real estate is turning into the barrio. Silvana Salcido Esparza, award-winning chef-owner of Central Phoenix’s Barrio Cafe, is verging on a deal to take over the SouthBridge space that previously housed Metro Brasserie. She plans to divide the long, narrow restaurant into two different concepts, coming in November. At the north end of the space, adjacent to the patio, ...

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A taste of Johnny Chu’s menu at The Mint

Pork-and-shrimp wontons steeped in chili-soy sauce. Garlicky shrimp served sizzling. Wasabi soy marinated chicken breast. A $13 cocktail called "Life Savings." Ha! Chances are, I won't be going to The Mint for dinner. But that's really got nothing to do with the food ...

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Baby got pickle back

A shot of pickle juice to take the pain away. Griddled corn cakes with pulled pork. My jaw dropped when I realized it was a double burger. D'oh! Who can say no to fried dough? Call it the thrill of the unknown. ...

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