2011 Downtown Dining Guide 2011 Downtown Dining Guide : IFC
1 Downtown Phoenix is where friends meet for dinner, drinks and laughs. PHOTO BY JAMIE PEACHEY James Beard Award-winning chef Nobuo Fukuda , whose restaurant Sea Saw was the pinnacle of gourmet dining in the Valley, now creates stylish Japanese izakaya fare and signature tasting menus at Nobuo at Teeter House , situated directly across from fellow Beard winner Chris Bianco ’s longstanding Heritage Square mecca, Pizzeria Bianco . And after years of praise from celebs such as Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey amounted to a notoriously long line of customers that could stretch down the block, the pizzeria recently added lunch service that continues all afternoon, in an effort to cut the wait for a table. “We’re just trying to extend the experience, to make it easier for people,” Bianco says. Other members of the old guard — places like Downtown Deli , Sing High Chop Suey House , and Sam’s Cafe , who stuck it out during Downtown’s light rail construction -— are finally basking in the glow of revitalization, enjoying renewed interest as Phoenicians flock to the city center. And Tom’s Tavern , an institution for more than 80 years, recently got a vote of confidence from the Bidwill family (owners of the Arizona Cardinals ), who purchased the business with the goal of preserving its history. At the brand-new Westin hotel, chef Randy Zweiban recently launched Province , a chic, Spanish and South American-inspired contemporary American restaurant spun off of his WITH BIG NAME CHEFS AND RESTAURATEURS FLOCKING TO OUR URBAN CORE, DOWNTOWN PHOENIX HAS QUICKLY BECOME A DINING HUB BY MICHELE LAUDIG Will creative momentum be the secret to success for the Downtown Phoenix dining scene? That’s not hard to predict. We’re already seeing it happen right before our eyes. There’s excitement building around dozens of new and upcoming projects that are bringing an impressive roster of chefs and restaurateurs to the table. Even compared to a year ago, when the Downtown Phoenix Partnership published the inaugural edition of this dining guide, the culinary landscape has become so much richer. Locals and visitors can feed their cravings at new upscale spots and hip ethnic options alike.
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