You missed it.
The chefs are all packed up, the tents have come down and the 2018 azcentral Wine & Food Experience has drawn to a close.
But that doesn’t mean the deliciousness has to end!
Behind each dish served during Grand Tastings on Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4, is a restaurant with a menu to explore.
Here’s a sampling of what to expect if you visit restaurants who attended our event.
Must-try new restaurants at azcentral Wine & Food Experience
My love for Atsade Desta, Salem Beyene and Anibal Abayneh’s doro wat is well-documented. Intense, buttery and loaded with chiles, this is some serious chicken stew. And the best part, if you haven’t checked out Café Lalibela, is that Ethiopian is a cuisine perfectly geared toward exploration, with scads of dishes artfully arranged on spongy, tart injera.
Details: 849 W. University Drive, Tempe. 480-829-1939, cafelalibela.com.
Sunday’s green chile clam chowder fries were a hoot — a little irreverent and fun and just downright good. I’ve heard the fellas from Chula Seafood are considering adding some form of the chowder fries to the menu at their forthcoming Uptown Plaza location, but in the interim you can check out chef Juan Zamora’s playful creations and daily specials at the original fish shop in Scottsdale.
Details: 8150 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale. 480-621-5121, chulaseafood.com.
Jeff Kraus’ “crepe-stada” with barbecued squash and Somali spice was one of Saturday’s standout dishes. This particular concoction isn’t on Crepe Bar’s regular menu, but in addition to a ton of similarly wild crepe creations, Kraus offers a version of his crispy crepe-stada with hummus, paprika chicken, roasted tomatoes and crisp, fresh vegetables.
Details: 7520 S. Rural Road, Tempe. 480-247-8012, crepe-bar.com.
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Chef Adam Allison’s queso fundido mac and cheese with chile colorado lamb barbacoa is exactly the kind of perked up comfort food you’ll find at Handlebar Diner, a retro-looking spot out in Eastmark with a decidedly un-retro menu. Sure, he slings wings, tots and burgers as any diner should. But that mac and cheese should give you a hint of what’s in store.
Details: 5149 S. Inspirian Parkway, Mesa. 480-389-9911, handlebardiner.com.
On Saturday, chef Forest Hamrick sent out a righteous fried chicken tinga quesadilla, tender and crisp with salsa verde and a tart, fresh escabeche. I can’t think of a better hint that it’s probably time to check out La Hacienda at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, which recently reopened after a renovation and menu refresh.
Details: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale. 480-585-7320, fairmont.com/scottsdale/dining/la-hacienda.
Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole
Tonya Saidi’s diminutive hand pie — filled with peaches and cooked down with habanero pepper and a dab of barbecue sauce — packed an awful lot of flavor into a tiny package. But that’s no surprise as her flaky pies are always outstanding. I hear the barbecue peach habanero might even be making a comeback.
Details: 15414 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. 602-332-7346, mammatoledos.com.
Mingo’s Louisiana Kitchen
Chef Cory Mingo is awfully proud of his house remoulade, and with good reason. On Saturday, he used it to spice up a cool poached shrimp with cocktail sauce and salty fried capers. On his regular menu, he smears it on his po’ boys — both new and old school — and offers it for dipping with steaming, cornmeal-crusted fried seafood.
Details: 3424 W. Southern Ave., Phoenix. 480-865-4214, mingoslouisianakitchen.com.
Mowry & Cotton
Chef Tandy Peterson absolutely rocked Saturday, slinging three dishes off Mowry & Cotton’s new lunch and dinner menus. I’m especially fond of the ahi tuna melt on rye with white Cheddar and poblano hummus — a new lunch and brunch dish — but you’d do well to explore all of her work, which walks a nice balance between rustic and refined.
Details: The Phoenician, 6000 E. Camelback Drive, Phoenix. 480-423-2530, mowryandcotton.com.
Obon Sushi + Bar + Ramen
If anybody wants to help lobby chef Paulo Im make Saturday’s budae-jjigae a regular menu item, I sure wouldn’t mind the help. But the barbecue jackfruit bun was mighty tasty as well, and that’s one you can grab every day at Obon in Scottsdale Quarter. While you’re there, check out the tasty ramen and excellent sashimi dishes as well.
Details: Scottsdale Quarter, 15037 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 602-491-2796, fukushuconcepts.com/obon.
Phoenix/Tempe Public Market Cafe
Saturday’s spiced market hummus with pickled vegetables was a perfect example of the types of dishes you can expect to find at Aaron Chamberlin’s sister restaurants, Phoenix Public Market Cafe and Tempe Public Market Cafe. Chamberlin offers a vegetable-heavy menu built on gorgeous produce that doesn’t get overly complicated.
Details: 14 E. Pierce St., Phoenix. 602-253-2700, cafe.phxpublicmarket.com. Also, 8749 S. Rural Road, Tempe. 480-629-5120, tempepublicmarket.com.
Quiessence at The Farm
Your beef carpaccio might not be precisely like Sunday’s version, in a crisp Parmesan taco shell with garlic aioli, crispy shallots and pickled okra. But chef Dustin Christofolo does delightful things with the form, and everything at Quiessence is equally light, elegant and refined — a sophisticated showcase for local products at one of the most charming restaurants in town.
Details: 6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix. 602-276-0601, qatthefarm.com.
Super Chunk Sweets & Treats
Country and Sergio Velador’s John & Yoko is a humdinger of a tres leches cake, sweet and wet, and topped with crisp honeycomb candy. But there’s a whole shop stuffed with their sweet offerings, not to mention Super Chunk’s alter ego, New Wave Market (same place), where you can get some great sandwiches and salads.
Details: 7120 E. Sixth Ave., Scottsdale. 602-736-2383, superchunk.me.
Chef Suny Santana put out a killer beef barbacoa taco on Sunday, wrapped up in a thick and steaming tortilla with just a little onion, cilantro and salsa to complement. It didn’t need a thing more. At his Roosevelt Row taco shop, you’ll find more of the same — tacos built with simple, quality meats (the carne asada is excellent) and fresh salads made with Aaron Chamberlin’s excellent produce.
Details: 501 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. 602-368-5316, tacochelo.com.
As evidenced on Sunday, pastry chef Lance Whipple slings a mean chocoflan, a culinary portmanteau of chocolate cake and caramel flan with cajeta caramel and salted cocoa nibs. He’s a talented pastry chef, and at Talavera, the dinner leading up to his sweet finale, designed by chef Samantha Sanz, is every bit as exciting — if not more so.
Details: Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, 10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale. 480-513-5085, talaverarestaurant.com.
Chef Jacques Qualin’s offerings — like Sunday’s shrimp ceviche and beef tenderloin with smokey tomato compote — are a little atypical for a steakhouse, and that’s exactly what makes this a compelling stop. The rest of the menu at J&G is so strong that calling it a steakhouse almost feels like false advertising in the best possible way.
Details: J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician, 6000 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 480-214-8000, jgsteakhousescottsdale.com.
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