Happy Endings: North Valley eateries serve sweet treats for dessert challenge

By Alison Bailin Batz For six weeks each year, Girl Scouts in Arizona participate in the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world: The Girl Scout Cookie Program. This year, the cookie season for the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council runs through February 27. As in years’ past, all the Girl Scout Cookies’ proceeds stay local to help girls fund impactful projects to benefit the community; e ...

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Tastes of Sicily: Brugos brings authentic Italian to Cave Creek

By Jordan Houston Christina McDonald says her mother was the first American to marry into her father’s Sicilian family. The Cave Creek resident jokingly recalls her father’s family, the Cefalus, asking her mother to sign off on two terms before wedding — to practice Catholicism and to master Italian cooking.  “She had to agree to sign a contract to raise us as Catholics and also to learn how to cook Italian ...

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‘Peace, Love and Pasta’: Chef Scott Conant revisits his family’s favorite meals in book

By Alex Gallagher Chef Scott Conant has been delighting diners with his award-winning cuisine for 35 years and has captivated audiences with his tenure as a judge on the Food Network shows “Chopped” and “Chopped Sweets.”  More recently, he has inspired readers with his latest cookbook, “Peace, Love and Pasta: Simple and Elegant Recipes from a Chef’s Home Kitchen.” As the fourth cookbook to be penned by Cona ...

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Buzzworthy: Tim Ummel shares his love of Arizona with Kierland eatery

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski The Buzz Eatery & Treats is aptly named. Customers “buzz” in and out of the new addition to Kierland Commons. The concept serves as a “hive” where shoppers, residents, neighbors and visitors can enjoy everything from a cup of coffee in the morning to a glass of wine in the evening. Guests will also find craft beer on tap, wine, seasonal cocktails, and homemade “buzzy” popsi ...

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Pour the Paso, Please! Exploring the best bottles from the emerging wine region

By Alison Bailin Batz Paso Robles is a winemaking region on the rise. Located along California’s Coast, Paso Robles winemaking dates back to the 1980s, but it was the well-received Saxum brand in 2010 followed by Wine Enthusiast naming it the Wine Region of the Year in 2013 that really brought acclaim to the area. Today, there are more than 200 wineries and 40,000 vineyard acres producing at least 60 types ...

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Something for Everybody Keeler’s is a comfortable neighborhood steakhouse

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Paul Keeler wanted a restaurant that is welcoming, affordable and comfortable for guests. On New Year’s Eve 2018, he opened Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse in Carefree — and hasn’t looked back. “I wanted a neighborhood steakhouse,” Keeler says. “A neighborhood steakhouse, to me, is much more than a special-occasion, steak-on-a-plate concept. There are many of those around the ...

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Sips of the Summer

By Alison Bailin Batz Wines that perfectly pair with patios, pools and parties With vaccines readily available, many are looking to enjoy the company of friends and family this summer. This could mean hanging by the pool, living one’s best life on a boat in the Midwest or heading to SoCal for the beach. No matter what your summer plans are, we have a wine pairing for that. By the pool Ecco Domani Pinot Grig ...

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The Mick prides itself on friendly banter, modern French cuisine

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Partners in The Mick Brasserie, John Krause and Brent Menke feel blessed and lucky to have found success after opening August 5—at the height of a pandemic and Arizona’s hottest summer. “It was not part of the business plan or model, but luckily, the way we designed the place, we were able to get through,” Krause says. “We’ll be able to get through this—not unscathed—but we’re ...

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Local restaurants are doing their best during the worst times

By Laura Latzko   The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on the restaurant industry, especially local mom-and-pop restaurants in Cave Creek and Carefree. These local restaurants have needed to adapt to change to be able to survive. Two local restaurants, Giordano’s Trattoria Romana and Harold’s Cave Creek Corral, have done just that. Giordano’s Trattoria Romana For Giordano’s Trattoria Romana, surviving d ...

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Carefree Restaurant Week celebrates its dedicated following

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Jo Gemmill believes there’s power in numbers. Collectively, Carefree’s restaurants and coffeehouses—including her English Rose Tea Room—will make their mark with the third annual Carefree Restaurant Week from October 1 to October 11. “It’s a chance to say ‘thank you’ to all the folks who have supported us through the pandemic,” says Gemmill, who also serves as the Carefree Rest ...

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Couple brings their hometown flavors to Cave Creek

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Federico Venturini and Viola Tagliaferri, the husband-and-wife duo behind Carefree’s Pizzicata, are expressing their love for their home country of Italy with Pomodoro Italian Grill & Seafood in Cave Creek. The couple says, in Italy, the most important part of the dining experience is the company. They believe in those interactions, and they want to make a dining experience ...

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Pizzicata treats everyone like family

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Pizzicata owner Federico Venturini considers his guests and employees family at his Carefree Italian restaurant. Guests impart stories of visits to Italy, from which Venturini hails. In turn, Venturini shares authentic dishes like Pinsa Romana, pizza (starting at $10) with 48% less sugar, 85% less fat and no cholesterol. “We’re the first to make Pinsa Romana in Arizona,” Ventur ...

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‘Guests are Not Just a Number’: Bryan’s Barbecue wins awards for atmosphere and good food

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Look around the airy and bright interior of Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue, and the wood walls are covered with awards from the eatery’s 11 years in Cave Creek. Owner/chef Bryan Dooley chalks it up to good food and the staff’s caring nature. “We’ve made a conscious effort in the beginning to make sure that we take people’s names,” Dooley says. “Guests are not just a number. We ...

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Got Java?

What’s brewing at Scottsdale coffee shops By Olivia Munson Every day, Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee. For some, the day does not truly begin without a signature cup of Joe. Over the past years, coffee drinkers shifted from drinking in fast chains to enjoying the quiet atmosphere of a coffee shop. In Scottsdale, there are plenty of shops to help fit your coffee fix. Echo Coffee 2902 N. 68th Str ...

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Infinite Zest

Rinaldi’s Italian Deli brings breakfast burritos and boundless hospitality to the table Story and photos by Madison Rutherford If you had to guess where to get one of the best breakfast burritos in North Scottsdale, an Italian deli probably wouldn’t be at the top of your list. But Rinaldi’s, which has called the Scottsdale Promenade home for nearly 15 years, is best known for its breakfast. Mornings at Rina ...

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