RSS

Category Archives: American

Hidden House – Sept 2019

Hidden House

159 W Commonwealth Ave | Chandler, AZ 85225

480.275.5525 | https://www.hiddenhouseaz.com/

Organized by Pat and Fred

Hidden gem alert!! This 1939 historic house in Chandler has been renovated to be an oasis of food and drinks in the middle of a busy downtown Chandler district. Owned by the same team that runs The Brickyard around the corner, this place steps away from the tapas style of Brickyard and moves into the easy relaxed dining realm. The original house is still there and hosts a cozy indoor dining room environment, but then it opens to a backyard patio space with an outdoor bar and open-air seating. Beyond that is the place, we were calling “the barn”. It looks to be a new build but gives the feeling that it could have been an old converted garage, barn, or small hangar. With the garage doors open, you get the cool breeze of the day but are shielded from the sun or other elements. This made for one of the most relaxing dinner atmospheres!

For apps we tried the Confit Wings, Shishito (aka Russian routlette) peppers, and the popcorn shrimp. The beet salad was flavorful but personally, I like to have larger chunks of beets. The shaved beet slices weren’t “beety” enough for me. 🙂 The cocktails were delicious and plentiful in options of well-done classics with some new twists, followed by some great wine options.

The entrees were delicious and well put together. The Hangar Steak was tender and topped with a mushroom cream sauce that was not heavy but rather full of flavor with tastefully chopped chunks of mushroom. The Ribeye was both a beast in size and flavor with a mushroom risotto and a truffle demi glaze. The charred Brussels sprouts were also a big win with a gojuchang sauce (yum-o-tastic) to give it a kick plus shallots and bacon for a grown up twist to this once despised veggie.

For dessert, we tried both the flourless chocolate cake and the green tea crème Brûlée with some coffee and espressos. Honestly, I was expected a strong green tea flavor on the custard but instead it was very smooth, mild, and 100% enjoyable.

If you are looking for a place for a classy dinner but without the fuss of the overpriced fancy restaurants, Hidden House should always be on your options list.

Great dinner + great drinks + great weather + great company = 100% win for Double Ds dinner club.

Cheers!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 09/23/2019 in American

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Novelist – July 2018

The Novelist – July 2018

335 N Gilbert Rd #103 | Gilbert, AZ | 85234

novelistaz.com | 602-775-5490

Organized by: Tony and Kelly

For July, we went to a restaurant inside another restaurant. The Novelist is called a speak-easy style bar/restaurant but I think that is a stretch. You can see the bar through windows on the street, which doesn’t seem to summon the vibe of a speak-easy. However, you do have to enter the restaurant from inside OHSO brewery, which can make the journey loud and adventurous.

The décor is creative with a mural on the back wall that seems vibrant and nice, but then you suddenly realize that all the décor is based on female novelists, such as J.K Rowling, Mary Shelley, and Charlotte Bronte. As a book nerd and female leadership advocate, that touched a certain part of my heart!

The only place they had for a group our size was a couple of large tabletops next to the bar but it felt comfortable. The food was definitively tavern style but felt upscale a notch with dishes such as Thai Steak Salad, Seared Crab Cake, a Flat Iron Steak, and Grilled Seabass. The menu also has a cute nod to the literary process with sections such as Introduction, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. J

All in all, it was a good night and certainly a place we wouldn’t mind going again. Sadly it is soooo close to another one of our favorite restaurants that if we ever venture to Downtown Gilbert, we are magically drawn across the street to our favorite haunt.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 07/15/2018 in American, Wine Bar

 

Bar Viñedo – April 2018

Bar Viñedo

7215 S Power Rd | Queen Creek, AZ | 85142

480-840-9709 | barvinedo.com

Organized by: Fred and Pat

How many times have you seen a tree in the middle of a restaurant? Well, stop by Bar Viñedo and you can add one more to your list. This unassuming wine bar delivers some recognizable favorites but stepped up a notch or 3 or 4 or 5. There are Beer Battered Pickle Chips but with chili ranch sauce, panko crusted risotto spheres with mozzarella, and smoked gouda mac and cheese bites.

For entrees, you can find a Mac and Cheese dish but it is going to come with a Port Wine Derby Sauce and Avocado Lime Cream. You will also find a grilled chicken dish, but it is going to be paired with Farfalle pasta, spinach, and a Gruyère Mornay sauce or you can get Risotto but it will be joined by some shrimp, broccolini, argula, and baby portobellos.

The wine selection was vast – it is a wine bar after all J – but they even offer craft beer options and private wine tastings if you are interested.

Relaxing atmosphere paired with good food and wine and friends makes for a wonderful evening!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 04/26/2018 in American, Wine Bar

 

Tags:

FnB

FnB Restaurant

December 17, 2017

7125 East 5th Avenue Suite 31
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

http://www.fnbrestaurant.com/

Organized by: Jen and Don

Merry Christmas! The Ds celebrated their annual wine exchange this year at FnB in Scottsdale.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 12/17/2017 in American, Wine Bar

 

Cloth and Flame – Sept 2017

Cloth and Flame Desert Dinner

September 30, 2017

https://clothandflame.com/

Organized by: Ann and Jay

The DDs had a special treat for our September dinner! I have wanted to try one of the fun pop up dinners out in the Arizona desert that is put on by Cloth and Flame and Ann made it happen for our group.

Cloth and Flame brings together strangers and friends from all around and creates memories of great food and fun while enjoying the spirit and beauty of our desert that is sitting right in front of us. The dinner was started by meeting at the company’s warehouse where the guests that evening loaded up in vans and an old blue school bus for a drive out to the desert north of Phoenix. Have you ever had a moment where you suddenly see something familiar in a while new way? That was this moment for me. The dinner spot was in a place just off the highway that I have driven past many times. It was surreal to see the beauty of what I had been passing by with a different lens.

When we arrived, we were greeted with a delicious sangria cocktail and a wild mushroom tart. It was so delicious we almost made a meal of just those. The first course was a bosc pear with blue cheese and a candied brussel sprouts with apple cider vinaigrette.

Next we ravished on duck confit with endive and citrus reduction plus baby spinach with date vinaigrette. The wine offered, both white and red, was flowing and delicious.

Last course was a roulade of slow roasted managalitsa pork belly with herbs, fennel, root veggies, and a roasted artichoke. Part of the magic was also watching the chef cook up this delicious dinner on site. It made it seem like a glamourous camping dinner. Perhaps there is something to this new glamping trend 🙂

For dinner, there was a scrumptious butterscotch pot de crème plus a chocolate toffee.

Besides the delicious food, being with good friends, and gorgeous weather, we were treated to one of the beautiful Arizona sunsets. What a truly magical and memorable evening! #eatoutthere #desertdinners

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 09/04/2017 in American

 

Tags: , , , ,

April 30 – Brickyard Chandler

The Brickyard Downtown 

85 W Boston St |Chandler, AZ 85225|480-963-1373

http://brickyarddowntown.com/

Organized by: Pat and Fred

For April, the DDs went to a great gem in Chandler that is known for their craft cocktails that are paired with tasty small plates. We started out with cocktails ranging from gin gimlets, pineapple and pimms and their special take on a margarita using saline solution instead of salt and citric acid instead of sweet and sour. It was really tasty but strong, so some of us all switched to wine for the rest of the night.

We also shared their pork tacos and new fish tacos, pork belly skewers, olives, shishito peppers, loaded fingerling potatoes and new mushroom mini bricks. For dinner we had shrimp and grits which were creamy and cheesy, squash ravioli, and spiced rubbed tenderloin that was cooked perfect.  It was all so good we forgot to take pictures but in classic Tony style, he went over to the neighbors table to take a picture of their creme brulee. Ha!

For dessert we had a couple of each: the mini churros were light and with great sauces, crème brulee and the new lavender panna cotta. The last two were light and perfect for summer.

Everyone enjoyed the idea of the smaller plates and sharing. The small patio was nice after the sun went down and perfect because we could actually hear each other. Sometimes I even think the patio is more comfortable than the inside. It feels like a secluded little garden with a fireplace. I could spend hours out there, certainly doesn’t help that that cocktails are delicious 🙂

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 05/01/2017 in American

 

Tags: , , ,

Humbleberry surprise

We have been going to Laughlin, Nevada for many years and, just as many others do, we had our regular favorite spots. For us, this did not include the Pioneer Hotel and Casino. In our past experiences, the rooms had paper thin walls, the roof is low making the casino seem small and cramped and the restaurant was not a place that a foodie would hang their hat.

The saving grace for the Pioneer, used to only be the Sassy Sue Saloon that has good craft beers on tap, quarter poker machines at the bar, a jukebox that plays both rock and country, and a fantastic view of the Colorado River.

This year we were surprised to find another hidden gem at the western themed casino, Bumbleberry Flats restaurant. Serving food labeled as “comfort food”, they have renovated the previous greasy spoon diner into a scratch restaurant who provides flavorful versions of American classic recipes with a twist.

Do not be fooled, these dishes are rich and hearty and they do not skimp on the serving size. You may be eating enough to carry you through a couple of meals! We stopped by once for breakfast complete with a very tasty 3 huge breakfast sausage links, a fresh and airy Belgian waffle topped with fresh apple and cinnamon compote plus Chantilly cream, and hash browns that were clearly fresh. I have loved grits all my life and sadly the cheddar grits were not up to snuff with the grits one might find in Charleston, SC. The biscuits and gravy were good but we weren’t thrilled with the toasted cheddar biscuit that it was served on.

Later on we found ourselves back at Bumbleberry for Round Two. This time we tried the dinner menu and sat at one of the tap booths. This is exactly what you might be thinking. It is a booth with beer taps built into the wall. There are only two types offered, but you can keep pulling beers and a small meter keeps track of how much you enjoy!

The place is open 24 hours on Wednesday to Sunday but beware, they may run out of many of the items. It may have been a busy night and many of the favorites such the fried chicken, pot roast, ribs, or brisket were all gone. Instead we tried the bone-in pork chop that was topped with fresh apple and cinnamon bourbon sauce and griddled mashed potatoes; and the ribeye, which was a little thin, and served with a fresh and tasty oven baked potato (and yeah, there IS a difference that you can taste.)

All in all, it was a great surprise to find a second great reason to add the Pioneer to our regular rounds each year. Looks like we are going to have to keep going back until we get to try all those dishes that were so popular that they ran out of them!

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,