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Tag Archives: patio seating

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!

 
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Posted by on 09/23/2019 in American

 

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Virtù Honest Craft – May 2019

Virtù Honest Craft

3701 N Marshall Way | Scottsdale, AZ | 85251

Located inside the Bespoke Inn

virtuscottsdale.com | 480-946-3477

Organized by: Ann and Jay

Mixing it up with a Sunday Brunch! May 2019 was a busy month with lots of the DDs heading off for globetrotting adventures, so we decided to mix it up and have a Sunday brunch. What a great idea and a nice twist to our normal routine.

We visited Virtù Honest Craft in Scottsdale, which has been on my list to try for some time. We have been to Chef Gio Osso’s place in Gilbert (Nico Heirloom Kitchen) but haven’t had the chance to try this place yet. Virtù (which translates to virtue in Italian) feels like a world away from the vibe of downtown Scottsdale. Tucked away in a boutique hotel, the restaurant occupies small inside tables and the tree covered patio at the entrance.

The day we visited, it was a warm and sunny day with a gentle breeze. We sat inside just next to some French doors to the patio that allowed for some breeze while shielding us from the sun. It was almost magical how quickly I felt transported to a countryside villa.

The menu can change frequently, there are no set menu items but if you are a fan of octopus and “polpo” is on the menu, you should try it. Other than fish, I have an aversion to all things seafood but when I was told that Chef Osso’s was marinated in corks to make it tender and almost like a steak texture, I had to try it. My husband loved it and I will admit that it was unlike any octopus I have tried before. It did not taste fishy or chewy, rather it was extremely tender and well worth the try!

For brunch this Sunday, we enjoyed some wonderful cocktails, champagne, and beer options and followed it up with mouthwatering dishes. There was a risotto with chorizo and eggs, an apple cinnamon French toast that was so decadent and sweet that it was more like a desert and shared by all, a breakfast sandwich for grown ups paired with fresh and delicious coffee, and a fresh omelet paired with crispy and yummy bacon.

The magical brunch visit was topped off by Chef Gio Osso photo bombing our group picture. What a way to kick off a busy vacation month for the DDs!

 
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Posted by on 05/06/2019 in Italian

 

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Cuisine and Wine Bistro – March 2018

Cuisine and Wine Bistro

1422 W Warner Rd | Gilbert, AZ |85233

480-497-1422

cuisineandwinebistro.com

Organized by Janice

For April we went to a favorite for some of the DDs, a cute French bistro in Gilbert that has expanded to another location in Chandler. This charming place is run by a sweet French family. They are super accommodating with any fun events and happy to work with you to design a menu if needed.

The menu doesn’t disappoint with a scrumptious rotating menu of various tasty treats. We started with a variety of bruschettas and a mixed board of charcuteries and cheeses.

Main courses included the grilled salmon with beurre blanc sauce, pork tenderloin with dijonnaise sauce, and filet mignon with red wine shallots. Sides included options such as twice baked potato (yum), hand cut fries, or a rice medley.

Make sure to save some room for dessert! We ended a fabulous dinner with chocolate souffle and Grand Marnier creme brulee, which is a fabulous creme brulee topped with a grand marnier candied orange zest. Such a nice twist on a classic dessert that leaves you wanting more!

The weather was still nice so we opted to sit outside on the patio which makes for a nice intimate setting for a large group. The wine options are excellent and plenty and the service is not to be forgotten. It was a wonderful evening in all aspects and a must visit if you are looking for divine food, wine, and a relaxing evening with friends.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on 04/11/2018 in French

 

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July 22 – Boca Taqueria

Boca Taqueria

1674 N. Higley Rd., #101
Gilbert, Arizona 85234
Phone: (480) 306-8690

http://bocataqueria.com/

Organized by: Sarah and Bill

It was quite a small group for July with just 5 DDs. Much of our group was traveling or had family events going on so it was a small group of Fred, Karna, Ann, Bill, and Sarah.

We tried a local taco place that opened a second location in Gilbert. The place is fast casual where you order at the counter and they serve you at the table, but don’t worry the quality doesn’t seem rushed. There is a great happy hour every day until 6pm with some good drink and food options.

Portions are plenty for the full plates or you can get some good a la carte options if you aren’t famished. The Macho Nachos (pictured below on left) are a big plate of nom noms with plenty to share with friends. The enchiladas are tasty and the during the fall you can get the Green Chile Pork ones with a butternut squash sauce. It is really tasty and quite unexpected. Ann tried the seafood enchiladas with green sauce. The flavor was good even for a non-seafood loving person as myself! We also tried the tilapia and chimichanga, served enchilada style.

The margaritas are cool and refreshing or they also have a small but good selection of beers on draft. The atmosphere is light and super casual. It’s a great place to stop by for a quick bite or grab some take-away. According to their website, they also have a food truck and offer catering options as well.

It was a fun and casual night with our small group of peeps. Good times on a hot monsoon night.

 
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Posted by on 07/22/2017 in Latin

 

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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 🙂

 
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Posted by on 05/01/2017 in American

 

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Espos – March 2017

Espos Mexican Food

3863 W Chandler Blvd|Chandler, AZ| 85226

480-588-7377 |https://www.espos.co/

Organized by: Jen and Don

Hidden right in the middle of bustling Chandler is a fast casual gem that has been serving up Mexican favorites and good times for the people in Chandler. Whether it is tender and juicy carne asada or fresh and tasty green chili pork, Espos originally started serving the farm worker community and has been dishing happiness for over 40 years.

We visited Espos on a beautiful April Sunday in Phoenix before the heat melted our skin off so we enjoyed sitting outside in the comfortable patio. There is no table service, rather you order inside and then find a seat. The margaritas are only $2 and they are quite delicious and refreshing on a warm afternoon. You can also order a bucket of beers and they will literally put them on ice for you. Even though the patio is sitting right on Chandler Blvd, it feels secluded and inviting, making you forget that a huge mall is just right down the road.

The portions are plentiful so be prepared to possibly take leftovers home or share a dish. You would think that with this kind of quality ingredients, prices would be high but they are not. A red chili burrito is under $6 and it is not a baby burrito! There are also a variety of snack options such as corn or flour chips with a whole variety of dips such as queso, green chili beef, or pico de gallo. The rice and beans are good, but unless your plate comes with it, I would rather focus my laser sights on enjoying the tasty main dishes. You won’t be hungry, that’s for sure!

So bring your friends, order some good food, and chillax on the patio with a margarita or a frosty cerveza and let summer roll on by…

https://www.espos.co/special-event-pictures

 
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Posted by on 03/26/2017 in Mexican

 

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May 28, 2016 – Old Town Tortilla Factory

Old Town Tortilla Factory

6910 East Main Street

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

480.945.4567

http://oldtowntortillafactory.com/index.php

Organized by: Fred and Karna

Fred and Karna took the reigns again this month and organized dinner at the Old Town Tortilla Factory in Scottsdale. The restaurant is located in a very cute 75-year old adobe home. You enter through a huge flagstone patio surrounded by lots of pecan trees. Needless to say, the patio seating is amazing!

We started with the “award winning” margaritas that seemed a little watery and light on flavor. So we decided to change it up to a bottle of wine…at a Mexican restaurant with 120 tequilas. Not a good sign. Instead of tortilla chips like most Mexican restaurants, the Tortilla Factory provides warm homemade tortillas with butter. Rightly so. This was a interesting twist and the tortillas were pretty tasty.

From the starter menu we got a few orders of chips and salsa fuego and the much anticipated Chorizo Fundido. I was quite disappointed that it was light on the Chorizo, but heavy on the Fundido.

For dinner, the Red Chile Pork Chops was nicely presented and had good flavor. The green enchiladas with chicken, cheese, and tomatillo sauce was also good. Overall, I would say that the food was okay but I probably wouldn’t come back just for that. The best part of the dinner was certainly the ambiance of the beautiful patio!

We opted not to order dessert and instead part of the group walked down the block to the Hotel Valley Ho for cocktails and dessert. The Valley Ho has been a Scottsdale landmark since 1956. The hotel was renovated in 2005 and brought back to its modern 60’s vibe. The ZuZu lounge had a fun design of 60s modern bar stools, minimalist couches with clean sharp lines and yet still looked comfortable and soft. Since we were there at night, there was a soft red glo giving everything a fun artsy vibe.

We opted to sit outside at the Cafe Zu Zu taking full advantage before the Arizona weather kicked into full gear. When first sitting down, I made the mistake of asking the hostess how long the hotel had been open knowing that it was a landmark but not much else. The young girl sheepishly looked at me and said “I really should know this, but I don’t.” Yes dear. You really should.

After a rousing discussion of Scottsdale vs. Gilbert socialites, we delved into libations. I tried the Bourbon Smash which was Maker’s Mark, muddled lemon, mint, simple syrup, club soda, and lemon peel. Someone else tried the Blackberry Mule of vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and blackberry and Tony went with a Manhattan.

For dessert, we tried the Raspberry Creme Brulee, Key Lime Pie, and Caramel Macchiat”Oh” Cheesecake. The cocktails and desserts were delicious and were a nice ending to a fun evening of heated political discussions and lots of good times and laughter.

 
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Posted by on 05/28/2016 in Mexican

 

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