Post image for Evo chef DeRuvo to open Italian eatery Citrine near downtown Tempe

Yet another well-known Scottsdale chef is making a foray into the East Valley.

Peter DeRuvo is opening an Italian eatery called Citrine in the former Revo Pizzabar space at the Tempe Transit Center on the northwest corner of Forest and Fifth next to ASU.

DeRuvo (pictured above on Channel 3) is perhaps best-known for his tenure at Sassi in north Scottsdale. He also has worked at Prado, Cuoco Pazzo, and Francesca’s.

He currently can be found at Evo, an Italian restaurant and lounge in Old Town Scottsdale.

Citrine will be a sibling of Evo, offering similar wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas, and bruschetta for lunch and dinner daily.

A mid-September opening is planned.

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Post image for It’s Taco Tuesday! Here are today’s East Valley taco deals

It’s Tuesday, which means taco deals…

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Post image for Tuesday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

Today’s specials and deals from MXSW sponsors:

  • Baja Joe’s: $2 tacos; two Tecates for $5 after 5 p.m. (cantina only); $2 bottles and shots, $3 mugs, margs, and Patron from 8 p.m.-close (cantina only).
  • The Brass TapBrew Crew members get 25% off all packaged brews; also Randall Night.
  • Fibber Magees: Half-price sliders; $1 off Guinness, Harp & Smithwicks
  • Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta: Get a large two-topping pizza, large tossed salad, and order of breadsticks with cheese for $17.50 from 4-8 p.m.
  • Hungry Monk: 59-cent wings.
  • Jimmy & Joe’s Pizzeria: Buy dozen wings, get second dozen for $2; 16-inch pizzas for $14.95 (up to 3 free toppings); buy any pizza, get second pizza of equal or less value for $5 ($12 for Big Jimmy).
  • La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen: $3 tacos; open-mic night from 6-9 p.m.
  • Murphy’s Law: Double Punch Tuesday (buy 7 lunches, get the 8th free); $6.95 lunch mix & match special.
  • Nicantoni’s Pizza: 2 appetizers for $9.50; 2 glasses of wine for $10; 2 14-inch cheese pizzas for $16; 2 desserts for $8.50.
  • Social Box Neighborhood Eatery: Burger, fries and any local beer for $10.
  • Uncle Bear’s: 59-cent wings with beverage purchase; $3 Ocean Beach IPA pints.
  • Wimpy’s Paradise: Kids eat free with each adult meal (additional kids eat for $3) from 4-7:30 p.m.
  • Zappone’s Italian Bistro: $5.99 spaghetti and house-made meatballs with salad from 4-9 p.m.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for Thursday’s ‘Taste of Romeo’s’: Chicken Veneto & Andalusian Eggplant

The weekly five-course dinners, hosted by chef Romeo Taus and his wife, Janice, in a private dining room, typically highlight a rotating selection from the regular menu at Romeo’s Euro Cafe in Gilbert.

Aug. 27 “Taste of Romeo’s” menu:

  • Hungarian Mushrooms (pictured): Mushroom caps broiled with garlic, lemon, butter, dill, spicy paprika, and crispy bacon.
  • Tortellini Feta Salad: Cheese-filled tortellini, mushrooms, peas, peppers, black olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes tossed in
    mustard vinaigrette with crumbled feta.
  • Chicken Veneto: Chicken breast, whole black peppercorns, capers, spring onion, mushrooms, and garlic in Marsala cream sauce,
  • Andalusian Baked Eggplant: Fennel sausage, roasted red peppers, pine nuts, spinach, red onions, scallions, and fresh garlic sauteed in olive oil and baked over eggplant with feta cheese.
  • Torte: With chocolate, dried fruit, and walnuts.

Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $27 per person plus tax and tip. Add five wine tastes for $10. RSVP: 480-962-4224.

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Post image for French Fry Heaven to open Sept. 10 in Tempe

Earlier this month, Tempe welcomed the Valley’s first US Fries (see story). Now, it’s getting Arizona’s first French Fry Heaven.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based chain is taking over the former Bombay Spice Grill space in the Vista Del Sol marketplace on Apache just west of Rural.

French Fry Heaven sells seven signature styles of fries, or you can create your own with various seasonings and dips. There also are four types of loaded fries (pictured).

Unlike most locations, the Tempe one will not serve alcohol.

French Fry Heaven is scheduled to open Sept. 10.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for MXSW’s newest advertiser: Social Box Neighborhood Eatery

Please welcome Social Box Neighborhood Eatery, a unique restaurant that combines elevated comfort food with a strong taste of community stewardship, as MXSW’s newest sponsor.

Social Box opened in November 2014 in the old Iguana Macks space on Alma School, between Warner and Ray, in Chandler.

The menu offers burgers and sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, and build-your-own mac and cheese. Weekly specials include a burger, fries, and an Arizona beer for $10 on Tuesdays (pictured).

Social Box frequently partners with non-profits and other groups to raise money for special causes. Yesterday, for example, it hosted a Mac & Cheese Challenge to raise money for the Chandler Fire Department.

Please thank Social Box for its support of local food and drink coverage.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for Monday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors
  • Baja Joe’s: $1 off all combinations; $5 stuffed burgers after 5 p.m.; $2 bottles and shots, $3 mugs, margs, and Patron from 8 p.m.-close (cantina only).
  • The Brass Tap: Military and first responders get 25% off entire bill. Team trivia at 7 p.m. with a chance to win a $10-$30 gift cards.
  • Fibber Magees: $6 all hamburgers; $4 Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
  • Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta: Get a large two-topping pizza, large tossed salad, and order of breadsticks with cheese for $17.50 from 4-8 p.m.; seniors get buy-one-get-one-free discount all night.
  • Hungry Monk: $9.99 all-you-can-eat boneless wings; $2.50 Blue Moons.
  • Jimmy & Joe’s Pizzeria: Buy dozen wings, get second dozen for $2; 16-inch pizzas for $14.95 (up to 3 free toppings); buy any pizza, get second pizza of equal or less value for $5 ($12 for Big Jimmy).
  • El Palacio: $4 Gold Cadillac margarita, fruit margarita, or 20-ounce margarita.
  • La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen: $5 house margaritas; free kids meal with purchase of adult entree.
  • Nicantoni’s Pizza: $1 off manicotti, meatballs (with spaghetti or in sub), Malibu, and Merlot.
  • Social Box Neighborhood Eatery: Kids (10 & under) eat free with paid adult.
  • Uncle Bear’s: $2 off TC Sliders; $4 22-ounce UB beers.
  • Zappone’s Italian Bistro: $5.99 spaghetti and house-made meatballs with salad from 4-9 p.m.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Hard to believe, but you still have a chance to snag a seat for Sunday’s Four Peaks beer dinner at The Hungry Monk in Chandler.

The 4:30 p.m. dinner, which is $50 (including both tax and tip), kicks off the Monk’s Five-Year Anniversary Week celebration.

HungryMonkFourPeaksDinner

To RSVP, call 480-963-8000.

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Post image for MXSW launches East Valley Food & Drink group on Facebook – here’s why

When Mouth by Southwest created its Facebook page back in 2010, the social media platform had a simple philosophy: If you “liked” a page, you got to see the posts from that page on your timeline.

Today, of course, Facebook operates much differently. It asks businesses to pay to reach their followers – the very people who’ve asked to see their posts.

According to various reports, an estimated 6% of a page’s followers are allowed to see any given post. That’s an average. For every popular post that – through sharing and other interaction – is seen by thousands, other posts are virtually invisible.

On MXSW’s page, which has nearly 3,000 followers, some posts “reach” fewer than 100 followers, according to Facebook’s own analytics. And recently the number seems to be shrinking even more.

This “throttling,” I should point out, only applies to Facebook business pages, not personal profile pages (for now, at least).

Declining value of Facebook pages

Facebook generously will “boost” MXSW posts to reach all the page’s followers – for $5 per post. Once MXSW adds another 300 followers, though, the cost becomes $20 per post.

As a news site, MXSW posts up to 10 times a day. There’s simply no budget to pay $1,000 or more per week to reach the people who want to follow MXSW on Facebook.

So, in an attempt to get local food and drink news out to more East Valley residents, I’ve launched the East Valley Food & Drink group on Facebook.

Unlike pages, groups allow members to see all its posts, if members choose, in their timelines. They also can set various notification options that aren’t available for pages.

In my experience, groups also provide a better forum for members to ask about and share food and drink information directly with other members. Plus, a group’s timeline is searchable, while a page’s isn’t.

So what can you expect?

The Facebook group will be one of my primary places to share local food and drink news, whether it’s news from MXSW, another website, or even just a press release.

Like MXSW, the main focus will be on the East Valley, although, also like MXSW, it’ll cover things in Phoenix and beyond that are of interest to East Valley residents.

I know some Facebook groups can get contentious or degrade into a morass of negativity. I only ask that if you choose to criticize something (or someone), you be fair, honest, and constructive.

(Another advantage of a group is offending members can be blocked from posting.)

Why didn’t I call this the Mouth by Southwest group? I want the page to be about more than MXSW posts, and I hope others will share their questions and knowledge about the local food and drink scene.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for 5 ways The Hungry Monk is celebrating its 5th anniversary next week

The Hungry Monk in Chandler celebrates its fifth anniversary next Saturday, Aug. 29, and they’re leading up to that day’s party with four other events next week:

Sunday: Four Peaks Brewing Company beer dinner. Five courses for $50. 4:30 p.m. Tickets still available.

Monday: Ice Cream Social with Prescott Brewing Company, Sonoran Brewing, Historic Brewing Company, and Barrio Brewing Co. Four different beer ice creams (Achocolypse triple chocolate, Mocha Java coffee chunk, White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl, and Pie Hole Cherry Vanilla) with corresponding beers on tap. 5 p.m.

Wednesday: SanTan Summer Fiesta featuring beer-inspired Southwestern food specials and Mr. Pineapple and Strawberry Wit margaritas. 5 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 27: Grand Canyon Pilsner promotion with the Grand Canyon Brewing Company. 5 p.m.

Saturday Aug. 29: 5-Year Anniversary Party with many rare beer tappings (see list) and special BBQ menu. All day.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts