Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve dinner party at La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, December 27, 2017

LaRistraBar122717La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen in Gilbert toasts the end of 2017 with a New Year’s Eve dinner party at 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31.

  • Appetizer: Seafood ceviche
  • Entree: Short ribs with green chile mashed potatoes; crab cakes with cilantro rice, elote, and sopapilla.
  • Dessert: Green chile apple cobbler

Tickets are $45 per person, which includes one drink ticket and a free midnight champagne toast with a souvenir glass.

DJ Chris Marshall will provide the music. There also will be raffle prizes and a photo booth.

Reservations are limited, so call 480-545-2880 to secure your spot.

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Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve prix fixe dinner menu at Fibber Magees

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, December 27, 2017

CliffsidePush122717Fibber Magees Irish Pub in Chandler will offer a special New Year’s Eve prix fixe menu on Sunday, Dec. 31.

  • 1st course (choose one): Poutine, mussels, red pepper hummus, or Brussels sprouts.
  • 2nd course (choose one): Fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, or shepherd’s pie.
  • 3rd course (choose one): Ghirardelli Guinness brownie, bread and butter pudding, or strawberry streusel.
  • Plus: Penny drinks!

Cost is $70 per person. A limited number of table reservations available with prix fixe menu, so call 480-609-8677 to RSVP.

There is no cover charge on New Year’s Eve. Cliffside Push (pictured) take the stage at 9 p.m. Free champagne toast at midnight.

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Romeo's Euro Cafe Gilbert AZRomeo’s Euro Cafe in Gilbert closes out 2017 with a special version of its weekly ‘‘Taste of Romeo’s’’ dinner, hosted by chef Romeo Taus (pictured) and his wife, Janice, in the restaurant’s private dining room at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28.

The dinners typically feature five courses selected from the restaurant’s regular menu. This week’s selections:

  • Potmancho
  • Balsamic Steak Salad (no mushrooms, if you choose)
  • Pork AgroDolce
  • Pork Molise
  • Mocha Espresso Brownies

This week’s menu is extra special because it includes five wines (all rated 90-plus points), each paired with one of the food courses.

Cost is $85 per person plus tax and tip. RSVP: 480-962-4224.

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RepublicaEmpanadaDDD122217Republica Empanada, a family-run Mesa eatery serving Latin American comfort food, will be featured on the Food Network’s ‘‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’’ on Friday, Dec. 22.

According to the cable network’s website, the 30-minute episode, entitled ‘‘Mom’s Kitchen,’’ will visit:

‘‘In Boulder, Colo., a mother-son team servin’ up Chinese specialties like dan dan noodles and steamed buns. In Columbus, Ohio, a Jamaican joint dishin’ out jerk chicken, red snapper and other island favorites. And in Mesa, Ariz., a family spot cooking lights-out Latin cuisine, from a Cubano empanada to arroz con pollo.’’

Show host Guy Fieri (shown above with Republica’s Jinette Meraz) spent a day filming at downtown Mesa restaurant in early October.

The network website lists the show at 9 p.m. Eastern, but my cable provider (Cox) airs it at 10 p.m. Arizona time. Your cable provider may vary. (Look for the ‘‘Mom’s Kitchen’’ episode at the end of a long block of reruns.)

Republica Empanada has been closed for the past 10 days for some kitchen renovations, but re-opens to the public Saturday, Dec. 23.

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santanpint102016Following the lead of several other East Valley breweries, SanTan Brewing has announced it will open a Phoenix location in 2018.

SanTan, which launched in downtown Chandler in 2007, will take over the recently closed Z’Tejas on the southwest corner of 16th Street and Bethany Home.

The brewery plans a spring opening, but provided no other details on the new location.

Earlier this year, Huss Brewing in south Tempe opened a taproom at Central and Camelback in Phoenix.

Pedal Haus Brewery in downtown Tempe and Arizona Wilderness Brewing in Gilbert have announced plans to open Phoenix locations in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

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Shamy Market & Bakery, specializing in Middle Eastern fare, opens in Mesa

BY Jess Harter Thursday, December 21, 2017

Shamy122117Shamy Market & Bakery, a Middle Eastern restaurant and store, has opened in the Fiesta Commons Shopping Center on the northeast corner of Alma School and Southern in Mesa.

It joins the center’s ever-growing lineup of eateries, which also includes Boulders on Southern, Green Corner Mediterranean, Lava Café, Salad & Go, and Stufrageous Stuffed Burgers.

Shamy specializes in a Middle Eastern flatbread called za’atar, which is baked in a special oven and served with cheese, honey, meats or vegetables.

The menu also offers pizzas, baked and regular sandwiches, a ‘‘cheese boat,’’ and other baked goods.

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Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve prix fixe dinner menu at Meridiem

BY Jess Harter Thursday, December 21, 2017

Meridiem122117Meridiem Kitchen & Lounge in Chandler will offer a special New Year’s Eve prix fixe menu on Sunday, Dec. 31.

  • Appetizer (choose one): Bacon-wrapped shrimp or spinach and artichoke dip.
  • Soup/salad (choose one): PowerFood, Caesar, tomato basil, or soup de jour.
  • Entree (choose one): 12-ounce New York strip with shrimp skewer and two sides, 8-ounce pan-seared wild salmon with two sides, or chicken and hummus plate with two sides.
  • Sides: Grilled asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes, garlic spinach fries, or PM Potatoes.
  • Dessert (choose one): Bananas Foster, bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream, or flourless chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream.

Cost is $150 per couple, which includes a bottle of champagne or select bottle of wine.

To make your reservation, call 480-696-1150.

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Now open (at least sometimes): West Alley BBQ in downtown Chandler

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, December 20, 2017

WestAlleyBBQ122017The East Valley’s newest barbecue joint – West Alley BBQ – has opened on a limited basis in downtown Chandler.

I say ‘‘limited’’ because West Alley has been closed on my two visits this week – most recently Tuesday afternoon, when a sign on the door indicated it would open later that day.

I’ve left several messages for the owners, but haven’t learned much yet.

The original West Alley BBQ is located in Jackson, Tenn. The Chandler location – on Boston a block-plus west of Arizona Avenue – is its first spinoff.

According to its website, West Alley’s smoked meats include pork, brisket, chicken, turkey, sausage, and ribs. There also are seasoned fish fillets.

Hours are … well, your guess is as good as mine. Until they get fully up and running, your best bet is to call West Alley at 480-248-8819 before heading there.

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SashasKitchen122017VB Lounge, which opened last December in downtown Chandler, has a new name: Sasha’s Kitchen & Cocktails.

Owner Sasha Cosic, who also operates Va Bene, an award-winning Italian restaurant and wine bar in Ahwatukee, bought the former di Sciacca glassware retail store on Boston Street in late 2015 and took more than a year to launch VB Lounge.

With the name change, chef Brent Tratten’s menu shifts from refined contemporary American to more casual American comfort foods. Goodbye, tartines and osso bucco. Hello, Gladys’ Meatloaf and Not Your Grandma’s Fried Chicken.

Sasha’s Kitchen & Cocktails is open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday.

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Dec. 20: Holiday party (with $1 off most pints) at The Brass Tap

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, December 19, 2017

BrassTap041217The Brass Tap at Mesa Riverview will host a holiday party with discounted beers from 6 p.m.-close Wednesday, Dec. 20.

The 60-handle craft beer bar will be offering $1 off all beers with the exception of Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout and Hangar 24 Pugachev’s Cobra Russian imperial stout.

Other acclaimed beers on tap will include Big Sky Ivan the Terrible imperial stout, Dogfish Head Oak-Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout, Great Divide Hibernation English-style old ale, and more.

Attendees are encouraged to wear festive holiday gear.

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