Write On Rubee

An Arizona-based food, beverage and travel writer since 2008, I launched this website in 2015 to document my culinary adventures, beverage escapades, gardening endeavors, and travel in the Phoenix area and beyond. Also find a comprehensive calendar of Phoenix-area food and drink-related events on my Events page.

Filtering by Tag: Fabio on Fire

RUBEE TUESDAY: December 7-11: Glenfiddich Dinner at Blue Hound, Fabio on Fire, The Boulders Resort, Stock and Stable

A semi-weekly feature, Rubee Tuesday is a recap of my week's adventures in dining and drinking in the Phoenix area. 

The Boulders Resort and Spa

The Boulders Resort and Spa

Thursday, December 7: Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at the Hotel Palomar Phoenix Kimpton is one of my favorite spots, so I accepted a media invitation with no hesitation. Last Thursday featured a special Glenfiddich event showcasing the Solera Reserve 15 year old (a personal favorite. aged in sherry casks) and two unique whiskies, part of their Experimental Series - the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment, finished in Speyside IPA barrels (with the IPA a collaboration between malt master Brian Kinsman and a local craft brewer) and Project XX, a blend by Kinsman of 20 malts chosen by 20 whisky experts from 16 countries.  Note: You can read my prior interview with Brian Kinsman here.

Glenfiddich Bue Hound Phoenix

Our educational evening was led by the knowledgeable and enthusiastic Michael Anderson, Luxury Spirits Specialist at Young's Market Company, and Chef de Cuisine Chris Neff made sure each pour was paired with a delicious dish. 

I started with an excellent Glenfiddich Blood and Sand by Phil Clark, head bartender, before a great dinner of: 

  • Course one: Pork belly with apple butter, pistachios, mustard greens, honey, and a wonderful beer vinegar made by Chef Neff. Paired with the Glenfiddich Solera Reserve.
  • Course two:  Diver scallops with fresh spinach tagliatelle, brown butter, butternut squash and fennel salad.  Paired with the Glenfiddich IPA.
  • Course three: Short rib with parsnip puree, smoked mushrooms, and cherry jus.  Paired with the Glenfiddich Project XX.

Friday, December 8: Back to Fabio on Fire, a neighborhood favorite (I've previously mentioned it here and here). This time I started with a special of mozzarella di bufala (Italian mozzarella made with buffalo milk) flown in from Naples with arugula, prosciutto di Parma, and a balsamic drizzle. For my main course, I ordered another special, a fantastic rack of lamb roasted in the wood-fired oven with rosemary and garlic potatoes. My husband had his regular order of an appetizer of meatballs and then the lobster ravioli with crabmeat sauce.  We ended with strawberry gelato and puff pastry diplomatico, and took home a dozen cookies, sfogliatelle, pandoro (a special holiday cake), and cannolis for my dad.  

Fabio on Fire

Saturday, December 9. I'm working on my next feature for Experience Scottsdale, an Aperol Spritz round-up.  I've chosen five great spots to enjoy this cocktail or its variations, including the Discovery Lounge at The Bouders Resort. Thanks to Culinary Director Chef Brian Archibald, I not only fell in love with their libation (made with a house barrel-aged Aperol), but spent the afternoon dining and imbibing. Look for details on those dishes and drinks on an upcoming recap here, and my Aperol Spritz list on ExperienceScottsdale.com.

Aperol Spritz Brian Archibald

One highlight was a new Boulders Flask cocktail for two, made with smoked ice cubes, the Boulders' exclusive Casa Noble Anejo, El Silencio mezcal, Aperol, Shrub & Co Blood Orange Shrub, lime, and honey water...and it needs a title! Want to win free cocktails and dinner? Enter the Facebook contest here by suggesting the name for this new drink. If yours is chosen, you'll win an etched Boulders glass flask containing cocktails for two, and two entrees from the Discovery Lounge menu at the Boulders Resort. Winner will be announced at 5 pm Monday, December 18, 2017 (UPDATE: Congratulations to Laura R on Facebook who won with El Corazón de Silencio, "The Heart of Silence") 

Dinner that night was a media invitation and return to a favorite, Stock and Stable (see past visits here and here, and a Rubee Tuesday visit here). I'm a big fan of Executive Chef Joe Absolor, so a special treat was having a chance to spend some time chatting with this talented chef. 

Joe Absolor

We grazed on kung pao cauliflower, corn dogs made with TenderBelly franks, and Philly cheesesteak rolls before diving into a double cheeseburger with garlic and rosemary frites and chef's spot-on suggestion of the Beer Butt Chicken (super juicy from a beer marinade and served with a lemony jus), ordered with a side of Brussels sprouts and Hasselback potato. Another great night at Stock & Stable, though too full for dessert! 

To browse past Rubee Tuesday recaps, visit this link. 

RUBEE TUESDAY: August 22-28: Cartwright's, 5th Floor Pop-Ups, Fabio on Fire, EVO, Avanti

A semi-weekly feature, Rubee Tuesday is a recap of my week's adventures in dining and drinking in the Phoenix area.

Chef Matthew Eck's yellowfin tuna with mango, avocado, yuzu, Fresno chile, and microgreens on forbidden black rice cracker at Fifth Floor Pop-Ups

Chef Matthew Eck's yellowfin tuna with mango, avocado, yuzu, Fresno chile, and microgreens on forbidden black rice cracker at Fifth Floor Pop-Ups

Wednesday, August 23:  Two of my favorite chefs joined forces at Cartwright's Modern Cuisine for a "Food Without Borders" collaboration dinner. Cartwright's chef/owner Brett Vibber invited Chef Fidencio Alatriste of Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for a special dinner showcasing his Mexican roots. Look for a detailed recap, but here's a sneak peek, including a fabulous Niman Ranch NY strip with cilantro gorditas, mole poblano and pipian verde.

Chegfs Fidencio Alatriste and Brett Vibber

Thursday, August 24:  Chef Matthew Eck, sous chef at The Mission Kierland, invited a group of media and fellow food-lovers to the launch of his new concept, Fifth Floor Pop-Ups. We gathered at sunset on the the Fifth Floor Skyview Lounge at The View at Cascade and were greeted with Arizona Sunset cocktails before diving into a wonderful dinner featuring Chula Seafood and Twisted Infusions Farm. This is just the type of spirit and passion that I feel makes our city such a great food mecca. Look for a full recap here on the website next week and follow along 5th_floor_pop_ups for future events. 

Chef Matthew Ecker

Friday, August 25: We were back at Fabio on Fire, which I first visited last week (see that here).  Once again, Fabio wowed us with his food and I think his rosemary foccacia with burrata, arugula, pacchino tomatoes, and olives might be my new favorite dish. A round of puffy, chewy, charred pizza dough was brushed with fragrant olive oil and rosemary and then topped with peppery argula and creamy burrata imported from Italy.  I also loved the porcini mushroom ravioli special, so be sure to order that too if it's on the menu!

Rosemary foccacia Fabio's on Fire

Monday, August 28: Would I like to spend my Monday night sampling cocktails at EVO (a favorite Old Town spot I've mentioned before). Why, of course! Six of us gathered at the bar for a media tasting as Jake Russell introduced us to his cocktail creations, along with Chef Steven Fowler's fantastic polpettini with grana padano and roasted mushroom pizzas.

La Paz

La Paz

  • La Paz: As Jake shared with us, this is his version of a margarita. He told us how he tried 30 tequilas before deciding to barrel age one himself to get the right amount of oak. For this, he ages Corazón tequila and shakes it with Aperol and lime before finishing with an aromatic elderflower foam (nitrous oxide-whipped elderflower cordial, egg white, and lemon juice).  
  • Limoncello Rosa.  Jake starts with his housemade limoncello, fresh lemon juice, and gin.  But there is also "pomegranate syrup on the bottom and soda water on top, so you want to make sure you give that drink a good swirl to mix it. It tastes light and refreshing but is also something you can drink dangerously."  My kind of of drink. 
  • Barrel Roll:  This barrel-aged cocktail was started in February and inspired by a barrel-aged Manhattan.  The addition of a Campari sphere makes this cocktail uniquely evolve - "it starts as a Manhattan, essentially, but as the Campari melts, it transforms into a Boulevardier." 
  • Calling for Clarification:  I had my first, and only (until now), clarified milk punch at Bitter and Twisted last year, so was impressed to see Jake serving this labor-intensive cocktail. Yes, milk is an ingredient but it undergoes a process where it becomes clarified or clear. Fascinating, right? You can read more about this centuries-old libation technique here.  At EVO, Jake uses three kinds of rum - white, spiced, and overproof.  
  • Bronze Boar:  We finished our cocktail adventure with this spirit-forward cocktail made by mixing up Pig's Nose blended scotch with Luxardo Sangue Morlacco and a dash of Angostura bitters before pouring into an absinthe-rinsed glass. 

EVO serves an Italian-inspired menu with a popular happy hour (4-7 pm). Night owls like me and industry pros love the late-night hours with Chef Fowler's full menu served until 1:30 am. EVO is located at 4175 N Goldwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Menu: evoscottsdale.com

On the way home, my husband had to look at a property which happened to be right next door to Avanti, one of Phoenix' iconic Italian restaurants (it has been open for 43 years). He suddenly had a craving for carbonara, so in we went.  I started with a Negroni, of course. My plan was for a light second dinner of carpaccio, but when I noticed the $27.95 lobster special, how could I say no? This summer special is a delicious bargain - a perfectly-cooked one-pound lobster cut in half and claws cracked for easy access, with soup or salad, garlic bread, pasta, and sauteed vegetables. Take advantage of this deal through the end of September. We also had great service - thank you Jerry!

To browse past Rubee Tuesday recaps, visit this link. 

RUBEE TUESDAY: August 16-21: Second Story Liquor Bar, Crudo, Char, Fabio on Fire, Hearth '61, AZRW Fall Preview

A semi-weekly feature, Rubee Tuesday is a recap of my week's adventures in dining and drinking in the Phoenix area.

The Local at Second Story Liquor Bar

The Local at Second Story Liquor Bar

Wednesday, August 16: I'm working on my next assignment for Experience Scottsdale and spent the afternoon with Executive Chef Jordano Sessions of Second Story Liquor Bar. This talented young chef has a background in botany nutrition and sustainable agriculture, and I can't wait to share his story and food philosophy.

Jordano Sessions

SSLB will be rolling out a new menu of global small plates and I had a sneak peek at some of the delicious dishes, such as his carrot and turmeric arancini with gochujang aioli and tomato jam. Tip: Pair it with Andrew's "Local Roots" cocktail with turmeric-infused gin, chamomile grappa, lemon, and watermelon syrup.  

Falafel at Second Story Liquor Bar

Afterwards, we joined our friends Margo and Norman at Crudo. A Wednesday night special encourages you to gather with your friends and family to share a refillable Polenta Board. Dinner includes a market salad, platter of polenta (local Hayden Mills) topped with a weekly sugo, garnishes, and a bottle of wine for four people.  All this at only $20 per person. We feasted on polenta topped with pork belly, brisket, and shishito peppers, and rounded out our dinner with excellent cocktails such as Brenon's "Just a Snip" pictured below and small plates like a wonderful yellowtail collar

Polenta board Crudo

Thursday, August 17:  I attended a special media sampling of new fall dishes at Char Kitchen + Bar.  More photos and details can be found by clicking the photo of their Mediterranean Chef's Board below.

Friday, August 18:  My friend chef Fabio Ceschetti and his wife have long had a dream of opening their own restaurant, and it has come true with the opening of Fabio on Fire! Although Fabio just opened in June, he's already received great reviews (such as this one) and a busy restaurant every night. In fact, plans are already in the works to add a 30-seat patio. I finally had a chance to visit with my parents and wow, we loved it! And the best part? It's on my side of the valley in Peoria. You'll find Italian pastries, pizzas, pastas, and salads, and Fabio also bakes his own bread and makes gelato.  Look for a future feature, but for now, here's a glimpse of some of the fantastic dishes we enjoyed.

Farro salad with shrimp, golden raisins, roasted pinenuts, arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese

Farro salad with shrimp, golden raisins, roasted pinenuts, arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese

Sunday, August 20.  I was invited for the third installment of the monthly Sunday Supper series at Hearth '61, the signature restaurant at Mountain Shadows Resort. Special guest Jason Raducha of Noble Bread joined Executive Chef Charles Wiley for a four-course wine dinner ($74 per person). It was my first time at Sunday Supper, but not my last! The next one is scheduled for September 17.  Look for a detailed recap of my experience to post next week. 

Mountain Shadows lobby view

Monday, August 21: Arizona Restaurant Week kicks off next month and I joined fellow media for a progressive dine-around to preview the menus at The Herb Box in DC Ranch, Market Street Kitchen, and Fleming's Steakhouse. Here are some of the great choices you can expect.

We started with appetizers at The Herb Box.  

Trout beignets

Trout beignets

Next was Market Street Kitchen for the main course

Rotisserie fried chicken with cheddar mashed potatoes and cream gravy

Rotisserie fried chicken with cheddar mashed potatoes and cream gravy

Our last stop was Fleming's for decadent desserts

We ended our stroll around DC Ranch back at Market Street Kitchen for a Garrit Guthrie nightcap.  

Garrit Guthrie Cocktail Market Street Kitchen

To browse past Rubee Tuesday recaps, visit this link.