Monthly Archives: February 2009

Hanny’s


Hanny's sign

 

HANNY’S has had a makeover in a big way.

Before: Phoenix’s premier men’s department store from 1947-1986, with designer brands

After: Arguably the most chic dining in downtown PHX.

High on the wall, you’ll see the original “Christian Dior” and “Nino Cerruti” signage along with other designers whose apparel used to dress the finest gentlemen in the state. Now, the bar below the signs is serving these men (or their sons). But this makeover was not a quick fix. After complications with “historic building” designations, this place is finally doing what it always did – serving loyal Phoenicians.

The owners of the ever-so-popular AZ88 (in Scottsdale) took this on to serve great drinks and balanced menu in an urban setting. It’s very cool inside – you walk right into the bar, then seating is towards the back. Best seats are the highboys in the bar area. I always get the French martini (below) and usually a salad, but when I ordered the Panino sandwich, I was nothing short of blown away. Delicious. Reminded me a lot of the famed Pane Bianco

In true Karl Kopp fashion, the bathrooms are best summed up as trippy.  I won’t ruin the fun, but here’s advice: just keep pushing the wall in different places. You’ll see. 

Now, Hanny’s is the perfect reason to come early to a game, stay late, or to get your happy hour on. Go there. Love it. Repeat.   http://hannys.net/

 

martini-resizedsandwich-resized

Duck and Decanter

Duck Decanter brown bag

Some people take a sandwich for granted. I love a  good sandwich, and I love nothing more than turkey, brie and sprouts on multigrain. There are some good sandwich places around town, like any good city, but the locals know the best place. It’s Duck and Decanter, hands down. There are three in PHX, and the people are friendly, they keep lines short and make whatever you want (in the sandwich world). And while they don’t serve duck, they do decant. Wines by the bottle or half-bottle are available. I love a good white with a sandy, but I’m big on tea, too – another reason I love D&D. duck and decanter teas

Every day, they make a new tea fresh-brewed (last time it was “sweet cherry,” and I don’t like cherry, but it was wonderful, gotta admit) and they also have bags for sale. 

All three locations are different, but all cozy and fresh. Take a look and happy sandwiching! 

http://www.duckanddecanter.com/

The French Bee

French Bee inside

 

Phoenix is a “boutiquing” dream, though not often thought of that way. Lots of pockets here and there around town of stores with the latest refurbished, new or truly antique goods. Most of them still look like stores. But The French Bee, to me, feels like home. I just want to say, “I’ll take it all!” and transpose that same comfortable but bright-and-fresh feeling into my casually nuanced home.  The problem is that I really do want it all but have a hard time figuring out what it is that gives The French Bee it’s feeling. About my fifth visit there (in a month) I figured it out – it’s the florals. Besides the great furniture, accessories, garden furnishings, etc., they have a separate warehouse a few blocks away where they make one-of-a-kind floral arrangements and sell them in the store. But they also put the flowers in containers that are wonderful by themselves. Topiaries, flower boxes, and (dare I say at the risk of sounding like my mom) the wreaths! They’re not cheesy and “old” – they’re MODERN. And beautiful. And I’m still deciding which one to buy so just give me a few days before you go.  Anyway, my husband even loves the store so no need to be scared. 

No more raving, I’ll let you see all it has to offer yourself. It’s on about 24th & Indian School in Phoenix.  (Tip: sign up for their mailing list – they are always having GREAT sales!)

http://www.thefrenchbee.com/

Press CoffeeFoodWine

Press CoffeeFoodWine

At first, I thought that it was a confusing name for a place. Then I went and it made complete sense. They press coffee beans, paninis and grapes to give them the coffee, food, and wine that they sell. But besides being intrigued by the name, I was intrigued by the cafe itself. Situated nicely in CityNorth, the new shopping area on 56th Street and Deer Valley, it has an airy feel, and most importantly, an extensive menu for a “coffee place.” I’ve been a few times now and they have they have these desserts that are just what you need on a long afternoon (I have fallen victim in the early morning hours as well). 

And the paninis. What a great idea. I make them all the time at home with my Cuisinart Griddler (highly recommend) but when you get a real panini, it makes all the difference. Their gourmet but not fancy, and give enough sustenance to continue shopping around CityNorth, at least it does me. But could it compare in coffee, especially to my favorite Lola coffee.  The answer, my friends, is OH YES. I’m a latte girl and they are delicious and creamy. A bold, nutty taste, I have found, dominates their coffee flavors but it’s balanced so it’s good. 

They also have not only wine tastings, but coffee tastings. I’m going to sign up soon, and fo course I’ll let you know all about it. 

In the mean time, head over there yourself and let me know what you think. http://www.presscoffeefoodwine.com/

Donovan’s Steak & Chop House

So, when it came to the question, “Where should we have dinner on Valentine’s Day?,” my husband and I settled on one of our absolute favorites — Donovan’s. We love this place and it never fails us. The service, food and atmosphere are all fantastic and add up to one fabulous dining experience.

32nd St. & Camelback

32nd St. & Camelback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Now, my husband is pretty finicky about his steaks and Donovan’s gets it right. For me, it’s the seafood. This time around, I had the broiled shrimp scampi — yum! Another great thing about Donovan’s is that entrees are NOT a la carte. Each one comes with veggies and a choice of potato. If you still need more, they do offer side dishes for sharing. Oh, and their spinach salad is delicious. If they’re offering lobster bisque when you’re there, give a try. You won’t be disappointed. If need be, they’ll help you pair the perfect wine with your dinner selection.

Filet Mignon

New York Strip

Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Scampi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing service that comes with dinner at Donovan’s. It really does keep us going back again and again. All of the staff is attentive, but if you’re lucky enough to have the service of Jessie and his team, they will raise the bar for your service expectations at other restaurants.

 

www.donovanssteakhouse.com

 

 

 

 

 

All-Star Insider

When the Cardinals were in the Super Bowl, one of the big story lines  was, “Can they contain the excitement, busy schedule, and pressures of Super Bowl week to make it to the actual game fresh?”  

Good thing I wasn’t playing. The six days of events for All-Star week were so exhilarating and exciting, that it left me with a happy exhaustion. To be so near all the players, celebrities, NBA “alumni,” and let’s just face it – other big time sports journalists – was completely thrilling. In the midst of all that was going on, I remembered you, my dear blog followers (new word: “blogowers?”) and tried to snap as many shots as I could. I twittered my fingers off to bring you up-to-the-minute coverage (and don’t think I didn’t have twitter wars with the other media sitting next to me), which you can see at www.twitter.com/visitphoenix, by the way. 

Click here to see ALL our awesome pics on our Flickr page

The week was so busy – we saw TO, “Chuck,” and the GlobeTrotters bust it up on the court, saw the press conferences with Shaq and Kobe (see their smiling pics below), saw Kevin Rudolf perform “Let it Rock,” spotted Muhammad Ali, Jay-Z and Beyonce courtside (who, by the way, would NOT kiss each other when the “Kiss Cam” came on), saw LeBron get up to the dunk challenge next year, saw the winning Nate Robinson dunk (see pic below), and Lisa Leslie charm the crowd. 

So in addition to Scott’s celebrity game post, here are some shots for you to reminisce:

TOShaqZach Levi (Chuck)Kevin Garnettphil jacksondwayne wadethe boyspromo shotslisa leslierobinson and duncanLet it Rockdunk compDunk comp2west teamkobeshaq dunkmuhammad alijohn legendjohn mccainlebron jameslebron dunkshaq and kobe

 

Enjoy!

NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

Start of chuck
Start of chuck

A few weeks ago, when the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association held its annual convention and tradeshow at the Phoenix Convention Center, I wandered through the building and was surprised to find live bulls and broncos roaming about its lower level.

Star of "Chuck"

Star of "Chuck"

I figured that was as surreal a scene as I was likely to see in a downtown convention center until I walked into the same building Friday night and witnessed Magic Johnson and Julius Erving exchanging pleasantries in the center of a full-size basketball court as a half-dozen NBA mascots flipped about like Mexican jumping beans and that guy from Chuck ducked a camera boom to bump fists with Stuart Scott.

It was like 1982 NBA Finals meets Pan’s Labyrinth. Or maybe SportsCenter meets Hollywood Squares. Either way, it was weird.

The occasion for all this frivolity was the McDonald’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, which brought together NBA legends, TV and film stars, and (refreshingly) members of the Harlem Globetrotters for an evening of light-spirited hoops.

I won’t bother recapping the game, but in the spirit of Oscar season and obligatory blog snarkiness, here’s a list of highly unofficial awards that recognize the evening’s best personalities and performances. Enjoy.

T.O. and Dr. J
T.O. and Dr. J

Best Athlete on the Court: Terrell Owens. T.O., who won his second consecutive Celebrity Game MVP award, could log productive minutes at small forward for several NBA teams, including the Suns. Come to think of it, being on the receiving end of Steve Nash’s passes rather than Tony Romo’s might be better for his stats and his ego.

Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker

Fan Favorite: Chris Tucker. His voice is higher than his vertical and he’s a few sacks of rice heftier than his Rush Hour heyday with Jackie Chan, but Tucker still knows how to solicit laughs and cheers.

Awww, That’s Too Bad Award: To former “Human Highlight Reel” Dominique Wilkins, who couldn’t quite elevate for a dunk under the basket. When it comes to old guys and windmills, Dominique now plays second fiddle to T. Boone Pickens.

Chivalry is Dead Award: To Arizona alum and Harlem Globetrotter Eugene “Wildkat” Edgerson, for waylaying Lisa Leslie. Edgerson, who is 6-foot-6 (6-foot-11 with afro) and 245 pounds, rumbled from one end of the court to the other to swat the shot of the spindly WNBA star, sending her into photography row. That’s no way to treat a lady, especially on the eve of Valentine’s Day.

Biggest Bruiser: Micahel Rapaport. If it moves, Rapaport (Beautiful Girls, Mighty Aphrodite) will foul it. Then he will complain about the call in an over-the-top Brooklyn accent. This schtick was pretty funny the first seven times, but by foul No. 8 even his teammates seemed tired of it.

Ageless Wonder: Dan Majerle. Phoenix’s favorite adopted son scored 13 points and hit 3 of 4 shots beyond the arc. If you don’t guard Thunder Dan, he will make you pay. Still. (And he serves up a fine burger to boot.)

Best Mike D’Antoni Impression: To East team coach Julius Irving, who seemed to have little use for some of his reserves, particularly Zach Levi (Chuck) and James Denton (Desperate Housewives).

Hardest Theoretical Question: Who would win a celebrity smile-off between Magic Johnson, Curly Neal and Rick Fox? It’s a tough one, but I have to lean toward Neal, the legendary Globetrotter. He’s pure happiness in a red warm-up suit. I found his smile infectious when I was 7 years old, and it got to me again Friday night. Basketball could not ask for better ambassadors.curly-resized