Monthly Archives: February 2010

After the Open: What to Do

We are right in the middle of the Waste Management Phoenix Open week, of course with the big signature weekend to come tomorrow and Sunday. The Open is up at the TPC in Scottsdale, and is definitely known for being the rowdiest, loudest, most energetic crowds on the Tour. All that energy has to go somewhere once you’ve left the gates, and if the Bird’s Nest isn’t your thing, here are our suggestions for what to do and where to go in the North Scottsdale/Phoenix area:

WHERE TO EAT

Skip the chain restaurants and head to these local gems up north:

Zinc Bistro: At Kierland Commons, just a little more than a mile away from the TPC, you can find Chef Matt Carter whipping up his French specialties. It’s delicious and you can eat on the patio, on the side or tucked away in a back courtyard, to absorb the perfect weather. Whatever you do, get the molten cake – just make sure to order in advance.

North, Greene House: North (and Bar North) and The Greene House are all brain children of  you-guessed-it, Sam Fox, and both are at Kierland Commons. If you haven’t tried The Greene House, prepare to be wowed. The atmosphere and food are fresh as can be, laid back but sophisticated at the same time.

The Compound: Live Music + Grill: The creators of the McDowell Mountain Music Festival have set up shop – err, restaurant – at the Scottsdale & 101. But this is no ordinary grill, of course there’s live music to be had nearly every night. Great place to go to relax after the Open.

El Encanto: You’re already up north, so head a few more miles up and visit El Encanto, one of Phoenix’s oldest (and most delicious) Mexican restaurants. You’ll be surprised, too, by the lake surrounded by trees, with swans floating around -it’s what they’re known for. That, and the year-after-year award-winning margaritas.

White Chocolate Grill: Oddly, not every dish is made with white chocolate. A disappointment to some chocoholics like me, until I tasted the oh-so-fresh American fare. It’s reminiscent of a Houston’s-type restaurant, with the classy dark wood, really expertly cooked food, but the WCG as we call it has a killer bar and atmosphere. Get there early.

NIGHTLIFE

You’ve seen some golf, now you’re full from one of the restaurants above, and you want to go out. Here’s where to do it:

Devil’s Martini North: The sister to the original location in Old Town Scottsdale, Devil’s North – as it’s called – is the primary dance club/bar/lounge in North Scottsdale. It always has the best DJs (before you go, you can even request music on their web site), stiff drinks, and what’s widely known as the best looking crowd in town. Don’t be fashionably late this weekend – go early to save yourself time in line.

Stone Rose Lounge: This swanky place is at the swanky Fairmont Scottsdale, literally right behind the Open, which means you won’t have to find a DD to get there. There will be live music and drinks with a bite, but this isn’t the place to go to dance. This is the place to go if you want to relax on the patio or watch the action around the bar.

Armitage: Just a couple miles north of the Open is DC Ranch, and Armitage is the oh-so-popular wine bar you’ve gotta try. There’s a long wine list for the sophisticated type, and a spirit list for the rest of us that really is full of spirit with creative concoctions. It’s really cozy with oversized chairs and couches, but it’s quaint so don’t wait too long to get your spot.

My Florist

We regret to announce that My Florist Cafe Closed it’s Doors on Oct. 1, 2010

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about the gal who does my flower arrangements for holidays and hostess gifts, but I’m not (and you wouldn’t be the first to think that).

My Florist is one of the best lunch and dinner spots in Phoenix, specifically the downtown area, because of its bright, art deco decor as much as is dive-right-in meals. Matter of fact, their salads cannot be beat, in my opinion, because above being tasty, super fresh and creative, they actually keep you full. Adding steak or chicken helps, but really, it’s a meal. I highly recommend The Asparagus (asparagus, ), the Crab Cake Salad (crab cakes, ), and the Port Poached Pear and Gorgonzola (the mentioned ingredients with ) if you have a salad sweet tooth.

Inside My Florist Cafe in Phoenix

If you can’t decide on one of the thirteen salads, there are just as many – and just as thoughtful – sandwich options. They do the Cafe Panini all kinds of right by balancing the elements perfectly (salami ). The Portobello (mushoroms), and the Chicken Salad is anything but ordinary.

My Florist Cafe Chicken Salad Sandwich

One contributing factor to the distinctive tastes is the bread (and we all know the difference good bread can make). It’s from Willo Bread next door, named after the neighborhood it borders. These freshly baked breads and buns are perfect bookends on the sandwiches or really, an additional ingredient in their soups.

Now, if you go for dinner, you’ll find the same salad offerings, and more choices on the main entrees section. About half are seafood dishes, and the salmon and tuna are incredible. But I absolutely drool at the thought of the Honey Mustard Chicken Paillard. Incredibly delicious – you won’t be disappointed.

My Florist Cafe

Another benefit of going for dinner is the live pianist to jazz up your night. Nicole Pesce plays Wednesday – Sunday nights, from 7 p.m. to midnight. (By the way, this is the perfect place to stop after catching a show at the Herberger or Orpheum.)

Obviously, I can’t rave enough about My Florist, but the secret is out – don’t be surprised to see Arizona leaders there – whether in political or corporate echelons. If you don’t take my recommendation, take their endorsement.

See more pics.

My Florist Cafe
534 W McDowell Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85003