Coming Soon: Payton Curry's "Curry-ousity"
Last week, former Digestif and Caffe Boa chef Payton Curry announced he'd found the perfect location for his new pop-up-restaurant concept. Thursday afternoon, Curry signed a temporary lease on the classic Welcome Diner building at 10th Street and Roosevelt in downtown Phoenix.
Curry plans to open on April Fools Day with a menu of diner-style cuisine highlighting local ingredients -- think AZ grass-fed beef burgers with locally farmed lettuce/tomato, and "rippers," East Coast style hot dogs poached in beer and charred until the skin bursts open.
"I'm not doing this to drive a Maserati," says Curry. "This is all about revitalizing the community." In keeping with that ideal, Curry is inviting Truckin' Good Food and other food trucks to park in the lot of his new restaurant during the grand opening on First Friday.
With the exception of a malted shake & fries that will likely appear on the restaurant's menu, Curry-ousity is presenting the diner theme for one night only. Regular menu selections will change depending on meats and produce available, much like the free-form concept of San Francisco's similar pop-up restaurants, and are focused on high-quality ingredients.
Offerings range from Curry's hand-pulled mozzarella to handmade pasta dishes such as meaty bolognese and gnocchi, a personal request of celebrated pizza legend Chris Bianco. "When Chris Bianco asks you if you're putting gnocchi on the menu, you don't say no," quips Curry. Also look for fried chicken, pork pate and the foie gras terrine Curry dished up at last week's Twestival event. Desserts will include brioche with citrus curd and pies baked fresh by Curry's wife, Shantal.
Wondering what happened to Curry's infamous reindeer and rabbit holiday menus? Since Caffe Boa is reproducing his Easter rabbit menu this year, the chef has elected to go in a completely different direction. On Easter Sunday, head to Curry-ousity for an all-vegetarian menu with root veggies, pastas and completely vegan options. Non-vegan additions such as honey or cheese will be offered on the side. Cost will be around $25 per person.
Following the April 1 First Friday opening kickoff, Curry-ousity will be open from 5 p.m. to close ("That's whenever I run out of food," says Payton) Sunday through Tuesday, and for private events.