9 Best New Restaurants of 2012 in Greater Phoenix
Chef Peter DeRuvo shines at this Italian restaurant in Scottsdale owned by Chicago-based Francesca's Restaurants Group. Featuring a stellar selection of sharable modern Italian fare like the housemade orecchiette, seared octopus, and the must-try focaccia di recco, cheese-filled bread smeared with honeycomb honey, nearly every dish is superb. Bonus: Wines selected with the help of assistant general manager and long-time sommelier, Dave Johnson.
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
This urban gathering place on the second floor of the new Hotel Palomar at CityScape is the restaurant downtown Phoenix has been waiting for. And thanks to chef Stephen Jones, who isn't above mixing his versions of corn dogs, tater tots, and Mexican pozole in with the Hamachi crudo and duck confit flatbread, the contemporary American menu stays deliciously approachable. Bonus: A selection from the novella-sized cocktail booklet.
- Federal Pizza
The latest venture from Craig DeMarco and his Upward Projects team is a cool yet unpretentious restaurant in a former bank in Central Phoenix where the "bread" comes courtesy of master baker MJ Coe. The wood-fired, artisan pizzas are the showstopper, but stellar sandwiches, salads, and sides are noteworthy as well. Bonus: Housemade wine coolers.