10 Best Things I Ate in August
Summer may be taking its sweet time saying good-bye, but the good eats served up on this critic's plate for the month of August seem all but a blur.
All photos by Laura Hahnefeld Grilled Asparagus at Virtú Honest Craft in Scottsdale
From dishes like heady asparagus at one of my favorite new restaurants, to food truck pho, to a handful of a.m. eats perfect to start your day with, here are ten of the best things I ate this month selected from reviews, first-time visits, and places I've popped into just because.
It's not a countdown, it's a collection. And I hope it inspires. Enjoy.
Grilled Asparagus at Virtú Honest Craft
Chef-owner Gio Osso's new and wonderful cafe in Scottsdale is a white board of elegant, ever-changing, Mediterranean-inspired dishes -- like the stellar, breakfast-for-dinner-starter of grilled asparagus ($14) topped with an egg and interspersed with foie gras Hollandaise, truffle oil, bright feta, and "bacon candy" that's every bit of both. Cross your fingers you'll find it at Virtú's soon-to-come weekend brunch.
The Ivan Burger at The Attic
With good looks to match its flavor, the secret to this Arcadia restaurant's half-pound Ivan Burger ($12 and named after the chef and co-owner who created it, Ivan Morrow), is the signature meat grind used for its well-seasoned patty and a locally made pretzel bun to hold together toppings like tomato, onion, and house made chipotle mayo. Want a slice of melted Swiss, crisp bacon, or sauteed mushrooms on it as well? You know you do.
Oh, Canada, Peanut Butter Bar at Cowboy Ciao
Inspired by Canada's popular Nanaimo dessert, venerable pastry chef Country Velador has created a kind of candy bar mash-up gone gourmet with this outstanding entry ($10) at Scottsdale's Cowboy Ciao. Featuring a house made graham cracker crust, layers of mascarpone, peanut butter, and coconut ganache, and a scoop of scratch-made banana ice cream, it's a sweet case for dessert first.