The Revival in Tempe: Spirit-Forward Cocktails and Waffle-Wrapped Chicken
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Lauren Saria Chicken & Waffles
Restaurant: The Revival
Lauren Saria Inside The Revival
Location: 603 W University Drive, Tempe
Open: Over a week
Eats: New American
Price: $10 - $30 a person
Chef Kelly Fletcher, who spent the last decade running the kitchen at House of Tricks, has a lot of fans in this town. It's not surprising when you learn that he was born and raised here and has worked in Valley kitchens pretty much his entire life. The Revival, which opened its doors on July 1, is the chef's first venture into captaining his own ship. For the project he's teamed up with partner Chad Withycombe, who also owned the space under its former name, Mucho Gusto.
At the new spot Fletcher serves up an eclectic menu of New American dishes that draw inspiration from a number of places. There are entrees such as a Spicy Red Curry Chicken Salad alongside plates of Caprese Salad. The menu also offers a little bit of Arizona flair, thanks to ingredients including dates, various peppers and chilies, and stone fruit.
The restaurant's interior, though certainly refreshed, leaves a little to be desired in the way of ambiance. One wall in the dining room features reclaimed wood and an assortment of Arizona-themed posters making a nice focal point for the room. The bar, also wrapped in reclaimed wood, feels a little bare.
Lauren Saria The Skinny Ginny, "gin sangria."
On the cocktail front The Revial provides a small menu of craft cocktails. We started with the Skinny Ginny, a light summer drink featuring locally-made Arizona Distilling Company gin. The citrus in the the cocktail helped highlight the unique botanicals of the gin, but we didn't get quite as much flavor as we would have liked from the stone fruit puree. We'd best describe the drink as a gin sangria -- which isn't really a bad thing if you like gin.