Dining Guide | 7 Great Spots to Enjoy Perfectly Paired Dinners
We make decisions all day long; where the kids should go to school, where to go on vacation or where to have dinner. All those decisions can be exhausting. Every now and again it’s nice to have someone make all the choices for you. These select restaurants feature wine or beer paired dinners regularly and all the decisions are made for you. You’ll find a set menu and carefully selected drink pairings. All you need to do is show up, relax and enjoy.
7 Great Spots to Enjoy Perfectly Paired Dinners
3717 East Indian School Road, Phoenix
Back when you were a kid at family gatherings if you were able to get a seat at the grown-ups table you sat a little taller and maybe even mad a few intentionally side-ways glances and an eye roll or two when looking over at the kiddie table. Get that feeling every week as soon as it starts to heat up here at Beckett’s Table. Their Grown-Ups Table series is the perfect way for Chef Justin Beckett and the restaurant to share their sense of community with its diners. Their 16 seat community table host a four-course dinner with a different theme with each dinner. The menus for these dinners aren’t posted until the day before the event adding a little intrigue.
2401 East Camelback Road, Phoenix
As the temperatures begin to rise, al fresco dining is where it’s at and the folks over at Bistro 24 have just the series to enjoy our perfect spring weather. Their Chill & Grill series will feature cleverly crafted cocktails paired with grilled dishes meant to complement the libation of focus. While this is not a traditional pairing dinner in the sense that there will be a few cocktail concoction to choose from along with a small menu of grilled dishes created for the theme by Executive Chef Garry O’Connor giving diners the choice to opt in or out of those dishes that are the most intriguing.
Locations vary for each event
Culinary Mischief is rife with all the mystery and intrigue of a Bond film. The events are by invite only and with each new month are hosted by a different unique Valley location. No menu or theme is ever repeated and the experience the diners have will be talked about for years to come. At the helm of these incredibly unique dinners is Italian born Chef Gabriele Bertaccini, who is a savant in the kitchen and a delight to be around. He has an indelible passion for cooking and it is infectious. He will share all the knowledge you are willing to handle and leave you waiting on every word. The menu’s he creates are masterful artworks and the thought and care that is out into the pairings down to every little detail of the evening cannot appropriately be described. These dinners are truly a once in a lifetime event.
Different Pointe of View
11111 North 7th Street, Phoenix
The Insider’s View Dinner Series at Different Pointe of View is one of the most entertaining and intimate wine dinners in the Valley. The restaurant itself is renowned for its history and its Valley views are hard to beat. These exclusive dinners are limited to only 12 guests. Keeping the guest list petite ensures that the attendees all have the opportunity to get acquainted with one another as well as have the opportunity to hear the speakers and become immersed in the question and answer portion of the event. Executive Chef Anthony DeMuro prepares all the dishes in front of the diners and provides commentary and technique advice at the same time. The featured winemaker will also speak to their specific property and product providing anecdotal stories and tips on serving and pairing throughout the dinner.
Frank & Albert’s
2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix
On the second Monday of every month all the way through April, you can treat yourself to the culinary creations of Frank & Albert’s Executive Chef Gordon Maybury paired with some of Arizona’s greatest microbrews. These events take place on the private sunroom of the restaurant. You’ll find that the menus have been crafted in such a manner that the dishes and selected beers play off of each other and accentuate the flavors in all aspects of your meal. Some dishes will have the paired beers incorporated into the dish as well as served alongside it allowing for a greater fusion and embodiment of the nuances of flavor and aroma creating a multi-layered experience.
4925 North 40th Street, Phoenix
Throughout the year Arcadia’s Italian darling hosts several Community Dinners. These dinners serve to as a sonnet of sorts to Italian cuisine. Executive Chef Taylor Domet takes no short cuts when creating the menus for these dinners, using the finest quality ingredients and pairing each specific pasta with its own unique sauces which allow the sauce to cling to the delightful hand-made pastas. You’ll be seated at a communal style table which will ensure that you are able to make new friends all who share a love of great Italian food. The mixologists on site will ensure that your drinks course by course pair perfectly with the dishes you are presented. Each dish will be presented and described by Chef Domet, ensuring that you understand the thought process behind the ingredients and preparation.
Wright’s at The Biltmore
2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix
The Winemaker Dinner Series at Wright’s at the Biltmore is a great way to learn about California wines. At each dinner, a representative of the selected winery will be present and will provide a wealth of information about the wines you will be enjoying as well as the winery itself. Wine selection can be daunting for some diners, so being able to have a winemaker present to answer all your questions as well as providing information about what wines pair best with what proteins and why can be invaluable. Some of the wineries that have or will be featured are Domaine Carneros Winery, Robert Mondavi, St. Francis Winery and many more. You have the option to opt into individual dinners or a season ticket in which you can reserve your seat for all ten dinners in the series.
*This article, written by Taryn Jeffries, was originally featured in the March 2014 issue of Uptown Magazine.*