Tasty Preview of Fall Restaurant Week, September 16-25 2016

By Lynette Carrington

Tasty Preview of Fall Restaurant Week, September 16-25 2016

Tasty Preview of Fall Restaurant Week, September 16-25 2016

The Valley is filled with so much deliciousness! Scottsdale.com was invited to a dine around sneak preview of Arizona Restaurant Association’s Fall Restaurant Week 2016, which takes place September 16-25 throughout the greater Phoenix area. This tasty week gives foodies and culinary fans the chance to get out and try something new, something different, or an opportunity to venture outside of the neighborhood to dine.

During Fall Arizona Restaurant Week 2016, participating restaurants offer meals for $33 or $44 per person for a three-course prix fixe menu. Some participating restaurants are offering vegetarian and gluten-free plates and some meals include a beverage. Check www.arizonarestaurantweek.com for a complete list of participating restaurants and menus. During our preview dinner, we were treated to a chartered bus that took us to three restaurants, ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, T. Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort and Spa and Coup Des Tartes.

ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho plated every Fall Restaurant Week entrée so all of the 30 plus VIP foodies could capture everything on camera. Our food sampling included roasted acorn squash soup complete with house made cinnamon marshmallows and candied pecans, a large seared trumpet royal mushroom with butternut squash risotto and seared wagyu beef with truffle and yuzu mignonette, shaved parmesan and radish salad. If heaven serves soup, it would be ZuZu’s roasted acorn squash soup. It’s simply outstanding, and the perfect culmination of sweet and savory. Zuzu’s kitchen is presided over by Executive Chef Charles Wiley, who was named one of America’s Ten Best New Chefs by “Food & Wine Magazine.”

Next, our large group was whisked away to T. Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort and Spa. We were treated to pan roasted branzino atop shishito peppers, tomato jam, fingerling potatoes and Kalamata olive aioli, and wild arugula and truffle tremor ravioli with black Tuscan kale, celery root, eggplant and romesco sauce. The braised natural beef shortrib with baby fennel, Cipollini, onion, ricotta gnocci and just a kiss of aged balsamic was delectable. Executive Chef Todd Allison’s culinary style is fresh, seasonal, local and ingredient-driven cooking, which is precisely in line with the Mediterranean style of cooking. The unique recipe orchestration of the highest quality ingredients utilized in every dish alone is a reason to visit T. Cook’s during Fall Restaurant Week!

At each of our preview stops, our plated entrees were generous sample size, giving us all a chance to fully appreciate the quality, flavor profile and unique ingredients without feeling overwhelmed or stuffed. When guests come to dine at a Fall Restaurant Week location, they will receive generous, full meal-size portions. Restaurants participating in Fall Restaurant Week 2016 offer a selection of entrée items from which to construct your meal. With so many delectable options, you’ll probably want to check out a couple of new places!

Our final destination was Coup Des Tartes in Phoenix. We were greeted with a banana brulee, and despite how heavy it looked, was actually light and bursting with flavor. This tart included a delicious coconut pastry cream, fresh sliced bananas and sweet and crunchy brulee top. Coup Des Tartes is Phoenix’s longest running French restaurant and now features a full selection of artisan cocktails, beers and strong wine list. Chef Jose Hernandez and his talented culinary team preside over a menu that includes classic French and French-inspired American dinner, lunch and brunch entrees.

The evening ended with our group of foodies pulling away from Coup Des Tartes reminiscing about our favorite tastes of the evening. Although there was no clear cut winner, it seemed like the edge was given to the wild arugula and truffle tremor ravioli from T. Cook’s, with special mention going to the roasted acorn squash soup. Clearly all three restaurants we visited presented their very best culinary efforts and every dish was a winner because it was made with passion and great attention to detail.

Some of the other restaurants participating in Fall Restaurant Week 2016 include Craft 64, Relish Burger Bistro, Ticoz Latin Kitchen, Beckett’s Table, Drexyl Restaurant, Lon’s at the Hermosa, Southern Rail, Tommy Bahama, Wildfish Seafood Grille and so many other yummy destinations. For a complete list of restaurants taking part in Fall Restaurant Week 2016, visit www.arizonarestaurantweek.com.