As more consumers begin to crave their greens, vegetarian restaurants have begun to see a rise in popularity. At Nourish, guests can choose from a variety of delicious choices from vegan to gluten-free and lactose-free. Their raw veggie pasta that is loaded with wholesome produce such as beets, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini and dressed in a house-made Paleo pesto. Like their slogan points out, “At Nourish, we enjoy food differently than the average restaurant;” and that difference is a dining experience that is guilt-free.
The gluten-free diet craze doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon and with more people discovering their own gluten intolerances, it looks like it is here to stay. While studies are still being conducted on the individual benefits of a gluten free diet, there is no doubt that Arizona residents are opting for alternatives to some of their favorite bread dishes.
True Food Kitchen, located in both the Biltmore Fashion Park and the Scottsdale Quarter bases their menu off of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. It is meant to take popular trends in cuisine and pair them with healthy living, which means gluten-intolerant guests no longer need to stick to the salad side of the menu. Diners could start with the albacore escabeche before moving onto the grilled steelhead salmon with quinoa, beet & preserved lemon salad and finish with the Flourless Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream and caramel. You just may forget you ever wanted gluten in your meals.
In 2002, Rick Freedman opened up Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen and today owns and operates all four of his Arizona locations. Nearly every item on their menu can be created as a gluten-free option, making their food accessible to all. Freedman, however, goes one step further by assuring diners that all their pastas, breads, and croutons are also gluten-free. That’s right, time to celebrate, my gluten-intolerant friends, pizza is back! “The downturn in the economy inspired me to go all-organic,” says Freedman. “It was time to stand up for greater change and provide healthier dining choices for our guests. Going organic, natural, and gluten-free is the result.”
Restaurants like Davanti Enoteca make it easy to create a whole meal involving only shared plates. Inside, the hip and funky decor makes this place a sure choice for any tapas-craving foodie. The menu offers a plethora of small bites like the Roasted Cauliflower Steak with Sicilian olive tapenade and marinated lemon jam. Or maybe the Scottadito style ribs with Saba, crushed hazelnuts and Roman gorgonzola dolce slaw is more your style. Either way, since it’s all about sharing here, go ahead and order both.
They say behind every great man there’s a great woman, and for chef and Torched Goodness owner Eric Ireland, those words ring true. Traveling the country to sample dishes served on various food trucks and hoping to discover their own idea, Ireland notates his wife’s desire for desserts which led to the couple’s new venture — gourmet créme brulee.
Three years later, their 1974 vehicle — the oldest among the Valley’s fleet — serves over 30 flavors of brulee from premium organic and locally grown ingredients. As a trained Le Cordon Bleu chef, Ireland takes his creations to another level with melt-in-your-mouth flavor combinations, including the popular sea-salt caramel créme brulee. But if his creations aren’t exactly what you’re craving, just call in a specialty order and they’ll whip one up just for you.
Award-winning restaurant FnB, an establishment with a farm-focused menu, has graced the pages of publications like Food + Wine and The New York Times as it continues to produce locally sourced items with an unpretentious feel. The constantly-evolving menu gives diners the chance to try foods specifically fitting for each season, at the peak of their freshness. The Winter 2012 offerings included a dish of Santa Barbara mussels, fennel, oil cured olives and orange gremolata. FnB also serves an all-Arizona wine list which further promotes the concept of support local farmers and harvesters, and keeping it in the family.
As part of the farm-fresh revolution, Iron Chef America winner, Food Network star, and Executive Chef, Beau MacMillan has created a diverse menu at Elements inside Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa. The esteemed restaurant offers an upscale dining experience with a focus on the best local, organic produce, sustainable seafood, and hormone-free meats amongst the backdrop of the Camelback Mountains. MacMillan’s guarantee that all foods fit those criteria makes it easier for guests to feel good about what they’re choosing. His bold flavors have won over locals and travelers as he showcases dinner items like bacon wrapped filet of beef with horseradish mash, asparagus, blue cheese, and a zinfandel syrup. Who’s hungry?
As we move towards the second half of 2013, we can expect to see more menus filled with healthier options, controlled portion sizes and creative dishes that come directly from local farms. And don’t worry, Scottsdale will continue to see food related Instagrams showing up on feeds; presenting the ever-important question, “Which menu item will get me the most likes?” Choose wisely, #foodies.
Nicolle is an award-winning writer and Travel Editor using her expertise in the industry to write about luxury travel around the world. You can find her daily searching the web for the latest trends, best new hotels and most beautiful destinations to visit and share with her readers. She's been featured on The Huffington Post, Hard Assets, AMD Entertainment and Remy Martin. In 2014, she was vo...(Read More)