Phoenix + Scottsdale
The first time you visit a city, it can be overwhelming to find the "BEST" places to go. I usually enlist the help of my friends on Facebook and Instagram to steer me in the right direction. Since this was my first trip to Phoenix I had to go on those suggestions and some online research.
Here are some of our favorite places we found to Eat, Play & Stay!
An afternoon at Blanco will make you wish that all your afternoons were spent south of the border, barefoot, with margarita salt on your lips. Trust the escapist thrill you get from a perfectly prepared plate of street-style carne asada tacos, or award-winning barbecue pork tacos with sweet corn fresh tomato salsa.
No matter where we are headed, we're always on the search for the best margarita and tacos in town. I just knew that Blanco wouldn't let us down.
Everything was so fresh! From the hand-squeezed juices they used in their cocktails to the accouterments that adorned the tacos. Blanco was an upscale place with a laid back atmosphere. Perfect for lunch or a casual dinner. (Just say YES to the pork tacos and jalapeño margarita!)
*Pictured above Mexican Street Corn + Pork Tacos + Jalapeño Margarita
Indulge in the culinary delights and impeccable service at elements restaurant at Sanctuary Resort. This award-winning array of farm-fresh American Cuisine with Asian accents presented by Food Network star and Chef Beau MacMillan features innovative seasonal menus incorporating local, organic produce, sustainable seafood, and hormone-free meat. From its extraordinary views of Paradise Valley to its acclaimed innovative offerings, elements is a highlight among Scottsdale’s luxury dining options.
Wow, is all I can say about this place. The food, the wine, the view. Our friends recommended this resturant and thank goodness we landed a reservation. Tony and I arrived early and had a drink in the Jade Bar (highly recommend) to soak up the ambiance. If you are looking for a romantic spot, you can't beat the views here! Make your dinner reservation in time to see the sunset and request a booth that faces the valley or even better, a patio seat!
*Pictured above, Tony holding one of our favorite (and hard to find) wines, Overture by Opus One
For almost 40 years, we have been serving fantastic pasta and seafood. From our meatballs to our amazing Halibut Picatta, you won’t be disappointed. Our menu offers a wide variety of chicken, veal and seafood dishes, along with the tried and true pasta dishes. Be sure to leave room for one of homemade desseerts.
With our old-school vibe and cast of characters coming in and out, you’ll be guaranteed a entertaining time. Located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, we offer a great patio, along side our “ocean-view” lounge.
If you want the true Italian experience stop here! This no frills, NY Yankee sanctuary is serving up sausage and peppers that impressed even my picky Italian.
Just being in the presence of the owner and bartenders will transport you right into the heart of NYC. The Italian Grotto is a hidden gem in Old Town.
*Pictured above Sausage and Peppers appitizer
Without a doubt, a table surrounded by good friends, convivial vibes and a spread of soulful food makes for a great gathering. You’ll feel right at home at Mora Italian, where chef Scott Conant’s inspired cooking sets the scene for a remarkable meal in Phoenix's bustling Seventh Street Stretch.
We were so excited to get to try out one of our favorite chef's new restaurant, Mora Italian. Shout out to our main man Scott Conant for creating a vibrant, modern space that cuts through all the noise of heavy pasta and heavy cream that you would normally associate with an Italian restaurant.
I can sum up my first impression of Mora in two words : Rosé SnowCone. Made with rosé provencal, grapefruit, watermelon, peach, pink peppercorn tincture, served over shaved ice, this is not your average snowcone. I couldn't get enough!
As for dinner, we created our own tasting menu featuring: Focaccia di Recco, Pork & Veal Meatballs, Pasta al Pomodoro, Ricotta & Mascarpone Gnudi, Sea Bass and Salted Caramel Budino.
Yeah- we went a little crazy. But how fun is it to order a varitey of dishes for the table and try it all?
*Pictured above Rosé SnowCone and Pasta al Pomodoro + Ricotta & Mascarpone Gnudi
Phoenix served as our holiday getaway this year for a very important reason : The Fiesta Bowl! It was a GREAT game (especially since Penn State won)! #WeAre
A couple of notes about attending the Fiesta Bowl. If you are staying in Scottsdale, grab an Uber. You are only about 25 minutes from the dome and they do sell alcohol during the game, so play it safe and don't drive. You can spend what you would shell out in parking on your own personal chauffeur. The event staff does an outstanding job of organizing and directing Uber and Lyft vehicles so you won't have to sit in hours of traffic after the game.
Do plan extra time to enter the stadium. They separate the security line depending on if you have a bag or not. There are size requirements on bags and if they exceed wristlet size, the bag has to be clear. Check the Fiesta Bowl website for specifics.
Restaurants and Cocktails and Shopping, Oh My! There is enough to do in Old Town to last you for a week! We only made it to a few places on our very long list, but check out this website for a full listing of events, places to shop, eat and drink.
- Scottsdale Fashion Square (ANY store or brand you want... they've got it! Over 250 Stores) See Directory Here
- Biltmore Fashion Park (5 miles away - Only Saks Fifth Ave in Arizona)
- Old Town Gypsy Boutique
- Rusty Spur (Live Music)
- Itallian Grotto
- Coach House (worth visiting to see all the lights in the bar)
- Bottled Blonde
- The District
REFINED MEETS REVELRY AT THE CAMBY, PHOENIX’S NEWEST LUXURY, BOUTIQUE HOTEL.
Quirky elegance. Serious fun. A daring new fusion of work and play. Come mix it up at The Camby, where the unexpected is what we do best. Located in the renowned Biltmore neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona, The Camby puts you in the heart of it all. Steps away from world-class shopping at Biltmore Fashion Park and surrounded by major players in Phoenix's business community.
At The Camby, you can revel in the edgy, yet classic sophistication of our boutique hotel rooms and suites. Delectable (and very sociable) restaurants and bars. Ultra-entertaining rooftop scene. Creative event spaces tailored to groundbreaking meetings and uncommon weddings. And savvy, attentive service that transforms each experience into a cherished memory. Join us soon at The Camby for a daring new view of work, play and everything in between. Welcome to the REVELution.
Ranked #11 on Travel + Lesuire's 17 Coolest New Urban Hotels... this hotel was just perfect for us! For all my Lexington folks- think 21C with more interactive pieces and eating spaces and less art. Very quirky, friendly and just plain cool. I would stay here again in a heartbeat!
Here's some of the coolest features of The Camby...
- Tipsy Tea Party happening weekly on Friday and Saturday afternoons from 2-5pm
- Head over to the Rooftop Red Zone from 6 pm-10pm and enjoy NFL Sunday tailgating poolside! Tailgating fun begins with free admission, the OPTIMAL 25 Ft. screen, team themed cocktails, bucket of beer specials, grill station, social gaming, and cabana rental packages
- Embrace your inner rockstar and check in & jam out! Reserve one of their complimentary guitars during your stay
I can't believe it took me this long to explore Phoenix! I just fell in love with the city and can't wait to go back for a round of golf and a nice relaxing trip to the spa! #StayTuned