Spring Training is in full swing here in Arizona! Last week I shared some of my favorite Phoenix area restaurants in Arizona Spring Training Restaurant Guide Part One, and now it’s time for the second installment! Be sure to check out last week’s list, because there were some great restaurants!
La Grande Orange Pizzeria–La Grande Orange is regularly ranked among the top restaurants by local media, and for good reason. LGO calls itself an “organic coffee and breakfast bar, cafe, pizzeria, and funky retail grocery”. Ingredients are organically grown, fresh and clean, and the menu boasts unique combinations of ingredients for their pizza. Pizza from LGO is not your traditional style of pizza; specialty pizzas on the menu include the Roasted Corn Pizza with goat cheese, roasted corn, tomatoes and basil, and my personal favorite, the Avocado Pizza with avocado, tomatoes, basil and lemon zest. LGO offers many vegetarian and gluten free options, so there’s something for everyone.
Not only does LGO have a fantastic pizzeria, they also have a great little grocery next door to the restaurant that sells foods, unique gifts, and wines by the bottle. They have an excellent selection of wines by the bottle, and you can even purchase one for your table at the restaurant with no additional corkage fee!
Rokerij–I love all of the restaurants on this list, but I would have to say that the Rokerij is at the top of my list overall. My husband is not a big restaurant foodie; he doesn’t really get excited about eating out at restaurants or trying new places as much as I do. But the Rokerij is a different story. When my husband hears that we’re going to dinner at the Rokerij, his eyes light up and he begins dreaming of Chile Rellenos (his favorite item on the menu and according to him, the best he’s had to date).
Rokerij is probably less well known than the other restaurants on the list and is considered more of a local favorite. Owned by the Richardson Family of Restaurants, Rokerij offers entrees from the Richardson’s menu (which is right next door) as well as the Rokerij menu. Richardson’s is more of a New Mexico, Southwestern style of dining, while Rokerij features steaks, small plates and seafood. There are always several special entrees featured at Rokerij and they’re all on display on large chalkboards around the restaurant. I have yet to try anything on the menu that I don’t like, but my absolute favorites are the Bacon Wrapped Pan Seared Scallops, Tenderloin Toasts and Mushroom Toasts on the small plates menu, and the Gruyere Steak Sandwich, Chimayo Chicken and Relleno Platter. Rokerij also has an amazing brunch menu if you’re looking for a great place for brunch.
Rokerij is a small, quaint restaurant with big comfortable booths which creates a casual, relaxed atmosphere for diners. There is also a lower level downstairs that’s great for cocktails or small bites with friends or family. If you’re planning on dinner at Rokerij, you will definitely need to make reservations as there aren’t a lot of tables and they fill up fast. But reservations are easy to make online at the Rokerij’s website or on Open Table.
Olive and Ivy-Olive and Ivy is owned by Fox Restaurant Concepts which own several successful restaurants in the Phoenix area, including Culinary Dropout, the Arrogant Butcher, Sauce, and North, just to name a few. You can’t really go wrong with any restaurant from Fox Restaurants-it just depends on what you’re in the mood for.
Olive and Ivy is located on the Scottsdale Waterfront, near Fashion Square and the Scottsdale Spring Training facilities. The restaurant has an open, friendly concept and a great patio for outdoor seating. The menu features Mediterranean style cuisine using fresh ingredients and creative flavor combinations. I especially love the Sea Scallops, the Veal Ravioli and the Spicy Shrimp Risotto. And If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, Olive and Ivy is the place to go. The menu includes a collection of unique and flavorful cocktails using fresh fruits and juices. The Belvedere Blue and the Mediterranean Mule are my favorite cocktails on the menu.
Those are a few of my favorite restaurants, and in my opinion, a “must eat” when visiting Phoenix. And since I still have a long way to go until I’ve tried all of the restaurants on my list, I’m sure there will be more favorites to come. Here are a few others on my list of restaurants to try that receive rave reviews from locals and travelers:
The Mission-Modern Latin Cuisine
T. Cook’s-Mediterranean Cuisine
Over Easy–Breakfast and Brunch
Barrio Cafe-Mexican Cuisine
Elements at Sanctuary-American Cuisine