I always enjoy wine tastings paired with good food. Tonight’s event was at Farmboy in Chandler. It was a reception-style evening that hosted James Callahan of Rune wines and was paired with Hors D’oeuvres from Chef Dennis Bagnasco. I just recently visited Farmboy for the first time for lunch a couple of weeks ago. Rune Wines (Rune means a mark or letter of mysterious or magical significance) was founded by Arizona native James Callahan in 2013 and is located in Sonoita – the heart of southern Arizona wine country. Tonight we got to sample four of his Arizona wines that were paired with samples of locally sourced cheeses, meats, and vegetables. Farmboy is all about using and highlighting local Arizona ingredients and was the perfect place to host this event. Both Oren Molovinsky of Farmboy (who owns Molovin Farm in South Chandler, AZ) and James Callahan of Rune wines were on hand to talk about their lasted endeavors.
Smoked Chicken, Goat Cheese & Grilled Tenderloin
Flourless Chocolate Cake & Rune Wild Syrah
Our first wine was the Rune 2015 Viogner paired with goat cheese and a rice cracker. Our second pairing was the Rune 2016 Rosé paired with a smoked chicken breast with arugula and topped with a aioli. Their third pairing was the Rune 2015 Grenache paired with a Mesquite grilled tenderloin with mushrooms. And the final pairing was the Rune 2015 Wild Syrah paired with a flourless chocolate cake topped with a raspberry. I really love the artwork on the wines and the story on the back of the bottles. The food was delicious and paired nicely with the wine samples. My favorite was the Wild Syrah – Rune’s flagship wine. Tonight was an enjoyable evening of meeting new people and supporting local businesses.
I came here for a Local First AZ promoted dinner with the brew masters. I was surprised Helio Basin is taking residence in an old pool hall I used to hang and drink cheap bad beer at. It’s definitely great to see an upgrade in the beer being served at this location – lol. I had blast hearing the stories from the brew masters of how this place came about and how they make their beer. You can tell these guys know their stuff and are very passionate about serving a good beer. In fact their slogan is “Quality Crafted in Phx”. Not only do they serve good beer, but the food is phenomenon. Chef Tamara Stanger just recently won the Devoured Culinary Classic excellence award for her smoked bison taquito. About thirty of us were served a four course dinner with a beer paired with each dish. Their IPA and Blackberry Wheat are the big sellers. Both were very clean, crisp and delicious. But I think the Robust Porter was my favorite. It’s not too heavy and full of flavor (a nice blend of chocolate, caramel and coffee). My favorite courses were the Palo Verde Torte and the Blueberry Tamarind Pudding. Each dish was beautifully presented and had some sort of representation of Arizona in it. Hello Basin is a great addition to the Arcadia food scene and worth another stop. They have a great happy hour and I hear Taco Tuesdays is a must. Check them out!
My friend Katrina introduced me to a new coffee shop – Sip Coffee & Beer House. I can totally seeing this becoming my south Scottsdale hangout. They are all about bringing the coffee and beer crowd together under one roof. They have about 20 beers on tap alongside their large selection of bottled beers. For coffee, they use Cartel coffee and serve up a variety of espresso drinks, cold brew and teas. In addition to coffee and beer, they have a light menu that includes sandwiches, salads, breakfast and a cocktail menu. The best part of this place for me is the laid back atmosphere. It’s a great place to read a book or meet with friends while getting a great cup of coffee. The staff was great for my first visit! They were super nice and answered any question I had. I got their cold brew which was super clean and smooth. If you want to sit outside, the patio area is nice and shaded. Thanks Sip Bar for creating a great space for us quiet busy bodies that appreciate good beer or coffee. Definitely check out happy hour from 4-7 or some hear some live music in the evenings. There’s usually available parking spots behind the building on Bishop Ln. Old town Scottsdale is just a few blocks away if you are up for a stroll after your beverage.
Coffee Rush has been a regular hangout for me for years!
My Urbanspoon review:
Great atmosphere but too many unwritten rules. Best thing about this location is the view of the lake and the regulars that come to hang out. This place is also a great place to study. I don’t mind the smoke too much because the people that hang out here are pretty down-to-earth and fun to get to know (unlike the annoying Starbucks crowd). The coffee is pretty good too!
Some things that you should know if you aren’t a regular:
– Cash only on orders less than $4
– Wi-fi time is limited and I believe you have to spend a certain amount to get a code.
– You can’t bring in a drink from another coffeeshop (and don’t even think about saying the name Starbucks or ordering a ‘venti’ size).
– You have to hand your money to the barista. If you lay it down, he/she won’t pick it up.
– If you hang around without ordering something, you will be asked to leave
Do any of these and the coffee nazis will come after you – no joke!