Sharing Dishes for the Feast of Saint Valentine

The Dish: Pork Shoulder Tacos, and Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Chilled Seafood Platter,  Branzino Mediterranean Sea Bass, Brie Fondue,  Steak Farina & Steak Knife BLT Wedge, Charred Octopus 
The Place: The Mission Az, Kierland, Orange Sky Talking Stick Resort, Sassi, The Compass Room in the Hyatt Regency, Steak 44, Virtu
For Reservations: The Mission Scottsdale Kierland Commons or Old Town Scottsdale, Orange Sky Talking Stick Resort at the Top, Sassi in North Scottsdale, Compass Room Hyatt Regency Downtown Phoenix, Steak 44 ,44th street & Camelback, Virtu, Old Town Scottsdale

We did some research for you and Googled Valentine’s Day, and here what we found thanks to Wikipedia….”Valentines Day also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

Several martyrdom stories associated with the various Valentines that were connected to February 14 were added to later martyrologies, including a popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome which indicated he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.”

So in honor of the feast of Saint Valentine the original romantic soldier, we have put together a few of our favorite dishes for sharing in some of the most beautiful locations throughout Arizona.

Sassi – up in north Scottsdale is celebrating  Valentine’s Day with a specialty prix fixe & wine paring menu.  Sassi, one of the most romantic restaurant in Phoenix, and an OpenTable U.S. Top 100 Romantic Restaurant! Executive Chef, Christopher Nicosia, will be featuring a pairing menu this year in celebration of the Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, February 14th. Special wines by the bottle & glass will be available in addition to a selection of romantic cocktails including the signature, Il Amore Smooch.

Virtu – celebrated as one of the top 20 “Best New Restaurants” in the U.S. by Esquire Magazine immediately upon opening in 2013, as well as nominated by the prestigious James Beard Foundation for “Best New Restaurant” in 2014, Virtù is Chef Gio Osso’s intimate, stylish gathering spot tucked inside Old Town Scottsdale’s charming Bespoke Inn bed and breakfast. Chef Osso is a long-time Phoenix area favorite, having cooked in countless award-winning local kitchens before fulfilling his life-long dream of opening a restaurant of his own in 2013 with Virtu, where his ever-changing menu features a modern, global approach to his Mediterranean family roots.

At Virtù, the Machiavellian term for achieving excellence, expect a wandering, Mediterranean-inspired menu that changes almost weekly, sometimes daily, featuring handmade pastas, premium seasonal produce sourced from some of Arizona’s most celebrated farmers, superb seafood imported from the most notable fish markets in North America and southern Europe, as well as a seasonal cocktail program crafted with fresh-pressed juices and unique spirits. Chef Osso often refers to the food – and the vibe – of Virtu as a “beautifully composed symphony of sights, scents and tastes”.  You absolutely must go for the Charred Octopus!

The Mission – Chef Matt Carter, from the renowned Zinc Bistro which is just a few yards away, has brought his modern Latin cuisine blending influences from Spain, Mexico, Central America and South America with The Mission Kierland. Home made tortillas, Arepas, and Salsas are made fresh daily and all meats are prepared on a Plancha or a grill using pecan and mesquite wood that instills a rich flavor. The sophisticated yet casual allure of the Mission seamlessly blends old world charm with modern elegance. The restaurant suits a variety of moods from outdoor seating with a view and intimate indoor areas, to our lively community table in the lounge. Sounds of mixed Latin and modern music mixed with succulent aromas set the stage for an unforgettable experience. Both Missions are beautiful spots for date night and especially Valentines Day.  The perfect dish for sharing here is again one of our favorite tacos in Arizona, Pork Shoulder Tacos….perfect for two!

The Compass Room – Take in a 360-degree view of the spectacular Valley of the Sun in the only revolving restaurant in Phoenix. For over 30 years, Hyatt Regency Phoenix’s award-winning Compass Arizona Grill delivers stellar cuisine with unparalleled service. Experience seasonal menus that invite diners to return and indulge in the most unique pairings of entrées and wines. Set the stage for entertaining local nightlife with a table by the window in our rooftop lounge featuring unsurpassed views of the Valley of the Sun and explore the best flavors in Phoenix. The Brie Fondu is a perfect sharing dish for a special loved one on any date night.  The Compass Room has been a fixture in the valley for years.  If you haven’t experienced it first hand, you must!

Steak 44 – The restaurant is a collection of intimate spaces with many dining rooms offering a host of options tailored to our guests’ specific needs. Guests can choose from the vibrant and high energy bar that features a variety of dining tables, an elevated bar dining area overlooking the action, their open and airy patio that features a beautiful fireplace and paned glass windows for inclement weather or one of their many dining rooms or dining suites looking into the floor to ceiling glass-walled kitchen.  The dishes at Steak 44 wont disappoint and we recommend the Steak Knife and BLT Wedge along with the Stake Farina…mmmmm!

Orange Sky – Orange Sky is the signature fine dining restaurant at Talking Stick Resort with one of the best sunset views in Arizona and an award-winning wine list. We highly recommend you reach out to see if they have any openings for the private booth dining for Valentines Day (and if you’re smart, think ahead for 4th of July).  The menu at Orange Sky is simply fantastic!  When they say fine dining, there weren’t any exaggerations!  The Chilled Seafood Platter for two is a perfect dish for two to feed each other, sip on champaign, and steal a few kisses in-between.  If Orange Sky is all booked up, make sure you take the time to get in their another time for an experience you won’t ever forget.

Happy Valentines Day and thank you to Saint Valentine for your dedication to bringing those in love, together!

eat | drink | love | share

 

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Erik Merkow
Founder and CEO at Az Food & Wine
Erik: a father, writer, entrepreneur, son, photographer, corporate guy, friend, brother, and foodie wine guy



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