The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Scottsdale Eats: Culinary Dropout and Sneaking in a Wine Fest

Right after Boom Boom finished her last conference session, we hightailed it up to Sedona.  When we got there we did some hiking and did a jeep tour to take in the seriously gorgeous views there.

Sedona Pano*

After the brutally cold winter we’ve had, it was thrilling to be in the warm, fresh mountain air in t-shirts and shorts.  The plan was to go up to the Grand Canyon the next morning but when we woke up we saw this weather forecast –

grand canyon forecast

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Heck with that. Back to Scottsdale.

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The Culinary Dropout

The Pieholes were slightly more than exhausted so Boom Boom and I hatched the perfect plan – get them some sandwiches and we could enjoy a night out alone.  We opted on The Culinary Dropout, which describes itself as “the very best in unique gastro-pub fare that quietly seeks out future musical venue superstars.”  I pictured it to be pretty casual, but it had a club-like meat-market feel with a lot of people dressed to the nines. It’s not the type of place I’d think of to eat, but I think a lot of places like Scottsdale are like that.

There was a long wait but since we were sans Pieholes we got a couple cocktails and an app.

Antipasti plate that included their fantastic pickled peppers

Antipasti plate that included their fantastic pickled peppers

 

Room Service – Plymouth gin, strawberry simple syrup, fresh lemon, sparkling wine

Room Service – Plymouth gin, strawberry simple syrup, fresh lemon, sparkling wine

Bells & Whistles – Maker’s Mark, basil, honey, red bell pepper simple syrup

Bells & Whistles – Maker’s Mark, basil, honey, red bell pepper simple syrup

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Boom Boom’s Room Service was very good, but the Bells & Whistles was one of the best drinks I’ve had in a long time. I’ve never before asked for any kind of recipe, but had to have this one. I’m going to make this many times this summer and, if I’m industrious enough, I’ll post about it.

For dinner we had –

Fried Chicken with buttermilk biscuit, drizzled with honey

Fried Chicken with buttermilk biscuit, drizzled with honey

Korean Style Bistro steak

Korean Style Bistro steak

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Was it the “very best in unique gastro-pub fare?”  Hardly.   Chicago’s Publican and Denver’s Euclid Hall blow this away, but Culinary Dropout is still good. The steak was supposed to be with a ribeye, but the menu warns that it is in very limited quantities daily. A guy at the table next to us snapped up the last one but we were able to swap in their bistro steak, which was cooked to perfection. The chicken was described as taking a long time, but well worth the wait. Again, it was good but I’ve had better.

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The Original Taste Food and Wine Festival

Heading back to the car, we noticed some kind of fenced-off event on the other side of the parking garage and asked a mid-60s foursome what it was all about. They said it was a food and wine fest and, since they were on their way home, gave us their VIP passes which were valued at $300.

SCORE!!!

It was a huge event along the Scottsdale “waterfront” – a man-made canal going through town.

Taste Fest  waterfront

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With different spots with DJs…

Taste Fest DJ

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There were several different booths from local eateries and many more for wine.  The wine wasn’t very spectacular, with the best of the bunch being J. Lohr Chardonnay and Kendall Jackson Avant Red Blend.  Not awful, but nothing I can’t get at the local grocery store.

The food was much better –

Taste Fest brusch

Olive & Ivy’s fresh mozzarella, tomato jam & basil bruschetta

Taste Fest dates

Olive & Ivy’s bacon wrapped dates with Italian sausage & piquillo pepper

Taste Fest  tuna

(Oh crap, I lost who made this delicious) seared ahi tuna

Taste Fest tres

Olive & Ivy’s tres leches cake

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We were only there for about thirty minutes before we last call.   On the way out, we were given free wine glasses and bottle openers.

Taste Fest booty

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I may or may not have taken about a dozen of those openers. They have this bad habit of disappearing around our house, so it was good to get replenish the arsenal.  #classy

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Culinary Dropout on Urbanspoon

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

6 comments on “Scottsdale Eats: Culinary Dropout and Sneaking in a Wine Fest

  1. thewineraconteur
    May 28, 2014

    It sounds like you had a good time, and the price was right. Olive & Ivy is a delightful restaurant. My favorite line about the Grand Canyon is “We went to the Grand Canyon, but it was closed.” Keep having fun.

  2. Cara Thereon
    May 29, 2014

    I just did the Nantucket Wine Fest a couple weeks ago. That’s a big to-do. I’m not discerning when it comes to wine, but the food samples they had were spectacular.

  3. Pingback: Scottsdale Eats: Roaring Fork | The Food and Wine Hedonist

  4. Pingback: Scottsdale Eats: Olive and Ivy | The Food and Wine Hedonist

  5. Pingback: Nomming to the Oldies | The Food and Wine Hedonist

  6. nvqfsy@gmail.com
    July 23, 2015

    Boing is great and bing is far better than google.

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This entry was posted on May 28, 2014 by in Dining, Drinking, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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