Let's Go Gastro-Pubbing

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

Why just settle for ho-hum sports bar food when you can whet you whistle at these top local gastro-pubs? Short for gastronomy and pubs, these classy taverns first started popping up several years back in the land o’ pubs, (aka Great Britain). And now the trend of serving up hearty, chef-crafted fare in a casual-yet-boozy environment has taken the Scottsdale by storm. So let’s take a tour of four of the city’s finest gastro-pubs.

 


Culinary Dropout


Tucked into the bottom floor of the Scottsdale Waterfront towers in downtown Scottsdale, this stylish neighborhood tavern features an expansive patio and even offers live music several nights a week. Meanwhile, the compact yet mouth-watering menu is jam-packed with comfort classics such as Fried Chicken with buttermilk biscuits and a sugar-glazed, pull-apart dessert called Monkey Bread.

 


Citizen Public House


Renowned chef Bernie Kantak opened downtown’s Citizen Public House in a soaring space that used to be the Valley’s original Trader Vic’s. Coming from a long line of Eastern European butchers, Kantak’s meaty menu tempts with everything from the Pork Belly Pastrami with rye spaetzle and Brussels sprouts sauerkraut to the Peppercorn Filet Mignon.


AZ88


Its out-of-the-way location on Scottsdale Civic Center Park makes this downtown gem a little hard to find, but trust us – it’s worth it. Start with an order of Hell’s Fire Chips, house-made potato chips sprinkled with melted blue cheese and hot sauce. Keep things spicy with the Hot Pepper Chicken sandwich topped with grilled jalapeños and honey, or cool it down with The Bigger Mac, which boasts classic burger toppings on a fresh, toasted Italian roll. Add a specialty martini or classic cocktail and enjoy it all on AZ 88’s spacious patio.

 


Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill


We’re going to the mall for our next stop. Yes, really – but stay with us. Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill at Scottsdale Fashion Square, the largest shopping destination in the Southwest, makes their upscale gastropub cuisine from scratch daily using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Specialties include the Brick-Oven Baked Soft Pretzel with amber ale fondue, and Spicy Mac & Cheese made with Italian sausage, four cheeses and chipotle cream.

 


Brittlebush Grill at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa


This handsome gastro-pub at the Kierland Golf Club features a lodge-like setting – complete with copper and wood-beamed accents and a rock fireplace – that’s the perfect atmosphere for a casual lunch or afternoon happy hour. Enjoy elevated pub grub such as the Buffalo-Style Cheddar Cheese Curds, Root Beer Glazed Wings or Par Three Sliders.

 


Relish Burger Bistro at the Phoenician Resort


Overlooking the meticulously-manicured greens at The Phoenician’s 18-hole golf course, this upscale burger joint offers everything from Cajun Shrimp Sliders and Spicy Fried Dill Pickles, to The Roundup, a grilled Wagyu burger topped with glazed boneless short ribs, an onion ring and a fried egg. Wash it all down with a spiked milkshake or an adult root beer float.