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The Best of the City

From making our mark at the top levels of sports and entertainment to innovating experiences in wining and dining, the Valley hasn’t skipped a beat since last summer. The year may have already seen our temperatures climb into the triple digits, but our city’s creative energy and entrepreneurial ingenuity are bringing the real heat wave in the shape of groundbreaking exhibitions, new shops and visionary design. Here’s your go-to guide for what’s hot in and around Scottsdale right now—and what will be heating up in the months to come.

GIVE AND MAKE
The Arizona Science Center benefited from the Super Bowl XLIX Legacy Grants and will open a new space this fall called CREATE that is geared toward the maker community.

WHITE-HOT STYLE
Zolton’s Salon and Day Spa is owned by Robert and Margaret Quinn. Robert trained in London at the Vidal Sassoon Academy before opening Zolton’s in January 2002.

FLYING OFF THE RACKS
He wears S/S Number 031, $440, and she wears the S/S Number 017, $450, both at Diego Milano

HAVE A SEAT
The bar at The Country Club at DC Ranch

SOMETHING FISHY
Popped amaranth and seed-crusted bigeye tuna, and sumac and aji amarillo-dusted walu walu with lump crabmeat, squash and more ($43) at Kai

BEST OF THE CITY | CULTURE

GREAT SCOT 
Arizona author Diana Gabaldon introduced her beloved characters Claire and Jamie to the world more than two decades ago, but Outlander mania is back in full swing, thanks to Starz bringing the story of the 18th century Scottish romance to the small screen. With the first season having just wrapped in May and the second season expected to air later this year, this is the perfect time to fan your flame for Scotland. Let luxury travel advisors at Camelback Odyssey Travel (4518 N. 32nd St., Ste. 200, Phoenix, 602.266.4000) create an unforgettable adventure, whether you and your travel companion wish to re-create some of Outlander’s most, ahem, exciting scenes, see Scotland in all its fame and glory, or meander down lesser-traveled cobblestones. The agency’s fee for a custom itinerary and execution as well as access to all concierge services (private tours and excursions, trip and medical insurance, luggage services, international cellphone and more) begins at $500 (does not include travel costs), so start making a list of your must-see lochs and castles. That should hold you over until Gabaldon’s The Outlandish Companion Volume II ($28, Delcorte Press) debuts on Oct. 27.

READERS’ CHOICE: FAVORITE MUSEUM
With a healthy appetite for educational and art institutions, our readers rate what makes the cultural scene here so rich.

1. ARIZONA SCIENCE MUSEUM
With a planetarium and IMAX, daily demos, four levels of more than 300 hands-on exhibits and an adults’ night out on the first Friday of every month, this museum brings out the kid in all of us. 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix, 602.716.2000

2. MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM
View and hear more than 6,000 instruments from all over the world; try playing one yourself in the Experience Gallery; and check out the instruments of icons John Lennon, Taylor Swift, Elvis Presley and Carlos Santana in the Artist Gallery. 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, 480.478.6000 

3. PHOENIX ART MUSEUM
The museum continues to have one of the best fashion and design curation programs in the Western United States; it also wowed us with the Warhol exhibition earlier this year. 1625 N. Central Ave., 602.257.1222

4. PHOENIX CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Geared especially for children ages newborn to 10, the museum offers a wealth of exhibits designed to engage kids’ minds, muscles and imaginations, earning a permanent place in our hearts. 215 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602.253.0501

5. SCOTTSDALE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
The state’s only permanent institution dedicated to modern art, design and architecture, SMoCA showcases artists who are pushing the edges of thought and creativity. 7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, 480.874.4666

SILVER SCREEN
Arizona State University celebrated the screening of Car Dogs at the 15th annual Phoenix Film Festival in March. The 105-minute film—written by Scottsdale native and former student Mark King, directed by film professor Adam Collis and shot locally—stars Patrick J. Adams (Suits) as Mark Chamberlain, who must sell 35 cars in a single summer day in Phoenix to earn the respect of his overbearing father. George Lopez, Nia Vardalos and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer also star. ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre students, alumni and supporters brought the vision to life—the first time any film school has collaborated in the production of a feature film with an Oscar- winning cast and crew. Philanthropically minded film enthusiasts can contact the school to learn how to support the Feature Film Internship and Film Spark programs, whose goals include producing more feature films and coordinating seminars, guest speakers and other events that connect students to professionals in the industry. Sounds to us like that’s a wrap!

BIG GAME GIVING

Professional sports’ grandest event benefited the local economy in a big way back in February, but it also boosted local charities. Thanks to a partnership between the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and the NFL Foundation, the Super Bowl XLIX Legacy Grants distributed more than $2 million among 27 Arizona nonprofits such as the Arizona Science Center, Barrow Neurological Institute, Challenger Learning Center of Arizona, Crisis Nursery, Special Olympics Arizona, St. Mary’s Food Bank and UMOM New Day Centers and other beneficiaries. The host committee partnered with Thunderbirds Charities, APS Foundation, UnitedHealthcare, Salt River Project, The Arizona Republic, 12 News and Season for Sharing to select recipients. We call that a major score for Arizona. 

TOP FIVE: LATEST EXHIBITIONS
1. LATIN AMERICAN & SPANISH COLONIAL
Study the visual narratives of important Latin American artists (through Aug. 23) and Spanish Colonial masterworks (opens Sept. 5). Phoenix Art Museum

2. THE COLLABORATIONISTS
Be wowed by large-scale kinetic works by Canadians Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins through Sept. 13. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

3. THE FOREST FLOOR
Experience life in a fairytale through Aug. 31, thanks to Tempe artist Melissa Martinez and Scottsdale Public Art Collection. The Gallery at the Library

4. STAR SHOW
The 2015-2016 season brings Margaret Cho (Oct. 17), Lyle Lovett (Nov. 6), Alan Cumming (Nov. 7), Jane Lynch (Jan. 23), Martin Short (Dec. 5) and others. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

5. SUPERHEROES AND FRIDA KAHLO
Don’t miss Super Heroes: Art! Action! Adventure! (through Aug. 23) or Frida Kahlo: Photographs (opens Oct. 31), along with Favoritas de Frida, a companion exhibit of her personal belongings. Heard Museum

BEST OF THE CITY | HEALTH & BEAUTY

READERS’ CHOICE: FAVORITE SPA
Our readers—who have high standards when it comes to R&R—turn to these local spas to calm the mind and body.

1. ALVADORA SPA
The sweet scent of orange blossoms greets you at the spa at the Royal Palms Resort. Indulge in the Lotus Wei Summer Spa Experience (from $179), which includes a massage or facial, and a complimentary add-on. 5200 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602.977.6400 

2. BLISS SPA
The 4,000-square-foot Bliss Spa at W Scottsdale offers the popular fatgirlslim treatment ($155, 75 minutes) to whittle waists. While there, stock up on your fave Bliss products. 7277 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, 480.970.2100

3. THE SPA AT CAMELBACK INN
Book your own private poolside cabana ($125 for the day) to relax with water and fresh fruit, dining and beverage service, chilled aromatherapy face cloths, towels, lounge chairs and a view of Camelback Mountain, natch. 5402 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, 800.922.2635

4. JOYA SPA
At Moroccan-inspired Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, Joya is beloved by locals and visitors alike for its exotic ambience and extensive naturopathic offerings. Add an authentic Hammam Experience ($79, 30 minutes) to any treatment.

5. WELL & BEING SPA
The spa at the AAA five-diamond, Spanish colonial-style Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort offers a mud bar with detoxifying and anti-inflammatory muds from Sedona, North Africa and Utah that can be blended for a guest’s skin type. 7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale, 480.585.4848

STRETCH IT OUT
At her new Pilates studio, Studio Allonge, in Optima Sonoran Village, former professional dancer Alison Trumbull shares her passion for ballet, fitness and healthy living. Her clients include pro athletes, ballerinas and models. Choose from one-on- one, duet or small-group reformer Pilates classes. All sessions are by appointment only to provide the best possible personal attentions. Trumbull is offering new clients one private Pilates assessment session ($40) in July or August. Don’t dance around that offer! Pricing varies, 6895 E. Camelback Road, Ste. 120, Scottsdale, 480.447.5923

SENSEI-TIONAL
Just in time for the height of summer, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain has added a new category of therapists and offerings at its Asian-inspired Sanctuary Spa: Sensei. Each of the four sensei therapists at the spa possesses a minimum of seven years’ experience in massage therapy as well as no less than five years’ experience specifically at Sanctuary. A guest is in good hands then as the sensei practices this multidimensional Japanese approach to bodywork, for example, during the Golden Lotus Balancing Ritual ($250 Monday to Thursday, $260 Friday to Sunday, 90 minutes). The peaceful offering is designed to balance a guest’s yin and yang energy using powerful herbs during a wrap and full-body acupressure session. Aah. 5700 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, 888.722.6230

PERFECTLY COIFFED
The uberchic Zolton’s Salon & Day Spa in Scottsdale was named the 2014 salon design of the year winner at North American Hairstyling Awards—the first win for Arizona in the NAHA’s 25-year history. The recently renovated 6,000-square-foot salon lends an industrial European vibe with a range of hair and nail services and cutting-edge beauty products. “Customers may not remember what we did for them or what we said to them; they will remember how we made them feel,” says Robert Quinn, stylist and co-owner with his wife, Margaret. We’re also happy to report they’ve been nominated in the same category again for 2015. There’s not a hair out of place for these savvy stylists! 20821 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480.513.8414

LOVELY LOCKS
The Arizona heat is more than hard on hair. But Luxxi Salon co-owners and sisters Loren and Jill Brimhall are the go-to pros when it comes to protecting against elements that can wreck your ’do. “The Aveda Sun Care line is a necessity for blocking UV rays, especially during the hot summer months,” Loren says. “[And] rinse and condition your hair before you are exposed to chlorine or saltwater. This protects your color if your hair is dyed and prevents your natural strands from absorbing harsh chemicals.” The sisters will share more of their tips at Luxxi’s Summer Care for Your Hair event July 30 from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Current clients and newbies can receive a complimentary education on summer care and color maintenance plus watch demos using the Aveda Sun Care products. Beach-worthy tresses, here you come. 10855 N. Tatum Blvd., Ste. 150, Phoenix, 480.991.9311 

TOP FIVE: NEW FITNESS FACILITIES
1. EOS FITNESS
Six Gold’s Gym branches in the Valley— including one in North Scottsdale—converted to brand EOS Fitness, which emphasizes premium fitness amenities and offers new clients a free seven-day pass. 

2. IASIS MULTI SPECIALITY CLINIC
Formerly the Phoenix Suns Athletic Club, this state-of-the-art clinic in partnership with Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and IASIS Healthcare will open by year’s end on the US Airways lot.

3. MOVEMENT RESTORATION
This massage and sports therapy concept moved into a 1,600-square-foot space and can now offer NormaTec compression therapy, a candlelight yoga series, and a hot and cold tub therapy room. 6747 E. Thomas Road, Ste. 104, Scottsdale, 480.612.5090 

4. ORANGETHEORY FITNESS

A location just opened in McCormick Ranch and an Old Town location will open in Miller Plaza by summer’s end. First two classes free, $180 for 10 classes, $25 for drop-in, 7001 N. Scottsdale Road, Ste. E-185, Scottsdale, 480.405.2737

5. POWERTRAINYOGA

The 10,000-square-foot studio offers yoga, Pilates, TRX suspension training, kettlebells, barre, boot camp, HIIT training and more. $79 per month, 14202 N. Scottsdale Road, Ste. 114, Scottsdale, 480.807.2000

BEST OF THE CITY | STYLE

REBEL STYLE
The Valley’s local fashion design scene is gaining momentum again, thanks to a bevvy of talented individuals and a rise in fashion-focused events. Fortunately, denim isn’t being overlooked. Diego Milano—with already a few years of producing rock-star-worthy jeans under its, ahem, belt—has just debuted its brand-new North Scottsdale showroom and production house to better serve its discerning clientele. “Well, why does all the U.S. denim have to be made in Los Angeles anyway?” asks the brand’s owner and designer, Chris Kay. Some 20 artisans handcraft each pair of jeans with Milan textiles and add leather piping and panels, lining, 3-D pockets, pin-tuck stitching, stacked button flaps, curved inseams and other details. Flying V guitar zippers amp up the volume. Natural distressing and hand-dyes ensure no two pairs are identical. “We bust the assumptions and break the rules,” Kay says. Expect a palette of black, gray, wine and dark teal this fall, and jeans will be coated with the brand’s signature resin finish for a subtle edginess. 7326 E. Evans Road, Ste. E, Scottsdale

READERS’ CHOICE: FAVORITE FASHION FORCE
Scottsdale, you know just where to turn when it comes to locking in haute clothing, accessories, styling and inspiration.

1. BARNEYS NEW YORK
Savvy types take advantage of the store’s personal shopping services to eliminate guesswork from their wardrobe each season and gain invitations to trunk shows and personal appearances. Scottsdale Fashion Square, 4500 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 602.337.6000

2. FASHION GROUP INTERNATIONAL
The Arizona chapter of FGI hosts fabulous networking events, educational seminars, and spring and fall trend presentations to report what was seen on international runways. Events are usually open to members and the public and are always, always stylish. 

3. NEIMAN MARCUS
Home to Arizona’s sole Tom Ford Beauty shop, our local NM is a go-to for makeup and style aficionados who are always looking for something extra special. 6900 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, 480.990.2100

4. RISTYLE
Pronounced “ree-style,” Risa Kostis’ style consulting business combines her experience as a trained hairstylist, makeup artist and fashion industry veteran. In other words, whatever your goal, she can handle it—and then some.

5. WE THE CLASSY
A model, mother of two and registered financial broker, Venessa Kaufman is also the founder of blog and style-focused brand We the Classy. She lives to deliver your daily dose of fashion inspiration while advocating individuality and kindness. So classy.

SUITS HIM FINE
This year, Steve Wilson celebrates five years since opening S.W. Wilson Bespoke & Custom Clothier locally, although the veteran has more than 40 years of experience managing stores in Ohio and Arizona. The business has been passed down through four generations, making the clothier’s legacy more than 100 years old. “I’ll never forget selling my first suit in 1973 with my father standing by my side,” Wilson says. And he may know all there is to know about men’s custom suits, bespoke suits and fine accessories such as cuff links, custom ties and pocket detailing. The team takes 30-plus measurements—in-store or at a client’s home or office—in order to craft the perfect suit (in about four weeks). 6234 E. Betty Elyse Lane, Scottsdale, 480.291.2897

SOUL SEEKER
Kimberly Roach recently launched her Scottsdale-based yoga line Stelari because she wanted consumers to have free-spirited yet quality-conscious yogawear options. Drawn to both boho and eco-friendly elements, her designs are gaining a following among fashion-forward, environmentally conscious yoginis, dancers and active types. The chic headbands, mat towels and coverups are made with sustainable materials—consider the Metal kimono ($88) made of washable vegan suede and the Desert tank ($48) crafted with fabric made from recycled plastic. “The concept behind our clothes is to create beautiful artwork layered with deeper meaning,” Roach says. Her first collection, called Tarot of the Bohemians, features sultry pastels, tarot card elements and gypsy-inspired details. What’s next? She says long-sleeved offerings and sweaters will debut just in time for fall. Your inner hippie awaits.

TOP FIVE: SCOTTSDALE FASHION SQUARE NEWBIES & REMODELS
1. COACH
It was only a matter of time before Coach outgrew its current space. We look forward to the big reno reveal later this summer. In the meantime, we’re adoring the new graphic Taxi Tote 36 ($350). 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale

2. KATE SPADE
With playful prints and hues, the brand goes hand in hand with an anything-goes Arizona summer. An extensive renovation will incorporate a greater selection of the designer’s sophisticated styles. 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale

3. M•A•C COSMETICS
This summer’s remodel equals an improved selection of all our fave products. Until then, we’ll play with the brand-new Haute and Naughty Waterproof Lash mascara ($22). 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale

4. MICHAEL KORS MEN
Gentlemen’s designs will debut at Fashion Square in early 2016. While you wait, lust after the Mercer watch ($295) from the latest collection— so stylish for men-about-town. 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale

5. SIX 02
The newly opened women’s activewear boutique offers shoes, clothing and accessories from top brands like Nike, New Balance and Puma. 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale

BEST OF THE CITY | DESIGN

READERS’ CHOICE: FAVORITE DESIGN GURU
You trust these top professionals to bring your grand visions—no matter how big or small—to life.

1. CARSON POETZL
Architects Andrew Carson III and Jon Poetzl tap into their wealth of experience on the regular in order to design high-end custom residences and boutique commercial projects. 

2. MARK CANDELARIA
Lauded for his professionalism, consistent creative style and capability to deliver spaces that fulfill clients’ desires, architect Candelaria is a talented Valley veteran and industry leader.

3. MMB STUDIO
Interior designer Matthew Boland’s penchant for his craft was evident long before he founded MMB in 2005, but he’s definitely since climbed to the top of the local ranks. 

4. NEAT METHOD
Mika Perry is Neat Method’s professional organizer in Scottsdale and probably has never met a room she can’t straighten up. When it comes to creating smartly appointed living spaces, Neat Method delivers customized, stylish solutions. 

5. PHX ARCHITECTURE
This diverse and talented team can capably handle projects in multiple states and across categories—commercial, hospitality and residential—all with their trademark enthusiasm and customer service. 

DEDICATED DESIGN 

Scottsdale interior designer Anita Lang celebrates the first year of Design 528, whose Planes Collection ($5,000 to $25,000) consists of 50 thoughtfully designed furnishings. To honor the milestone, Design 528 donated a percentage of profits from orders made earlier this summer. The brand is also sharing its love with the digital community: Every 528th Facebook user who “likes” Design 528 receives $528 to donate to a charity of his or her choice. Also, new Facebook fans will be surprised with randomly selected special gifts at 5:28pm on the 28th day of every month for the rest the year.

GRAND ENTRANCE  
In creating the larger-than-life 60,000-square-foot multipurpose venue Chateau Luxe, Deepika Bhalla aimed to integrate high-end finishes in every corner, with plush fabrics, sophisticated terrazzo flooring, ornate chandeliers and custom-designed furniture. Ideal for your next intimate dinner party or a grandiose gathering, the north Phoenix space, designed and built by Chaves & Associates, includes private green rooms featuring a billiards table, big-screen TVs and makeup stations, as well as a massage room, two ballrooms, outdoor space, a meeting center and a chapel. “Chateau Luxe wows guests the minute they enter the doors,” says Bhalla. “Custom decor, state-of-the-art technology and a full-service kitchen with world-renowned chef Kaushik Chowdhury and a house bar add to the fabulous amenities that make Chateau Luxe stand out from the rest.” Sounds positively palatial to us. 1175 E. Lone Cactus Road, Phoenix, 602.769.1090 

TOP FIVE: SHOWROOMS
1. BUNGALOW
Linda Criswell and Alicia Flatin curate vintage treasures and traditional furnishings. Shop coastal-cool items like a glass table lamp with a burlap shade ($395). 15330 N. Hayden Road, Ste. 120, Scottsdale, 480.948.5409

2. DESIGN WITHIN REACH
The new Ven collection of storage options ($1,985-$9,785) designed by Jens Risom and Chris Hardy, available in walnut or oak, has just hit the mod go-to showroom. 4821 N. Scottsdale Road, Ste. 101, Scottsdale, 480.970.8800

3. FEATHERS
This summer is all about accessories at this North Scottsdale showroom. Shop their throw pillows, wall hangings, lamps, mirrors and other objets d’art. 15330 N. Hayden Road, Ste. 110, Scottsdale, 480.905.1396 

4. PARNIAN LUXURY FURNITURE
Discover sculptural patio furniture at Parnian, such as the sleek VM Faz large lounger (call for pricing), which evokes a futuristic clamshell ready to shield you from the Arizona sun. 16219 N. 82nd St., Scottsdale, 480.991.5166

5. TOWN STUDIO
Experience Hellman-Chang’s first line of seating, including sofas, chaises, daybeds, lounge chairs and dining chairs, designed to be refined yet challenge traditional wood forms. 2716 N. 68th St., Ste. 7, Scottsdale, 480.214.4792

NEW STROKES
Recently honored with first place in Golf Inc.’s 2015 clubhouse renovation category, the ranch home-inspired The Country Club at DC Ranch was reimagined by SB Design, PHX Architecture and Westpac Construction. DC Ranch went toe to toe with peers in Florida, California, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, but the esteemed judges ultimately declared the North Scottsdale facility to be clubhouse perfection. In the McDowell Mountains, the 35,000-square-foot hacienda affords amenities like a lap pool, a fitness center, men’s and women’s lounges and locker rooms, a boardroom, a wine room, dining, six tennis courts and much more. Score! Memberships available via market-based pricing, 9290 E. Thompson Peak Parkway #1, Scottsdale, 480.342.7246 

RESORT REMAKE
Westroc Hospitality (which has acquired, renovated and managed local resorts like Hotel Valley Ho and Sanctuary Camelback Resort) and Woodbine Development (a 40-year-old full-service real estate company specializing in hotels, resorts and golf courses) have announced ground will break on Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley this summer. Expect 175 modern guest rooms in two buildings, an adjacent building with 31 hotel-condo units, a restaurant, a market, a high-tech fitness facility and the rehabilitated Mountain Shadows Golf Course featuring 18 executive-style holes. Projected to open in early 2017, Mountain Shadows will be situated on land formerly occupied by the Marriott Mountain Shadows Resort, which closed in 2004 and was demolished in 2014. Talk about a comeback.

BEST OF THE CITY | FOOD & NIGHTLIFE

FRESH AND EASY
Mike Wystrach and Carter Comstock reincarnated their gourmet healthy meal delivery service F3 Foods as Freshly, which delivers wellness-driven results in the form of dishes shipped directly to clients’ doorsteps each week. Choose between two different doctor- designed and chef-prepared programs featuring all- natural, locally sourced ingredients free of gluten, artificial sweeteners, added sugars and hormones. Simple, fast and nutritious meals? Delicious. $229 per week for Freshly Fit (21 meals), $69-$129 per week for Freshly Flex (six, nine or 12 meals)

TABLE SETTING
The ultimate weekend splurge, FnB’s Rabbit Island brunch starts with a morning plane ride and culminates with a gourmet spread crafted by James Beard Award nominee chef Charleen Badman and hosted by FnB co-owner Pavle Milic amid the tranquil environs of Roosevelt Lake. A nine-passenger Cessna seaplane transports guests from Scottsdale’s airport to Rabbit Island, where indulgence awaits on the second Saturday of every month from October through April. Expect thoughtfully crafted meals comprised of wares from handselected Arizona winemakers, farmers and other food artisans who will sometimes even join the brunch-going crew. Perennial participants include Dos Cabezas Wineworks, Page Springs Cellars, Callaghan Vineyards, McClendon’s Select and Singh Farms. Sound too delicious to miss? It is. Call for pricing, 7125 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480.284.4777

READERS’ CHOICE: FAVORITE NOSH
These kitchens get your mouths watering on the regular.

1. CAPITAL GRILLE
This fine-dining restaurant offers guests an atmosphere of relaxed elegance in which to enjoy dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood and award-winning wines. 2502 E. Camelback Road, Ste. 199, Phoenix, 602.952.8900; 16489 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480.348.1700 

2. M CULINARY CONCEPTS
Chef Michael DeMaria and his team capably whip up award-winning contemporary Italian dishes for events ranging from intimate dinner parties to extravaganzas like the Waste Management Phoenix Open.  

3. LON’S AT THE HERMOSA INN
Featuring one of the most picturesque patios anywhere in the Valley, the Paradise Valley restaurant boasts a New American menu of garden-to-table dishes at this hacienda-style boutique hotel. 5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley, 602.955.8614

4. THE MISSION
Chef Matt Carter and company turn out upscale yet accessible Latin dishes and craft cocktails at this dim and sexy restaurant and lounge in Old Town Scottsdale. 3815 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale, 480.636.5005 

5. RITA’S KITCHEN

Regulars flock to Rita’s and the adjacent R Bar for casual contemporary regional cuisine served in a Sonoran Desert setting. The grilled honey-glazed salmon is just as beautiful as the restaurant, with its rustic-chic adobe walls, terra-cotta floors and wood-beamed ceilings. 5402 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, 480.948.1700

POSITIVELY POSTINO
Phoenix-based hospitality group Upward Projects is expanding its wildly popular Postino WineCafe with two more locations, both in Scottsdale, for a total of six. Scheduled to open in October, Postino Highland will find a 5,900-square-foot home in the former 1960s-era Valley National Bank close to Scottsdale Fashion Square. Look forward to raising a glass on the front or back patio surrounded by water fountains and mature landscaping that will create a Zen oasis within the bustle of downtown Scottsdale. Farther north, the indoor-outdoor Postino Kierland, opening in November, will offer its beloved mouthwatering bruschetta, paninis, soups, salads, and yes, wines by the glass, to the crowd who loves to work, shop and play at Kierland Commons. ”From our first Postino inside the former Arcadia Post Office, Upward Projects is dedicated to finding, restoring and reusing historically relevant buildings in great local neighborhoods,” co-owner Craig DeMarco says.

GOOD TASTE
Per tradition, Forbes five-star and AAA five-diamond restaurant Kai will close for several weeks this summer starting July 5, but we have a few recommendations when it reopens Aug. 20. Requesting Chef de Cuisine Joshua Johnson’s 13-course Native American-inspired Journey Tasting menu ($355 per person, wine included) is a must to experience delicacies like melon soup, foie gras, escargot and grilled tenderloin of tribal buffalo. Another good idea? Booking the Journey Class premier chauffeur service ($60 roundtrip, 35-mile one-way limit, up to four passengers, two days’ notice required) to deliver your dining party safely to and from Kai. Now you can truly eat in peace. Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, 5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, 602.225.0100

TOP FIVE: WINE NOTES
1. ARIDUS WINE COMPANY
Owner of the state’s largest custom crush facility, Aridus takes its wines on the road with the opening of an Old Town tasting room. For $10, sample the entire tasting menu. 713 E. Main St., Scottsdale, 520.954.2676

2. HIDDEN TRACK BOTTLE SHOP
Located in a newly remodeled midcentury modern building, the shop excels at acquainting guests with wine gems and will procure any wine that guests desire. 111 W. Monroe St., Ste. 120, Phoenix, 623.336.1202

3. LAWRENCE DUNHAM VINEYARDS WINE GALLERY

Three new wine club vintages have been released to the public, including a 2012 syrah—LDV’s first 100 percent estate-grown and -produced syrah. 6951 E. First St., Scottsdale, 480.664.4822

4. PILLSBURY WINE COMPANY
Check out Sam Pillsbury’s four new organic summer releases, including the 2014 Symphony, 2014 Chardonnay, 2013 Guns & Kisses Shiraz and the 2014 Sweet Lies dessert wine. 1012 N. Main St., Cottonwood, 928.639.0646

5. SORSO WINE ROOM
The wine room’s WineEmotion dispensing system makes it possible to easily sample any of the 32 bottles. We suggest the newly added JCB Pinot Noir. Scottsdale Quarter, 15323 N. Scottsdale Road, Ste. 150, Scottsdale, 480.794.0875