Alice Cooper's Town (101 E. Jackson St., Phoenix; 602-253-7337; www.alicecooperstown.com), named for the legendary rock star and owner, is an entertainment complex in downtown Phoenix that serves up great barbecue and home-style fare. The biggest attraction is the monster video wall and state-of-the-art sound system. A live entertainment stage has hosted the likes of Dave Mustaine from heavy metal band Megadeth, Creedence Clearwater Revival's Doug Clifford, Dogstar's Keanu Reeves, and Alice Cooper himself.
The Four Peaks Brewing Company (1340 E. 8th St., Tempe; 480-303-9967; www.fourpeaks.com) is a beer distributor and pub located in the historic Borden's Creamery building. A 2004 World Beer Cup award-winner from the Association of Brewers, Four Peaks offers brewery tours and is available for private parties.
Myst and The Ballroom (7340 E. Shoeman; Scottsdale, 480-429-6000; www.mystaz.com) is an ultra modern, ambient nightclub featuring state-of-the-art lighting, sound, swank rooms, and exotic spirits. Club-goers can also sip cocktails at Myst's spacious outdoor patio.
Acacia, located at the Four Seasons Resort and Spa, incorporates nature and ambience into the decor, with a menu focused on fresh seafood and game. Sauteed jumbo sea scallops and wild forest mushroom ravioli are among the most-favored dishes. Named for the lovely, lacy, desert acacia tree, patio diners overlook a breathtaking desert setting and often are treated to a spectacular Sonoran sunset.
10600 East Crescent Moon Dr.
Cowboy Ciao is a long ways from the steak 'n' grub concept that its name may imply. Its style is creative, with American and global influences, primarily Mexico and Italy. Try tuna glazed with lavender grappa for something truly out of this world. Wine is a huge part of meals, with a spectacular list that extends seemingly to the next county. Don't miss the killer margaritas and martinis either. It's fine fare with a frivolous bite.
7133 East Stetson Dr.
In Phoenix, the Biltmore area around 24th Street and Camelback Road is chock-a-block with superb lunch and dinner places that include casual, bistro-like Eddie Matney's. Colorful, exuberant chef/owner Eddie Matney says he takes a "melting pot" approach to New American cuisine that is multi-cultural and multi-ethnic, and utilizes many flavors native to traditional American and Mediterranean cooking. The appetizers are all over the map and worth the time it takes to decide. For an entree, don't pass up the beef tenderloin tartare, or the seafood potpie. It's a treasure trove of clams, mussels, shrimp, and scallops.
2398 East Camelback Rd.
Los Dos Molinos
A colorful stucco building at the foot of South Mountain, Los Dos Molinos offers mouth-watering dishes prepared in authentic Southwest style. Two additional locations in Arizona—in Mesa and the restaurant’s original location in Springerville—attract loyal diners. There’s also a second location in central Phoenix in this family-run business, whose sentimental name means “The Two Grinders.” Chefs Victoria and Eddie started their culinary adventure 20 years ago in Springerville and still provide the personal touch. A house specialty, Shrimp Veracruz, consists of large shrimp with New Mexico red chili served with rice and beans. The burros, tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, and tamales are all made fresh.
Los Dos Molinos
8646 South Central Avenue
At the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort, Marquesa features a cuisine as rich and sophisticated as the Mediterranean-style surroundings it's presented in. Choose from exquisite seafood and meat delicacies radiantly seasoned with provincial herbs, garlic and other flavors indigenous to the region. A selection of exotic cheeses from the Mediterranean Riviera as well as delicious desserts round out your culinary experience. The high-ceilinged elegance of the dining room emphasizes the lush furnishings and artistic accents of this most charming restaurant.
7575 East Princess Dr.
Mary Elaine's at the legendary Phoenician Resort is for serious gourmets. From the elegant multi-story windows that provide views of the resort's grounds to the seasonal menu of Modern French cuisine that seems bent on enticing diners to sample just one more delicacy, this is the place to take your time and savor truly spectacular food. French-style fare reaches its zenith here. In addition to the acclaimed a la carte menu, Mary Elaine's offers diners a selection three-course prix-fixe menu items, from lobster, duck or veal, to suit a variety of tastes. Luxurious dining with European elegance.
6000 East Camelback Rd.
The trend-setting Medizona in Old Town Scottsdale has received top honors in a variety of publications due in no small part to chef/owner Lenard Rubin's deft combination of unusual flavors that continue to pique the interest of returning diners. Named for its Mediterranean-inspired Southwestern menu, this intimate dinner-only restaurant reflects the talent that Rubin refined during tenures at the Scottsdale Princess and the prestigious Boulders Resort. Among signature dishes, appetizer eggplant and lime tacos, and achiote-rubbed pan-fried salmon are standouts.
7217 East 4th Ave.
Michael's at the Citadel
In North Scottsdale on Pinnacle Peak Road, Michael's at the Citadel is an attractive, pleasing showcase for the superb cuisine of chef/owner Michael DeMaria. A series of rooms look onto gardens and waterways, and an intimate upstairs area attracts guests for pre-dinner cocktails. DeMaria draws on his ethnic background for Contemporary American, Italian-influenced dishes like osso buco on scallion and Roquefort risotto, and mint-tied and grilled loin of lamb on goat cheese potato tart, to go with artful appetizers and creative desserts.
Michael's at the Citadel
8700 East Pinnacle Peak Rd.
Old Town Tortilla Factory
Old Town Tortilla Factory draws from Native American and Sonoran influences to create a true Southwest setting and flavor. Voted the "Best Tortilla" by Phoenix Magazine and "Best Southwestern Cuisine" by Citysearch, the flavors of Mexico are definitely there, but rather than relying on simply tacos and burritos, the menu also includes dishes like pulled chicken slowly simmered in citrus juices, seafood Margarita, and Camarones al Mojo de Ajo. Don't miss the Chorizo Fundido, for starters. On balmy evenings, ask to be seated on the patio under the 60-foot olive tree.
Old Town Tortilla Factory
6910 East Main
Named after the westward flowing river through Aspen Valley, Roaring Fork is an airy, low-key bistro and saloon that captures the spirit of the American West in both theme and cuisine. Tucked among menu items like grilled rib-eye and falling-off-the-bone shortribs are satisfying fish dishes and a spectacular sugar-and-chile-cured duck. Don't forget to visit the General Store for some mouthwatering baked goods and take home items.
4800 North Scottsdale Rd.