Toro: Fiery Flavors in a Peaceful Setting 

by RaeAnne Marsh

Toro’s easy access of the Loop 101 freeway, convenient ample parking and the freeing feeling of wide-open spaces would make this restaurant attractive even if the food were only so-so. But the food is superb, flavors wonderfully blended in dishes uniquely crafted to celebrate Latin — notably, Peruvian — cuisines. The restaurant describes its menu as a signature “Suviche” … [More]

Food with a Side of Fun

by RaeAnne Marsh

Who says you can’t have fun and games with your meal? No, we’re not suggesting a food fight à la the famous scene from Animal House; rather, to take advantage of amenities some restaurateurs are incorporating into the ambience of their establishments. Culinary Dropout Debuted at its location at The Yard, a standard offering at this restaurant now are backyard-style games such … [More]

Tomaso’s – for the Love of Italian

by RaeAnne Marsh

Tomaso’s on Camelback’s longevity in a prominent Phoenix corridor is well-deserved. Chef restaurateur Tomaso Maggiore imbues the experience — from entering the warm timelessness of the upscale establishment to the final forkful of dessert — with an obvious love for what he creates. This is not a place for a hurried lunch; rather, it is a perfect choice to savor conversation and … [More]

A Broad Spectrum of Flavors Abroad

by RaeAnne Marsh

The Valley is blessed with a plethora of great restaurants, including an international smorgasbord of choices. Here are a few of the standouts around the Valley that offer a change of pace, place and palate. Caribbean Queen Not strictly Caribbean, the menu also draws on European and American influences, with a significant portion being jerk dishes and vegan dishes. Opens at … [More]

Ghost Ranch: Spirited Southwest Fare

by RaeAnne Marsh

A Southwest menu may conjure up images of tacos and enchiladas, and, in that regard, Ghost Ranch doesn’t disappoint. But there are unique surprises as well. The grilled trout is a standout, the spice notes of its preparation more than honoring its Southwest setting. Served liberally covered with a salad of fresh greens and root veggies (with colorful varieties that add to the … [More]