Restaurant: Cowboy Ciao

Its fall and foodies everywhere begin to crave all kinds of slow foods, home-style dishes and basically anything baked, stewed, braised...so thankfully there is Cowboy Ciao, a downtown Scottsdale restaurant that excels at providing these 'cravings'.

Things do have a southwestern flare (it is in AZ), but with a slight contemporary twist and year-round it is heavy in fall/winter cooking style techniques (aka, braising, stewing).

Even though I am not a fan of southwestern flare decor (I know, it is AZ) or the smell of stale beer (it has a real nightlife!), it has been added to my will-eat-at-list when in the Valley of the Sun.

Truffled Braised Beef Short Rib Risotto

Fried Macaroni & Cheese
with Veggie Chili Dipping Sauce
Braised Beef (Short Rib Reuben Style)  Sandwich with Au Jus &
Homemade Potato Chips


Restaurant: Elephant Jumps

My new favorite restaurant is Elephant Jumps, a (relatively new) Thai restaurant near the VA intersection of route 50 and 495. Elephant Jumps is the only DC area Thai restaurant I have eaten at that serves the fresh and simple food I've enjoyed in my multiple trips to Thailand. And I am not the only one.

In the past few months, I have tried nearly 70% of the Elephant Jumps menu and enjoyed it all - eating there and take out too. One of my favorite dishes (pictured left - from take-out) is the Crispy Salmon with Ginger Sauce (although it can also come with mango sauce which I really like as well). I think my second favorite is the Cashew Chicken in Taro Nest or maybe its the Fried Papaya Salad?

You might want to take note, this restaurant has four levels of spice, mild, medium, hot and Thai hot - and this is the only Thai restaurant I've been to in the states that 'Thai Hot' actually means 'Thai Hot', yet the taste isn't lost in the heat, it just adds another layer of flavor.

Never fear though, if you are someone who loves Thai, but has a co-diner that doesn't so much...they have an East meets West menu, which includes a great Burrito Satay Chicken stuffed with rice, chicken and sweet style peanut sauce...a very yummy Chipotle-style Thai Burrito.


Williams-Sonoma FREE Demonstrations

Fall has arrived and it is time to start thinking about all those delicious upcoming holiday dishes and treats! Get some new ideas (while watching your wallet) at your local Williams-Sonoma FREE demonstration classes throughout the month of October. Click here for schedule and call your local Williams-Sonoma store to RSVP.