Looking for someplace to eat this week? Our writers have done the legwork for you. Bon appetit! - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Looking for someplace to eat this week? Our writers have done the legwork for you. Bon appetit!

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Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2007 6:49 am | Updated: 7:47 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

$ entrees average less than $8

$$ entrees average $9-$16

$$$ entrees average $17-24

$$$$ entrees average more than $24

AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS

Arrivederci Trattoria (4221 E. Chandler Blvd., [480] 759-9292). Highly recommended Italian specialties include the cannelloni de carne (beef and veal stuffed pasta tubes with melted cheese and tomato cream sauce), chocomisu and cannoli. Don’t be surprised if the staff greets you with a double-cheek kiss. Additional location in Scottsdale. $$

Nello’s (4710 E. Warner Road, [480] 893-8930). If deep-dish Chicagostyle pizza is what you crave, Nello’s pizzerias are where to go. The salads are scrumptious as well, especially if they’re topped with the thick house dressing. Additional locations in Mesa, Tempe and Scottsdale. $

Venice Ristorante Italiano (4747 E. Elliot Road, [480] 961-9350). From appetizers to desserts, portions are generous, flavors are exciting and presentation is attractive at this romantic, neighborhood Italian eatery. Highlights include the filet mignon “Aglio Olio,” capellini al pomodoro, calamari fritti, crab cakes and tiramisu. $$$

CHANDLER

Citrus Cafe (2330 N. Alma School Road, [480] 899-0502). Small, intimate and delightful, this modestly adorned, friendly cafe features some of the best French bistro food around. $$$

Cyclo (1919 W. Chandler Blvd., [480] 963-4490). Adventurous flavors, affordable prices and a BYOB policy make this locally owned Vietnamese hideaway a hot spot. The crispy lemon grass chicken and beef carpaccio are delicious. Don’t worry about saving room for dessert, because Cyclo’s $3 sweets are mini treats. $

The Keg (3065 W. Chandler Blvd., [480] 899-7500). Dark wood, glowing fireplaces, extensive stonework and dim lighting make for a classy steakhouse and bar. The well-marbled meats are grilled to perfection, but you’re just as likely to fall in love with the outstanding twice-baked potato or the warm, crunchy sourdough round. For dessert, the Billy Miner Pie is lip-lickingly delicious. $$

Naples Ristorante (888 W. Warner Road, [480] 963-9033). This delightful eatery makes some of the finest Italian cuisine in the East Valley. The ambience is cozy and romantic and the service is warm and friendly. $$

New York Pizza Department (2580 W. Chandler Blvd., [480] 722-0898, and 9845 S. Priest Drive, [480] 705-6973). Authentic, mouthwatering New York-style specialty pizzas and pasta dishes are on the menu at this local chain. Specialties include Broadway bruschetta, Da Works pizza, Al Capone calzone and New York’s Finest Cookie ’N’ Cream dessert. Additional locations in Scottsdale, Tempe and Gilbert. $$

El Zócalo (28 S. San Marcos Place, [480] 722-0303). The lush, inviting back patio — often with live music — makes a great backdrop for enjoying the flavorful chicken mole or carne asada at this downtown Chandler hot spot. $$

GILBERT

Flancer’s Cafe (610 N. Gilbert Road, [480] 926-9077). This neighborhood favorite does everything — from pizza to calzones to sandwiches. And it does them all well. The cafe, which doesn’t look like anything extraordinary from the outside, packs a powerful punch inside with its warm, friendly staff. $

Joe’s Farm Grill (3000 E. Ray Road, [480] 563-4745). Organic, locally grown food, with surprising taste and range. From the Americana decor and tasty hickory pork barbecue to the light and tangy BBQ Chicken Pizza, to niche favorites like the Ahi Tuna sandwich, the Farm Grill proves to be a hickory smoked leg up on the average Joe’s. Try the sweet potato fries and the hot fudge cream puff. $$

Joe’s Real BBQ (301 N. Gilbert Road, [480] 503-3805). Since 1998, Joe’s Real BBQ has been the alternative to chain restaurants for many East Valley families with picky eaters. That divine taste of pecan-smoked meat mingled with tangy barbecue sauce has brought people from all over the Valley, and still does. Try the BBQ sampler, the homemade root beer or the apple cobbler. $$

Someburros (1335 E. Baseline Road, [480] 755-8226). While it lacks ambience, Someburros scores points for its flavorful, inexpensive Mexican fare. A good place for families with children and those looking for a casual night out, the extensive menu includes the requisite tacos, tamales and enchiladas plus house specialties such as the Pollo Fundido, which features chunks of chicken wrapped in a deep-fried tortilla topped with spicy cream cheese, grated cheddar and green onions.

Offerings also include vegetarian options and traditional American fare. $

Sushi Ave. (866 N. Higley Road, [480] 218-5700). Not only is this one of the best sushi spots in the East Valley, it’s also Gilbert’s coolest space to eat in. The black wood tables, chairs and sushi bar; dark aqua walls; earthy slate tiles on the floor and walls; and soft track lighting create a hip Asian ambience. The simple menu includes nine stir-fry options for the sushi shy, including the generously portioned and spiced suicide chicken. $

MESA

Buca di Beppo (1730 S. Val Vista Drive, [480] 507-9463). Yes, it’s an over-the-top Italian behemoth, but it works well for celebrations thanks to the lively atmosphere and family-style servings. Try the garlic mashed potatoes, Caesar salad, nine-layer lasagna and spicy arrabbiata pizza. Additional locations in Chandler and Scottsdale. $$$

Crackers & Co. Café (535 W. Iron Ave., [480] 898-1717 and 1325 N. Greenfield Road, [480] 924-9977). From pancakes and omelets to salad and soup, this eatery does ’em all — and does ’em well. The extensive breakfast and lunch menu also features sinful homemade cakes and treats. $ Mangos Mexican Cafe (44 W. Main St., [480] 464-5700). Überpopular with downtown Mesa’s 9-to-5 set, Mangos satisfies with jalapeño-flecked carne asada burritos, enchiladas, a breakfast burrito that’s tasty any hour of the day and refreshing pressed fruit juices. Crispy beef or chicken tacos are a mere 99 cents from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily. $

Oasian (1935 S. Val Vista Drive, [480] 632-1245). Casual, stylish Asian place that puts Pei Wei to shame. If owner K.C. is there, pull up a seat at the small bar and hang out with the jovial, well-traveled storyteller. Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea are all represented on the extensive menu. $

Red, White & Brew (6734 E. McDowell Road, [480] 807-9393). The stuffed meatball pizza roll is top-notch and enough for two, especially if diners take advantage of the endless homemade garlic and Parmesan breadsticks. Another fave is the flavorful 10-ounce marinated flat-iron steak with garlic mashed potatoes. Pizzas, seafood, salads, desserts and nightly specials round out the menu. $$

Sauce (3426 E. Baseline Road, [480] 497-3500) One of the best order-at-the-counter concepts around — the thin, crisp individual pies are crowd-pleasers as are the paninis. Salads are very good and served with a sourdough roll. The tiramisu is tasty, too. Additional locations in Scottsdale. $

SCOTTSDALE

Bandera (3821 N. Scottsdale Road, [480] 994-3524). Famous for its wood-fired, spit-roasted chicken, but the rest of the restrained menu is impressive as well. The thick, roasted pork chops with chorizo stuffing and apricot glaze would make a nice meal for two paired with the stellar house salad and a tin of their tasty corn bread. The lamb sandwich with roasted peppers is also worth a shot. Sexy lighting and a dark color scheme create cozy confines. $$

Eddie V’s Edgewater Grille (20715 N. Pima Road, [480] 538-8468). Who would have thought we could get such great seafood smackdab in the middle of the desert? The service is impeccable, the restaurant is comfortable yet elegant and the food is exquisite. $$$

Jilly’s American Grill (7301 E. Butherus Drive, [480] 368-8663). This place has something for everyone: Televisions for the sports fan, celebrity regulars for those who like to track such people and sublime comfort food for everyone who walks through the door. Buckets of shrimp and chicken pot pie are two of the must-tries.

Additional location in Chandler. $$

Kona Grill (7014 E. Camelback Road, [480] 429-1100). Among the Valley’s prettiest people, Kona Grill is the place to be for happy hour. And for good reason: The snazzy eatery’s appetizers — including Maui tacos, California rolls and calamari — are half off. While you’re there, also check out the sushi menu, which includes squid, sea urchin and salmon eggs. Additional location in Chandler. $$

Grazie Pizzeria Wine Bar (6952 E. Main St., [480] 663-9797). Cute, charming and perfectly situated among Old Town’s galleries, this is a great place for a glass of wine with friends or a gourmet pizza. The desserts are creative and tasty as well. $$

Mosaic (10600 E. Jomax Road, [480] 563-9600). Nestled at the foot of Pinnacle Peak, Mosaic is breathtaking inside and out. The restaurant, which boasts two scenic patios and a framed mosaic with cascading water, offers such tantalizing dishes as curry-dusted scallops, Muscovy duck breast and boar. Be prepared for a wait (reservations are strongly encouraged). But also, prepare to be dazzled. $$$$

Star Spangled Tavern (20751 N. Pima Road, [480] 419-8729). The heaping bowl of smoky mac and cheese with bacon, juicy Queen Creek pork chop, spicy baby back ribs and apple-cranberry crisp are all worth a try at this DC Ranch restaurant. It’s the brainchild of Peter Kasperski (Cowboy Ciao/Kazimierz/Sea Saw) and Jimmy Carlin (Blue Wasabi), so it’s no surprise the wine list is 19 pages long. $$$

TEMPE

Big City BBQ (5118 S. Rural Road, [480] 756-5702). Dig into Southern-style barbecue specialties — pecan smoked beef brisket, spare ribs, red beans and rice, braised cabbage, and sweet baked beans with bacon. Save room for the sugar biscuits. Additional location in Mesa. $

Dilly’s Deli (414 W. University Drive, [480] 929-0111 and 3330 S. Price Road, [480] 491-1196). Any time is a good time for soup — especially at Dilly’s. Known for its grilled sandwiches, this popular lunch spot also serves a mean bread bowl. Our fave? The cream of broccoli. Additional locations in Chandler and Scottsdale. $

Papa Razzini’s (1825 E. Guadalupe Road, [480] 345-6560). Don’t be surprised if you hear the owner, “Papa,” belt out an Italian verse or two at this casual neighborhood Italian bistro. The linguine with clam sauce is sensational, as is the free make-your-own bruschetta. $$

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro (740 S. Mill Ave., [480] 731-4600). P.F. Chang’s has been a hot spot in the Valley since it opened a decade ago. Offering innovative Chinese cuisine and an upscale ambience, P.F. Chang’s has since taken its famous lettuce wraps national, with locations in such corners of the country as New Jersey, Wisconsin and Alabama. Additional locations in Chandler, Scottsdale and Mesa. $$

Sacks Art of Sandwicherie (35 E. Ninth St., [480] 966-9266 and 839 W. University Drive, [480] 967-2980). Patrons will discover arty sandwiches and an equally colorful setting at this longtime ASU fave. The sandwiches, named for the greats (Picasso, van Gogh and the like), are served in a sack (get it?) with a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie. It’s just like Mom used to do — only cooler. $

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