By Alison Bailin Batz
When it’s this hot, sometimes the best comfort food is that of the cold variety. Luckily, these local eateries have your back when it comes to keeping cool. From fresh seafood to supercool soup, we are highlighting nine inventive dishes that won’t make you think twice when swapping out that hot burger.
Buck & Rider
Dish: Buck & Rider Oysters, $3.50 each
Details: This casual-upscale seafood restaurant, featuring fresh seafood, a raw oyster bar, hand-rolled sushi and farm-fresh vegetables, has no shortage of delicious chilled menu items. But the real standout here (and one of our favorites!) are their signature oysters as, which are harvested from the restaurant group’s own farm in Washington state in the Olympic Peninsula and served ice cold.
4225 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.346.0110; www.buckandrider.com.
Dish: Smoked Idaho Trout Dip, $12
Details: A dip like no other, the Idaho trout is house-brined and smoked using Chelsea’s famous custom wood-burning smoker. It’s served chilled and accompanied with classic saltine crackers and vibrant, fresh watermelon radish.
5040 N. 40th St., Phoenix; 602.957.2555; www.chelseaskitchenaz.com.
Dish: Seabass Crudo, $16
Details: Thinly sliced seabass is served “crudo-style,” dressed with a small amount of high-quality olive oil and sea salt, as well as olives, salsa delle erbe, and pangratto.
3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602-358-8666; www.crudoaz.com.
Dish: Golden Gazpacho, $8
Details: Fresh summer vegetables including Arizona heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion, gives this Spanish-inspired soup bold color and flavor. Vinegar is added to the dish to provide tanginess, and a homemade yogurt aioli finishes the mixture to provide balance.
3961 E. Camelback Road., Phoenix; 602.687.7777; www.crutacos.com.
Dish: Ahi Tartare, $16
Details: Ahi tartare mingles with Persian cucumbers, shishito peppers and shaved turnip to complete this dish, served
in a puffed rice shell for a fun presentation. 5445 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley; 888.318.7591; www.mountainshadows.com.
Hula’s Modern Tiki
Dish: Hawaiian Ceviche, $9
Details: Scoop up a taste of this tiki-inspired restaurant with tropical Hawaiian white fish “cooked” in citrus, coconut milk, chili, cilantro, garlic, and served with crispy wonton chips.
4700 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; 602.265.8454; www.hulasmoderntiki.com.
Dish: Watermelon Gazpacho, $12
Details: Get a spoonful of summer with J&G Steakhouse’s almost-too-pretty-to-eat watermelon gazpacho. This chilled soup blends fresh watermelon with a secret combination of spices. It’s then poured tableside over a steamed shrimp and accented with tarragon oil to create the perfect seasonal bite.
6000 E Camelback Road, Scottsdale; 480-214-8000; www.jgsteakhousescottsdale.com.
Luci’s Healthy Marketplace
Dish: Acai Superfood Bowl, $10.19
Details: A blended bowl of chilled organic acai berries – a superfood filled with powerful antioxidants – is topped with hemp granola, chilled bananas and blueberries for a sweet summer treat.
1590 E. Bethany Home Road, Phoenix; 602.773.1339; www.lucishealthymarketplace.com.
Dish: Hummus Trio, $5.79 (small), $7.29 (large)
Details: This menu item has all three of the health-focused restaurant’s signature hummus flavors all on one plate – each made with a base of chickpeas, tahini, fresh garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and a garbanzo bean confit. In addition to the traditional hummus, Pita Jungle adds roasted red bell peppers to one variation and a jalapeno cilantro mixture to another for creamy alternative flavor creations. Served with fresh pita.
5505 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 602.277.7482; www.pitajungle.com.
4340 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602.955.7482.
Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant
Dish: Antipasto Charcuterie Board, $14 (per person)
Details: Start your Italian feast with a variety of light bites, with an assortment of specialty meats and vegetables including San Daniele prosciutto, soppressata, artisan cheeses, grilled Roman artichokes, olives and roasted bell peppers.
3225 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.956.0836; www.tomasos.com.