For one afternoon each year, Lettuce Entertain You transforms one of its famed eateries into a mecca for brides-to-be, collecting the wares of both local and national retailers. Ladies linger over tables laden with dresses and invitations—categorized into vignettes such as elegant and vintage—as gown experts divulge their wisdom. To avoid being cut out of wedding photos, male counterparts sequester themselves in the Groom's Room, where man-friendly vendors toss out wardrobe and preening tips. Lettuce Entertain You disperses appetizers and drinks from a handful of their own top-rated eateries to prevent patrons from drooling over the dossiers of custom cake.
Saddle Ranch Chop House allows diners to put together a feast from a menu loaded with steaks and salads, then rock and ride with the restaurant's "rock meets Western" theme. Chow on a sizzling steak, such as the charbroiled, marble-cut rib eye ($24.99), or chomp into the pineapple teriyaki burger, served with a wasabi cream sauce ($11.99). To wash down a full order of barbecue baby back ribs ($21.99), take part in the Texas Tea Party, a stiff concoction of vodka, gin, rum, tequila, sweet-and-sour mix, and Coke. Saddle Ranch Chop House's seasoned chefs also cook breakfast and brunchy grub, such as cinnamon swirl Texas toast ($9.99) and buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh fruit ($8.99), until 3 p.m.
At Remington's Restaurant, the filet mignon isn't just grilled to order—it's grilled over mesquite coals, whose smoke imbues the meat with extra flavor. The same coals cook the New Zealand rack of lamb, as well as tender pork chops glazed in prickly pear barbecue sauce. The steakhouse serves fresh seafood, too. Cedar planks salmon are painted in a maple mustard glaze, and broiled lobster can be used for games of Pin the Tail On the Crustacean out on the patio. Many of these meals are scored by live music. Local nightclub pianist Rags Allen often plays, along with other well-known jazz artists.
Like a trail of evidence, Market Street Kitchen brims with remnants of North Scottsdale's Western roots. You can find them in the sandblasted timber ceiling, the bentwood furniture, the distressed wooden walls. But perhaps most of all, the restaurant's all-American past manifests itself in the food. Esteemed executive chef Rick Guerrero and his staff like to apply classic techniques to their inventive dishes, including the use of a wood-fired rotisserie to roast poultry, pork, prime rib, and lamb. The resulting menu is divided into shareable small plates—such as fried green tomatoes and fresh fish tacos—and big plates, anchored by a nightly fresh market fish feature and Niman Ranch double-cut pork chops.
Executive chef Sunil Kumar's healthy twists on Indian dishes earned Bombay Spice Grill the Best Food award at the 2009 Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Across the restaurant's Phoenix and Chicago locations, olive oil, instead of traditional ghee or butter, creates a heart-healthy base for vegan versions of curry, vindaloo, and other classic Indian sauces. Kitchen maestros top build-your-own entrees with these sauces, mingling rice or quinoa with vegetables, chicken, tofu, and beef. To compliment these dishes, Bombay Spice serves wine and beer from around the world by the bottle, glass, or bathtub.
Commuters. Cruisers. Mountain bikes. Recumbents. If it has two wheels and looks ridiculous when ridden by an elephant, then chances are customers can find it at Bicycles of Phoenix. Its 8,500-square-foot showroom houses bicycles and gear for all levels, from beginners to professional competitors. Staffers happily help patrons select the right gear. And in the onsite shop, each of Bicycles of Phoenix's mechanics draws on more than 25 years of experience to administer tune-ups and repairs.