Italian for "your wine," Su Vino doesn't only curate a lineup of award-winning varietals, it also crafts custom wines to suit even the most discerning palates. Inside an eye-catching tasting room, Su Vino Winery pairs glasses and bottles of its vintages with a menu of light appetizers and sensuous desserts. Red wines such as the jam-flavored cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend and peppery zinfandel pour crimson into tasting glasses, whereas white wines—including the tongue-twisting gewürztraminer—immerse taste buds in crisp, off-dry tones. They also open their bottle-lined space to guests interested in hosting a birthday party, bridal shower, or scared-straight event for delinquent grapes.
Great-grandmas and flat-screen TVs don't have much in common. But if one were to draw a Venn diagram for the two, they would overlap with Home Movie Preservation Center. Equipped with digital tools, the center's team of video technicians rescues home footage of great-grandmas and other memories from deteriorating formats and gives it a new home on high-quality DVDs. The staff is adept at filling their DVDs with transfers from an array of media types, including photos, slides, and audiocassettes and VHS, MiniDV, 8mm, and Super 8mm film.
The Venue Scottsdale is a chameleon of a building, as ready to effortlessly host an elegant wedding reception as it is to present a comedy show or concert. The 29,000 square-foot, multi-level confines feature an indoor cobblestone courtyard and leaf-covered balconies, offering an outdoorsy ambience without the worry of inclement weather. Upstairs, a ballroom and a VIP lounge welcome private event goers, while a comedy club inspires knock-knock jokes with its own private entrance.
At Sassi, the goal is to immerse guests in an authentic Italian experience—from the moment they approach the restaurant, with its terra-cotta roof and burbling courtyard fountain, to their last bite of cannoli della casa. In between, diners are met with handmade pastas, artisanal cheeses, and cured meats, to name a few. Though many of the ingredients for these dishes are grown locally, Sassi imports its time-honored tradition of hospitality from southern Italy. This warm and welcoming atmosphere never changes, though the dinner menu tends to rotate monthly to better reflect seasonal ingredients. The same goes for the drink menu, which features cocktails mixed with local citrus fruits, and shots of vodka sauce crafted in-house. While the menu introduces guests to the tastes of Italy, the restaurant itself introduces them to the country's decor. Each separate dining space transports visitors to a different room in an Italian villa—from the wine room dining area with its earthy tones and barrel-vault ceiling, to the kitchen dining room with its rustic exposed beams and stonework walls. And Sassi’s location at the base of Pinnacle Peak means that guests can drink in views of the granite summit while they dine.
Most memories of typical photo booths involve cramming into a small box and jockeying for space on its solitary bench. Ugly Duck Photo Booths instead employs an open air format, leaving ample space for friends and family to pose for memorable shots in front of a high-resolution camera. Not only does the booth provide plenty of space, but makes the process quick and easy—all guests have to do is pile in, push a button, and wait for the countdown until showtime. Plus, a personal attendant stands by to answer any questions or assess the accuracy of Richard Nixon impersonations. A customized backdrop and front panel, as well as a panoply of wacky props—such as feather boas and uncharacteristic hats—also help add to the memorability of events. Once the camera captures poses, a digital printer returns customized 4"x6" photo strips within just 20 seconds, letting partiers quickly see whether or not they need to correct their spelling of "YMCA" for the next go-around.
Just past the vault door lies The Mint’s most valuable treasures: trays of expertly crafted cocktails and martinis. Housed in 7,000 square feet of a former bank building, The Mint nods to its previous life with money-themed drinks and rich, Asian-inspired tapas from a menu conceptualized by the restaurant's executive chef, Johnny Chu. Small plates of loganberry shrimp, wasabi sliders, and flash-fried sugar-cane pork take their place at booths cut with dark wood and cohiba marble or along seats at the main room’s 30-foot bar. Drinks include The Mint, a mélange of Grey Goose La Poire, star fruit, mint, and lemon, and Liquid Gold, which pairs a pineapple-infused vodka with Grand Marnier, amaretto, lemon, and raspberry, all heated to 1,948 degrees Fahrenheit. After fueling up with comestibles and drinks, diners can explore the patio’s cabana-style seating or take a break with some bubbly at the coed bathroom’s champagne bar.