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On Wednesday, March 9, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown unveiled the highly-anticipated Carcara restaurant as one of the final phases of a property-wide renovation under Sheraton brand’s new vision.
Led by Executive Chef Chaz Frankenfield and influenced by the rich traditions of the Southwest, Carcara is the newest addition to downtown Phoenix’s bustling culinary scene.
Executive Chef Chaz Frankenfield
Located in the newly reimagined Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, Carcara welcomes guests to immerse themselves in the destination with a modern design incorporating lush greenery and warm, earth tones along with an expansive 14-foot tree in the center of the dining room. Outside, the perimeter of the patio is lined with Cara Cara orange trees, the inspiration and namesake for the restaurant. A Sonoran-inspired menu uses locally sourced ingredients to commemorate the heritage and history of the local Phoenix community.
“Carcara is an impressive addition to the ever expanding downtown Phoenix culinary scene, honoring the Sheraton brand’s community-forward ethos and celebrating the local community through design and thoughtfully-sourced, seasonally inspired cuisine,” said Chef Frankenfield. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the city’s resurgence, and we look forward to delighting visitors and locals with an unforgettable dining experience.”
Culinary Journey Celebrating Phoenix’s Cultural Heritage
When curating the menu, Chef Frankenfield and Carcara’s Chef de Cuisine Angy Dykstra were inspired by the five C's of Arizona: cattle, citrus, copper, cotton and climate. The five C's served as an important role in Arizona’s economy early on and continue to play a strong cultural role in the community today. Carcara’s menu changes seasonally and utilizes locally-sourced ingredients, influenced by the rich traditions of the Southwest, including Native American and Sonoran-inspired dishes. Menu highlights include light bites and dips, flavorful salads and soups, colorful sides, and decadent main dishes. To start, guests can enjoy candied prickly pear ribs served with jalapeño slaw; Baja shrimp ceviche dressed with cucumber, orange, serrano peppers, tomato, and cilantro sourced from Stern Produce; and crispy eggplant taco with Crow’s Dairy goat cheese, citrus ratatouille, and shaved jicama. Standout entrees include prosciutto wrapped seared sea scallops served alongside Ramona Farms red corn polenta, wilted spinach, and nectarine butter or beef ribeye with roasted fingerling potatoes, jalapeño cilantro chimichurri, fried garlic, and lemon broccoli.
Cocktails and bites at Carcara
Beverage Program Influenced by Citrus and Seasonal Flavors
Carcara’s beverage program, developed by Director of Restaurants Lenny Skorcz, highlights cocktails with a heavy citrus influence, hand-crafted syrups, and fresh, seasonal flavors. Inspired by well-known hiking trails throughout the state of Arizona, signature cocktails include the Devil’s Bridge featuring pink dragon fruit infused rum, stone fruit syrup, pineapple juice, lime, lemon, and orange bitters, along with Cathedral Rock made with Cruzan rum Del Maguey Mezcal, Blue Curacao, chipotle pineapple syrup, lime, and pineapple. Carcara also offers its own signature canned cocktail, produced in-house, with Grey Goose Vodka, Martini Rossi Fiero Aperitivo, martini bitter, Valencia Cara Cara, Tarocco blood orange, saline and tiki bitters. The beer menu showcases local Phoenix breweries - many of which are within walking distance of Sheraton Phoenix Downtown - including Huss Brewing Co, Phoenix Beer Company, American Wilderness Brewing Company and Greenwood Brewing.
Designed by New York-based Celano Design Studio, Carcara is inspired by the region’s cotton fields and citrus groves, honoring the rich agricultural history of the Phoenix area with simple comforts and refined details. The space expands 7,000 square feet and can seat up to 276 guests, featuring a central bar, indoor lounge, main dining area, three individually-designed private dining rooms for groups and intimate events, and The Grove, an outdoor lounge and dining area with a traditional fireplace and two fire pits.
The space features lush greenery both in a mix of clay pots and from a large hanging wood planter suspended from the ceiling, marble pavers in a variety of colors and shapes, and ochre and sunbaked gold tones throughout. Drawing on nature, a central focal point of the space is a 14-foot-tall Chestnut Oak tree growing through the wood trellis in the center of the dining room. This custom tree has a 21-foot diameter canopy and collection of glass and metal lanterns hanging within the branches to add a soft glow.
Carcara is located on the Southeast corner of Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, accessible through the ground floor lobby of the hotel as well as the 3rd Street entrance. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Thursday from 3:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. on weeknights and 10:00 p.m. on weekends for dinner and cocktails. For reservations, please visit OpenTable, carcararestaurant.com, or call (602) 817-5400.
About Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, a contemporary destination located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, is the largest hotel in Arizona. Featuring the new vision of the reinvented Sheraton brand experience, Sheraton’s design approach embraces community-fluid spaces that feel warm and inviting for both locals and visitors. The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown renovation includes completely revamped guest rooms, new food and beverage and programming, and a social lobby, home to the property's Club lounge. One of Phoenix, Ariz.'s premier convention hotels, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown houses more than 110,000 square feet of versatile space with the latest audiovisual technology, as well as on-site planning and catering. Modern lodging and a superb location in Downtown Phoenix, the hotel is near the Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix Suns Arena, Arizona State University, the Encanto Historic District, and Chase Field, and just 5 miles (ten minutes) from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and Scottsdale Airport (SCF).
About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc., makes it easy for guests to feel part of something special at over 440 hotels in 70+ countries and territories around the world. As the most global brand within Marriott International’s portfolio sitting at the center of hundreds of communities around the world, Sheraton has a rich heritage in creating a sense of belonging for guests, wherever they are in the world. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is currently undergoing a major brand transformation at properties around the world to bring its signature community experience up-to-date for the next generation of travelers. The new vision for Sheraton features intuitive design, tech-forward experiences and upgrades to everything from guest rooms to F&B. To learn more, visit www.sheraton.com. Stay connected to Sheraton on Facebook, and @sheratonhotels on Twitter and Instagram. Sheraton is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy™, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com.
We have located five warming cocktails all served locally to help get you get through the tail end of winter! There's still time to cozy up with a cocktail from one of these Nashville hotspots.
Here are our five favorites:
- Known for their CBD-centric beverages, and delicious soul food, Anzie Blue has a full bar with cocktails that don't disappoint. Stop by for all day brunch and order a Cold Brew Martini.
- Hours: 8AM - 6PM Daily
- Flatiron is a lively neighborhood spot in Midtown with a menu full of American staples, as well as dishes for the adventurous eater. The cocktail menu was just updated for fall, and the Harvest Margarita is a must-try for any tequila lover.
- Ingredients: Tequila, cranberry, cinnamon, orange bitters
- Hours: Monday-Friday 4PM - 10PM, Saturday 10AM - 10PM, Sunday 10AM - 9PM.
- Tucked away inside of Dream Nashville, Stateside Kitchen showcases seasonal cuisine and cocktails. Offering brunch, lunch and dinner, this brasserie has a wide range of seasonal cocktails including the Tequila Mockingbird.
- Ingredients: Patron, Cassis, Crème de Cacao, citrus, egg white
- Hours: Monday-Thursday 11AM - 9PM, Friday-Sunday 10AM - 10PM
- Located in the Gulch, Nashville's trendiest steakhouse, has way more to offer than just delicious steaks. STK has a full cocktail menu of seasonal drinks including the Pumpkin Spiced Old Fashioned.
- Ingredients: Woodford Reserve, fresh pumpkin, pumpkin pie syrup, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, black walnut bitters, star anise, brown sugar rim
- Hours: Sunday-Thursday 3PM - 11PM, Friday-Saturday 3PM - 12AM, Saturday-Sunday Brunch 10AM - 3PM
- Legendary live music venue, The Listening Room is conveniently located near downtown. Book yourself a table and sip on a craft cocktail like Kentucky Bloom, while enjoying music from some of Nashville's rising stars.
- Ingredients: Bourbon, Cadamaro, citrus shrub, Peychaud's bitters
- Hours: Brunch- Saturday 10AM - 3PM, Dinner - Monday-Saturday 4PM - 11PM
Punch up your at-home TGIF game with these 12 craft cocktail recipes, including new-release liquors and wines, and artisan mixers, that’ll have you and your guests giving your favorite bar some stay-at-home competition, until you can venture out and support them again.
1. The Wall Street
Created by BLISS/ReBAR
1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
1/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth
4 shakes of walnut bitters
1 drop smoked tobacco elixir
Garnish with orange peel (zest), a small rosemary stem and a maraschino cherry (optional). Pour over ice and served in a tumbler.
2. Winter in Pear-is
Created by 5Church Atlanta
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce allspice simple syrup
3/4 ounce St. George Spiced Pear liqueur
3/4 ounce lemon juice
4 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake, strain, and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with a pear slice.
3. Hot Rocket
4 ounces Rocket vodka
8 ounces apple cider or unfiltered juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Add vodka to hot cider or unfiltered juice. Stir in teaspoon of maple syrup. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.
4. Frozen Persimmon Margarita
From The Wildcrafted Cocktail by Ellen Zachos
2 ounces smooth persimmon purée
1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
1 lime wedge, for garnish
Combine the persimmon purée, tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice cubes in a blender. Blend until the texture is thick and smooth. Pour and enjoy.
5. Ode to Whisky [Sour]
Created by NYC mixologist Andrey Kalinin
2 ounces Laphroaig Select Scotch Whisky
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce heather honey syrup
3 dashes cardamom bitters
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake (if using egg white). Add ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a coupe or martini glass, served up. Garnish with cardamom flakes.
6. Holiday Road Punch
15 ounce pomegranate green tea liqueur with Everclear (recipe at makeityourown.com)
5 ounces vodka
5 ounces white rum
10 ounces lime juice
10 ounces champagne
Combine all ingredients except champagne in a pitcher or punch bowl. Mix and chill in refrigerator eight hours or more (overnight works best). Just before serving, add chilled champagne and stir carefully. Add ice, along with 10 lime wheels. Serve in punch glasses, ice optional. Garnish with lime wheel.
7. Chocolate Martini
Created by Mastro’s Steakhouse NYC
1 1/2 ounces Three Olives Cake vodka
1 1/2 ounces Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
1 1/2 ounces Chopin Dorda Double Chocolate liqueur
Splash of whipped cream
Chocolate-covered strawberry for garnish
Build ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into martini glass. Garnish with chocolate-covered strawberry.
8. Autumnal Rum
Created by The Honeywell in West Harlem NYC
3 slices Fuji apples
2 ounces Plantation 3 Stars rum
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
1/4 ounce Suze Gentian liqueur
Muddle three slices of apples in a shaker. Put remaining ingredients into shaker in this order: Lime juice, simple syrup, Suze Gentian liqueur, Plantation 3 Stars rum. Shake and strain into martini glass. Dip apple slices into agave then dip into cinnamon sugar. Garnish with cinnamon sugar apples.
9. Matcha Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 ounces Baileys Original
1 1/2 teaspoons matcha powder
1/2 cup hot soy milk
1 ounce white chocolate chips
In a saucepan, combine Baileys Original, match powder, hot soy milk, and white chocolate chips. Pour into a copper mug. Top with whipped cream and a tall skewer of pink mochi balls painted with glittery luster dust.
10. Jingle Juice
1 1/2 ounces Port Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky
1 ounce cranberry sage simple syrup*
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau
Fresh red cranberries
Combine first five ingredients into shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until shaker is completely frosted. Pour into a sugar-rimmed glass and top with two dashes of orange bitters. Stir and garnish with red cranberries.
*Recipe for cranberry sage simple syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh whole red cranberries
4 cinnamon sticks
10 fresh sage leaves.
Combine water and sugar in medium saucepan. Reduce over medium heat. Add cranberries, cinnamon sticks and sage leaves. Bring ingredients to a boil, then remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Muddle then strain syrup. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks. Yields 1 1/4 cups.
11. Frísco Hot Toddy
2 ounces Frísco
1 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoons lemon juice
4 ounces hot water
Combine ingredients in your favorite mug. Stir until honey is dissolved. Get cozy.
12. Countdown to Cuvée
4 ounces Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée
1/2 ounce honey-flavored whisky liqueur
Cut a long and wide strip of lemon peel. Dip both sides of the lemon peel into sugar. Place sugared lemon peel inside champagne flute, circling the inside rim.
Pour chilled honey whisky liqueur and Bubbly Brut Cuvée into the flute through the center of the sugared lemon peel.
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is thrilled to announce the debut of Tía Carmen, a new dining destination led by renowned Chef Angelo Sosa along with seasoned restaurant operator Mark Stone set to open in early April 2022.
Tía Carmen, named after chef Sosa’s aunt, celebrates the local landscape, farmers, and community of the Southwest while reflecting a mix of tradition and modernity with bold, elemental cooking and a diverse beverage program.
A protégé of Jean-George Vongerichten, Chef Sosa is known for his work alongside the most pedigreed restaurateurs, including Alain Ducasse, Stephen Starr, and Masaharu Morimoto. He is widely recognized for appearing on several television shows such as Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’ for three seasons and HBO Max’s Selena + Chef. As the founding chef and partner in the Michelin-recommended Mexican hotspot, Añejo Restaurant in New York City, Chef Sosa is inspired by his Latin heritage and the diverse techniques from his mentors throughout his remarkable career.
“Throughout my life, my Tía Carmen instilled in me a passion and love for cooking, teaching me the impact and the power that food can have when made from a place of pure love,” said Chef Sosa. “The discovery of traveling through the Southwest gave me the opportunity to explore the region through the lens of ranchers, potters, farmers, and artisans. I have always had a deep fascination and appreciation for Southwestern food traditions. It has been an honor and privilege to be able to contribute to this beautiful and rich culinary narrative.”
Lamb ragu with mesquite noodles
Open for dinner, the menu will feature flavors imbued from a wood-fired grill highlighting the beauty and ingredients of the region. The menu is divided into three sections: light + fresh, maize + harina, and charcoal + wood + fire. Chef Sosa’s signature dishes at Tiá Carmen include Tuna Crudo with chilled corn coconut broth accented with jicama and garnished with dill; Southwestern style tri-tip kebabs garnished with Thai Basil, cilantro, pickles, and serrano chilis; Lamb Ragu with mesquite noodles; and Tía Carmen’s Chicken Guisado, a stew made with succulent pieces of thigh meat and seasoned with a mélange of cumin, annatto, arbol, and oregano.
Tuna crudo with chilled broth
Chef Sosa tapped long-time partner and restaurant operator Stone to help bring his vision for Tía Carmen to life, making this their first restaurant in Arizona. They are collaborating with a variety of Arizona-based purveyors, including Hypha Foods, the lead producer of foraged mushrooms; Ramona Farms, where he sources the iconic Tepary beans; and Arizona Grass Raised Beef and Top Knot Farms for responsibly raised meats. Additionally, Phoenix-based Blue Door Ceramics designed an exclusive collection of plateware in collaboration with Chef Sosa to showcase a bold, beautiful Southwestern tablescape.
To complement the Tía Carmen menu, Mitchel O. Bushell (formerly of Gwen, Gran Blanco and Accomplice) created a cocktail program focusing on local herbs and spices alongside local producers of small and large batched spirits such as Arizona’s own spirits Whiskey Del Bac and a broad program of artisanal agave spirits. Eduardo Dingler (formerly of Morimoto Restaurant Group) specially curated the wine program, which leans heavily on representation from Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe as well as wines from the West Coast and emerging European producers.
Designed in collaboration with Thomas Schoos of Los Angeles-based hospitality design firm Schoos Design, guests can expect an ‘Earth meets Art’ theme when entering Tía Carmen. The 130-seat restaurant represents a clean, warm palette of sophisticated natural simplicity that was developed to harmonize with Chef Sosa’s inspiration, his ‘Tía Carmen’, a woman of passion, love, and humility. Her presence permeates the design with the use of soft curves and arches hugging the space and the organic natural forms of the local landscape, capturing the essence of the rolling desert rock formations and calming hues, which can be seen throughout the space. Handmade plaster light fixture clusters continue to soften the space with organic spherical shapes, allowing light to wash through the space with effortless ease.
Oversized natural woven dome fixtures hang over the bar area and highlight the plush, inviting lounge seating. With an array of cozy dining nooks to discover the rich flavors of Chef Sosa’s inspiring cuisine, several items are cooked on an impressive wood-fire grill as a centerpiece of the restaurant. The captivating exterior boasts a natural desert landscape, an open adobe-style fireplace, and native Southwestern Pueblo-style architectural Latilla structures.
For more information about Tía Carmen, please visit @TiaCarmen.PHX on Instagram.