Thursday, July 22, 2010

St. Francis' “FREE” Summer Happy Hour

A celebration of sustenance may best describe St. Francis, a restaurant transformed with a comfortably modern and rustic sensibility that echoes the honest, spontaneous “wood fired cuisine. The name “St. Francis” was derived from the neighborhood land deed that dates back to 1936. It was originally owned by the Brophy family. In addition, the name “St Francis” is Spanish for San Francisco, a city that figured largely in Chef Aaron Chamberlin’s background. The heart and soul of the restaurant is a massive hand-crafted wood-fire brick oven that is used for roasting meats, fish, vegetables, and even breads.

Designed by Wendell Burnette Architects, the space is modern and warm, with openness and ease that invites relaxation and lingering. The first floor is a very simple dining experience with lager pivot doors to the outside patio. The mezzanine dining level is more refined with views of the bar and Piestewa Peak. Outdoor patios, with lush landscaping, provide a perfect spot for neighborly
conversation. The façade was designed to maximize as much indoor/outdoor interaction as possible with windows that will keep St. Francis awash in natural light. Distinctive spaces include a pop out bay window where diners have an uncensored glimpse of the
kitchen and the wood fired oven and a bay that contains a large glass roll up door with an indoor/outdoor bar. To encourage integration into the community, the design maintains an open dialogue between the interior and exterior. Adding to the St. Francis’rustic charm are original brick walls and polished concrete floors with cork floors upstairs. Organic materials such as wood and brick, rather than a sea of metal, imbue the space with warmth. The contemporary elements of the restaurant’s design provide
its “wow” factor – dramatic sails shade pathways and a support system of cable and pin settings, which eliminate support columns, create a truly unique architectural feature and flow. This installation of form and function provides support for the upper story revealing the open ceiling. Giving the space movement and liveliness is a welcoming bar—a place to gather for a quick drink or linger or a hearty meal. In lovely complement to the design of St. Francis, Chef Chamberlin chose gently used place settings, silverware, chairs, tables and even pots and pans to lend charm and a certain kismet to St. Francis. But without doubt the heart and soul of the restaurant is a massive hand-crafted wood-fire brick oven. This one-of-a-kind chamber oven was inspired by a similar oven used in Napa Valley.

The popular uptown Phoenix restaurant has a new summer special and mid-day menu beginning in July offering FREE bar snacks including Flatbreads, Mesquite Roasted Almonds, House-made Potato Chips and Marinated Olives from 2:30p.m. to 6:00p.m.and $3 draught beer, $5 specialty cocktails and $10 carafe wine specials.
In addition, Executive Chef, Aaron Chamberlin has created a “mid-day” menu offered until 5:00p.m. with specialty cuisine including:
  • Tomato Soup- with eggplant, caponata and mint ($6)
  • Potatoes- crispy fingerlings with rosemary, sage and lemon aioli ($6)
  • Baked Goat Cheese- with walnut herb pesto, tomato and toasted crostini ($9)
  • Chopped Romaine- with summer vegetables, smoked bacon, buttermilk cheddar dressing (half $5/full $10)
  • Chicken salad- with zatar spice, currants, pine nuts, flatbread ($14)
  • Pork Chile Verde- with jack cheese and home-made cornbread ($12)
  • French Onion Burger- with smoked bacon, gruyere cheese, crispy onions ($13)
Even the desserts are energy enhancers to beat-the-slump:
  • Chocolate cake with peanut butter gelato, caramel sauce, homemade caramel corn ($7)
  • Sticky toffee pudding, sweet cream gelato ($7)

111 E. Camelback Rd. in Phoenix  
  For information call 602.200.8111

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