Grand Lux Cafe, an upscale spinoff of The Cheesecake Factory, opens its first Arizona restaurant Thursday at Scottsdale Fashion Square.
Modeled after Europe’s opulent cafes, Grand Lux features marble floors and tables, rich tapestries, handblown glass fixtures and mosaics.
Like its sibling, Grand Lux offers a “global” menu with most entrees approaching $30. Appetizers include duck pot stickers, crispy Thai shrimp, buffalo chicken rolls, Asian wonton nachos and mini Kobe hot dogs.
All-American entrees include burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, seafood and steaks.
The menu also includes more exotic selections, such as crispy caramel chicken, Asian shaking beef, Wiener schnitzel and Indochine shrimp.
An on-site bakery supplies most of the desserts, but six types of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake are also available.
The first Grand Lux opened at The Venetian in Las Vegas seven years ago. Other western U.S. locations are in Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston and Denver.
Information: 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, (480) 949-7800, www.grandluxcafe.com.
BIG APPLE ANNIVERSARY
Bill Johnson’s Big Apple is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Mesa restaurant.
All month, every 30th guest will be invited to draw from a bucket of prizes, such as $30 in cash or 30 percent off their bill.
Bill Johnson’s, which launched in Phoenix in 1956, is known for its sawdust-covered floors and menu of steaks, ribs and deep-dish apple pie.
The Mesa restaurant, one of six Valley locations, opened Nov. 14, 1977.
Information: 950 E. Main St., Mesa, (480) 969-6504, www.billjohnsons.com.
ICE TANGO OPENS
I’ve never tried L.A.’s popular Pinkberry frozen yogurt, but there’s a new place in north Scottsdale dishing up something similar.
Ice Tango recently opened between Ono Hawaiian BBQ and Streets of New York on the southeast corner of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Loop 101.
Besides yogurt in six flavors — vanilla, chocolate, blueberry, strawberry, peach and “twangy” (kinda tangy-sour) — Ice Tango also sells frozen custard and dessert crepes.
Information: 15560 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale, (480) 767-3821.
FREE FOOD REMINDER
As mentioned last week, today is Free Food Day at Joe’s Farm Grill.
Joe Johnston’s Gilbert restaurant will give away cheeseburgers, fries and soft drinks to the first 2,000 or so customers.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. No other menu items will be available.
Information: 3000 E. Ray Road, Gilbert, (480) 563-4745, www.joesfarmgrill.com.