House of Tricks is a staple in the Tempe community, and has been for almost 30 years running. Just look around their restaurant on a Thursday night. Young couples out for a date night, families with young kids, a husband surprising his wife for her 60th birthday, bustling professionals grabbing a drink after work. A diverse crowd all gather for the same thing. Great conversation in a beautiful setting over authentic cuisine. Robin Trick, President and co-owner with her husband, invited a handful of community influencers to dine with her and Chef Andrea as they revealed their new Farmers Lunch Special that launched this week, (you can watch a FB LIVE video with Chef Dre here) benefiting the #TempeMission Campaign.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a smile and a Rose cocktail. Not a bad way to start the evening.
As more writers, food bloggers, and local media poured in, we nibbled on a plate of local goodies. Schreiners sausage, Crow’s Dairy goat cheese, Queen Creek Olive Mill Olives, pichuberries, Noble bread, United Dairymen of Arizona cheese curds, and pickled asparagus.
Chef Andrea introduced herself to us as she served us a colorful plate of handmade goat cheese tortellini, roasted kuri squash, pea tendrils, and pomegranate perils. It both melted in your mouth, but also had a perfectly firm texture, as all good al dente pasta should.
Next up was our dinner course, but not before lots of great conversation between old and new friends. We discussed the history of Tricks, how it started off as a small building with only 11 tables, and where it is now, tripled in size, yet still intimate in the heart of Arizona State University’s campus. A true treasure.
For dinner I chose the Grilled Mediterranean Orata (a white fish similar to red snapper) served with pearl cous cous, english peas, and a prickly pear buerre blanc. The fish was perfectly cooked, and the buerre blanc sauce was a burst of flavor without being overpowering.
My fellow dinner mate let me snap a quick shot of her Almond Crusted Rack of Lamb so that I could share it with you all. Served alongside fava bean cakes, tomato greek yogurt, and mint-cilantro chimichurri, everyone kept raving about this dish.
Last but certainly not least was dessert (obvi). But this was no ordinary dessert. This salted caramel apple bread pudding with cinnamon whipped cream was many things. It was a hearty portion (big enough for at least 2, maybe 3 people to share). It was firm, but not dry. It was moist (sorry), but not soggy. And it was sweet without being overly sweet. Quite possibly the best bread pudding I have ever had.
So be sure to check out House of Tricks, whether it is your first time, or your 10th time. As you are sure to have a unique dining experience each and every time.