St. Francis is what I think of when people ask me about a chic neighborhood restaurant with fantastic food and cocktails. With Chef Aaron Chamberlin at the helm of the kitchen and mixologist Titus Fauntleroy behind the bar, their creative taste buds make for inspiring seasonal menu combinations.
I was recently invited to sample their Summer Cocktail Menu and I quickly realized what I have been missing this whole summer. Titus incorporates some of the most exotic liquors and liqueurs in his drinks—many of which I have never heard of but immediately made it onto my next Total Wine shopping list (here’s to hoping they carry these exclusive liquors). To start off, Titus made me “skinny” margarita of sorts (let’s call it an amuse-booze). Now, you won’t find a single drop of sweet and sour or sugar-filled pre-mixes in the Cactus Margarita. It is a mix of Pueblo Viejo tequila, agave nectar, lime and sprinkled with cayenne pepper and served on the rocks. But the star of this drink is the Chareau Aloe Vera Liquer that adds hints of aloe vera, cucumber, and spearmint to this unique margarita.
Then my Melon Salad arrived. THIS. MELON. SALAD. There are no words. So what to pair with such an incredible salad? How about the refreshing Simple Thymes? Shaken with a thyme simple syrup and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, it was a perfect blend of citrus and herbal for the aromatic Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka from Poland that highlights this cocktail.
My closest friends know that I am a fan of bourbons and Negronis so it was no surprise that I was so drawn to The Dean. A blend of bourbon and Campari, this is a gentleman’s cocktail with a light touch of Giffard Vanille de Madagascar Liqueur and fresh citrus. Pairing it with the Mussels & Chorizo appetizer provided a beautiful balance between the sweetness and bitterness from the Campari with the spicy, garlicky flavors of the chorizo broth! Don’t forget to sop up the broth with St. Francis’ house-baked rustic bread.
Although our Phoenix summers seem endless, this summer menu unfortunately is not. There are only a few weeks left to make it in to try one or all of Titus’ summer concoctions until the fall menu will be introduced. So head on over to this Camelback Corridor establishment for lunch, dinner, happy hour, or brunch. For menus and hours, please visit their website: http://www.stfrancisaz.com
St. Francis Restaurant
111 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85012