Well Done: Valley’s New Searsucker

Restaurants in Phoenix have unique challenges. Let’s face it: we’re a seven-month city, with a significant drop in population from May through September. We tend to eat early – ever notice traffic on main streets after 9 p.m.? At most, restaurateurs hope to turn tables one to two times a night.


So, while we do have wonderful restaurants in the Phoenix metro area, it is always exciting when a new, innovative eatery arrives. The most recent is Searsucker, a 9,500-square-foot newcomer, located just west of Neiman Marcus on Camelback Road. With a theme of “the fabric of dining,” Searsucker is another supple cloth in a closet full of fine restaurants mostly in the San Diego area – Herringbone, Gabardine, Burlap and Gingham, to name a few.


The restaurant appeals to all ages. The large bar offers a clever seating area with music geared to the younger set, while acoustics in the restaurant are good and tables far apart, making conversation easy without the need to raise one’s voice. The décor is warm, yet sophisticated and chic. Woods are roughhewn, and tall ceilings with a skylight are welcome but surprising, as the restaurant is located in an office building. As you enter the dining area, a long table serves large parties and acts as a community table as well.


Lounge-style seating area adjacent to the bar



The menu is eclectic with a unique twist on American cuisine. Divided into “Bites,” “Smalls,” “Greens,” “Ocean,” Ranch,” “Farm” and “Ands,” it will require some explanation by your server – all of whom seem to be well-versed on the ingredients and presentation of each plate. The names are cute but often are a play on words, so be sure to ask if you have questions.


Searsucker Brussels Sprouts


Shrimp and Grits


For starters, the Cheddar Puffers and Olives + Garlic + Heat are wonderful with cocktails. For those who like a little more spice, the Nuts + Spice + Salt are delicious. Excellent small plates include the Shrimp “Spicy” + Bacon Grits or the Duck Fat Fries + Tomato Jam. The Tuna “Albacore” with prosciutto, basil and balsamic or the Ribeye “Tomahawk” are wonderful and ample. Other specialties include Rosemary Lemon Butter Popcorn and Bone Marrow with Fleur de Sel and Peach. Cocktails are creative and the wine list extensive. 


I was pleasantly surprised at the high level of service after only a week from opening day. There were a few spotty moments during a subsequent visit, but I was relieved to see service was back up to par during my most recent dinner.


The owner is Brian Malarkey. If the name sounds familiar, he was a semi-finalist on “Top Chef” in Season 3. He is currently a judge on the new television series “The Taste.”


Searsucker is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday. The Happy Hour begins at 5 p.m. and runs through 6:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made directly at 480-664-3777 or through OpenTable.com. Valet parking is available.


Searsucker is cosmopolitan and hip. It brings a level of sophistication and fun, and adds something new that we’ve been missing till now.



Text by Susan L. Jones, a restaurant reviewer with a sophisticated palate and a frequent restaurant diner in the Valley and around the world. As Susan comes across noteworthy dining experiences, she will share them with azredbook.com readers.



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