PHOENIX – When the Cambria hotel in the arts district of Roosevelt Row opens later this month, along with it comes a new dining option for the downtowners. The new restaurant Poppy will be open for brunch and dinner and feature a menu focused on globally inspired dishes made with locally grown ingredients.
Importing a taste of Chicago
To run the operations, the Cambria imported award winning chef Nate Cayer who also designed the menu. Previously, Cayer ran IO Godfrey, a restaurant and bar inside the Godfrey hotel in Chicago. With Cayer at the helm, IO Godfrey earned the title of “Lounge of The Year” in 2017 at the 2017 Nightclub and Bar’s national awards.
Cayer spent nearly 10 years in Chicago opening hotels and restaurants where he became globally recognized by his peers. “We were painstaking in our search for an executive chef,” said Shaun Baker, Cambria’s general manager for the downtown location, adding that “We have closely managed every last detail of the Cambria, from the local products in our lobby to the murals on the building’s exterior. But finding the right chef was one of the most important decisions we’ve made.”
What to expect on the menu
The new menu will feature with items such as; beef tartare, coffee-rubbed lamb, and grilled squash salad. “Being new to Phoenix, it’s been a pleasure meeting local vendors like our friends at The Fig and The Knife, and Beetanical Garden,” said Cayer in a press release regarding the opening. Among other local vendors that Poppy will use are Noble Bread, Chula Seafood, and Sterling Meats.
Most of the entrees on Poppy’s menu can be shared, riding off the ‘shareable small plates’ trend that has been catching wind in recent years among younger generations. Speaking on the topic, Cayers said, “I just enjoy the aspect of everyone at the table getting to eat a little of everything. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you get your entree, you’re happy, and then you see what someone else got and think, ‘Man, I should have gotten that.”
In his own words, the menu will sport a “healthy mix of rustic and modern,” adding that, he and the team, “can’t wait to get into the kitchen and serve up some incredible dishes for the neighborhood.” Other featured items on the menu according to a draft include; PEI mussels served with coconut milk, chili, lemongrass and fish sauce; and vegan enchiladas with chili-marinated local tofu, a local mushroom blend, vegan paprika cheddar, rep pepper coulis, and radish salad on the side.
Cayer, who is originally from Montreal said he is most excited to start serving Huckleberry ricotta pancakes for brunch. Along with Poppy, The Cambria will also have a rooftop bar with 360 degree views of downtown Phoenix and a specially curated cocktail menu.
When the Cambria hotel opens it will sport seven stories with 127 rooms and feature a rooftop pool and bar. The hotel was announced last year and was developed by the Phoenix based True North studio. This is the valley’s third hotel under the upscale brand name Cambria, joining Desert Ridge and Chandler Fashion Center. The hotel will be managed by Oxford Hotels & Resorts.
The Cambria opens on November 26th and is located at 222 E. Portland street in Phoenix. See their website for details regarding prices, bookings, etc.