Binkley's Restaurant. This cozy, sophisticated newcomer already has a following. Chef-owner Kevin Binkley changes his ambitious American menu daily. The four- to six-course tasting menus are a great deal. $$$$; closed Mon. 6920 E. Cave Creek Rd.; 480/437-1072.
Delux. Never mind its strip-mall location: This hopping late-night spot (till 2 a.m.) makes a top-notch Niman Ranch burger. Sweet-potato fries come in a miniature shopping cart, and the 40 beers on tap hail from far-flung corners of the globe. $. 3146 E. Camelback Rd.; 602/522-2288.
Flat Iron Rotisserie & Grill. It looks like a steakhouse, only polished, with blond wood and comfy leather banquettes. Find comfort in the menu too, from giant shrimp with poblano-cheddar grits to the buffalo prime rib. $$. 3752 E. Indian School Rd.; 602/522-8500.
La Grande Orange Pizzeria. Made with a master baker's starter dough, these pizzas have crisped crusts and simple but exquisite toppings. Pair them with the Sonoma salad or first-rate Caesar and a pitcher of fruit-packed, deliciously downable sangria. $$. 4410 N. 40th St.; 602/840-7777.
Tapino Kitchen & Wine Bar. The small-plates menu (think pancetta-wrapped dates stuffed with gorgonzola) and the affordable wine list are two reasons to go. A third: recorded wine lectures in the bathrooms. $$$; closed Mon. 7000 E. Shea Blvd.; 480/991-6887.