To whet palates this summer, the Thirsty Lion Garstropub & Grill in Tempe and Scottsdale has introduced a limited-time menu featuring fresh seasonal ingredients, and the food is just as vibrant to look at as it is to taste. I headed to the restaurant to try their summer menu and left feeling full and satisfied, with happy taste buds.
My pal and I noshed on tempura fried green beans to start ($6.95) which came with a sambal chili lime dipping sauce I absolutely loved. I gobbled up every last green bean, which was thickly battered but not overly greasy. I appreciated that the appetizer did have a healthy component to it in the green beans, and they were absolutely addictive – I could have kept eating them!
I got the fresh heirloom tomato caprese salad ($9.95) for my meal, which came with a side of spring greens topped with a white balsamic vinaigrette. The tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil were covered in sea salt and a maple balsamic glaze, and I loved this caprese for the thickness of the tomatoes. Everything tasted so fresh, and the glaze to veggie/cheese ratio was appropriate.
My friend got the smoked chicken and pesto pizza ($14.95), a huge portion that is perfect for two people, especially if you’re getting an appetizer first. She loved the addition of Kalamata olives on the pie, which also included spinach basil pesto, house smoked chicken, chili flakes, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, a four-cheese blend and arugula. She liked the thick crust on the edge, which made it easy to hold, while the thin crust throughout the rest let the toppings shine.
Other entrees on the summer menu include mesquite smoked St. Louis ribs ($20.95), seared Atlantic sea scallops ($19.95), grilled wild Northwest salmon ($24.95) and grilled romaine and steak salad ($14.95).
The seasonal cocktails looked mighty tasty and include fresh fruit sangria made with brandy and triple sec, and a raspberry mint mule-jito, made with fresh raspberries muddled with mint, lemon and lime, Bacardi Rum, Malibu rum, simple syrup and Reed’s Ginger Beer. I didn’t try a cocktail on my lunch break this time, but the drink looked beautiful and seems to be strong, judging by the ingredients.
For dessert, satiate your fresh fruit fix with a strawberry rhubarb and white chocolate cheesecake slice ($6.95), made with fresh whipped cream, strawberry rhubarb puree and fresh sliced strawberries in a chocolate-hazelnut crust. Our meals left us stuffed, so save room for this decadent dessert if you’re into those flavors.
The summer menu is available through mid-September, and you can find more information here.