Posted by: Patrick
February 28, 2013
I called my dad on my way home from work the other day to see if he watched a movie I bought for him. I consider my father to be older than the Earth itself, so I’ve decided that it’s my responsibility as his firstborn and namesake to try and keep him hip and cool. Movies are something we have differing opinions on. What I like, he hates and vice versa. But the one thing we both have the same exact taste in is food. We both love the same restaurants and for the most part, the same dishes at each. Once we both find a place we like to eat, we become very loyal customers, regardless of how far away it is.
When my parents came to Arizona about year ago, they happened to stay at Phoenix Marriott Tempe at the Buttes. It’s here where you’ll find one of the best restaurants in the valley, Top of the Rock. Did you know that Top of the Rock was just mentioned in an article about the 25 most romantic cities to dine in by the Huffington Post? If you’ve been there, it’s easy to see why. The view the restaurant offers of the valley is incredible and the food is just as good.
The man responsible for creating these mouthwatering dishes is Executive Chef Gregory Wiener. I had the opportunity to speak with him a few times and he’s the nicest guy in Arizona. He’s originally from Chippewa Falls, WI, where he grew up helping his family, who owned and operated a small restaurant. Safe to say he was born to cook. At 15, he started cooking and knew that was what he wanted to do with his life. He’s worked for Marriott Corp. in a variety of cooking roles, here and in California.
Top of the Rock supports local farmers so he visits a lot of farmer’s markets, looking at ingredients that are in season. Gregory says that the food “talks to him”, so he keeps his dishes simple and highlights an ingredient. With spring training here for the next month, he has a game day happy hour at the restaurant. He loves the idea of finger foods, so they’ll be showcasing hot dog sliders — mini hot dogs and a variety of toppings.
Why is he a chef? The answer is simple – he likes to cook for other people. “I will seldom just cook for me,” he said.
Chef Gregory also wanted me to know that Top of the Rock is not just great views and great food. They are also active in community involvement. Every month, they choose a local charity and they create a prix fixe charity of the month menu. Part of the proceeds from that menu goes to the chosen charity. “We try to get out in the community and do as much local work as we can,” he said.
Whether it’s for dinner or happy hour, Chef Gregory and his Top of the Rock cuisine is a view that isn’t worth missing. For more information, visit the Top of the Rock online or call 602-225-9000.
For more information about Tempe restaurants, visit TempeTourism.com or call 800-283-6734.