By Molly Cerreta Smith
Rocky Point is one of my favorite getaways. The beautiful beaches, relaxed atmosphere and authentic fresh food are all highlights of each trip my family and I take to this South of the Border treasure. But now, there is a little bit of Rocky Point right here in Phoenix. Opened in early 2020, 17,000-square-feet of Rocky Point flair now resides on High Street — offering nearby residents all the food, fun and relaxation that a quick jaunt down to Puerto Peñasco can.
Rocky Point Restaurant and Bar’s Frank Morales says the north Phoenix area is the perfect location for this new concept that aims to bring a little of the owners’ hometown of Rocky Point to the Valley of the Sun. The restaurant features a comfortable patio along the side and will be adding another to the front, dining room seating and bar seating. There is a game area with video games and pool table, which will soon be accompanied by more table games as well as a couch in front of a cozy fireplace. The white bulb lighting strung overhead gives this area the feel of the outdoors brought inside.
Sliding barn doors separate the main dining area from what the owners have designated as the Barcelona Event Center. Fully equipped with a stage, lighting and equipment to host an upscale and all-out event, the Barcelona Event Center can be reserved for private events and parties including baby showers, engagement parties, bachelor/bachelorette bashes, quinceañeras and more.
Speaking of parties, Rocky Point Restaurant and Bar wouldn’t be living up to its name if it didn’t bring the level of nightlife, fun and entertainment that its south of the border namesake is known for. Open from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily, the fun really begins after dark. During Barcelona Nights, DJs spin salsa, bachata, and cumbia all night long and the huge dance floor is open for guests to shake their money makers. There is always something happening here including complementary salsa lessons, live salsa bands, live orchestra and more. For special events such as fight nights and more, Rocky Point Restaurant and Bar hosts watch parties as well.
But long before the sun goes down, Rocky Point Restaurant and Bar has something for the day drinking crowd. Happy hour is offered daily from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The full bar features an extensive whiskey selection of more than 150 types — some that are very hard to find in Arizona — as well as a wide variety of sakes to accompany the fresh sushi menu (don’t worry, we’ll get to that…), 20 beers on tap (including locals like Huss Scottsdale Blonde, Papago Orange Blossom – a personal favorite – Four Peaks Kilt Lifter and Uncle Bear’s) as well as bottled selections and wine.
While Rocky Point Restaurant and Bar is certainly the place to enjoy some entertainment for a date night, group night out or a happy hour, it’s also designed to offer something for everyone in the neighborhood, and that includes families.
As a family-owned restaurant, Frank and his wife Allie want everyone to feel welcomed here. Despite the upscale environment, the restaurant is unpretentious and affordable to everyone. “We’re here to take care of the neighborhood,” says Morales of their guests. While the atmosphere is draped in luxury, he wants guests to come in and feel at home. Part of that experience begins in the kitchen. Everything that is served is fresh and scratch-made. Featuring an extensive menu of not only Mexican but also Italian cuisine and even sushi, Rocky Point has it all. Morales says, “We want people to come in and taste for themselves the difference in our fresh and scratch made cooking.”
Typical of a restaurant named after Rocky Point, a huge selection of tacos, quesadillas, burritos and chimichangas are on the menu. In addition to flour tortillas, the restaurant also features homemade spinach tortillas for a specialty option (at no additional charge), and proteins to be added go far beyond steak carne asada, shredded chicken or shredded beef, including smoked brisket, meatless Italian sausage, buffalo chicken, shrimp and more.
Burgers, Sandwiches, Pitas and Bowls such Shrimp Teriyaki and Orange Chicken also grace the menu and include some elevated selections such as the House Special Kabab Burger featuring a fresh-made kabob patty dipped in house special sauce, lettuce, tomato cucumber and tzatziki drizzle; Chicken Bacon Avocado Sandwich and the Chicken Gyro. Specialty dishes include Butter Maple Glazed Salmon; Sizzling Fajitas; the Seafood Tower and Slow-Cooked Ribs.
Now transporting from Mexico and over to Italy, Rocky Point Restaurant and Bar covers the gamut of Italian pasta dishes and pizza. Chicken or Shrimp Fettucine; Southwest Shrimp Pesto Spaghetti; a variety of raviolis such as Maine Lobster, Beef, Wild Mushroom or Roasted Eggplant are available as well as specialty pizzas. If customers don’t see what they like – they can customize their own pizza with a variety of toppings.
Remember when I mentioned the sake? Something diners might not expect from a Mexican restaurant is the vast selection of fresh-made sushi rolls – including some Mexican-Fusion selections. There are also plenty of options for the vegetarian crowd or those that prefer to go “meatless” on occasion. I could go on and on because I haven’t even covered the appetizers or desserts options yet, but what Morales really wants is for people to come in and see for themselves.
Located at 5310 E. High Street, #100, Rocky Point Restaurant and Bar is conveniently located near the four-story parking garage so finding a spot even on a busy night is never an issue. Their Facebook page is always being updated with events so those looking for what do to on a night out can check out Facebook.com/rockypointrestaurantandbar for specials and up to the minute happenings.