By Patty Talahongva
It has been a busy nine months since opening day for Stock and Stable, 5538 N. 7th St., and Chef Joe Absolar continues to tweak his menu and keep an eye out on customer favorites.
Absolar works for Les and Diane Corieri, the owners of Evening Entertainment Group, which has several nightclubs in Scottsdale and Chicago. Absolar has worked at other local restaurants such as The Parlor and Clever Koi. Now he’s working on making Stock and Stable another neighborhood favorite. As an added bonus for Absolar, he lives in the area and enjoys the neighborhood.
He grew up in Spokane, Wash., in a family that loved to cook. His mother and grandmother are both great cooks and he was right there beside them, cooking up a storm. “I was the kid blanching the asparagus,” he laughs.
Still, what brought him to Arizona was a job in construction. When he ended up with an injury, he decided to go to culinary school. Both jobs are physically demanding in different ways and Absolar thrived in the kitchen.
He helped create Stock and Stable with the Corieris as well as the hidden gem upstairs called “Honor Amongst Thieves Cocktail Lounge.” It’s a lounge that opens at 6 p.m. daily and has a total throwback to the ’60s feel. If you dine at Stock and Stable you can move your after-dinner drinks upstairs. It’s a walk that will take you through the kitchen and up a dark staircase into a most surprising room filled with low tables and lounge chairs.
Of course, you can also just go there and enjoy cocktails and a charcuterie platter; the regular menu is not served in the lounge.
Downstairs, customers can work and eat during lunchtime at the bar. Electric outlets to charge phones and laptops are positioned under the counter and free Wi-Fi also is available. Each section of the restaurant and lounge upstairs are available for rent for private parties. There is a food and drink minimum as well.
The menu bends towards Italian but also offers Philly cheese steaks in the form of egg rolls. The menu changes frequently with specials, but also with what fresh ingredients are available—thus, the popular Kung Pao cauliflower.
Brunch on weekends runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and offers everything from biscuits and gravy, French toast sticks and eggs benedict, to salads and sandwiches such as the cubano and the crispy chicken. Also featured is the stumptown cold brew coffee and, of course, bloody marys and salty dogs.
Lunch is served weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can order one of six shared plates; try items like frutti di mare—a combination of calamari, shrimp and clams in a citrus sauce—or mac and cheese.
There are five salads on the menu and six sandwiches including one called “no baloney,” which features mortadella, Muenster, tomato, onion, pepperoncini, herb aioli and maple mustard.
Dinner items include shared plates, salads and at least 10 main items, including a beer butt chicken, marinated in beer and preserved citrus and herbs and then roasted. You can also select from seafood, pork or a New York or ribeye steak. An average ticket for two is $60 to $70 with one cocktail.
“I think there’s a little bit of everything for everyone,” Absolar says. “You can be adventurous or … ” he trails off then says, “normal,” and laughs again.
It seems to be working. “We’re starting to get a lot of regulars,” he points out. Absolar offers a special feature every weekend, such as the fried chicken Friday. And Stock and Stable does have a kid’s menu featuring chicken fingers, grilled cheese or a cheeseburger.
“I really want this restaurant to be an institution in the neighborhood,” Absolar says. He jumps into the action on a regular basis. “I’m back there every weekend, prepping, working a station. I love cooking,” he says simply.
Check the restaurant’s social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Fridays and Saturdays for specials running each day. Call 602-313-1001 for more information and to make reservations.