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’Tis the Season to Dine Out!

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As we head into our second East Valley Magazine Readers’ Choice Restaurant Awards, one thing we’ve noticed is that it gets people dishing. This year was no different. Our team just finished tabulating the hundreds of votes, and it’s left us all extremely hungry. There are some perennial reader favorites that include Vintage 95 Wine Bar, Pho Van, and Joe’s Real BBQ. But this year, we also saw a number of newcomers to the list: Earnest, The Original ChopShop, and a place we’ve never heard of, Beaver Choice. We’re looking forward to trying these new reader selections. Check out the restaurants that your neighbors are drooling over and let us know what you think.

Next, we accelerate over to the cover story on one of our favorite yearly events, the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, in its 44th year. The auction takes place Jan. 10–18, 2015, and is set to once again break records. As one of the Valley’s signature events, it has a significant impact on our local economy. Check out what’s in store for this year’s auction (hint: it’s going to feature one of the most renowned auto collections ever to hit the auction block) starting on page 30.

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Don’t think we forgot about the holidays, which seemed to arrive even sooner than usual this year. In this day and age, with Christmas decorations popping up as early as September in some stores, there’s no way the holidays can just creep up on you anymore. So, after you’re done checking off the big-ticket items on your gift-giving list, head to page 48 for some uncommonly cool presents for stockings, office-exchange gift parties, and all those cousins you probably need to placate––after all, a gift card can be so impersonal.

Of course, the holidays seem so empty without a touch of festive flair. Party planner extraordinaire Jamila Watson has you covered there. Check out her column for tips on how to create a magical holiday spectacle. Meanwhile, young culinary gun and rising star Chef Matthew Grunwald offers entertaining backup as he divulges his top gourmet secret weapons on page 74. Craft mom Shannon Fisher is also aboard with inventive ideas to preserve your seasonal memories.

Here’s hoping it’s your best holiday season and New Year yet!

Cheers!

Adam & Matthew Toren

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