In September, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown will unveil the new Carcara restaurant as one of the final stages of an extensive top-to-bottom renovation, according to a press release.
After closing in March 2020 due to the pandemic, the Sheraton took advantage of the downtime to speed up renovations, which were already underway. The newly-reimagined hotel reopened to the public in May 2021 with a community-focused lobby, refreshed guest rooms, and an $850,000 makeover to the fitness center. Carcara is the latest addition to the hotel’s transformation, part of a global rebrand for Sheraton properties.
The restaurant will feature a modern, open design with lush greenery, colors of the Southwest, and a brand new menu of “diverse offerings and innovative libations.”
Drawing on nature, a central focal point of the space will be a 14-foot-tall Chestnut Oak tree in the middle of the dining room. This custom tree has a 21-foot diameter canopy, with a collection of glass and metal lanterns hanging within the branches to add a soft glow. Outside, the perimeter of the patio is lined with Cara Cara orange trees, the inspiration and namesake for the restaurant.
Led by Executive Chef Chaz Frankenfield, Carcara will feature a locally-sourced menu, with Native American and Sonoran-inspired dishes and hand-crafted cocktails.
Menu highlights include seared sea scallops with crisp prosciutto served alongside Ramona Farms red corn polenta, wilted spinach and tangerine cranberry sauce; and a beef ribeye served with roasted fingerling potatoes, jalapeno-cilantro chimichurri, shaved garlic and lemon broccoli.
“We are thrilled to introduce Carcara not only to our local Phoenix community, but also to travelers and guests of Sheraton Phoenix Downtown,” Chef Frankenfield said in the release. “From the modern design incorporating lush greenery and warm earth tones to the Sonoran and Southwestern-inspired menu using locally sourced ingredients, Carcara evokes the heritage and history of the local Phoenix community and welcomes all to immerse themselves in the destination.”
Carcara boasts 7,000 square feet of dining space including a 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio that can seat up to 276 guests. The restaurant features a central bar, indoor lounge area, main dining area anchored by the Chestnut Oak tree, and an outdoor lounge and dining area with a traditional fireplace and two fire pits. With privacy in mind, the restaurant also has three private dining rooms for groups and intimate events.
Designed by New York-based Celano Design Studio, the restaurant’s look and feel is inspired by the region’s citrus groves and agriculture. The space features a mix of potted and hanging plants, marble pavers in a variety of colors and shapes, and ochre and sunbaked gold tones throughout.
All three of the private dining rooms are individually designed using unique décor and light fixtures that blend with the restaurant’s overall aesthetic.
Located on the southeast corner of the hotel, Carcara is accessible through the ground-floor lobby of the hotel, as well as the Third Street entrance. The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening cocktails.