Phoenix hotel opens Southwest-inspired restaurant

The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown has opened the Caracara restaurant as one of the final phases of a propertywide renovation. The property’s design incorporates greenery and earth tones along with a 14-foot tree in the center of the dining room. Outside, the perimeter of the patio is lined with Cara Cara orange trees, the inspiration and namesake for the restaurant. 

“Carcara is an impressive addition to the ever-expanding downtown Phoenix culinary scene, honoring the Sheraton brand’s community-forward ethos and celebrating the local community through design and thoughtfully sourced, seasonally inspired cuisine,” said Chaz Frankenfield, the restaurant's executive chef. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the city’s resurgence, and we look forward to delighting visitors and locals with an unforgettable dining experience.”

The Look

Designed by New York-based Celano Design Studio, Carcara's look was inspired by the region’s cotton fields and citrus groves, honoring the agricultural history of the Phoenix area. The space covers 7,000 square feet and can seat up to 276 guests. It has a central bar, and indoor lounge, a main dining area, three private dining rooms and The Grove, an outdoor lounge and dining area with a traditional fireplace and two fire pits.

Plants in the restaurant are displayed in a mix of clay pots and a large hanging wood planter suspended from the ceiling. A central focal point of the space is a 14-foot-tall chestnut oak tree growing through the wood trellis in the center of the dining room. This custom tree has a 21-foot diameter canopy and a collection of glass and metal lanterns hanging within the branches.

“Carcara celebrates the natural wonders of the Sonoran region, with particular inspiration coming from the cotton fields and citrus groves,” said Vincent Celano, founder and CEO of Celano Design Studio. “We utilized materials like cotton fabrics, clay pots, and wood to bring the feeling of the outdoors into the restaurant and create a lush escape in the resort.”

The Menu

When curating the menu, Frankenfield and Carcara’s Chef de Cuisine Angy Dykstra were inspired by the five C's of Arizona: cattle, citrus, copper, cotton and climate. These served as an important role in Arizona’s economy early on and continue to play a strong cultural role in the community today. Carcara’s menu changes seasonally and utilizes locally sourced ingredients.

The restaurant’s beverage program, developed by Director of Restaurants Lenny Skorcz, highlights cocktails with a heavy citrus influence, hand-crafted syrups and seasonal flavors.