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We loved the new exhibit Wild Things at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix Arizona and enjoyed

Desert Botanical Garden’s newest art exhibition is traveling straight from Milan to bring Wild Rising by Cracking Art—an installation of more than 1,000 animal sculptures made from colorful and recyclable plastic. Wild Rising arrives to the Garden’s desert trails October 12 and is included in the cost of general admission and membership.

The vibrant art forms are the creations of Cracking Art, a collective of artists who specialize in plastic as an artistic medium with the intention of radically changing the history of art through a strong social and environmental commitment. The creatures featured in Wild Rising not only capture the magnificence of nature but also address global and local sustainability and conservation issues, including climate change, plastic in the oceans and the importance of recycling.

Visitors of all ages will be drawn to engage with these vibrant creatures and discover their messages of stewardship for our environment. With 12 installations, visitors will see 20 penguins posing among the cactus and 40 majestic grey wolves guarding the Sybil B. Harrington Cactus and Succulent Galleries.

Cracking Art, founded in 1993, named the collective after the process of converting raw

crude oil into plastic, or “cracking.” The artworks appear unexpectedly in everyday places, inviting

passersby to reexamine their perspectives.

The Garden has worked with Cracking Art to curate a dozen larger-than-life animal vignettes.

The sculptures’ brilliant colors and monumental sizes will capture the amusement of all ages,

but Cracking Art hopes the creatures spark a deeper dialogue about environmental issues.

Gertrude’s Introduces Fall Menus

The patio will remain closed until mid-November for continued renovations.

Once fully open Gertrude’s will feature a canopy over the patio and on site restrooms.

The exterior Courtyard Bar, in front of the restaurant, is open in evenings as weather permits.

PHOENIX (October 10, 2019) – Gertrude’s, the highly touted full-service restaurant located just inside the Desert Botanical Garden, has reopened its interior dining room after summer renovations with new fall menus for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. The new, locally grown and sourced, ingredient-driven menus feature selections from around the world to satisfy a diversity of palates and dietary restrictions. Gertrude’s seasonal menus meld produce and products from local farmers and purveyors to offer extraordinarily fresh and unexpected flavors featuring Arizona chiles and pecans, local cheeses and pomegranates, nopales, and chimichurri. The new menus feature innovative vegetarian, vegan and gluten free entrees like Wild Mushroom Risotto, Roasted Tomato Polenta Bowl with Cauliflower and Chermoula Carrots, and a Seafood Jambalaya with Buffalo Sausage, Lobster Knuckles and Shrimp.

Featured Fall 2019 Cuisine

Fried Cauliflower & Shishito (gf,v) $13 | Pickled Onion + Cauliflower + Sesame Seeds + Shishito Peppers

Roasted Half Duck $34 | Petit-Pain Squash + Butternut Squash + Cranberries + Pecans + Gratin Potatoes + Pitaya

Risotto (gf, v) $20 | Wild Mushroom + Roasted Sweet Corn + Wilted Greens + Parmesan + Heavy Cream + Truffle Oil

Roasted Tomato Polenta Bowl (gf, v) $20 | Roasted Cauliflower + Chermoula Carrots + Crisp AZ Garbanzos

Seafood Jambalaya (gf) $32 | Buffalo Sausage + Lobster Knuckles + Shrimp + Bell Pepper + Onion + Soffrito + Rice

Stir Fried Rice Noodles (gf, v) $20 | Broccolini + MaitakeMushroom + Thai Basil + Chile + Bean Sprouts-Cabbage-Carrot Medley

Toasted Banana Goat Cheesecake (v) $11 | Goat Chevré + Graham Crust + Toasted Plantain + Foster’s Sauce + Mocha Smear

Chocolate Cake & Sorbet (gf, v) $14 | Chocolate Olive Oil Cake + Bourbon Cherries + Coconut “Cream” + Dark Cherry Sorbet

GINgerly $11 | Gin + Basil Syrup + Dark Cherry Juice + Ginger Beer

Diners can continue to enjoy popular items like the Korean Fried Chicken with Brussels Sprouts + Kimchi Vinaigrette + Korean BBQ sauce, Seared Scallops + Red Beet Mole + Forbidden Rice, and the vegan Wild Boar in Green Chile + Refried Beans + Corn Tamales. The diverse weekend brunch menu added a Chia Yogurt Bowl, Salmon Toast with Avocado Mousse, and Bacon-Poblano Scones with Eggs and Sausage Gravy. The ever-popular Prickly Pear Mimosas remain on the brunch menu. The dessert menu now features vegan Toasted Banana Goat Cheesecake, vegan and gluten-free Chocolate Olive Oil Cake withBourbon Cherries and Dark Cherry Sorbet, a Bergamot-Lime Butter Tart and Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato with Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies. The popular Donuts & Sauces return to round out the dessert menu.

Gertrude’s offers more options and is building more cocktails around favorite libations due to Arizona offerings having rounded out and expanded in the recent past. The beer menu has doubled, with new additions like SanTan’s Juicy Jack IPA and College Street Brewing’s Sour, “Beauregard”. Also added is a “beer-tail” that features State 48’s Mango Wheat. The wine list is predominantly Arizona, adding Rune and Aridus juices to the offerings, and on draught are Provisioner White and Rose from Willcox Basin, AZ. Other treats on the fall bar menu include an AZ Hard Seltzer and alcoholic kombucha. Bar favorites like the Cactus Cosmo, Tombstone LIT, and Garden ‘Rita remain on the cocktail menu.

Gertrude’s dining experience pairs delicious cuisine with lush desert ambience. The menus are delicious, diverse, and daring – catering to every palate, culture, pocketbook and dietary preference. Garden admission is not required to dine at Gertrude’s. Reservations recommended and can be made on Open Table ( or by calling 480.719.8600.

Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. – Seasonal Menu | Monday-Sunday 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Brunch | Saturday-Sunday

Media Contact: Bitsy Susich 602-320-1343 | | | @gertrudesdbg

Gertrude’s is Farm to Table and Table to Farm.

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