Opened last fall by Seth Glassman and chef Vic Casanova, whose Gusto earned Esquire’s best new restaurant honors in 2012, Pistola is a modern Italian steakhouse in the heart of Los Angeles’ West Third Street.

When the retro-themed Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club opened last spring in Brooklyn, N.Y., it won over hipsters with regulation-sized courts, craft beer, trendy cocktails and food-truck dining. On another front, the bowling industry is undergoing an evolution, as smaller alleys close, giving way to larger, multi-entertainment venues. And bocce, once the province of elders from the old country, is gaining new cache at Millennials’ haunts.

From luxury resorts to lively gastropubs, the red-hot Phoenix/Scottsdale market has plenty to offer in the way of innovative, well-designed restaurant concepts. Headed out to the Super Bowl or the upcoming RestaurantPoint in Scottsdale? Here are three inspiring restaurant concepts to check out while you're there.

Mariela Alvarez is an architectural designer, writer and teacher.

Freshness, authenticity and transparency are big buzzwords today. They’re what restaurant customers want, and they’re the forces driving so many concepts to turn to exhibition kitchens, letting diners see first-hand their food is not only fresh but also made from scratch.

Design Blends Power and Drama with Contemporary Comfort

In designing and laying out restaurants, one area that’s among the most challenging — and the least enjoyable — is restrooms.

Morristown, N.J.'s landmark Vail Mansion, an Italian Renaissance Palazzo-style, commissioned in 1917 by AT&T's first president Theodore Vail, is the new home of Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen.