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Hank

Scottsdale / Sedona Dining Recommendations

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My wife and I will be in Scottsdale for 4 nights  and Sedona for 3 nights next week and we love Southwestern food. Which restaurants are a must? Authentic Mexican would also be great. Many thanks in advance.


Hank

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bump.....

Feedback on Roaring Fork, Cowboy Ciao, others?.......


"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"

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My brother lives a bit north of Scottsdale (Cave Creek) and we'll be visiting him again this summer. Why the summer? Because we live in Florida - so we're not freezing in February. And because a room at the Four Seasons is $155/night and the spa there doesn't care whether it's hot or warm or cold outside.

Anyway - I'll track these threads for our trip. I'd like to say that the last time we were there - a couple of years ago - we didn't have a bad meal. Nothing fabulous - but everything was very good - and the prices weren't fabulous either. Only name that rings a bell is Roxsand's <sp?> (although I could look up the names of the other places if necessary). Even "little deal meals" were nice. E.g., we had really good tortilla soup for lunch at the big mall in Scottsdale. It may not be the best eating city in the US - but it's very good. Robyn

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Anyway - I'll track these threads for our trip.  I'd like to say that the last time we were there - a couple of years ago - we didn't have a bad meal.  Nothing fabulous - but everything was very good - and the prices weren't fabulous either.  Only name that rings a bell is Roxsand's <sp?> (although I could look up the names of the other places if necessary).  Even "little deal meals" were nice.  E.g., we had really good tortilla soup for lunch at the big mall in Scottsdale.  It may not be the best eating city in the US - but it's very good.  Robyn

Roxsand's closed last year.

Haven't been to Cowboy Ciao yet.

Roaring Fork is to me a place that does many things very well, but has no dish that particularly blows me away. I don't think I've eaten at its current location, so I don't know what the ambiance of the place is now.

High-end places I like in Scottsdale include Sea Saw, an "Asian small plates" place (the tasting menu is well-executed, and anyone who can make cold edamame soup exciting is a rare talent indeed) and Gregory's World Bistro (fusion cuisine that isn't jarring or weird, really really good starter of lobster bisque with crawdad cake).

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Roxsand's closed last year. 

Haven't been to Cowboy Ciao yet.

Roaring Fork is to me a place that does many things very well, but has no dish that particularly blows me away.  I don't think I've eaten at its current location, so I don't know what the ambiance of the place is now.

High-end places I like in Scottsdale include Sea Saw, an "Asian small plates" place (the tasting menu is well-executed, and anyone who can make cold edamame soup exciting is a rare talent indeed) and Gregory's World Bistro (fusion cuisine that isn't jarring or weird, really really good starter of lobster bisque with crawdad cake).

Thanks for the information. If you had to pick any place in Scottsdale/Cave Creek to eat - and someone else was picking up the check :smile: (we'll be picking up at least one check for my brother and his family) - where would you go (we're eclectic eaters - we like everything as long as it's good). Robyn

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Thanks for the information.  If you had to pick any place in Scottsdale/Cave Creek to eat - and someone else was picking up the check  :smile: (we'll be picking up at least one check for my brother and his family)  - where would you go (we're eclectic eaters - we like everything as long as it's good).  Robyn

Hmm. That's a tough one. It would depend on what kind of dining I'd be in the mood for, I think, because Gregory's and Sea Saw are so different.

Sea Saw's can be a really different experience. You get teased and tempted with a lots of unusual flavors and textures, and unexpected ingredients/combinations, and I'm sure it's magnified if you do the wine pairings (I'm not a wine drinker, but the restaurant has access to a large wine selection). As I mentioned, there's a tasting menu, though most of the items on the tasting menu were available as small plates on the regular menu when I went. They seem to have gotten the execution of their dishes down to a science, so that everything is as good as it possibly can be. Space is small and a bit cramped. Service is efficient.

Gregory's is located in a shopping center next to a yogurt place, but you'd never know it once you go in. The ambiance is warm, and the servers are friendly and eager to please. There's a lot more choice of items on the menu than you'd find at Sea Saw (for example, Sea Saw doesn't serve dessert). Food is more restrained in flavor combinations but still wonderfully executed.

So, if I want to take people out to a place where they feel totally comfortable, and can have dessert, I'd do Gregory's. If I want to have them experience the cooking of an innovative chef, I'd do Sea Saw.

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Where is See Saw? I haven't heard of it before -- but I'm glad you mentioned it!

I've only been to Roaring Fork once, and ate in the bar. It was very good and we assured ourselves we'd go back, but the time/budget/whatever hasn't been convenient.

Another (relatively) high-end place is Convivo, on 16th Street and Glendale (or thereabouts), which we went to based on earlier egullet recommendations. Absolutely top notch food, quiet enough to talk, great service.

But the earlier message writer said he would be in Cave Creek... which is relatively close to me. You don't need to drive all the way downtown, as Michael's (at Pima and Pinnacle Peak) is highly regarded, and there are several other good restaurants nearby. (I'm not much of a high end diner. I'd be more likely to recommend Ted's Cafe, in the same center as Michael's, for a laid back Sunday morning breakfast.)

E

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Heading out to Scottsdale in a couple of weeks and need suggestions for good business lunches and dinners (and maybe breakfast too).

We're set at LON's at the Hermosa for one dinner. Need a bunch more suggestions. Middle-upper to to upscale preferred and, here's the key, needs to be fairly quiet (without being empty).

Looking at existing posts, I'm looking towards the following places but I cannot tell if they're really loud. Help appreciated.

Roaring Fork, Cowboy Ciao & Barrio Cafe if it's worth the ride to Phoenix with clients.

Mosaic seems as though it may be a bit too stuffy.

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Barrio might be a bit noisy for a business meal. Roaring Fork and Cowboy Ciao are very good choices. Sea Saw might be another one. How about Mezcal at the Kierland Commons? If you really want upscale, go for Mary Elaine's.


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Thanks Viva. We hit Roaring Fork, Cowboy Ciao, Sea Saw and Arcadia Farms. See the "anything new..." thread for my report.

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I read the thread that ended in early October...any interesting openings or closings since then? I'll be staying @ Scottsdale Hilton, will have a car but not much time. Authentic Mexican or killer fine dining preferred.

And its not food but dining experience-related...I know it's a resort and trends casual, but what do people really wear to the high-end restaurants, esp those not on-premise with a golf course/resort? I tend to be casual (OK, I'm a slob...there, I said it) but still struggle with not getting dressed for an upscale meal, wherever it may be.

TIA


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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hi moosnsqrl - I'm not sure which thread ended in October, but there's one that started in October and we've been keeping up to date through February here. It's got a lot of great recommendations in it that should help you on your way to having fun in the sun, including fine dining and authentic Mexican recs, and my own proclivities regarding Los Dos Molinos and Barrio Cafe are well documented.

As far as attire goes, Phoenix tends to be more casual given the weather and vacation/resort atmosphere. Dressy casual will serve you well at almost any of the nice restaurants, with the possible exception of Mary Elaine's. Open-toed shoes are a must. It's 89 and sunny today!

I just tried a new place last week called Vu, it's at the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch - it was fantastic. Very simple dishes, but with a lot of different and very unusual flavor combinations. There's also a couple of outstanding infused vodkas - a blueberry and a pine - amongst others.

Have fun! :smile::cool:


Edited by viva (log)

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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It really is a casual town. Realistically, for a "nice" dinner out you'd be just fine in Dockers and a polo shirt. There are only a handful of restaurants in Phoenix that would refuse you service if you were dressed in cutoffs and sandals. And I'm not even sure about those.

I'd provide more restaurant recommendations, but I haven't had any amazing discoveries since the earlier threads that were mentioned.

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I have a business-related reception until ~8 and that is the only night I have to dine out on my own on an upcoming trip. That probably realistically means I couldn't get to a restaurant until 8:30 or later. Any suggestions of places that won't be locking up by then? Ideally ethnic but anywhere good, local. Price doesn't really matter.

TIA.


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Los Sombreros, 2534 N. Scottsdale Road, 480-994-1799

Open 'til 10 on Sundays.

If it's still on the menu, get the lamb shanks.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Judy,

What part of town is your reception in?

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Judy,

        What part of town is your reception in?

Molto E

Merv's place (Scottsdale Hilton).


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Even if you get out REALLY late, you could go to Carlsbad Tavern, on Scottsdale Road just south of Osborn. I think they're open until midnight or 1am. They have very good, very spicy New Mexican food. Relatively inexpensive, too, and quite casual.

They're also in a good spot for foodies -- next door to House of Rice (Asian groceries and cooking supplies), and directly across the street from Penzey's Spices. Neither of which will be open late on Sunday night, so that's for the lurkers.

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My wife and I are travelling to Sedona and Scottsdale in April. We are not familiar with the area and would like suggestions. We would like to try authentic southwestern fare. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Some tasty lunch places would also be nice.

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My wife and I are travelling to Sedona and Scottsdale in April.  We are not familiar with the area and would like suggestions.  We would like to try authentic southwestern fare.  Any suggestions would be most appreciated.  Some tasty lunch places would also be nice.

GAD,

For authentic southwestern: Roaring Fork, Richardson's

lunch: Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken and Waffles, Pane Bianco, Zinc Bistro

Good Eating,

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Guest MNewman

Lunch at Phoenician (in Scottsdale) is fantastic...a bit pricey, but worth it. Upscacle and among the the best resorts in area.

If you have time, go by Pizzaria Bianco in downtown Phoenix for dinner. It really is among the best pizza places you will ever eat. Just get there by 4:30 to get a table.

I travel to Phoenix on business a good bit and those are the two spots I have enjoyed the most so far.


Edited by MNewman (log)

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Garduno's in Scottsdale is very good for Mexican food - it's down the street from the Hyatt Gainey Ranch.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

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I second the Roaring Fork. Their main dining room is slightly upscale with a more refined approach to authentic Southwestern food, but I like the Saloon even better. It has a more relaxed atmosphere and menu (and cheaper prices). Go during happy hour (I think it's 4-7 p.m.) and there are even better bargains to be had.

The Big Ass Burger is awesome, and don't miss the green chile macaroni.

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we went to Roaring Fork this Fri: totally agree on burger - one of the best, awesome texture!

now the quick question - any opinion on Windows @Phoenician? or any other southwestern/mexican places close to Phoenician? Barrio is closed on Mon.

thank you.

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we went to Roaring Fork this Fri: totally agree on burger - one of the best, awesome texture!

now the quick question - any opinion on Windows @Phoenician? or any other southwestern/mexican places close to Phoenician? Barrio is closed on Mon.

thank you.

Los Sombreros is also closed on Mondays...People love Richardson's that is not close to the Phoenician. There is Los Olivos in Old Scottsdale (Mexican, will not wow you), Frank and Lupe's (Bobby Flay did a show there if that does anything for you New Mexican style), Cowboy Ciao ( I am not a fan, but I am in the minority).

Windows at the Phoenician- I have not eaten there under this Chef so if you go let us know.

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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