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Scottsdale Top Restaurants

Read our Personal Reviews, Find the Best Restaurants in Scottsdale AZ!

We suppose we should preface our rants and raves with the fact that we do not announce who we are when we go to a restaurant. We are not looking for any freebies, only good service and great food, those are our requirements. Scottsdale restaurants are constantly opening and closing. Even bastions of the area are being replaced by the new and hip offerings. Here you'll find the best of the rest!

Mary Elaine's a fixture in the Phoenician since the resort opened is gone, replaced with J&G Steakhouse. You'll find the finest cuts of meats, a enviable wine list and of course the stunning views remain the same. Jean-Georges Vongerichten, (Chef of Jean Georges a 3 Star Michelin offering in Manhattan) brought this exciting dining venue to town. It is one of an empire which encompasses a dozen restaurants from New York to Las Vegas to Shanghai and now Scottsdale!

Award-winning Chef Michael Mina, named Bon Appetit Chef 2005 brings his culinary expertise to the new Bourbon Steak House at the Fairmont Princess. Indulge yourself with Kobe beef. An 8 oz American Kobe Beef filet will set you back $72.00 or go for broke with the Japanese Wagyu 6oz NY Strip for just $150. You can also order fish slow-poached in butter. But it has always been a mystery to me why anyone would go to a world famous steak house and order fish! Also we so disappointed in the decor and atmosphere (of course we were used to the warmth of the Marquesa) so this contemporary ambiance misses in our opinion. The bar is quite cozy and has a fantastic hamburger. Make sure you ask for the price of the house wine you order - we paid $21.00 for a glass of Pinot Noir and was totally taken aback. Also Compari and soda was priced higher than jack Daniels on the rocks - so make sure you ask! Reservations 480-513-6002.

I do believe celebrity Chefdom has come to Scottsdale! Okay Emeril where are you?

In the mood for a different foodie experience, away from the huge, loud and noisy type of eatery? Head for Cafe Bink, a tiny bistro in Carefree operated by celebrated Chef Kevin Binkley. (check Binkleys below as well)You might find a version of Cafe Bink on the Left Bank or in the South of France. There is something about a small restaurant that goes beyond cozy. New York and France are bastions of the "small restaurants - exquisite food" scene. Here you can expect to find sole menuniere and a flat steak (entrecote) with delicious double-fried "pomme frites"! Reminiscent of Alfredo Trattorio in New York of a few years back, where one night I spotted Julia Child, James Beard and Jacques Pepin having dinner, this restaurant is that good! It hold's just 30 people so make a reservation well in advance. 480-488-9796

With the release of Julie & Julia I see a revival of interest in French restaurants which have been sorely missing in this area. James Porter Chef of the recently shuttered Tapino Kitchen & Wine Bar has opened his new French country bistro - Petite Maison. Located on Shoemaker Lane in downtown Scottsdale, you have to look or you'll miss it. Accommodating just 24 diners insider, the restaurant is aptly named "petite". The terrace which is now open, has a fireplace and is ideal for the fall weather.

You'll think you're in Eze on a Sunday night for what Chef Porter terms "Nothing super fancy," he says. "It's gonna be food for the people." However we were more than delighted with the food for the people! My duck breast was superb, the chicken stuffed with goat cheese was wonderful and the pomme frites and steak (although not an entrecote) was delicious. Our dinner was topped off with a Gran Marnier souffle (priced at just $7.00). You must visit this new culinary delight and explore roasted heritage chicken, Salade Nicoise with grilled fish, special cheese and charcuterie! As Julia would say "Bon Appetit"!!! Better call for a reservation! 480.991.6887

A really pleasant dining experience is at Carefree Station (up in Carefree on Ho Hum Road) at the Spanish village off Scottsdale Road and well worth the trip. The lighted patio area is a delight in our great weather and you can't get better food, the filet or the Texas Rib Eye are as good as it gets and the Prickly Pear margarita is my all time favorite. 480.488.8182 for a reservation.

We're trying hard to keep up with new Steak House openings and the restaurants that have bit the dust!

Pink Taco -
CLOSED SUMMER 2009 no restaurant in recent history has stirred up as much controversy as The Pink Taco, our Mayor in an effort to get the restaurant renamed, after claiming that the name was derogatory term for a part of women's anatomy, created a bally-hoo of major proportions and now everyone wants to be seen here. Owned by Harry Morton (of Morton's Steakhouse fame), the restaurant offers trendy Mexican Food. Appetizers the size of a meal, and interesting interior, with crosses and Our Lady of Guadalupe! We understand that Caludia Shiffer also has opted to put some money in the place, but we haven't spotted her here as yet. Located at the new Scottsdale Waterfront - Scottsdale Rd and Camelback. Downtown will never be the same. Don't bother to go to their website unless you have a couple of hours to fool away. It is one of the worst we have ever seen.

At the Hyatt Regency, VU is closed but our favorite remains Alto ristorante e bar is a comfortable Italian restaurant that brings locals in time and time again. It offers some of Italy's best artisan cheeses and meats. You dine alfresco on our beautiful fall and winter evenings and top it off with a "free" gondola ride - how great is that?

We get lots of request for Eleanna's, a Mediterranean restaurant that has closed, but there is Eliana's in Phoenix, where you can catch the flavor of El Salavdor. Simple yet inviting. They do not accept reservations. 1627 N 24th St. 602-225-2925

Looking for a Wine Bar? Now you don't have to go all the way to Willy's in Paris. We got 'em here in little ole Scottsdale!

Wine dinners are also very popular in Scottsdale check them out.

Restaurant Closings

Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy - CLOSED SUMMER 2009

Arcadian Farms - no matter what you may have read, don't go. Spotty service and not-so-nice personnel If you want to have a delightful lunch downtown, go to Cafe ZuZu, located in the totally redone Valley Ho Resort, just around the corner. We had excellent food, great service and a cozy booth to dine in as well, so goodbye Arcadia Farms, this is the second time we have had an unfavorable encounter at Arcadia Farms, twice is once too many, so all you visitors who have heard "so much about Arcadia Farms" take it from a local "it's not that great". In fact there are so many other places downtown, there is no need ever to be treated with such contempt. 

Alchemy
- all those stars and such a disappointment! The terrace is wonderful with views and table cloths. When you sit inside, the table cloths disappear, the tables are so close together the waiters can barely maneuver and the views literally are out of sight, due to a poorly planned dining room.  Food in contrast surely deserves the high rating the restaurant has received...but. So if you go, request the terrace, if weather is suitable. 13225 N. Eagle Ridge Drive. Fountain Hills. 480-333-1880

Asia de Cuba -
sophisticated restaurant at the Mondrian Hotel (formerly James Hotel) in downtown Scottsdale. The first fusion of Asian and Cuban food I was exposed to was in New York a while ago. A very interesting blend of cuisine and cultures. Jeffrey Chodorow renowned International restaurateur presides. The menu is meant for sharing! Try it for a different night on the town! 480-3081311 for reservations.

BARCELONA!
CLOSED FOR SUMMER 2009 FOR RENOVATIONS - REOPENS APPROXIMATELY END OF SEPTEMBER! Not the town but the ultra sophisticated new lounge and restaurant in Scottsdale. From water falling over a wall of blue glass and pottery at the entrance to every nook and cranny, Elegance with a capital E. Located at Scottsdale Rd and Greenway-Hayden Rd. Just look for the flaming torches!. Free tapas from 4-7 makes this the hot spot for Happy Hour. Also the food is great and the music fun. Be sure and try it soon!

Revisions to Barcelona! Certainly the place to see and be seen at certain times of day. They should give up on "brunch - lunch or whatever!" On Sunday - At 2:00 - no rolls (we were told they didn't have time to bake them that morning -we're talking Mother's Day here! - come on how long can that take?) And the lobster in the Lobster Salad should have still been swimming. Whoever started this trend towards "opaque" fish? Either raw or cooked is the way I like it. Also they may as well close the south end of the building this summer. With 1/2 inch gaps between glass - not only does it overwork the AC, but the customers stay hot!
Barrio Cafe - A new Mexican delight in town. In a strip mall that you might pass right by, if you weren't headed for the Barrio Cafe. Guacamole made table-side. Stuffed Poblano Peppers - Ole! Another specialty - seared breast of duck in sweet and sour tamarind and chipotle sauce No reservations, a long wait! 2814 N. 16th Street Phoenix. 602-636-0240

Benihanna -
Go for the show! 40 years ago when Benihanna came to New York, everyone flocked to see the slice, dice and flip with the flashing knives and the skill of those who used them, things haven't changed all that much. Rocky Aoki (a retired boxer) was responsible for bringing table-top cooking to the U.S in the 60's. The food is superb and you know the drill now, shrimp and steak, or shrimp and chicken, myriad ways. Green tea ice cream for desert. Located in The Promenade, Scottsdale Road & Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. 480-444-0068 - a group of eight fills a teppan table

Binkley's
after all the raves, we finally had to try Binkleys. The food is superb and if you can get into the dining room, (it only seats 60) it is sophisticated in the best New York restaurant manner, however even though our reservations were made 3 weeks in advance, there was only space available on the patio. We will tell you, we did not enjoy the patio, sitting on Cave Creek Road on a unseasonably "hot" night in May was not a pleasure. There are fans, but no misters, plus the sun shades were lowered, it took 2 requests to get one of them raised so we could get some air...plus there was road noise. As I said earlier the food was wonderful, but another comment, they offer a "tasting" menu. You can order 4, 5, or 6 tastings. They start at $50.00. I truly loved mine, but the guys thought the food was a little on the light side. You might want to order an entree instead. Chef Kevin Binkley has an impressive background, having done a stint at The Little Inn at Washington and two years at The French Laundry, his food reflects his experience. It is a charming bistro...just don't sit on the Patio. 6920 E. Cave Creek Rd. 480-437-1072

Bistro 24-
Of course, everyone has heard a lot about "Bistro 24".  John Johnstone is now executive chef  of Bistro 24. Their French Onion soup is wonderful, but their fish dishes need help!  However, the steak au poivre is very good.  And someone has said, "even if the food is terrible, and you have a great desert, you'll remember it as a wonderful restaurant".  The deserts here are scrumptious.  So here's hoping everything else will come into line.  We will be going back in a few weeks give an update where Bistro 24 is headed. Located in the Ritz Carlton at 2401 Camelback Road. Call 602-952-2424

Bloom - one of the Fox Restaurant's Concepts, was  named one of the "Best New Restaurants of 2001" by the prestigious publication Phoenix Magazine. A beautiful interior with inviting oversized leather booths, and a great bar featuring a cuvee "Wine Keeper's" system -  offers 75 to 100 wines by the glass daily. 8877 North Scottsdale Road (The Shops at Gainey Ranch) Lunch and Dinner 480-922- 5666

Bobby"s - owned by Mancuso's, great for late-night dining, dinner is served until 10:30. Located in Kierland Commons at the site of former Mezcal, it has been totally redone with an inviting sparking interior. The upstairs bar and lounge host a jazz piano, that would make you swear you were at The Carlyle in New York listening to Bobby Short, by the way one of the "Bobbys" it takes it name from. As you enter check out the various jazz Bobbys on the wall. Great Lobster Ravioli, Canneloni, we are do not recommend the Veal. Don't miss it for lunch or dinner. Lounge is open 4:00 to 1:00 am daily. 480-556-0770
 

Brittle Bush, The 19thHole for Kierland Country Club. We first went to dinner at Brittle Bush about 2 months ago, and it continues to get better and better. It's casual dining at it's finest. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome you receive. We just attended a private wine tasting this week and was overwhelmed by the attention, the food preparation and the whole scene.

The Capitol Grille, perhaps our favorite steak house in Scottsdale at the moment. We know it's a chain, but they are doing everything right. Service, decor, private club ambiance. yes, you can get a table where you can actually talk. Dry aged in-house exceptional steaks, award-winning wines, (your own private wine locker if you're a regular). A big plus is dinner served until 10:00 pm Monday thru Thursday and until 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. Open Sunday night as well until 10:00 pm. Located in The Promenade, Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright. 480-348-1700

Casa Mia in a new location. We hope they are just ironing out the kinks! On a recent Saturday night, we waited 5 minutes at the door for someone, anyone to come talk to us and take us to our reserved table. The service left lots to be desired even after we were seated...except for pouring of the wine. We had 2 bottles almost finished before dinner arrived. Our suggestion, take fewer reservations, so service does not suffer! After all service is part of a the dining experience. Try it on a more quiet night. 11675 N. 136th Street - 480.314.0365

Chaparral Restaurant in the Camelback Inn is another big change on the restaurant scene. Another celebrity chef enters the picture, Chef Laurent Tourondel brings his French training to this modern American Steakhouse: BLT Steak replacing the Chaparral Restaurant. Esquire awarded BLT Steak its"Best New Restaurants of 2004 to Tourondel for his New York BLT. We do hope you'll try it. Located at 5402 E. Lincoln Drive. Call 480-948-1700. 

Charmian Private Dining Room - Choose your menu, the type of music, and get spectacular service in this one table restaurant, for two to twelve guests. Located atop Eagle Mountain in Fountain Hills, be aware that all this elegance and luxury come at a price. Dinner for two, $195; with wine $295. But it's worth every penny for that special special! Call 480-874-1123

Cheesecake Factory - a favorite place for lunch or dinner in Scottsdale. Always a crowd, but not quite as long a wait as in Pasadena. Remember when you order to question the size of the portion. Many of the portions are easily split - or you'll have a big doggie bag to go. Which doesn't always work if you're staying at a hotel. My very favorite cheesecake is just plain. Wow! Egyptian motif, attractive in it's own way, we are in a desert, just not on the Nile. But the food or prices can't be beat. At the Kierland Commons. Scottsdale Road across from the Airpark.

Cowboy Ciao - very interesting - the decor reminds me of a grotto in Italy, but still with a touch of  Arizona.  A little noisy because of the cement floors, but other than that a very nice atmosphere.  A today's kind of restaurant!  There were six of us and we all tried something different. Of course we all loved their Stetson Chopped Salad. It is a truly different blend of flavors and what got us there in the first place. The other winners that night were the Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry and the Halibut.  However on a return trip with just the two of us,  the hostess wanted to seat us smack dab in the middle of the room after we had made a reservation 2 days in advance.   If you don't like the middle of the room, specify it.   Email  your  opinion to us. Located in Old Town at 7133 E. Stetson Drive. (480) 946-3111

Crazy Ed's Satisfied Frog - a crazy name for a crazy place. Up in Cave Creek, which is worth the trip. It seems much closer than it did the first time I went back in the late 70's. But Scottsdale grew to meet it. It was a trek out Cave Creek Road in the old days. If you like the "Old West", you'll find it here in Cave Creek. Crazy Ed's has the old western buildings for stores, etc. You know the scene. But everyone has a good time and "Ed's Original Chili Beer" packs quite a wallop! You can dance if you want to! 6245 E Cave Creek road. Call 480-488-2724. They are usually crowded. 

Donovan's Steak and Chop House (formerly Harris' Restaurant) and yes, every bit as great as you may have heard. USDA Prime Beef is the star attraction, and believe me four of us had excellent dinners and service. Elegant interior, scrumptious food with several elegantly-appointed private dining rooms for parties of 8 to 120 guests. VIP treatment begins at the front door with complimentary valet parking. Visit Donovan's, be sure to call ahead (602) 955-3666. 3101 East Camelback Road Phoenix, Arizona (We know Mrs. Harris is smiling down upon your efforts, you do her proud)

El Chorro Lodge - CLOSED - this closing actually brought tears to the eyes of many of us who have loved it over the years. However we have been assured that even though the original owners have retired, the new owners are going to refresh it and bring it back better than ever. We can only hope!

Eddie-V's - voted "Best Seafood Restaurant" by Phoenix Magazine 2005, Sophisticated bar and dining room specializing in seafood. Located at the posh DC Ranch, you won't be disappointed in their all-lump crab cake appetizers, no breadcrumbs as filler. Mississippi scenes stretch round the bar. Prices are fair and ambiance is superb. Parmesan encrusted lemon sole is delicious. The Lobster bisque is too thin! If you go at Happy Hour 5 until 7:00 PM they offer some wonderful appetizers at 1/2 price and drinks are all $1.00 off. Try the Shrimp Fritters!!!  Thompson Peak Pkwy and Pima Road. 480-538-8468

Christopher's Fermier Brasserie - named for it's award winning chef Christopher Gross. Elegant restaurant, elegant food,  French-American cuisine from a wood-burning oven. 2584 E. Camelback Road in the Biltmore Fashion Park. (602) 522-2344.

Don & Charlie's - been around about 25 years or so. A very popular.  place! Lots of sports related photos and old movie stars as well. Enjoy lunch, dinner or happy hour, you'll always find a crowd so be sure to make a reservation well in advance. Steaks and hickory smoked ribs are the food of choice. 7501 E Camelback Rd Phone: 480-990-0900

Elements - located in the Sanctuary (formerly Jon Gardiner' s Tennis Ranch) beautifully renovated resort with the same outstanding views of Camelback. Hollywood used to seek out this place for it's hidden beauty and romance. Indeed a "sanctuary". Elements has outstanding food with Oriental touch. 5700 E. McDonald Dr. Paradise Valley. The drive is rather hidden - so look for it! 480.948.2100

Fleming's Prime -  Big city atmosphere. Hand-cut beef and over 100 different wines by the glass. Which is very astute to offer great wines by the glass, especially if you like White and your mate prefers Red, by the glass suits very well. So give them a try for a night out on the town, you'll like it. Some of the best steaks in Arizona, ours were superb. Service excellent. Located  at 6333 North Scottsdale Road. 
Call 480-596-8265

Flo's - Ask anyone in the neighborhood of Frank Lloyd Wright for the best Chinese cuisine and there is only one answer. Flo's. Very modern, very upbeat and very, very good! I love the Mo-Shu Pork and the Chocolate Wontons. Open for lunch and not so busy then! Located at 14850 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. In Safeway Shopping Center. Call 480-661-8883

Four Seasons Resort is not only a beautiful upscale resort, but a wonderful place for dinner. Their Talavera Restaurant (replacing Acacia) is a great favorite for it's views of Pinnacle Peal alone - The Chef rotates a scrumptious three-course menu based on seasonal foods. Nebraska corn fed Prime Meats. I have a thing for the Wagyu Beef Tartare! When you combine the ambiance with superior food you have a real winner. Located in North Scottsdale off Alma School Road 480 515-5700

Fox Sports Grill -
Head for the dining room on your right when you enter Fox Sports Grill. You'll discover one of the best  dining experiences in Scottsdale! A roaring fireplace as well as curtains of water - no matter what time of year, a decorative room. Chef Jeff Gosselin is doing some great things with Wine Dinners, we have attended one that blew us away in December for our own private wine group. After talking with "Chef Jeff" I was totally caught up in what he's trying to achieve with these wine and food pairings. Try the Fox Sports Grill for lunch, dinner or a special Wine Dinner. You won't be disappointed. At The Promenade, Scottsdale Rd and Frank Lloyd Wright (southwest corner of Mall) Call 480-368-0369

Handlebar-J - If you feel like two-stepping or just having some good ole western fare then try eating at Handlebar-J one night. The cowboys still go here to strut their stuff and it's lots of fun just to watch, never mind dance! The steaks are pretty good  too! Oh and they give West Coast Swing and two-step lessons on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights. Starting about 7:00 PM. 7116 E. Becker Lane. One block North of Shea Blvd at 71st St. Call 480-948-0110
Hapa - Closed!
jetz - Closed!

Kazimierz - A Wine Lovers Delight. Newest offering of Peter Kasperski who runs Cowboy Ciao.
Wine from around the world. 3 oz pours priced from $10 - $35 A great light menu and wonderful deserts. Open Tuesday - Saturday. 5:00pm - 1:00am. 7137 E. Stetson Drive. Downtown! 

La Hacienda - 5 Star Mexican Restaurant at the Fairmont Princess.  Not your typical Mexican food, but elegantly prepared and served gourmet dishes that might be  served on the Plaza de Reforma to the Grandees of Spain.  The atmosphere also lends itself to the feeling of "Mexico".  If you have a group or at least more than two - go for the spit-roasted suckling pig.  What an adventure. In the Princess Hotel at 7575 E. Princess Drive off Scottsdale Road north of Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd.  480. 585. 4848

La Locanda - As good as it gets! The most wonderful signature veal dish, "Scallope al Gorgonzola, try it along with an Italian Margarita made with Amaretto. They serve a creamed spinach with the majority of their dishes and it is the best! There is also a "negro pasta with mussels and scallops" that we find very good!  Make sure to save room for the Tiramisu. the atmosphere is always warn and inviting. One of the best Italian restaurants in town!  At 10201 N. Scottsdale Rd, on east side just south of Shea.  Call 480-998-2822 - Look for a recipe of "Scallope al Gorgonzola soon!

La Piazza Cafe Italiano! The flaming torch lets you know you've arrived.  This restaurant is a real find and  just a little distance over Shea Blvd to Fountain Hills. Well worth the trip. Outdoor dining on the patio gives awesome mountain views. Tim is there to say "Welcome" and John will cook an outstanding marinated steak or wonderful seafood. Make sure and try the roast chicken some time, at $8.95 it's a steal.  And if you're into dining early you can enjoy all the same great food for $11.95 between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. Great for golfers heading home or anyone.  Neighborhood gourmet! Located at 11865 N. Saguaro in Fountain Hills. Also a great Wine Pairing Dinner once a month.  
Call (480) 837-1878

LECCABAFFI (or translated "lick your mustache" - or maybe better...not translated) But anyway you say it, the food which if you haven't guessed by now is Italian. Great home-baked breads and wonderful risotto. Located at 9719 Hayden Road. Call for a reservation Tuesday thru Sunday. 480-609-0429

Le SanSouci  - For outstanding French cuisine and ambiance, at the most economical prices you cannot beat Le San Souci. During the week they serve exquisite lunches for $11.95, complete from soup or salad to desert. On Sunday the Brunch is $15.00. Dinners are equally good and priced right. Try this for a very pleasant sojourn into what's special in our area. Located at 7030 E. Bella Vista Drive in Cave Creek. (Map It) Call 480 488-2856

LONS - One of the very nicest atmospheres that you can find in this area. Located in the Hermosa Inn, it has all the elegance of days gone by, with intimate dining and great food. Our new favorite, although it's an old place! Where to go for romance or conversation or ambiance of the southwest? Lon's at the Hermosa Inn. Fernando Divina as the new executive chef has brought new interest to Lon's. Instead of a fixed menu, Chef Divina opts for seasonal menu offerings. - you'll find some fine food and it can't be beat for atmosphere. You can dine inside or out on the patio with wonderful smell of pinon wood burning. A delectable dish to try, wood grilled filet mignon with mushrooms. Lon's is located in the Hermosa Inn 5532 North Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley Call 602-955-7878

Los Olivos is one of Scottsdale oldest Mexican restaurants.  And after you have the homemade flour tortillas, chimichangas and the carne asada you'll know why.  It is also a fun place for dining and dancing under the stars, if you're so inclined.  The dining roof slides open to expose our beautiful starry nights.  For great Sonoran food this is the place.   7328 E. Second Street Downtown.  
Call 480. 946.2256

Mancuso's a great favorite for many years. Located in the Borgata on Scottsdale Road, it is a medieval castlelike setting. Imported tapestries, Belgian lamps, candlelit tables and a dazzling, entryway crystal chandelier. Since 1969, diners searching for fine fare have been rewarded with classic continental, French and Northern Italian dishes, many of which are prepared from Mancuso family recipes. A romantic restaurant - great for all special occasions
For reservations or information 480-948-9988

The Marquesa - part of the Extreme Makeover at the Princess Resort has metamorphed into Mina's Bourbon Steak House. Celebrity Chefs come to Scottsdale! Michael Mina is known for his high-end restaurants in several Las Vegas resorts. Bourbon Steak has all great reviews for it's entry onto the Scottsdale restaurant scene!
Mezcal - Closed

Mosaic
, Elegance in the desert. New but settled in enough to offer the best service and food. Located at 10600 East Jomax Road, adjacent to the Four Seasons Resort. We attended a spectacular wine dinner the other night. We were warmly greeted by Matt Rinn, the Manager and Cellar Master. Matt knows his wines and that makes any evening with wine an occasion. The grilled wild boar, the breast of pheasant and other delicacies lent themselves to a thoroughly enjoyable time. A Must Try!!! Phone 480-563-9600


Michael's at the Citadel
, Closed! This one kills me. I loved Michaels!


Nick's - A great family  restaurant.  When you just want good food without the hassle! Informal and great. Usually a waiting line,  it's worth the wait. I always enjoy the linguine with white clam sauce. Go about 7:45 when the crowd thins out   ...and bring your own bottle of wine. Located at 13910 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. on West side going north. Nick told us the other night, he is opening his second restaurant at Pima & Pinnacle Peaks Roads. There will be a nice bar and the same good kitchen, still no reservations. Call 480-314-9445

NORTH -  located in Kierland Commons (the hot spot in Scottsdale for now!) with a delectable menu. My very favorites were the prosciutto and melon pizza. A flat crust pizza with a thin layer of cheese on bottom that is hot and melty, with the cold ham and melon on top. Absolutely delicious! The grilled artichokes with lemon aioli were to die for. The lasagna was a little to "al dente" on the Made to Order Chicken Lasagna. Next time I will request the lasagna "made to order". However for all the good comments there is the noise, noise and more noise on Saturday night. Bare floors, bare brick walls and a high ceiling. They call it a loft restaurant and it feels like a New York loft. Call 480-948-2055
Ocean Prime, the most elegant seafood restaurant in town in the northwest section of the equally elegant Kierland Commons. Offers the best in fresh offerings from the sea. For sheer elegance and people watching, plus food that comes out of an exceptionally hot oven head for the Ocean Club, uptown in more ways than one. Ocean Club bouillabaisse is a favorite entree for many...plus outstanding steaks for the landlubbers in the group. Piano bar, upscale and great. 
Call 480-443-8555, 15045 Northern Kierland Boulevard.

Pischke's Blue Ribbon Cafe -
Closed the Pischke's of old was laid back bar and restaurant that served an assortment of sandwiches, salads, etc. Pischke's Blue Ribbon Cafe is somewhat different. As much as we love Robert McGrath he missed on this one. P.S. We understand Robert has been hired by Entertainment U.S.A after several attempts for financing to open another restaurant in this area. It's hard to believe that this can happen to a chef with his talents.

P.F Chang's - This restaurant is revered by locals and visitors alike. No reservations and sometimes a 2 hour wait. Lettuce wraps are the favorite thing here, but it's up to you it you're into the wait. 7132 Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale 480-367-2999

Pinnacle Peak Patio - this place has been here a long time! Now of course how great a location can you get with the upscale Four Seasons Resort right across the road.  We tired all their stuff, the consensus was that the ribs were the best, (besides the wonderful cowboy singing) Gary is his name and he's great.  Hard to believe he's from England as he has this western stuff down pat. Try this you'll like it for a taste of the Old West.  10426 E Jomax Road North (north) Scottsdale.  480-585-1599

Quill Creek Cafe - If you're not a golfer or don't live here, you've probably not thought of dinner at the Grayhawk Clubhouse. Lunch (which is a pure delight overlooking the 18th hole) and dinner are excellent. The ambiance would be hard to beat anywhere. And the food is scrumptious. Try the Corn Chowder with it's southwestern tang or the Banana Rum Pudding. We can't say anymore than it's a great place to go! One of the best golf courses and restaurants.  Grayhawk Golf Club on Thompson Peak Pkwy off Pima Road. Call 480-502-1700 
RA Sushi Bar & Restaurant - an favorite of Old Scottsdale, just moved to Kierland Commons. 4,000 Sq FT of water features, music features and lots of red! Try baked green mussels, Pineapple cheese wontons, meat and noodle entres and of course all the sushi you can think of. 7012 E. Greenway Pkwy. 480-951-5888

Razz's Restaurant & Bar - "Razz" Kamnitzer has established himself as a chef  par excellance in his restaurant tucked  away in an older shopping center on the southeast corner of Shea and Scottsdale road. Now Razz has moved, but not far - just across the parking lot as a matter of fact into a little larger and more elegant quarters. The ambiance is still as great and the food is inventive, unique and beautifully served.  What more could you want?  You also might get to visit with the owner himself.  Who is as warm and inviting as his food.  The salmon is out of this world! And I love all the little curly kews they serve on top.  10321 N. Scottsdale road.  480. 905.1308

Remington's- We love this place for the "Jazz Bar" and dinner afterwards. It's elegant, fun and just plain good, try their Pork Tenderloin with Red Eye Gravy.  And it's convenient to all parts of town, located on the NW corner of Scottsdale & Indian Bend Roads. They also have "Cigar " and "Winemaker" dinners. Make sure to check out the painted ceiling in the main dining area! Call 480-951-5101

Roaring Fork continues to do well even after Chef Robert McGrath's departure. Bought by Eddie V's a name to be reckoned with in the Valley, it still gets unbelievable Happy Hour crowds for the green chili mac and cheese as well as the "big ass burger". It is the best deal in town!  Located in the Finova Building 4800 N. Scottsdale Road. Call 480- 947-0795 for reservations.

The Salt Cellar
(and we do mean cellar as in  underground) at the corner of Hayden Rd and McKellips, The Salt Cellar an old, tried and true offering a cozy environment with a nautical theme offers the "fresh catch of the day" on a big blackboard which harkens back to another time, it is a great favorite among locals with excellent service. A true New England clam chowder filled with clams - not thick and pasty. Call 480-947-1963, 550 North Hayden Road.

Sassi - Chef Wade Moises presides over the the new Sassi, a $10,000,000 Tuscan Villa, with 6 dining rooms and impressive terraces, built on 6 acres to give the feeling of a true villa. The menu is extensive, with offerings like olives in warmed olive oil and spices. Sardines, Risotto balls, marinated mushrooms. When you get to the pasta course be sure and try a linguini prepared in lemon, olive oil and spices that is a sheer delight. Located at 10455 East Pinnacle peak Pkwy. Call 480-502-9095 for your reservation.

T. Cook's
- One of our favorites for lunch or dinner! Ambiance alone is worth the price. The Royal Palms Resort remodeled and giving a lot of other resorts a run for their money when it comes to romantic spots is home to T. Cook's. So if you're looking to romance that certain someone - no matter the occasion - you'll find great food and scrumptious deserts.  Chef Derek Morgan's menu features Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant also received an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator in 2001. 5200 E. Camelback Road 602.808.0766

Tommy Bahama Restaurant
- cafe and emporium at the West End of Kierland Commons. Not only will you find a fantastic restaurant and bar, but a wonderful Home Store showcasing Tommy Bahama's collection of home furnishings and accessories. There is also a great selection of the Tommy Bahama's Sportswear for men and women, that works so well for our desert climate. The Tropical Cafe offers food choices that range from great steaks, to signature ribs, coconut shrimp appetizers, pastas, salads and more...and trust us we know Chef Patrick Pobletti from his former stint at Brittlebush, part of the Westin operation. You'll love the Tropical Cafe or more casual dining on the patio. Phone 480.505.3668

Tonto Bar & Grill. A wonderful restaurant up north in Cave Creek. Located at Rancho Manana Golf Resort. A menu serving old fashioned food with new twists. Try the Veal Liver with Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage or Port Piccata with Warm potato Salad (my personal favorite). Also the Sand Dabs are mighty good. You'll love the old west atmosphere!

Trader Vic's - a blast from the past. Trader Vic's has brought a much-loved name back to the Valley. The food exactly what you would expect, A great pu-pu platter that can double for dinner if you're not too hungry, and the exotic drinks that made them famous to begin with. Our only critique - too many windows!. This place needs to be a little darker to bring out the romance of the South Seas. 6850 E. Main Street - Downtown on the same property as Valley Ho Resort Be sure to call 480 421-7799 for reservations.

Un-Bacio - Recently opened in their new uptown location. Un-Bacio is getting a great reception and no wonder. The "tortellini en brodo" is out of this world, also the "caprese" salad.  Our waiter Gitano was engaging and very professional. Service and more service! The piano bar adds to a fun evening.  7704 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, just east of the Hyatt on north side of the road. 
Call (480) 609-6969

ZINC - With a capital Z - for the newest French Bistro on the scene. Located (where else) in Kierland Commons. 4 of us to try the "newest". I had the Dorade (a wonderful Mediterranean fish) and I was assured it was the real thing. I must say it was delicious. Chanterelle mushroom soup creamy, rich and very tasty. The 2 of my partners had the steak (not an entrecote) but also very good as were the crispy pomme frites. Just for fun we ordered a kid's portion of macaroni and cheese - real comfort food - although I have never seen it on a menu in French Bistro. The Celeriac salad was also delectable. The only thing we could have done without is the "cold - too hard bread". And since it continues in the noisy vane that seems to be the trend, I would request the inner patio with hopes of hearing my dining companions better. Oh and the unusual name - Zinc bars are the mainstay of bistros in Paris. At Willi's Wine Bar you'll find the Zinc Bar on your left when you enter, here at Zinc - on the right but Zinc is truly reminiscent of Willie's down to the red leather booths and brass trim. Someone has been there! So if you can't make it to Paris, Zinc at Kierland Commons would be the next best thing.


Restaurants that closed
Acqua de Sale has changed to Daniel's Altos - Closed
Crew - Closed Oceana - Closed
Roxsand - Closed Ridge Cafe - Closed
Eleanna's - Closed BYOB - Bistro Closed

 

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