AAA Publishes 07 AZ Diamond Ratings - Comments?
AAA Just published the 2007 list of 4 and 5-diamond restaurants in Arizona. Would be interested in comments; recommend, aggree/ disagree.
I am surprised at the number that have not had any recent (30 days) mention on the board.
Acacia at St. Philips TUCSON
Alchemy at CopperWynd FOUNTAIN HILLS
Anthony's In The Catalinas TUCSON
Arizona Kitchen LITCHFIELD PARK
Different Pointe of View PHOENIX
Elements PARADISE VALLEY
Gallery on Oak Creek SEDONA
La Hacienda SCOTTSDALE
Latilla Dining Room CAREFREE
Latitude 30 PHOENIX
L'Auberge de Sedona Restaurant SEDONA
Lon's at the Hermosa PARADISE VALLEY
Main Dining Room at the Arizona Inn TUCSON
Michael's at the Citadel SCOTTSDALE
Palm Court SCOTTSDALE
Ristorante Tuscany PHOENIX
T. Cook's PHOENIX
The Chaparral SCOTTSDALE
The Gold Room TUCSON
The Terrace Dining Room SCOTTSDALE
The Yavapai Restaurant SEDONA
Windows on the Green SCOTTSDALE
Mary Elaine's SCOTTSDALE
The Ventana Room TUCSON
Most of the places named are resort dining rooms rather than standalone restaurants. I think that might explain the lack of discussion on this board. Of those named, I agree, based on recent experiences, with T. Cook's and the Arizona Inn in Tucson. I've dined well at both recently. As for the others, there's nothing I blatantly disagree with based on my own experiences, but certainly some of the places named get mixed reviews for their food, reinforcing the suggestion above that much of the rating is based on atmosphere.
I concur with silverbear on the list. Lots of resort restaurants, which really caters more to visitors. As residents we MIGHT visit a resort restaurant once or twice a year, and it's generally for a special occasion like a birthday or a holiday.
Lon's and T.Cook's are great.
I've been to Marquessa for dinner once and it was amazing. But that was a few years ago.
The one restaurant on the list that I do want to visit is Wright's. I'd like to see what changes have come with the rennovation.
We've had wonderful meals at T. Cook's and Kai.
Two years ago we had a terrible meal at Lon's...but there have been a couple new chefs since then(this was the chef before Gregory Kasel was there so this was a ways back). I've read several good reviews under the latest chef so would like to try it again as the dining room and setting are so enjoyable.
I tried Ristorante Tuscany in the Desert Ridge Marriott over a year ago but was quite impressed with the female executive chef's performance...especially liked the osso buco preparation. Would recommend a visit and thought it worthy of the rating.
However, also tried Alchemy and found that just ok- no revelatory experience. Don't agree with its AAA rating.
All of the places listed for Tucson are very nice restaurants. Most are pricy, and fancy, and most have exceptional wine lists. I would be delighted to be invited to dine at any of them.
But, with the exception of Janos, none of them are especially... chowish. They serve exceptional examples of very standard fine dining and southwestern fare, but nothing unusual, or especially appealing, or even intellectually engaging. (Janos is a noteworthy exception, still very expensive, etc... but he does do some interesting things, and is usually well worth a visit.)
I will note that Anthonies and Primo both have outstanding atmosphere and views, and make extraordinarily romantic spots to take a date at sunset. The Gold Room has inpeccable service and a clubby feel.