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AAA Publishes 07 AZ Diamond Ratings - Comments?

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Bazel Nov 8, 2006 12:48 AM

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.

BZ

4-Diamond Restaurants
Acacia SCOTTSDALE
Acacia at St. Philips TUCSON
Alchemy at CopperWynd FOUNTAIN HILLS
Anthony's In The Catalinas TUCSON
Arizona Kitchen LITCHFIELD PARK
Deseo SCOTTSDALE
Different Pointe of View PHOENIX
Elements PARADISE VALLEY
Gallery on Oak Creek SEDONA
Janos TUCSON
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
Mosaic SCOTTSDALE
Palm Court SCOTTSDALE
Primo TUCSON
Ristorante Tuscany PHOENIX
T. Cook's PHOENIX
The Chaparral SCOTTSDALE
The Gold Room TUCSON
The Terrace Dining Room SCOTTSDALE
The Yavapai Restaurant SEDONA
Vu SCOTTSDALE
Windows on the Green SCOTTSDALE
Wright's PHOENIX

5-Diamond Restaurants
Kai CHANDLER
Marquesa SCOTTSDALE
Mary Elaine's SCOTTSDALE
The Ventana Room TUCSON

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  1. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: Bazel Nov 8, 2006 08:34 AM

    Simple, AAA ratings mean little except about how fancy-schmancy the place is.

    1. silverbear RE: Bazel Nov 8, 2006 02:03 PM

      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.

      1. mamamia RE: Bazel Nov 8, 2006 03:49 PM

        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.

        1. Firenza00 RE: Bazel Nov 8, 2006 04:12 PM

          I've only been to Lon's and T. Cooks, and have to agree that they are great. We've been to Lon's 3 or 4 times and T. Cooks once. Never had a bad experience.

          1. scaheld RE: Bazel Nov 8, 2006 08:42 PM

            I recently went to the "new" Wright's, please check out my comments.

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            1. z
              ziggylu RE: Bazel Nov 8, 2006 10:54 PM

              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.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ziggylu
                silverbear RE: ziggylu Nov 9, 2006 01:00 AM

                I had a similarly disappointing experience at Lon's around the same time. I seem to recall that it had something to do with dry, undercooked rice. I've heard that Lon's is rebounding and should give it another try sometime soon.

              2. h
                hopegoode RE: Bazel Nov 13, 2006 01:45 AM

                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.

                1. b
                  Booklegger451 RE: Bazel Nov 13, 2006 07:13 PM

                  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.

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