unlimited budget, one night. in phoenix - where would ya go?
yea, i live here and i know my way around the restuarant scene, but still wanted to ask.
i have an open invite for tomorrow night, and while neither of us want to bother with a jacket or tie or heels, we're always up for trying something new. also, just because the budget is unlimited doesn't mean the best food will stretch the budget. we've enjoyed dinner at diamonds, and i was thinking durants, or maybe coup des tartes, which neither of us has tried.
we used to do convivo, but not in its most recent ownership. is this olive and ivy place worth it maybe? read recently about the stink of the water, but how serious is that.
the new wrights maybe? did lon's recently, it was nice enough.
we're old family friends with Vincent, so we get treated that way whenever we go, which is lovely, but entirely too much. that said, i do love the place, but tend to haunt the bistro for lunch instead of doing dinner.
The thing is.... just because you HAVE an unlimited budget, doesn't meant you have to use it. Like I said, we're gone to places like Diamonds, which was wonderful and cheap. While certainly not cheap, I can't imagine having had a better meal than we did at Rokerij, and we didn't have to get all gussed up for it. We're looking for places with some soul, and places in Phoenix, close by. Binkley's requires travel.
Next time I think we're going to do Voltaire or Sophies.
If my budget was unlimited, I'd opt for Vincent's On Camelback, and tell Matu to bring out a vertical of DRC Burgs for the table. I'd let Chef Vincent know what we were doing, and sit back and enjoy a Pinot Noir tasting, like I have never had. I just wish that my wife's entertainment budget would allow for this... alas, I have to settle for a few bottles of Corton-Charlemagne, followed by a Nuits-Saint Georges, or Gevrey-Chambertin.
In a real-world, I think that Binkley's would be a first choice. Let Kevin Binkley know that he has cart-blanche with the menu and sit back for some real fun. They also have a decent cellar and pair wines with the courses very nicely.
BTW, is there anyway that I can secure an invitation to this dinner? <G>
after hemming and hawing, we ended up at rokerij, and i am SO GLAD.
remember when rokerij was split into the stuffy upstairs salon and the cozy downstairs bar, where you wanted to eat, but because of the smokers, you were forced to the upstairs with the white tablecloths?
no more. they finished the upstairs redo and it is FABULOUS. It's wine cellar-esque, with fire places and club chairs and pillows, and its dark with great jazz and appropriate rock in the background.
The wine list is still fantastic, I enjoyed a great riesling with starters and then a merlot at dinner. We started with the bacon wrapped scallops and blue crab tostadas. Tostadas were loaded with crab and very spicy, but great, and I swear the scallops were the most amazing bacon wrapped scallops i've ever had. I don't even remember seeing bacon, but the scallops were perfectly done, with two different sauces on them.
We each had a rokerij salad, which was also good, if not a bit drowned in ranch.
Then dinner arrived, and we both wished we hadn't had starters or the salad. We each got the Rokerij steak, which is a filet with crab meat and jalepeno hollandaise on top. One of those dishes you eat seated on the edge of your coffin, so when the coronary attacks, you can just fall back.
It was amazing. the meat was just super tender, the crab and hollandaise where made to perfection. The standouts though? The vegetables all had flavor and weren't limp, which to me says something about a restuarant, and the potatoes were just the best things i've ever tasted. They served them whipped, in a crock, and double baked. Unfortunately they give you a huge amt, and neither of us could finish, but we took home extras.
Overall, magnificent dinner.Best we've each had in a long while. Didn't glimpse the final bill, but their menu is online, and from what I remember, wine was 9$ a glass, starters were 12$ and dinner was 38$ each.
We asked when the new laws would go into effect for the downstairs and they weren't quite sure, but after walking down there, we realized, finally the upstairs is nicer then the bar.
HZP, You really can't go wrong with Durant's, it's classic and the service is always great. But, it's just that -- classic, probably not too many surprises and it's stuff you've eaten before. That being said, it's great comfort food.
If you're looking for a little more experimentation, I'd try elsewhere. T Cooks is wonderful.
Convivo is very nice, the new chef, Chritophe Martin, is lovely.
Wright's, hmm, I've not heard alot about it, but boy they are investing in the marketing of the revamp. I just got a letter from Hilton yesterday (Biltmore is a Hilton property now) offering 1000 bonus points if I dine at Wright's this month. Seems a little odd to me.
I've heard great things about Sophie's, but even better things about Coup de Tartes. I actually have reservations for CdT next Thursday, so if you don't go, I'll write the review next week.
Have fun and let us know what you decide.
coup des tartes is great - tried it recently for a birthday dinner with friends. we shared a couple of the appetizers - including a really nice one with brie and apples. i had the salmon, which was great, and if i remember correctly, the lamb was particularly good. ambience is very charming and romantic. fyi, it's byob.