Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Phoenix >
Jan 30, 2007 11:22 AM

Review: Elements at Sanctuary on Camelback

I had the most wonderful dinner at Elements on Sunday night. It was my birthday dinner.
We had a reservation at 615pm. When we walked in from the parking lot, Mark Tarbell walked past me from the lounge, to the restroom. (LOVE HIM) I almost told my husband to leave. (kidding)

We got seated at a booth on the lower level, in front of the window. Very nice table. Private on both sides because of the glass walls.

My main regret is that I didn't bring my camera. The food was wonderfully presented.

Our server started us off with ice water and we both ordered a Kettle One, dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. YUM! The drinks came with huge stuffed olives....they were so good.

We decided to start off with 2 appetizers. The crab and spinach fondue and the beef carpaccio. As we waited, we were brought fresh baked, crusty bread with room temperature butter. I tried so hard not to fill up on the bread, but it was so good!

We ordered a bottle of the Penfolds bin 138 shiraz and it was winner! Now I have to find it in the store. It was light and fruity...perfect for our dinner.

Our appetizers came and the fondue was the winner. It wasn't served fondue style, in a pot with a was served more as a dip, with herb toasts. It was wonderful! The crab made it SO sweet! I wanted to just order 2 more of those for my was that good.

The carpaccio was just ok in my opinion. It was served with a somen noodle and thai basil salad with soy sambal drizzle. It was very asian tasting and again, it was just ok. I think the asian flavors overwhelmed the meat.

For dinner, I orderd the venison with salsify puree and pear marmalade, and hubby had the chili cured duck with celeriac risotto and razz-cherry glaze. We also ordered a side of the truffled grits.

This meal was so good, I told my husband I wanted to eat dinner here, everyday.
My venison was cooked medium rare and it was perfect! it wasn't gamey tasting at all. The meat was tender and juicy and the pear marmalade was a perfect pairing.
The duck was out of this world! It wasn't greasy like duck can be, and the skin was crispy and just added to the flavor of the glaze. There were a couple whole cherries on the plate that exploded in your mouth when you bit down on it. Oh my god....just thinking about it makes my mouth water. The piece de resistance was the grits. It was a good sized bowl filled with the buttery goodness. It tasted like heavily buttered was so smooth. GOD that was yummy! I almost licked the bowl clean.

For dessert I chose the caramel pecan cheesecake with chocolate tuile and caramel sauce and hubby chose the chocolate peanut butter decadence.

Hubby's peanut butter dessert was a small chocolate crusted peanut butter pie with chocolate ice cream on top. It was yummy.
Mine was a small cheesecake stuffed with pecans and topped with caramel sauce. To die for!

This was a wonderful meal. I've wanted to eat for a long time and I finally got to.

This will not be the last time, either.

Our bill was $165.00 before tip, which is pretty reasonable if you ask me. We had a bottle of wine as well, so it wasn't very expensive at all.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I love elements. It seems to get some spotty reviews, but I've eaten dinner here six or seven times and it's always been lovely. We always try to arrive a little before sunset to have drinks in the bar and then head to the table for the meal and the sunset. This is a great spot in town where you get a great view day and night.

    Lunch is great here too, if you want to try a more reasonable option.

    So glad you enjoyed it!

    1. I've eaten at Elements a few times, also. I've had consistently excellent service, and outstanding meals every visit. If I lived up in the City of the Flaming Chicken instead of down in dusty ol' Tucson, I'd eat there at least once every couple of months, as a splurge.

      1. Thanks for the great review. We're going there for dinner this Saturday. Thanks for the great tips.


        1. Great review. I love seeing both Elements and Tarbell's mentioned in the same report. Both are excellent fine dining establishments that sometimes fail to get the attention they deserve.

          1. Ooooo...have a great dinner, Barry!

            Please post your comments afterward. I'd be interested to see what you thought of it