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Scottsdale restaurant feedback?

We will be heading out to Scottsdale this spring with elderly parents to visit our 30-something daughter. Could you provide some feedback on the following restaurants? Issues that need to be addressed are the noise factor and availability of "plain" food for the more conservative palate of the grandparents. Bandera, Rancho Pinot Grill, Village Tavern, Bloom, North, Roy's, Arcadia Farms. Do you have other suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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  1. Whereabouts in Scottsdale? The city runs 25 miles from top to bottom, and sometimes restaurants in adjacent areas of Phoenix and Paradise Valley are a shorter drive than restaurants at the other end of Scottsdale.

    As for the restaurants mentioned above, I don't have recent experience with any of them, but I can suggest the El Chorro Lodge in Paradise Valley as a place that would appeal to the conservative grandparents while still having enough retro-chic charm to win over younger generations:

    Roaring Fork is more innovative, but would still be in the comfort zone for most diners:

    1. El Chorro Lodge is a great choice - classic Arizona. Roaring Fork is wonderful. Of your list, I'd say Village Tavern is a safe choice.

      2 Replies
      1. re: scaheld

        This place is for nearly deads. It has no atmosphere, its a waste of time

        1. re: rontell43

          haha...I worked at village tavern for a few years, and I can say that indeed, 80% of the clientel are above at 65. THat doesn't mean the food isn't good, because it's very solid at the basics, it's just not very imaginative or "out there". There's absolutely no scene in the dining room(unless you want a scene similar to one found at the dining hall at an old folks' home), but the pizzas, burgers, and fish dishes are pretty solid. There is a lounge/bar area where the full menu is served during restaurant hours and they have a late-night menu as well. The crowd there is a bit younger, around the 30s-40s-50s age range. Good drinks! But head further south on Scottsdale road to old town if scene is what you're after.

      2. Village Tavern is always terrific.

        They have a call ahead so you won't need to wait long in high season.

        The fare is primarily American and the choices plentiful. From Salads, Pizzas,Burgers, seafood, pastas...steaks etc. Many of the Portions ie:Steak au Poivre, the Meatloaf and the Porkchop are large enough to share.

        They make an awesome juicy Burger...get it w/ a side of onion ribbons!

        The Village Tavern also offers a very nice Wine List....

        My Mother and her retiree friends eat there at least once a week.
        They have a great Happy Hour menu if you are seated in the bar before 6pm.

        1. Take a short drive north to Cave Creek and eat at Tonto at Rancho Manana. Creative American food with a Southwest accent.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chefman714

            And Tonto's house margarita is a real winner.

          2. I can speak on behalf of Roy's in the fact that they are pretty much the same throughout the concept. They have some pretty decent fish ( not spectacular, but good enough ) and usually good preparations. I've never really been disappointed with a meal at Roy's knowing that it's a chain and they do some nice fusions.

            I had lunch at Bloom this past week and although it wasn't great it still was worth trying. I will definitely head back when I'm in the area again. I would say that even though their menu is a little off the beaten path that they still have a grip on reality.

            4 Replies
            1. re: lvmanager

              actually, my experience has been that all Roy's are not equal, and I have had quite different experiences at different ones. In fact, I went to the SF Roy's on the strength of a great experience at the one in North Scottsdale, and was very disappointed...

              but the one in North Scottsdale (and it is indeed waaayyyy out there: Scottsdale is a very big place as another poster says) was indeed very good, with accomodating service and fish that I would call much better than decent. They also have a full and surprisingly good sushi bar (something not all Roy's have). That said, the bar scene was quite active and the place is indeed loud.

              I'd recommend it for OP only if weather permits and you can get one of the very pleasant outdoor tables, which would be quieter, and if the parents like seafood. Otherwise, might be too noisy, and perhaps not 'plain' enough....

              1. re: susancinsf

                Sorry to disagree, but, I would say the Roy's in Scottsdale is in "Central" Scottsdale (Scottsdale Rd at Indian Bend Rd). I wouldn't even call it North Scottsdale. According to their website, there are three locations in the Phoenix area. Maybe you're thinking of Desert Ridge?


                1. re: johnseberg

                  Yes, I am thinking of Dessert Ridge: the one in the Marriott out there. That is where I've eaten, and the one that I liked. Didn't realize there was also one in 'Central' Scottsdale; my bad. Actually, I just realized that the Dessert Ridge is technically in Phoenix: I think of it as North Scottsdale because it isn't far off of Scottsdale Blvd; if you go way, way, way north....

                  So, yes, the Roy's in Scottsdale is central, not far out, which also means that outdoor tables at Scottsdale and Indian Bend, if they have them, probably wouldn't be as pleasant or quiet as out at Dessert Ridge (since you are right in town), but I wouldn't be surprised if there would still be a bar scene, and noise, so I'm thinking Roy's might not be the best choice....

                  1. re: johnseberg

                    Do you raalize that Pinnacle Peak is the geographical center of Scottsdale, Indian Bend is mid town at best

              2. We enjoy dinner @ Bloom over lunch. The lunch menu seems to offer safe choices: the obligatory Chinese Chicken Salad, Cobb Salad, Burger, Chicken Sandwich....they play it safe.
                Dinner is a little more creative and the Steak, Duck and Seafood offereings are far more exciting.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ciaogal

                  BTW, I really didn't think Bloom was bad at all. It was a day after I had a really ... really ... hard night and perhaps I wasn't in the best shape to enjoy a good lunch. Heh. I will definitely try it again as well as some of the other Fox restaurants when I'm back in town ( hopefully soon -- I love the Phoenix area, especially Scottsdale ).

                  1. re: ciaogal

                    Please tell me more about the cuisine at Bloom. I know where it is. Is it open for lunch? Whats the menu like? Has anyone been to Taneko Tavern?

                  2. I've been to Roy's in both Chandler and in Newport Beach and had great meals and experiences both times. However, the noise is a real factor with this group. :-( I've been looking at North and at Roaring Fork as possibilities... and perhaps Bandera. Village Tavern looks nice, but not interesting enough for me! Thanks for all the feedback.

                    1. As stated above, I think Village Tavern is a pretty safe bet. It's not overwhelingly noisy, and there are plenty of relativley "safe" options. They have sort of a large, all-encompassing menu, so it's sure to have something for everyone, in various price ranges, and degrees of "safeness." Good food, too. I eat there on occassion and last time I was there, we all commented on the fact that of the CONSTANT stream of people coming in and out, only about one of every 50 people was under 70 (an exageration, of course, but should indicate a decent option with the grandparents).

                      Bloom and North are both owned by the same guy. I've only eaten at both restaurants once, so I may not be too much help. In my experience, both restaurants depend a great deal on their "scene." That is, a lot of energy seems to be concentrated on hip, modern aesthetics, and attracting a crowd, and less attention is placed on the actual food. Don't get me wrong, the meals that I've had at both places have been nice/decent, but nothing that stands out (obviously, I've never been back). Between the two, I would go with Bloom. Slightly more upscale, a little quiter and more formal, and (from what I remember), better food than North. There always seems to be a crowd at both, so I may be alone on this one. You might want to check it out, the menus for both should be online.

                      I've been to Roy's several times and have loved the meals that I've had there. As someone said above, I think Roy's differs quite a bit from location to location. I've eaten at the older Indian Bend location once (5-6 years ago--may have changed significantly since), and don't recall being impressed (although it may have just been one sub-par meal). Since the Desert Ridge location has opened, I've been multiple times and have always really enjoyed it. Great service, delicious and wonderfully prepared food, unique flavors, and nice, quiet atmosphere. While I obviously don't know your grandparents' tastes, Roy's features a lot of hawaiian/asian fusion, although I'm sure there are plenty of options that you might find that would satisfy any taste (large menu).

                      1. Dont aste your time at the Village Tavern, it just OK. Basndera is great but NO reservations. Rtu Methode, its excellect. Also go to Cantina Larado, excellent mexican/Santa Fe food. If you want steak Burbon Steak at the Fairmont.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rontell43

                          Be aware that you are replying to a thread that is over a year old.

                          OTOH, Cantina Laredo - you've got to be kidding. With so many excellent Mexican and NM choices in this town, that falls near the bottom of the list. I've been to the Scottsdale location and several locations in the DFW metroplex, and it's mediocre at best.