Review - Elements, Sanctuary Resort - Scottsdale/PV
Wow, I've been called out by tattud_gurl. LOL. Sorry for the delay. We ate at Elements last Saturday night, and the whole night was fantastic.
We arrived early for our 7:45pm reservation and stopped in the cool, little bar with our party and another couple that joined us for drinks. Let me first say that Elements has a very nice little wine list, and I noticed in the bar that wines are relatively reasonably priced. The markup is there, but it's not outrageous. For example, a couple in the bar were sharing a bottle of Jordan Cabernet that was on the menu for $100. I think Jordan cab is around $60 a bottle retail, and I surprised the markup wasn't more.
In any event, the ladies each had a glass of Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc (very good) and the guys ordered martinis. A word of caution...the excellent martinis are huge. I'm no light weight, but after our second drink I was feeling no pain. We were having a great time in the bar, and the hostesses were kind of enough to hold our table another 20 minutes.
We called 2 weeks in advance, and were told all they had available was a table on the patio. Lucky us...the weather was perfect and the view from the patio was gorgeous. I don't think there is a bad seat in the house.
We started with 3 appetizers. The fiery calamari ($13) with chinese long beans and miso scallion vinaigrette, tuna tartare ($18) with an herb salad, pine nuts and cucumbers and carpaccio of prime beef ($16). We were all pretty hungry by that point and the appetizers were perfect. We enjoyed them all. We ordered a bottle of the Row 11 Pinot ($58) to start, and it was a good compliment to the varied starters.
For entrees, I had the bacon wrapped filet witih maytag blue cheese, roasted garlic mash and merlot demi glace ($36). I wouldn't ordinarily order a filet, but frankly I was hungry and it sounded good in my half drunken haze (lol). It was awesome, cooked perfectly and delicious. My wife tried the grilled salmon with bok choy, udon noodles, snow peas and ginger ($27). She loved it and my taste was very good. The other couple had the braised short ribs ($33) with citrus scented mushrooms and creamy grits. Awesome! If I was thinking straight I probably would have ordered that or the chili cured duck breast ($32). His wife ordered the grilled nairagi ($34), which she described as the best thing she's ever eaten, and then failed to give me a taste. It came with jonah crab, cucumber and sesame rice.
With dinner, I ordered a Garretson Syrah ($68). Probably not the best thing for the fish, but it just tastes so good everyone loved it. I love Garretson syrahs. Great with the beef. If you like red wine and see one a list, give it a try.
For dessert we shared a chocolate peanut butter decadence ($10). It was very good and rich. One bite was enough for me. We also shared a half bottle of Nivole Moscato D'Asti ($22). A great after dinner wine. Very light (about 5% alcohol), a little bubbly and delicious. I have yet to meet a person that didn't like this wine.
We ran into some other friends at the end of dinner, and the staff was kind enough to set us up elsewhere on the patio for the bigger group. Frankly, it was a great night...wonderful service and great food in a fantastic atmosphere. I don't know why we don't go there more, but I think we will now. Total bill for the evening was $361 before tip for the four of us.
Elements at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain,
5700 East McDonald Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253.
I was really hoping to go to Elements for Valentine's Day, but by the time I found out I would be in Phoenix for work, they were already booked. However, I was able to get a 9pm reservation for the Saturday before (we went to Lon's for Valentine's Day).
In a nutshell, WOW - it was great! It was nice and dark when we arrived, so we didn't get to experience the beauty of the valley. Definitely want to go back before the sun goes down and see the sunset.
We got in early enough to grab a drink at the bar and sit outside on the patio before our reservation. We later went in the dining room for dinner. We had the calimari for an appetizer. It was fried just right and not at all greasy. We then had a coupel salads before our entrees came. I had the salmon and JJ had a seared ahi-like fish dish. I can't remember what it was called - kampachi maybe? Whatever it was, we both loved our dishes. The salmon was cooked very nicely. for dessert, we went with the waiter's rec and got the fluffernutter. It was different. We ate it all, but I think I would have gone for the chocolate peanut butter decadence. Our meal was accompanied by a bottle of Camus Conundrum. Total bill with tip was $200.
After dinner, we went back to the bar and had a few more drinks before taking off.
We really, really enjoyed our meal here. I'm sure we'll go back the next time JJ comes down to visit me again.
This is one of the places I take out of town visitors for a tour of PHX. Yet funnily enough I've never eaten there (though I've been meaning to stay put). I try to go in the afternoon when the sun is starting it's slow decline and the view is that of a changing painting. It's when our mountains turn from dusty blah to glowing radiance. We have a cocktail or two, overlooking the infinity pool, and all is good. But you've rekindled my interest in heading there to eat. Don't they have a communal table?
We have dined there with guests, as a couple and used their catering for events "next door." Each visit has been great and lived up to our expectations. Thank you for the review. It sounds like you had an experience similar to all of ours.
Also of note, the catering dept. worked well with me on the wine list, and got the glassware from elements for the upgraded wine list. Usually, one is stuck with the regular stemware for catered events, but not the Sanctuary and elements - nice touch!