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Apr 4, 2007 03:43 PM

Looking for Great Restaurants in Scottsdale

My Husband and I are spending four days in Scottsdale next week - and are looking for some good dining suggestions. We are staying at the Four Seasons and were planning to try Acacia at the Hotel and Elements. Someone at recommended Michael's at the Citadel - but I have read mixed things. Any comments on these choices or other suggestions would be so appreciated. We are looking to stay close to the hotel for dinners but would be willing to venture a bit away for lunch one or more days. Thanks!

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  1. Allison, both Acaia and Michael's are wonderful. Elements is ok as well, but quite a hike from where you will be staying. I would not miss Binkley's if you can get in, and Sassi is a tremendous Italian restaurant just off the Four Seasons property. Unfortunately within 10-20 minutes of your hotel, there is not a whole lot to choose from, but those are some good options for you.

    1. It has been too long ago, that we dined at Michael's, so my info would not be current. It was very good then, but that was 5+ years ago.

      Right in your "backyard" is Mosaic
      10600 E. Jomax Road
      Scottsdale, AZ 85262
      Very good to excellent.

      I'd also recommend Binkley's, as did AZBconcierge, though it is a bit of a drive. However, it is worth it.


      3 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Ah! good one Bill. I can second Mosiac. I always forget about them since they closed down all summer last year.

        1. re: AZBconcierge

          Yes, their schedule is to close for the Summer. Seeing as how most of their clientel is seasonal in the Desert Mountain Area, I do not blame them. San Souci in Carefree does similar, though maybe not as long.

          I need to get back to Moasic this season, as it's been a full year, since I was last there. Then, it was great. I found it to be so much better than some of the spots that get a lot of good press here, Eddie-V's, Maestro's, Ocean Club. To me, these have always been "emperor’s new clothes," and I have yet to see the positives of those venues. Maybe I always hit Moasic on their good nights, and the others on their bad ones... ?


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            I don't know, but I think those (Eddie V, Mastro, Ocean) restaurants are all hype. Wildfish blows Eddie V's and Ocean Club out of the water... heh no pun intended. And for steak, Mastro's has nothing on Donovan's.

      2. I would encourage you to think about allowing for some travel time from your location for dinner. That would open additional opportunities for you.

        A couple of suggestions:

        1. Although I haven't been there, Cowboy Ciao in downtown Scottsdale seems to get very high raves here and around town. High end Southwestern fare with lots to offer.

        2. Voltaire at Hayden Road and MacDonald Drive is a hidden gem. Old world French with a countryside/bistro atmosphere and wonderful entrees.

        I also recommend Binkley's. One of the best dining experiences in the Phoenix metro area.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Seth Chadwick

          Seth, bite your tongue. You have not been to Cowboy Ciao? Great, fun food, and wonderful wine list w/ their flights too. Only problem that I have *ever* had was the noise level, but Peter knows how I feel about that. I'll even go with ear-plugs, because the experience, otherwise, is worth it.

          Predicated on your earlier review of Voltaire, it is now on my "must-do" list, but I have not had the time.

          You must add Cowboy Ciao to your reviews. I, personally, appreciate the efforts that you make, even if some of my favs. come out on the short-end. Keep up the great work.

          Given the OP's location, and desire to not travel too far, I'd think that CC might be out of the mix. OTOH, it IS worth the drive - just have a designated driver, as about three wine-flights, even shared, is a bit much.

          What about the restaurants at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess? It's several miles closer, but I have not done Marquessa in some time. There is/was also an upscale Mexican restaurant there, that I've not been able to get into, and that never gets any reviews. Any good?


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Bill, the Mexican restaurant at the Fairmont Princess is called La Hacienda. It is the only 4 diamond mexican restaurant in the country.

            1. re: Bill Hunt


              Nope. I have never been to Cowboy Ciao. I plead insanity... and lots of other great restaurants in the Valley. I do have it on my list.

              I am glad you are thinking about Voltaire. I really wish it got more press and play because it is one of the "date nights" that J. and I always talk about. Just make sure you do one of the tableside desserts. Great fun!

              The only thing I have heard about the Marquessa is their brunch, which is supposed to be outstanding (albeit expensive) and who can pass up a "seared fois gras" station? The Mexican restaurant is La Hacienda and I have only heard of it once or twice. Like Voltaire, it never gets any press. I guess I will have to check that out as well. The menu looks interesting and might be something the OP would like.


              1. re: Seth Chadwick

                Well, I have yet to do their brunch, but have had 2-3 event dinners there, and they were great. Seems that there was a chef-change between the latter trips, but they did not miss a beat.

                Thanks to AZBconcierge and to you, for the name of the Mexican Restaurant. Again, we've not been, but did try after several of the tennis tournaments there, and twice after the FBR, but with only about 3-4 days notice, they were booked solidly. Even after 8 years in the valley, I just can't get used to making reservations 6 months out. OTOH, I guess if I want to dine at some of the spots, I need to treat them like Le Bec-Fin, or French Laundry.


          2. You have already received some great advice, so I'll just second (or third) Binkley's, Mosaic, Sassi and Michael's. You will have a great experience at any of them, and they are all up north near your hotel. I will also second Cowboy Ciao, which is one of our favorites. It's a longer drive for you, but great, different food. Certainly something you will not find elsewhere. Also, they have an amazing and diverse wine list. Have a great trip.


            2 Replies
            1. re: barry

              i'd also add rancho pinot to that list..its on scottsdale road around lincoln...fantastic food, excellent wine list. you'll probably need a reservation..


              1. re: winedubar

                would definitely second recommendations for..
                -binkley's (for me this would the one you couldn't miss)
                -michael's at the citidel
                -cowboy ciao
                -voltaire (love voltaire as it's great and while very nice seems a bit casual - and is out of the way in our general neighborhood - think that gives it a little bit more charm too)
                -elements (if going here would definitely do the tasting menu as has consistently been much better than ordering off the menu for us)

                if you're considering cowboy ciao and other places farther south, you can't not mention sea saw (do omakase) as it is awesome though pricey

            2. thanks so much to everyone for all the terrific tips. looking forward to some great meals!
              - alison

              1 Reply
              1. re: alison303

                Don't forget that you have to do a full review!