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Conference in Scottsdale: Cowboy Ciao?

chowfish Apr 14, 2007 11:53 AM

Attending conference in Scottsdale next week. Staying @ Westin in North Scottsdale but sounds like Old Town/Downtown is place to go. 10--12 of us would like to have dinner somewhere fun. We live in SF Bay area so would prefer something we can't get here. I read through your board and am leaning towards Cowboy Ciao. Other recommendations? If necessary we're willing to pay more for delicious and fun. (Last year we ate at Alinea in Chicago. Paid more for meal than any other I've ever had but still 'dining out' on that evening so didn't mind the price). Thanks for your recommendations!

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    AZBconcierge RE: chowfish Apr 14, 2007 01:02 PM

    IMHO, there are two restaurants in Old Town which are far and away the best; Wildfish Seafood Grille (which you can get in SF) and Cowboy Ciao (which you cant.) They do traditional steaks chops and seafood with southwestern styles of cooking and spices, and also 750 wines available by the glass. Try beating that!!!

    1. x
      xanderbear RE: chowfish Apr 14, 2007 03:30 PM

      There are a few places in Old Town that are pretty good though I think coming from SF youre going to expect something more.. at the Scottsdale Princess there is a place called La Hacienda.. just amazing food.. while more on the pricey side its a very good experience and very good for large parties.. the service is also amazing and the noise levels low.. Cowboy is VERY loud inside..
      Here's a link..

      1. b
        barry RE: chowfish Apr 14, 2007 03:34 PM

        Cowboy Ciao is great. We ate last night at Deseo, which is in the Westin Keirland where you are staying. Nuevo Latin cuisine...it was excellent. They have a private room that would accomodate your group perfectly.


        1. pickychick RE: chowfish Apr 14, 2007 04:32 PM

          I'm with AZBconcierge. Cowboy Ciao is just hands-down one of the best restaurants and something you would definitely not get in SF! Get the Stetson chopped salad. There are many people in this city who are absolutely obsessed with it. They can accommodate a party of 10-12 no problem. Just call ahead and make a reservation. Lots of people have commented on this board that it is loud inside of CC, but I have never personally noticed this. Maybe because I am too busy laughing and having a great time with my own table!

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            Molto E RE: chowfish Apr 14, 2007 05:02 PM

            If you are had a great time at Alinea then the Omakase menu at Sea Saw is the way to go...and make sure you request the special Omakase and that Nobuo knows that you were fans of the Alinea experience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Molto E
              blur RE: Molto E Apr 16, 2007 04:31 PM

              i took a group to cowboy ciao - to the "gold room" which is separated from the restaurant by a curtain - it was a wonderful 3 course meal and they set up a special wine tasting throughout the meal with three different red wines for us to taste and talk about - it was a great time. you get the energy of the restaurant while being semi-private.

            2. c
              chowfish RE: chowfish Apr 22, 2007 11:55 AM

              Thanks to all for your recommendations. Cowboy Ciao was everything I asked for--fun, interesting food and drink, very good service. Love the decor--from the painted cowboy cherubs on the wall to the crystals hanging on the front desk. There was a mix up with the reservation--still not sure if it was the fault of the concierge at the hotel or the restaurant but the good news is Steve--the manager @ Cowboy Ciao--more than made up for the confusion. The only puzzling thing about our meal was the bill. It was 1/10th the price of what we paid at Alinea last year but Alinea is the most expensive meal I've ever had. Still the price was remarkably reasonable considering what we ate and drank. We went over the bill a couple of times to make sure they hadn't left anything out. We ordered so much food we couldn't finish it all. And we ordered 2 bottles of wine (one was very pricey) plus several cocktails. Maybe I'm jaded because I live in the SF Bay area but I have to point out Cowboy Ciao is a tremendous value on top of all it's other great attributes.

              4 Replies
              1. re: chowfish
                Molto E RE: chowfish Apr 22, 2007 12:21 PM


                I am glad that you enjoyed C Chow, but to use Alinea as your barometer vs. Cowboy Ciao is not appropriate. They are both in different catagories of dining.


                Molto E


                1. re: chowfish
                  Seth Chadwick RE: chowfish Apr 22, 2007 12:29 PM


                  There are often complaints about the noise level at CC. What was your experience?

                  1. re: Seth Chadwick
                    chowfish RE: Seth Chadwick May 20, 2007 01:33 PM

                    It was VERY loud. In fact, I was going to bring a 80+ year old client who wears hearing aids but changed my mind.

                  2. re: chowfish
                    pickychick RE: chowfish Apr 22, 2007 05:58 PM

                    Hey chowfish - I am so pleased you had a good time. Cowboy Ciao is one of my favorite places to take people from out of town - they hear "cowboy" and all sorts of assumptions are made. It always ends up impressing and previous assumptions go out the window. Hmmmm....thinking about CC reminds me that I need to schedule another visit very soon!

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