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PHX Fine Dining - need help

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Hi All,

I am trying to plan a special birthday dinner for my husband. He loves a good steak, and I think, based on reviews/message boards, I have narrowed it down to one of the following:

Kai
Mastro's
Elements
Binkley's

Any input and/or other recommendations would be much appreciated!

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  1. I would put Mastro's and Element before Kai if you are specifically looking for Steak.
    At Elements Chef Beau MacMillan won the Kobe Beef Challange against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef and he offers a Kobe Beef tasting menu.
    Mastro's is a traditional Steak House...the steaks are Prime...the sides, wine list and service are all wonderful!

    4 Replies
    1. re: ciaogal

      Thanks for the help! Just to clarify - he loves a good steak, but the overall experience is more what he would appreciate.

      1. re: rmbach

        For Fine Dining I would recommend Binkley's for the Ultimate in fine dining.....it's primarily a tasting menu.....thought the entrees and appetizers can be ordered a la carte.
        http://www.binkleysrestaurant.com/

        Elements is wonderful as well...and the setting is ethereal as the sun sets.....
        The menu is creative and eclectic.....
        http://www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com/c...

        I am dying to try Kai...everything I have read is that it is fabulous!
        It is highly recommended by the 'Hounder's' on this site!

        Mastro's is just an above average Steakhouse w/ above average food and service.....nothing creative or original. But a terrific meal!!!!

      2. re: ciaogal

        Elements no longer offers the Kobe menu. They discontinued that about 8 months ago.

        In addition, I'd like to add that by definition, there are no fine dining restaurants in Arizona (requiring a coat) but the closest would be Mary Elaine's, Sassi, Kai, Wright's, Binkley's, or Red's.

        1. re: AZBconcierge

          Thanks for the Update on Elements....

      3. I think Drinkwater's on Camelback has excellent Prime steaks and service.
        We had dinner at Elements on a special anniversary and everything was wonderful...particularly the atmosphere. You want to reserve one of the curved booths facing Camelback Mtn. I didn't have a steak there but our meal was excellent and the setting was decidedly more romantic than Drinkwater's.

        1. for me, steak dinners mean one thing and that is durant's. i love the old school phoenix atmosphere, the soprano's style enterance in the kitchen. service is top notch. a rib eye, a pinot, and the creme brulee dessert sounds about perfect to me!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: winedubar

            Winedubar...I am w/ you ! Durants is one of the best....I love the relish tray that accompanies the meal......
            I also love their classic fried chicken livers......w/ gravy and mashed.

            I love Durant's.
            It is a Classic, Phoenix institution......a place we don't get to often enough. I have never been disappointed!

            1. re: ciaogal

              Add another nod for Durant's. Classic in every sense of the word. Where else will you find an upscale, fine dining restaurant with crushed red velvet wallpaper!

              Highly, highly, highly recommend Durant's.

          2. I am a HUGE Durant's fan!!
            Been going since the 80's and it is a classic and so old school.
            I love going through kitchen to get to the front of the house...Love that!
            The food is really good too...ahhhh the relish tray..

            T Cooks is really good and I have heard great things about Binkley's!

            1. Kai and Binkley's are nearly 50 miles apart. Is there a particular part of town you favor, or are you willing to venture anywhere in the metro area for this meal?

              4 Replies
              1. re: silverbear

                We're in central Phx, so I am willing to venture a ways. Durant's is close, though...hmm....

                1. re: rmbach

                  In that case, I'd echo the recommendation of Durant's and also throw in a recommendation for Tarbell's.

                  http://www.durantsfinefoods.com

                  http://www.tarbells.com

                  1. re: silverbear

                    I would like to add my pitch for T. Cooks, at 52nd St & Camelback; it fits your profile.. The lovely ambience, romantic factor weighs heavily in its favor. Call and ask about a specific food choice. I have never been disappointed. This is a special spot ( she says having just celebrated her birthday there).

                    1. re: Sherri

                      I also vote for Durants. But consider the Grill. They have the best dry aged steak.

              2. Wow you don't have a bad recommendation on here. So many great options!

                For steak of what's been suggested we've been to Maestro's and Durant's. Both were great meals but I'd pick Durant's for the experience. We really enjoyed our meal there(so much it made me wish I were more of a steak eater! LOL)

                Kai, T. Cooks and Binkleys...you can't go wrong with any of these. We live in Chandler so we're more apt to findo ourselves at Kai or even T. Cook's than Binkley's but we did make the pilgrimage last year to Binkley's for a friend's birthday and had a just wonderful time. There were six of us and we really enjoyed being there in a group...the way they do their tasting menus we were able to sample so many things this way. T. Cooks is so romantic and they never miss a beat. Kai also does everything so right and the experience there and the focus on the local culture is fantastic.

                You have so many wonderful options...really comes down to what you're looking for in the evening! Have a great time whatever you choose.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ziggylu

                  I just looked at Durants' menu and they have a 48 oz porterhouse if you're not much of steak eater :)

                2. Durant's is not nearly in the same league with Kai and Binkley's. I would highly recommend Binkley's if you want a terrific foodie experience. But Kai is superb, too, and does a very nice filet with Spanish cheese on top. Just ask them not to go too heavy, because it's quite salty. Durant's is fun for that old-school, kitschy quality, but if you're looking for fine dining, definitely go for Kai or Binkley's.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: 1wino

                    agreed, Durant's is good, but fine dining? HA!

                    1. re: 1wino

                      kai is first on our list of places we want to go but haven't been. that being said, we wholeheartedly recommend binkley's! binkley's! binkley's! we shocked to get that incredible of food at that price. some folks have said the french laundry in az. have heard others who prefer binkley's to the french laundry (never been).

                      don't know if it really qualifies as fine dining but for a high end incredible dining experience, sea saw is unbelievable as well.

                    2. You can get great beef at Binkley's, but the dining room is very noisy. It's not exactly romantic or intimate if that's part of your criteria.