Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Phoenix >
Oct 3, 2007 07:12 AM

Christmas at Four Seasons in Troon...need help..

we will be staying at the four seasons from fri the 21st to wed the 26th. on last visit, we did barrio twice (which I loved), cowboy ciao (which I thought was overrated), T. Cook's (gorgeous grounds and pretty good food), Los Sombreros (disappointing and average atmosphere), Eddie V's (a regular...close to hotel) greasewood flats...

what are some must trys for this visit? 5 foodies from chicago...want fun or interesting/unique atmosphere and fabulous food....nothing with sterile atmosphere

Are any places really great around the holidays?

On past visits, have also done: Elements (a lot of fun, cool place with great views), Mosaic, Bloom...

Is binkley's worth a visit? Menu always looks great, but place seems a lot like the high end places we have at home...

My family liked Sol Y Sambra...worth a try?

Any help is greatly appreciated! thanks so much!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Binkley's is definitely worth a visit and I would not say there are a lot of spots in Chicago like them.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Molto E

      Closer to the 4 Seasons, and nearly at the same level - Mosaic. Great food, excellent wine list and oh, so close by. This is not meant to diss Binkley's, as Chef Kevin and his staff hold a big place in my culinary heart. I'd definitely do both.

      As an aside, do you recall the problems with Cowboy Ciao? I am surprised, as I've dined there since Peter opened it, and, other than the db level, have had nothing but great food, fun wine and over-the-top service. Just curious.


      OK, the link to Mosaic is not working right. Ignore this one and I'll see if I can do better with the next one - sorry.

      Mosaic Restaurant
      10600 E Jomax Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85262

      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Please ignore the link above. Things just are not working with that feature. Here is there URL:


      2. re: Molto E

        Binkley's FOR SURE. I cannot give enough praise to that place. Kevin Binkley is a fantastic chef and the place is tops on my list in the Phoenix area.

        You might also try Sassi which is in the immediate area. Great Italian food with a gorgeous setting.

        10455 E Pinnacle Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

        1. re: azbirdiemaker

          I wish I could second the Sassi rec. I was there (for my bday dinner :( ...) about a month ago and the overall quality of food and service had taken a nosedive. Everything: cocktails (I always get the Limoncello martini), the formerly glorious bread basket, the beet antipasto I used to love so much, and even the pasta were suffering. The only highlight of that meal was a very good caprese salad. We didn't stick around long enough for dessert--- on my BIRTHDAY!! The menu offerings had been significantly reduced, particularly the pasta. I thought this may have been for the summer season, but that wasn't the case the three summers before. Also, I used to really enjoy the piano player in the bar. A while back they added a bass, and this time there was a trumpet player as well. It is now so loud in there I can't hear myself think. Anybody know what happened?? New management? New chef?

          1. re: hollyeve

            thanks everyone...does anyone know of some new, fun places? We have done Mosaic many times...last time had a not so great meal...we have also done Sassi a few times back a few years ago when it opened, and it was great, but heard it went downhill...

            should we try Kai? or Lon's? Have to go back to Barrio Cafe, of course...anything else? Never did Roaring Fork, but thought it was more corporate and we want a more local experience...

            will travel for great food and atmosphere! thank you!

            1. re: ljero

              Do you want to stay in the Scootsdale area or are you willing to drive into Phoenix?
              I also had a horrible experience at Sassi on our Anniversary. The food at Roaring Fork is good, I find it a little on the heavy side but love the green chili stew. Lots of other suggestions in the Phoenix area. I'm not sur ehow you could visit Phoenix and not try either Chris Bianco's Pizzeria or sandwich shop (Pane Bianco) Also, his brother in law has two restaurants in the downtown Phoenix area. The Roosevelt and matt's Big Breakfast. I also like Tarbell's for dinner.Enjoy

              1. re: travelchow

                I don't know if Tarbell's is just not new enough for Chowhound or what, but it doesn't get the play it deserves. Definetely on my "places to go" list when friends or family are in town.

                1. re: ValleyFever

                  How about Los Dos Molinos - Central Avenue south of Baseline - in the old Tom Mix (old time cowboy) ranch. Great food, lively, fun atmosphere!

                  1. re: ValleyFever

                    I agree, ValleyFever. We have been fans of Mark's, since we came to the Valley. Our friends from Colorado even get us gift certificates, because they know that we like it so much, and have taken them there on several visits.

                    It is also interesting that not much was mentioned, of Mark's "wine" on Iron Chef America. Maybe that program doesn't get much viewership in PHX.

                    We have always loved the food, and the wine there. Only complaint that I've ever had was that the noise level was a tad too high for real business dinners. We've done the "quiet room," but when one is interviewing a candidate, it's still too loud. I'd love to see Mark re-configure his space, so that there is a real "quiet area." Still, the restaurant is top-notch, and we love it.


                2. re: ljero

                  Well, if you are willing to travel, I would suggest Quiessence at the Farm at South Mountain (32nd ST & Southern). It will be quite a hike from the Four Seasons, but I think it is well worth the effort. They focus on fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, some of which are grown on site. The wine list is kind of small and lower priced, but we have always found something enjoyable. And I second the Tarbell's rec!

                  1. re: hollyeve

                    If you're going to travel from Troon way down to the southern end of the valley, skip Quiessence and head to Kai. It's a much better option all the way around. It's a long drive from Troon but you won't be disappointed.

                    1. re: ziggylu

                      Two totally different experiences... Quiessence is rustic, small, and cozy. Kai is at a resort.

                      1. re: hollyeve

                        Have you eaten at Kai? Definitely NOT your typical resort experience.

                        And the food is head and shoulders above Quiessence.

                        1. re: ziggylu

                          Agreed. Walking into Kai will make you forget you are in a resort.

                3. re: hollyeve

                  It's been a while since I've been there as well so maybe it has taken a nosedive - especially seeing all the other comments.

                  I hereby withdraw that rec! Heh.

            2. A few obvious choices: Pizzeria Bianco, Richardson's, REM (if it is open).

              As an aside, i've been to Roaring Fork twice since the change in ownership and haven't noticed a drop in quality. FWIW

              1 Reply
              1. re: Random987

                Pizzeria Bianco rec for someone staying at Troon? Are there any recs you could make in Flagstaff?

                I agree that it's a great place - a great pizza place that is a good 45 minute drive from Troon and, IMO, not somewhere I'd consider for an X-mas type of dinner.

              2. I am one of the odd ducks in Phoenix that doesn't think driving from Scottsdale to Glendale or Queen Creek is a big deal. So, I am going to offer one of my favorite spot around the holidays: Durant's.

                My family and I have had Christmas Eve dinner there every years (save one) for the past 26 years. The mood is very festive, the place is decked out in holiday greenery (which oddly blends well with the red crushed velvet wallpaper - who knew?), the wait staff are in their traditional tuxedos, and the experience is quintessential Phoenix. You can view the menu at It isn't the best restaurant in Phoenix, but it an excellent restaurant.

                Now, if you don't want to drive to downtown Phoenix and want to stay reasonable close to the hotel, then definitely Binkley's. Since it will be the holidays, get the full multi-course tasting menu and be amazed.

                2611 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004

                1. I second (or is it thirds at this point) Binkley's and Mosaic. I like Sol y Sombra a lot, and it is nearby.

                  Rancho Pinot Grill would be perfect for you. Local, fresh ingredients prepared perfectly. It's about 25 minutes from your hotel (closer than Cowboy Ciao). Just next door to Rancho Pinot is Methode Bistro which opened about a year ago. It has a unique menu for Phoenix. We had a great meal there recently.

                  Deseo in the Westin Keirland Resort is latin influenced food with a lot of ceviches. Very unique and actually quite good.

                  Good luck.


                  Sol y Sombra
                  Closed, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

                  Methode Bistro
                  6204 N Scottsdale Rd Ste 107, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

                  Deseo: Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
                  6902 E Greenway Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

                  Rancho Pinot Grill
                  6208 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: barry

                    Lon's. Excellent food, superb atmosphere, decent wine list. It's a must - I've lived here since 1983 and never once been disappointed with this place, and it is the ONLY restaurant in Phoenix that I can say that about (since Barmouche closed, anyway).

                    1. re: ButcherBloc

                      thanks for the recs! I have heard mixed about Sol Y Sambra--worth it to spend one of our 5 nights dining here? We are thinking of Kai and Binkelys, and then would like some a notch down...what would that be? Thanks! Always love great ambience, or something unique, or fun without sacrificing great food, of course!

                      1. re: ljero

                        We've enjoyed the food at Sol y Sombra several times and would definitely recommend it. However, we went once on a Saturday night and the noise was absolutely ridiculous - they cranked the volume and (I think) had a live dj. Definitely not my cup of tea. Now we will only go midweek...

                        1. re: ljero

                          I've seen mixed reviews of Sol Y Sambra as well and as someone who has dined there it seems like it's never consistent. I don't necessarily *dislike* it, but if I didn't live in Phoenix I'd have to seriously consider passing it up with all the other options in the area.

                          Just my .02

                          As I said before, definitely do Binkley's for sure! You WILL NOT be dissapointed!

                    2. Roaring Fork is worth a meal... or two. my husband and I go to scottsdale about once a year and kept skipping roaring fork for one reason or another. Well, it was recommended to us again during this last trip so we went late one night. too late to eat in the dining room so we sat in the bar (saloon). wow! we loved the food. the scallops and the green chili pork were out of this world. my mouth still waters when I think of that meal. we liked it so much, we ate there our last night in scottsdale. oh, and we always stay at the FS... what a wonderful resort!

                      anyone have a good recipe for that green chili pork stew?