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ISO the Best High-End Place In Scottsdale

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Would like to have a really good dinner in Scottsdale, and price is no object. What are the best of the best? TIA folks.

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  1. Binkley's
    Sea Saw
    Kai

    3 Replies
    1. re: Molto E

      I know you're aware of this fact, but neither Binkley's nor Kai is in Scottsdale, so perhaps you're looking for something within a certain radius of your hotel, or is it limited to just the city-limits?

      1. re: azhotdish

        We'll have a car, so anything within reasonable driving distance is okay. Staying at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa (http://www.arizonabiltmore.com ), which I thought was in Scottsdale, but now I see is actually in Phoenix.

      2. re: Molto E

        A good friend took me to Sea Saw for my birthday last year, I'm still thanking her. The Omakase menu was an experience of a lifetime for me although I prefer not to eat lamb.

      3. T.Cook's at the Royal Palms. You won't be disappointed. Top notch food, wine and service.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MRS

          Second T. Cook's. Had a delicious and perfectly served lunch there on Sunday. It was the first time in this area that I found lamb ravioli on a menu and they rivaled those in Florence (Italy, not AZ!). The grounds are manicured and this is a bit of old Arizona that isn't replicated in new establishments. "Worth the detour"

          1. re: MRS

            I have to concur. Dinner at T. Cook's is a wonderful idea. Excellent food, flawless service, beautiful surroundings. Maybe get there a little early and have cocktails in the bar, as well. It all adds up to a lovely experience.

            You also might consider Elements at the Sanctuary. Really good food and atmosphere. The bar is lively and the dining room a little more (but not too much more) low-key. You want to get there while it's still light and see if you can maneuver an outdoor table either on the side of the dining room or through the bar for cocktails or get an indoor table by the windows for a gorgeous view of the mountains before sunset.

          2. Since your are staying at the Biltmore, I would recommend Coup des Tartes for a romantic French dinner in a small cottage just about a 5-minute drive from your hotel. It is BYOB and corkage is $8.00, so stop at Cost Plus World Market at 18th and Camelback or Sportsman's at 32nd Street and Camelback for your bottle of wine before dining.

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            Coup Des Tartes
            4626 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016

            1 Reply
            1. re: Seth Chadwick

              I heartily second Coup des Tartes. Sportsman's keeps the current menu at their store and will gladly match a wine.

            2. David, you do not mention wine, but if that is part of the equation, I'd add Vincent's on Camelback (http://www.vincentsoncamelback.com/) to the mix, and it's just down Camelback from the the Biltmore (OK, from the shopping center, which is slightly south of the lodge). Otherwise, the spots listed, so far, would fit my bill easily.

              Hunt

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              Vincent On Camelback
              3930 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

              1. Also check out Lon's at the Hermosa Resort, just a few blocks away on 32nd st.
                it's right up there with T. Cooks.

                The Mastro;s City Hall SteakHouse on Camelback and Godwater. Great steak, and you won't pay more for a meal at very many places in town.

                And Daniel;s Italian on 40th St and Camelback, just great food. I ate there last week and will be plugging it for at least a month.

                1. A nice recommendation near your hotel is at another hotel...Elements at the Sanctuary on Camelback resort.

                  -----
                  Sanctuary On Camelback Mountain
                  5700 E Mcdonald Dr, Scottsdale, AZ

                  1. David,

                    All of the places mentioned already are excellent & good choices for a special night. I would like to put in a word for Mary Elaine's-one of the last of the really fine dining restaurants in Phoenix/Scottsdale. If price is no object, call them up and reserve the chef's table in the kitchen and have their Master Sommelier Greg match wines with each of the chef's courses. We did just that last Friday for a party of four and had 10-12 courses(I can't remember all of them at the moment) that were expertly crafted and featured great ingredients (foie gras, truffles, caviar, black bass, blue fin tuna, local produce, ,,,) and great flavors.

                    They have the whole dining in the kitchen experience down. With the Chef overseeing everything, each of the cooks who has created a dish brings it to your table and gives a detailed explanation of the ingredients, sauces, and cooking method. In between courses you can walk through the kitchen, peering into pots, asking questions, and observing a finely tuned staff create exquisite food. Wine service was equal to the cuisine, with many unique selections. The table is in a perfect position, allowing you to watch the show in the kitchen, but be out of the way of the service. The decor, china, linens, and stemware are five star and there is even a flat screen monitor that shows the various stations in the kitchen throughout the eveing. This is truly a unique and special experience. Mary Elaine's has one of the most complete wine lists in the valley, if you want to really add to the bill with something like a 1961 Chateau Petrus or a magnum of 1947 Chateau d'Quem, you can. They also have lots of reasonable priced selections and unlike most valley restaurants, you can easily find more mature wines rather than just recent vintages.

                    I know that there are differing opinions on Mary Elaine's on this site, but after my experience the other night, I would urge you to consider it. It was equal to, or better than recent meals at Binkley's and SeaSaw in terms of food, but the kitchen experience and the wine pairings took it to another level.

                    Wherever you decide to go, enjoy!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: dflack

                      Is Mary Elaine's still open? I thought they closed this summer.

                      1. re: Firenza00

                        According to their site, they were closed for the month of August, give or take a day or two.

                        http://www.thephoenician.com/pages/ma...

                        "*Mary Elaine’s will be closed for summer interlude beginning Sunday, July 29, 2007 and will reopen Thursday, August 30, 2007 during normal business hours."

                        1. re: hohokam

                          Ah. That's probably what I read. Thanks. :) Given all the high-end resorts ditching their restaurants for chain-ish steak places, I guess I got confused.

                          1. re: Firenza00

                            That is not hard to have happen. Soon, it will be a sea of sameness. One will not be able to tell whether it's a Morton's, a Ruth's, or a Capital Grill. Though I had a major problem with the wine service at ME's, I would hate to see it, and many other high-end resort restaurants, give way to the corporate "happening, clubby steak-place." Phoenix has its share, and I do not think that we need yet more.

                            Phoenix taught me that resorts can have some very fine restaurants - a concept that was alien to me. I guess that the time is soon, when I will go back to the chef-driven, stand-alone restaurants, but will recall the "good ole days." AND, just because I got "hosed," does not mean that it (ME's) is/was a bad restaurant. Now, if these various places were talking to Charlie Trotter, Emeril Lagasse, Guy Savoy or a similar chef, about opening a high-end restaurant, I'd be all ears. Isn't it time that we got something from Michael Mina, or Michel Richard? Now, this is NOT to overshadow the great chefs already in the area, but to augment them. Phoenix could well become a destination-dining location, like SF, LV, NOLA, NYC or others. Heck, we've got about as many James Beard Award winners, as most cities in the US. Do we need another "adult McDonalds" of steakhouses? Were I the GM of a major resort, I'd be talking to Kevin Taylor (Denver), Thomas Keller (French Laundry), or some other heavy-hitter, about doing a major restaurant in my space. Heck, Mark Tarbell needs a second venue, since Barmouche closed. Kevin Binkley is full most nights - open up another venue for him in Metro-Phoenix!

                            OK, off the soapbox for now...

                            Hunt

                      2. re: dflack

                        Hey, that dinner in the kitchen at Mary Elaine's sounds amazing. If you don't mind sharing the info, could you tell us what a dinner like that will set you back?

                        1. re: rbloom

                          rbloom,

                          I am not positive what the total was, as lucky for me my brother in law paid. I do know that it was not cheap, and we added some special wines over and above the Sommelier's pairings (d'Quem & some very mature Madeiras). I believe the food portion was $250 per person.

                          I know this sounds expensive, but compared to a 2 or 3 star in France it is a relative bargain & the food was as good. I cannot say what the experience in the dining room at Mary Elaine's is like, but the meal we had in the kitchen was better than the degustation menu my wife and I had at Pierre Gagnaire in Paris last month (about $400 per person for food only).

                          FYI, we did not give the restaurant a budget for food or wine, just asked them to blow us away. This was a one time special occasion and they exceeded our expectations, usually I would want to set some cost parameters. I'm sure they can work with you if you have a budget in mind.

                      3. Place links for places mentioned but not yet linked...

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                        Sea Saw
                        7133 E Stetson Dr Ste 1, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                        Binkley's
                        6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

                        Sportsman's Fine Wines
                        3205 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                        Kai
                        5594 W. Wildhorse Pass Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85226

                        Lon's At the Hermosa
                        5532 N Palo Cristi Rd, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

                        T Cooks At the Royal Palms
                        5200 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                        Mastro's City Hall Steakhouse
                        6991 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                        Daniel's Italian Cuisine
                        4225 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ

                        Mary Elaine's
                        6000 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: hohokam

                          I was looking for exactly the same info as we are staying at Royal Palms for 5 nights just before Christmas. Thanks!

                          Any input on the Royal Palms Resort? {I know, this is a food site, but...}

                          Thanks,
                          Deb

                          1. re: DebitNM

                            You will love the Royal Palms, especially at christmas time. T. Cook's in the resort is a lovely place to dine(My family always dines there on Christmas itself actually).

                            1. re: ziggylu

                              LOVED our stay there for Mem. weekend this past Spring...the food was great at the grill by the pool during the day, too. Although, my husband and I enjoyed eating our breakfast outside at T.cook's each day,too.
                              BTW- I think the sommelier at T.Cook's is vastly knowledgable and spot on in his recs.