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Need Scottsdale Suggestions for Feb.

We are going to the Four Seasons for President's Week '08 and need help with dinner. We are a bit of foodie snobs (hailing from NYC). Need good atmosphere and dont really want to eat in hotels. My research so far reveals: Union Wine Bar & Grill, Canal, Mosaic, Wildfish Seafood Grille, Christopher Fermier, Sassi, Tapino, Binkley's and Cowboy Ciao (which seems very far from our hotel). Suggestions greatly appreciated!

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  1. Sassi and Mosaic will be closest to your hotel with Mosaic probably being the more unique dining experience. Sassi is an enormous restaurant, but I've never been disappointed there and the views of the Valley are as good as the Four Seasons. Speaking of, they actually just re-opened their restaurant (I can't remember what it's called now), so the new menu might be worth a shot. And, per the local food critic's "suggestion" they actually blew out a wall and made a window so the view would be amazing. Union and Cowboy Ciao are in downtown Scottsdale - about 30 minutes from your hotel. Cowboy Ciao is one of my all-time favorites, but if you are feeling adventurous, Sea Saw next door (same owners) is out of this world. Chef Nobu won a James Beard Award last year and was one of F+W's Best New Chefs. You can also grab a glass of wine at Kaz Bar right around the corner (same owners). I have had two great experiences at Union and love the small plates format, but I've heard through the grapevine that ownership has shifted, so I'm not sure if that's changed anything. Tapino is about 20 minutes from your hotel and is definitely well worth the drive - another place with small plates and a great wine selection. There is another thread in the SW section about another CH New Year's Eve experience at Binkley's and I think that should pretty much sum up how amazing it is - it's about 15 minutes from your hotel. I think Wildfish is a regional chain and I haven't heard great things (never dined there), so that would be one on your list to skip.

    1. In addition you are not that far from Keirland Commons, the ladies will like it for shopping. In addition you will find Zinc Bistro, Greene House and North. Good eats

      1. Christopher's is wonderful, but is in Central Phoenix, probably a good 45-60 min from the 4Season's. If you're down that way shopping or such I highly recommend it, along with Tarbell's, Daniel's, and Fenix for decent food.

        In North Scottsdale there is also the Persian Room on Scottdale and Frank lloyd Wright. It has great kabobs and other middle eastern fare with a great upscale ambience. also try Uncorked Wine Bar if you like small plate and vino feel, very nice atmosphere. It's right next to the Capital Grille and is easy to find.

        1. You might also want to try the market at Vincent's on Saturday morning. It runs from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Good place for late breakfast or lunch. Wine tasting, lots of options. If you get down to Camelback Vincent's is great for dinner also, and I love their Bistro for lunch.

          1. Two-thirds of the restaurants you have named are far from your hotel, which is remotely located in a corner pocket of far northeast Scottsdale. As mentioned above, the closer ones are Mosaic, Sassi, Binkley's, and Tapino. The others are all good choices but may involve drives of 20 miles or more.

            To get more recommendations, maybe you could tell us more about what brand of NYC foodie snobbery you adhere to? Are you looking just for fine dining, or are you open to strip mall gems? Are you looking for exclusively European cuisine, or are you open to local traditions reflecting Mexican and Latin American influences?

            By the way, someone mentioned a possible change in ownership at Union. I don't think that's the case. What I've heard instead is that the small plates format at Union has been a tough sell and that the owners have therefore tweaked the menu by adding entrees.

            4 Replies
            1. re: silverbear

              I just had a thought that if you make the drive down to Union, Pischke's Blue Ribbon is right across the street. Local favorite Robert McGrath cooks up gourmet southwest and American favorites. Again it is 30 min from your hotel,

              1. re: silverbear

                Good to know about Union, minus the news about small plates - I found it to be a really good gathering place for big groups where you have people coming and going, some eating and some just drinking, etc. And we got a half price bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc on a Monday night....hopefully they haven't discontinued that one!

                1. re: Beaver Street

                  Agreed. I liked the small plates concept paired with a nice wine and beer list. I don't think the small plates are a complete goner, though. I believe they're just being augemented with entrees for those who have big appetites or just don't like the small plates concept.

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                  Union Wine Bar and Grill
                  3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                2. re: silverbear

                  See below (Jan. 6th, 11:14 AM) for my answers and comments and thanks.