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Need a rec for a Phx "dressed up" date night

Hi all!

Now that Mary Elaine's is gone where is another spot that my SO and I can go in evening clothes? You know, a "jacket required" restaurant. He owes me a glitzy evening out and I am drawing a complete blank on where to go. We are in central phoenix, however location is not a huge issue. Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. hi there,

    i've got the dressed up part - the second question is noise level? for example, some place like roca akor is definitely dress up - its a whole scene of people dressed up, but its loud - there's a dj, tons of people everywhere..

    so are you looking for dressed up and quiet/romantic or dressed up and a scene/don't mind the noise?

    5 Replies
    1. re: winedubar

      Good question...no on the noise part. He's more comfortable with quiet/romantic.

      1. re: Lala0310

        got it..

        wellll, to be honest im not sure if any more 'jacket required' places in phoenix. but for a great dinner, quiet and romantic, i'd suggest : kai at wildhorse pass, and lon's at the hermosa.

        sit outside for both. both are quiet, beautiful surroundings, and great food...both also make you feel like you are far away. which i think adds to the special evening vibe.

        1. re: winedubar

          Both are great suggestions..thanks. I suppose a fancy cocktial dress and suit would not be over dressed?

          1. re: Lala0310

            i wouldn't think so. altho you might be the best dressed folks there :)

            1. re: Lala0310

              Not at all. On all our visits to Lon's, people ran the gamut from shorts/polo shirts up to fancy cocktail dresses and jackets.

      2. If you want to stay in the central phoenix area coup des tartes would be perfect. French food, small renovated house along 16th st, byob, cozy, romantic. Another option would be Quiessence at the Farm on South Mountain, which is focused on locally raised and organic food in a beautiful setting. The menu changes daily however so you wouldnt be able to plan on whether or not to get a tasting menu.

        Also, I believe Mary Elaine's was the only place left in the valley to have a jacket requirement and even they got rid of it about a year before they closed.

        -----
        Quiessence Restaurant & Wine
        6106 S 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85042

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

        1. Mary Elaine's was the last jacket required restaurant in town.

          One where I would imagine you would feel right at home in something nice is Voltaire over in Scottsdale. The menu is old-school French, with canard a l'orange, crepes Suzette, things like that. You'll be the youngest people in there by several decades; Voltaire seems to be God's waiting room, but don't let that stop you.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

            Ooohhhh I like the Voltaire idea as well, I've wanted to go there for awhile.

          2. Though it is not "jacket required," most of the gentlemen at Vincent's do wear jackets, or suits.

            I think that the rooms are romantic, and the noise level is very subdued. During the "season," there is usually a piano player in the waiting area. I'd opt for something removed from that room. Ask for "romantic," when making reservations.

            I've done several reviews of individual dining experiences here. A search of this board should yield most of those.

            Hunt

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Ah, good suggestion there Bill, thanks. We are trying to decide between Lon's and Vincents....life is tough! LOL

              1. re: Lala0310

                Now, I do like Lon's. They have had ups and downs with me, but recently have been "on their game." Still, I am more a fan of Chef Vincent's and define them as my go-to restaurant, for events and special dinners. I'm such a fan, that when the food at another venue is not to our liking, we call and get a table at Vincent's.

                Hunt

            2. I had a great date night at Marcellino's - if you like Italian. My gal pal wanted to try it out and I didn't do any research, but just showed up. I was thinking it would be a typical ho hum Italian joint with lasagne, calzones, etc. The strip mall location didn't help when walking up to it.

              But inside it was cozy/romantic and the staff was top notch. They aren't waiting on you but actually serve you... which is somewhat rare and also what you want on a special night. The food was outstanding, and this is coming from a home cook who cringes when I get dishes that can be made at home for a quareter the price. Their pastas alone would be very hard to duplicate, and the sauces and other fare even harder.

              In any case, there are a lot of options and some great places also mentioned. Have a good night out and let us know the results.

              -----
              Marcellino Ristorante
              7114 E. Stetson Dr. 85251, Old Town Scottsdale, AZ 85251

              2 Replies
              1. re: tastyjon

                Tastyjon,

                You hit on one of our favorite restaurants. Yes, I do usually wear my blazer, but I do not normally think of Marcellino's as a "dress up" spot. I love the food, the service and we usually turn Chef Marcellino loose with his "hidden gems" wine list.

                To me (and to a couple of friends, who travel to IT annually - one writes cookbooks), this is the best IT in the Valley.

                Thanks for mentioning a fav. of mine,

                Hunt

                1. re: tastyjon

                  I love Marcellino. The food is superb, the service and ambiance are spot on and it's so close to home! I agree with Bill that it's the best Italian in the Valley.

                2. I always love sophie's french bistro [24th st. and osborn] for a romantic evening meal ; I have gone there very dressed up and never felt out of place. I don't know about the glitzy part...
                  Went there on dec.23rd last year for an early christmas dinner and it was heavenly! My boyfriend & I always order the lobster bisque--one bowl each, because nobody can share that. Every dish I have ever had there was delicious--the scallops, the cassoulet, yummy!
                  They also have the funniest note on the bottom of their menu about "trying to accomodate the diverse tastes of their clientele, but...."
                  I love that! So sorry--no ranch dressing with the frites!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jezebeljones

                    Sophie's is really good, and we have had many great meals there. Wife was quoted as this being her "favorite lunch spot," in one of the business journals. Still, it is less "formal," than I had anticipated the OP wanted. Love it, and dine there often. I only wish that Serg would kick up the wine list a couple of notches - maybe a "reserve" list?

                    Good call,

                    Hunt

                  2. City Hall on Camelback has delicious steak and comfort food, plus a romantic vibe. As previously stated by other posters, you won't find many options that have the jackets-required rule, as those establishments are pretty anachronistic in the west.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ginael

                      Yeah I know it's an "old school" thought, but mostly I was trying to get the idea across of what we would be wearing. To my SO dressed up means wearing his nice jeans. LOL

                    2. I was looking for suggestions, not rants. Thanks anyhow.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Lala0310

                        I strongly encourage you to try Voltaire. The food is a remnant of the elegance of French cooking circa 1950 complete with tableside preparations and pleasant service. I loved my Steak Au Poivre and the Duck L'Orange and the Cherries Jubilee was outstanding.

                        Yes, the clientele is from the "Greatest Generation." However, I found that the conversations I overheard about Coco Chanel and life after WWII were much more entertaining than listening to some clown prattle on and on via his cell phone.

                        1. re: Seth Chadwick

                          Seth,

                          An insightful observation, as usual.

                          I've still not made it over to Voltaire, but must. Somehow, I think I might fit right in.

                          Not THAT long ago, we dined at André's at the Monte Carlo in LV (review on CH). It was a "throwback" to the style that you mention. The food was great, as was the service. I did feel as though I had entered a time warp, but the only complaint was that the lighting was too dim. I also think I may have had an issue with the wallpaper, but I could not see it. I half-way expected to see "living" members of the "Rat Pack," at the next table. Unfortunately, I could not see the next table. Still, the noise level was perfect!

                          Hunt

                          1. re: Seth Chadwick

                            How nice, the rant was removed.

                            Seth, I have been wanting to try Voltaire ever since reading your first accolades regarding it. I love tableside presentations. My SO is a WWII Pacific buff and he would probably love to listen in on some of those conversations.

                            1. re: Lala0310

                              we are headed to Voltaire this evening for a friends 80th Birthday party...from the reviews it sounds like the perfect place.....does anyone know how restrictive the dress code is? We have one member of our party from out of town all all they have is jeans.....the rest of us will be dressed "dressy".......

                              1. re: ciaogal

                                Hi Ciaogal!

                                Jeans will be fine - I've seen a wide range of dress here, from casual to dressy....

                        2. If he really owe's you a night out head to LA or New York ;o) I'm surprised that nobody has suggested Noca or Binkley's. Neither has the atmosphere of Mary Elaine's but the food quality is comparable.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: cas5

                            Back when this thread was started, we had yet to dine at NOCA. Time has changed that, and I do agree about the food. Yes, I don a blazer, but am in the minority there. Still, the food has been wonderful to wonderful ++. Good call.

                            Same for Binkley's. Always had a great meal there. It's a bit of a haul for us, but when we stay up at the Boulders, we would not miss it. Same if we win a limo ride at a silent auction - this is where we'll go.

                            Hunt

                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              Hey Everyone!

                              Thanks for all the posts!!! Sorry to have been MIA. Okay, he FINALLY took me to NOCA. Loved it! We went at the end of November perhaps the beginning of December. We've been back 5 times since. I love that you can dress up or down there. The food, obviously, is incredible. The service has been phenomenal. Thanks for all the input. I still want and need to get to Voltair.

                          2. If class if what you're looking for, I'd say Bill Hunt is usually able to point in the right direction and I agree with his assessment, but would add one more: the Compass Room.

                            Honestly, my first choice would be Vincents. And don't be afraid to call ahead and let them know its a special occasion, but the service there is unlike any other place in Phoenix, IMO. Its quiet and dark and intimate and you will never be out of place for dressing for dinner there.

                            Voltaire just has an atmosphere about it. I don't really mind the q-tips, I think it speaks to the fact that the restaurant harkens to a time that's passed where service and food were not a competitive environment. The cuisine is spectacular there...

                            I suggested the Compass room (and I know that I'm one of the few people that loves it) because it too, reminds me of a time that's passed... dining above the city, piano, dancing... and I find the food to be good as well. But it could be the precursor for an evening on the town in the city central.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hzp

                              It has been some time, since I last dined there. Most visits have been just apps., prior to doing a full meal elsewhere. I love the venue, and the apps. and wine were always very nice. We need to do a full meal there, just so that we know.

                              Hunt