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Sedona recommendations?

truman Dec 5, 2008 04:26 PM

My husband and I will be spending a few days in Sedona in February - does anyone have restaurant recommendations (either pro or con)? I want to make sure we don't end up in the tourist traps...


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  1. d
    donald RE: truman Dec 6, 2008 03:04 AM

    Do NOT miss Cafe Elote - in King's Ransom Hotel, on Highway 179 - closed Sun-Mon dinner only
    Other good spots - Heartline Cafe, Dahl & DeLuca, Coffeepot Restaurant (for breakfast)
    Rene's, Shugrue's, and fairly new, Main Street Cafe

    1. s
      scott h. RE: truman Apr 2, 2009 08:52 PM

      We were in Sedona two weeks ago and went to Shugrue's on a recommendation. My advise - run the other way as fast as you can ! I looked at the menu at the B&B. It sounded reasonable steaks and seafood, reasonably priced. When we arrived, we learned how outdated the menu was. The least expensive entree was $ 27 for a portobello mushroom something. The steaks were all in the $ 35 range - comparable to a Boston prime steakhouse. The prices ranged up to an eye-popping $ 56 and $ 66 for a filet mignon/Australian lobster tail combo. But we figured, we're on vacation - so don't worry. The waiter was very abrupt - when we chose not to order wine, his reply was, I assume you want tap water ? I ordered a ribeye steak. Not only was the steak overcooked, but it wasn't even a ribeye. The kitchen substituted a strip steak of just average quality. When I informed the waiter, he shrugged and said, the chef is from Texas (as if that made a difference). He asked if I wanted something else (without an apology) and when he came back, he said the chef was sorry I didn't like my ribeye. I replied, I would have liked it much better if it was a ribeye, All three entrees (steak, pork tenderloin and scallops) came out plated identically - mashed potatoes and green beans with a carrot slice). Must have been a sale on green beans at the market. Even the potatoes, promoted as garlic mashed were plain potatoes with no flavor. My wife ordered a cup of coffee. $ 3.50 for dishwater-weak java. We passed on the four or five pedestrian-looking desserts. When I told the owner of the B&B, he said he had a similar experience with substitution of an end cut for the ordered filet mignon.

      There are many great choices in Sedona. The following night, we ate at Dahl and DiLuca and had a spectacular meal. We also read (and heard) great things about Cafe Elota. Next time.

      1. ejs1492 RE: truman Apr 2, 2009 09:05 PM

        If you can get a dinner reservation at Garland's Lodge, take it. People wait for years to get reservations for one of their cabins, and the make available a handful of dinner reservations each night for those not staying at the Lodge. It's truly a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience and the food is fabulous. www.garlandslodge.com

        1. t
          truman RE: truman Apr 6, 2009 03:53 PM

          Thanks, folks. We changed our plans and ended up not going to Sedona after all. Hopefully these reviews will help other CHOWs.

          4 Replies
          1. re: truman
            hohokam RE: truman Apr 7, 2009 11:45 AM

            Thanks for checking in. I appreciate the fact that you took time to acknowledge the recommendations, even if you didn't have a chance to take advantage of them. :-)

            1. re: hohokam
              kmama RE: hohokam Apr 14, 2009 04:12 PM

              This post has been VERY helpful to me as I am going to Sedona next week to celebrate a friend's birthday. We are definitely going to try Dahl & DiLuca's , but I am wondering if anyone has been impressed by L'Auberge, Hundred Rox, or Reds?

              1. re: kmama
                susieQ49 RE: kmama Apr 14, 2009 04:27 PM

                Our first experience at L'Auberge was wonderful. We were staying at Enchantment but went for a great dinner there and sat creekside. I was so charmed, that the next time we traveled to Sedona, we stayed at L'Auberge. Our dinner that night was just okay. Did not particularly enjoy our room either. I don't know who the chef is, or if he or she has been a constant presence, but I would imagine that the quality of the meal is dependent on who's in the kitchen. I would only rely on feedback from recent diners.

                1. re: susieQ49
                  ratuetuate RE: susieQ49 Apr 15, 2009 12:39 PM

                  Recently had lunch by the creek at L'Auberge, unfortunately the weather was cool and windy and there was surrounding noise from construction/expansion of L'Auberge. Our server explained that L'Auberge was merging with Amara Resort (next door) - their Chef was overseeing L'auberge, Hundred Rox and Orchards restaurants - may be stretched a little thin for hands on oversite.
                  I enjoyed cocktails and small plates at Reds, seemed like a lot of locals sit around the communal bar tables, made for great conversation. Service was a little shaky, bartender seemed anxious to take all customers he could while dining servers stood by and watched from an almost empty dining room.
                  Hit Elote on an 'off' night - place was packed - great green corn tamale, very mediocre and overcooked snapper. Blood orange margarita hit the spot.
                  Will definitely hit Kurts on my next visit.

          2. b
            banana_peel RE: truman Apr 16, 2009 09:18 AM

            Truman, I hope you get to go to Sedona another time.

            We ate at Elote Cafe and I highly recommend it. The Elote appetizer was delicious. The entrees were wonderful, although the carnitas was just normal, not exceptional. The Elote dessert was great, but if you don't like goat cheese, don't get it because it does leave you with that goaty aftertaste. I enjoyed my meal at Elote so much that I kept wishing they were open for lunch the next day so I could go back and try more of the menu.

            We also ate at Garland's Lodge. The dinner was wonderful and I found the setting to be beautiful and charming. They post their menu online, and you can email them to ask for a reservation. We had no problem getting in on a Thursday night, during spring break, but the small dining room was full, so I think we got lucky. I liked the food and environs so much that I bought two cookbooks, and the Maitre d' kept them for me and had one of the authors write a personal note in each of them the next morning! They will be great gifts.

            Last but not least, we ate twice at Wildflower Cafe. Mostly because of convenience. Our lunch was just fine, not amazing but also not bad at all. Our breakfast was wonderful, the lemon ricotta pancakes were great, and my husband enjoyed his frittata. There is a nice art glass sculpture in the center of the restaurant, it feels a bit like a Starbucks crossed with a Corner Bakery. I hope Wildflower will open a restaurant near me so I can get more of those pancakes.

            Oh. And we also had a really fabulous, gourmet breakfast of Egg McMuffins at McD's. Bon appetit.

            2 Replies
            1. re: banana_peel
              desertdweller RE: banana_peel Apr 16, 2009 11:27 AM

              You sure it wasn't Wildflower Bread Company? They have several located in the metro Phoenix area - not sure if thats where you are though...


              1. re: banana_peel
                kmama RE: banana_peel Apr 16, 2009 11:31 AM

                Thank you very much for the additional and thorough contributions, all! Garlands sounds so cool, but they are serving meals we can't partake in for the days we are there--I think I might try to sneak a peak at the facilities, though. We are definitely going to try Elote, and either L'Auberge (post construction hours!) or Hundred Rox for our second and third meals. I'll be sure to report back...

              2. m
                meleyna RE: truman May 29, 2009 05:16 PM

                While everything I've seen on this board looks fantastic, it all looks a bit on the higher end side. Any suggestions on dining with a two year old?

                8 Replies
                1. re: meleyna
                  palmtree38 RE: meleyna Jun 23, 2009 02:37 PM

                  meleyna did you get to Sedona yet? No replies to your post. WE will have a 3 1/2 and 5 year old . Although they are good at restaurants I dont want fine dining but good quality meals.

                  1. re: palmtree38
                    avandelay RE: palmtree38 Jun 23, 2009 03:59 PM

                    Elote isn't fine dining per se. Its a reasonably causal place and on the loud side. I would be OK with kids there. We took our kids to the Heartline Cafe and sat outside which was nice. But call first, I just heard they had a fire and so I don't know if they are open.

                    1. re: avandelay
                      janeh RE: avandelay Jun 23, 2009 05:40 PM

                      We go to Elote fairly regularly and there are often families with little kids there. Best to go right when they open as it gets very crowded and the wait can be long. Two places that your kids would probably enjoy are Red Planet Diner and the Sedona Airport Restaurant, which is right next to the runway at the top of Airport Mesa. Both are open from early morning through dinner - the food's fine, not particularly special, but they're relaxed and fun. L'Auberge is very expensive but can be very wonderful - an early dinner at a table by the creek could be great. Or it could be pretty wet depending on how adventurous your kids are! Either way, it's beautiful and would certainly be memorable!

                      Re: avandelay's post - Heartline hasn't reopened yet but their Cafe, which is right next door to the restaurant, is open and lovely with mostly outdoor seating in a lush little garden.

                    2. re: palmtree38
                      meleyna RE: palmtree38 Jul 25, 2009 01:21 PM

                      My fault, I am *just* now seeing this. We did end up eating at Elote, and it was great, though we got in there right after five. He had the chicken enchilada off of the kids menu, which was a good deal of food, and by the looks of the adult menu, I think it was just a kid sized portion of the adult entree. (The smoked chicken was fabulous.) Funny story, the beans were black, and my son loved them. His whole face was a black mess by the time he was done.

                    3. re: meleyna
                      ejs1492 RE: meleyna Jun 23, 2009 08:33 PM

                      I might be a little late to respond on this, but we have taken our son (when he was younger than two) to Dahl and DeLuca's Cucina Rustica. No problems at all and, as I recall, he loved fried stuffed olives!

                      1. re: ejs1492
                        palmtree38 RE: ejs1492 Jun 24, 2009 06:34 AM

                        my daugther is in a real olive stage right now! fussy eater most of the time but likes olives go figure.

                        1. re: palmtree38
                          janeh RE: palmtree38 Jun 24, 2009 02:15 PM

                          Safeway in Sedona has an olive "bar" where you can purchase whatever quantity you want, should you need to stock up.

                          1. re: janeh
                            palmtree38 RE: janeh Jun 24, 2009 02:50 PM

                            we have deep fried pickles where I live but never heard of deep fried olives.. interesting!

                    4. s
                      sunshineinaz RE: truman Jul 9, 2009 02:14 PM

                      Are there any other recommendations for lunch spots in Sedona? I used to go to the Heartline Cafe for lunch when visiting but it no longer seems to be open for lunch. Any favorites? Thanks in advance!

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: sunshineinaz
                        janeh RE: sunshineinaz Jul 9, 2009 02:31 PM

                        Heartline Cafe is still open for lunch (and breakfast) with great food in a lovely spot next to the original blue restaurant. They're still trying to get fully back to business after a fire in the main restaurant.

                        1. re: janeh
                          sunshineinaz RE: janeh Jul 9, 2009 02:45 PM

                          Thanks Janeh for the update. When I looked at their website, it looked like they just had dinner hours. I didn't know about the fire. Glad to hear they are still open for lunch.

                          1. re: sunshineinaz
                            janeh RE: sunshineinaz Jul 9, 2009 10:00 PM

                            You're welcome - enjoy!

                            1. re: janeh
                              palmtree38 RE: janeh Jul 13, 2009 04:49 AM

                              Another tip.. I found many restaurants that you go to view the menus have a mailing list you can join. Someone recommended the Picasso's pizza in Sedona and you get a coupon when joining buy any size pizza get another free. Along with 25% entire bill coupons.

                              Sometimes it is worth added yourself to the mailing lists for these savings!

                              1. re: palmtree38
                                ciaogal RE: palmtree38 Jul 24, 2009 07:52 AM

                                Had a delightful lunch yesterday @ L'Auberge in Sedona. Yes, they are still undergoing their $25Million + Renovation.
                                I am not sure I would stay there during the construction noise...except for the fact they are running some really terrific lodging and dining specials.
                                ($335/night w/ $170 dinner dining credit and $30 breakfast credit.)

                                We sat CreekSide where you couldn't hear the construction noise. We heard the birds, the running water and the serenity the place is known for.
                                Granted in the heat of the summer they weren't at full capacity and the restaurant was less than half full. Service was spot on...water glasses were kept full at all times.

                                We both ordered iced teas to start. I began my meal w/ a chilled Cantaloupe Basil soup...served w/ creme fraiche and a pancetta chip.
                                For lunch I had a tenderlion panini served w/ carmelized onions and provelone on an herbed foccaccia. My Dining companion had the Angus Burger served on a buttery soft brioche....we both had the crispy truffled fries as our side dish...they were perfect!

                                Granted we were only there for lunch and the menu much more casual and informal than dinner.

                                It was a great experience, good food and beautiful surroundings. A nice reprieve from the heat of the Valley.

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