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Scottsdale Anniversary/Birthday trip from DC

ktmoomau Jan 4, 2009 07:36 PM

Hello All,

Fiance and I are coming from DC to spend a long weekend at The Palm in Scottsdale. I am looking for a special occasion place for his birthday dinner, he likes interesting game, red meat, but eats most anything and also likes high end dining experiences. What are some of the top not to miss places that would be good for a romantic dinner? Noca, T. Cooks in our hotel? Binkley's? (We have a car rental) somewhere else?

Also looking for some good eats in Scottsdale for breakfast/lunch that are more low key.

Also would love some recommendations for good Mexican as we have awful Mexican in DC that isn't to out of the way from the normal things visitors do, although we are willing to drive out of the way some for good food.

It is my first time to Scottsdale so I don't know what is where, but we will probably visit the normal places most people do.

Also Fiance loves well made cocktails any loungey or nice not divey bars we should check out?

I have looked at the boards, but just didn't know what was best that would be near where we will be.

Thanks all.

  1. silverbear Jan 4, 2009 08:21 PM

    I assume you mean that you are staying at the Royal Palms, which is located in Phoenix, although not terribly far from Scottsdale.

    T. Cook's is not quite the foodie mecca compared to Binkley's, but it has never let me down. I'd suggest having the Sunday brunch there.

    1. Bill Hunt Jan 5, 2009 06:11 PM

      I agree with Silverbear's rec. for T. Cook's in your resort. It is unique.

      Also, you might consider Vincent's on Camelback, just to the east of you. Think Le Paradou, but with a Southwest twist to classic French cuisine. The decor is also quite different. The wine list is also very good.

      Both are close, different and excellent.

      Happy birthday!


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

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

      Le Paradou
      601 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC

      4 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt
        ktmoomau Jan 6, 2009 08:31 AM

        We love Le Paradou, I will definitely check that out thank you!

        1. re: ktmoomau
          Bill Hunt Jan 6, 2009 06:01 PM

          Just remember that it is a Southwest-take on classic French. To me, this is a unique application of the classic French techniques and dishes. A little more traditional in the decor, than Le Paradou, which has a wonderfully modern and minimalist bent. I love their interior. Lighting is just perfect, as I can read the menu and also see the presentations, unlike too many places.

          Do check out their Web site and I think you will see the differences, right away:

          Over the years, we've had more anniversary dinners at Vincent's than any other, when we're in town.

          Happy anniversary,


          1. re: Bill Hunt
            ktmoomau Jan 7, 2009 05:52 AM

            No it looks more like what he would like anyway. It has not a lot of game, but at least a lot of meats that aren't on the typical menus here in DC. He will like the Southwest flavors. I really think he will like it.

            Maybe we will do both that and Noca. I mean it is our Anniversary and his birthday :) Because both menus look good.

            Any low-brow can't miss options or lunch options that you recommend?

            1. re: ktmoomau
              Bill Hunt Jan 8, 2009 05:43 PM

              Hey! Now that should be a trip to remember. I hope that you enjoy each, as much as we have on our many visits.


      2. azhotdish Jan 7, 2009 09:05 AM

        If you want a local spot to sit and read the paper and drink some coffee, check out Mama Java's. For a greasy spoon with hearty breakfasts, Ranch House Grill. Personally I love La Grande Orange nearby, which is a mini-market / pizzeria / fast casual with good quality offerings; parking is a bit of a pain but they have a nice patio on the side to sit out if the weather is nice. Cafe ZuZu at the nearby Valley Ho, which is somewhat of a Scottsdale landmark hotel, does a great breakfast / brunch; another spot that will let you sit outside near the pool. If you're in a soup / sandwich type of mood, Acacia Cafe has two homemade soups daily and a variety of sandwiches. To grab a beer and possibly a game, there is a pub Wally's about a mile away; they have a checkboard with b-t-g wines and half bottles. There is also a cigar store a few doors away. The Vig would probably offer you a more upscale bar experience and a livelier crowd. All of these places are within 2-4 miles of Royal Palms on the Phoenix side (except ZuZu).

        I think Bill has you on the right track for the other meals.

        Have fun!

        La Grande Orange Grocery
        4410 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

        Acacia Cafe
        3701 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

        Mama Java's Coffee House
        3619 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

        Wally's' American Pub N Grill
        5029 N 44th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

        Ranch House Grille
        5618 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

        Cafe Zuzu
        6850 E. Main Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        The Vig
        4041 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018

        Churchill's Fine Cigars : Phoenix
        5041 N 44th St, Phoenix, AZ

        1. ktmoomau Jan 26, 2009 07:11 AM

          I wanted to report back on our trip:

          Our first meal was lunch at the pool at the Royal Palms, which I can say has a very good juicy meaty burger, not the absolute best burger I have ever had as we have a burger place here in DC that is just incredible, but really good. I liked the salsa on it and the meatyness of the meat.

          We were so tired our first night after waking up at 4 a.m. EST that we just ordered room service sandwiches for dinner.

          Friday morning we went to Matt's Big Breakfast, it was totally out of our way, as we were going to Taliesen West, but my Fiance really wanted breakfast food, and I knew he wouldn't do the weekend wait time. I have to say this place is incredible. I would wait in a really long line here in DC for that type of breakfast, we just don't have that here. I had the ham, cheddar and jalapeno scramble with hash browns. The eggs were great, the off the bone ham made it and the hash browns were great hashbrowns, the perfect mix of crunch and flavor. But Fiance got a waffle and that won by far. The sweet cream and real maple syrup was amazing. You best bet I will be trying to recreate that because it was so good. I dream about those couple bites of waffle that I got. I have to say it was worth the wait and we did wait at 10:45 on a Friday, but it was soo good.

          That night we went to Los Dos Molinos which was recommended by my brother who is out in Phoenix a lot. I got the marinated pork chimichanga with green chillies. Fiance got enchiladas. I won that round. I really loved this place, the wait staff was so nice and friendly. The chips were warm and crisp, the salsa had good heat, and the marinated pork was excellent and so was the sauce, just the right heat and flavor, it was really good. Something I will really be missing back home here.

          Vincent's was good. I think we were the youngest people there, but that was ok. I had a venison special and it was cooked perfectly. Fiance was happy to eat Wild Boar and it was pretty good, but I thought my venison had better flavor. I started with sweetbreads with risotto, which were pretty good, but Fiance had one of the specials and that was really good, I think it was like a "lobster chimichanga" but was really like a wrapped lobster and cream sauce with greens. We accidentally ordered dessert, which was huge and accompanied by another dessert, which was better, accompanied by cookies in our car we ate the next day. Overall it was really good, but I think next time we will probably stick to more places like Los Dos Molinos as we really loved eating food that we can't get anything close to here.

          We had breakfast at the Royal Palms and I had a mediterranean breakfast burrito, that was really good. I have to say their fresh fruit was excellent it was ripe and fresh.

          Fiance after he saw the spit roasted chicken kind of wanted to eat dinner there, but we never did.

          Last I do have to give kudos to Blue Burrito Grille in the airport. The Machacca chicken burrito was really good. So much better than anything we can find at home, and it was in the airport. The Southwest food here is so sad. It made a good filling dinner for the plane ride and it was nice to have something other than Wendy's or etc.

          It was so nice being able to drive 12 miles to dinner or something at it not being a big deal. Here there is so much traffic you would really have to think about that.

          Anyway thank you for all the advice we have a bunch of places still on the list to try next time we go. And we had so much fun hiking, going to the dessert botanical gardens with the Chiuhlly exhibit and Taliesen West and just relaxing at our beautiful hotel we will be back.

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