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Jan 21, 2009 08:47 AM

Posh - Scottsdale

Has anyone tried the new Posh Improvisational Cuisine in Optima Camelview? I love the concept of the restaurant, and am anxious to try it. Would like to hear some feedback if anyone has visited.

Posh Improvisational Cuisine
7167 E Rancho Vista Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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  1. Haven't tried it, but it is an interesting idea. I'm curious how it works...prix fix? do you select the ingredients you want the dishes to be centered around, or just what you don't like and let them surprise you? So many questions...

    2 Replies
    1. re: crsin

      yes it's prix fixe 4-7 courses, ranging from $45-75, with a $6 wine supplement per course (optional). there is also a "say stop", for $145 w/wine.

      from what i understand, you can pick your proteins (or veg), and if you have a certain prep in mind, such as asian or mediterranean, they will do it with that bent, or just let them choose the prep. or, if you don't want to choose anything, i suppose they would do that too. i do not believe there is an actual menu with "regular items".

      hope that helps.

    2. Two of us tried Posh tonight. We thought it was very good and gets our “Do Over” rating. We specified what we did not want and chose the Chef’s Choice Menu, meaning the chef made what he wanted for us. It was fun to see what the chef came up with each time we received a course. Between the two of us we had ten courses. Of the ten courses, we thought eight were very good to excellent. We found the two soups uninteresting, but we’re not soup people. Next time we go, we’ll tell them we don’t want soup. We thought it was very reasonable for the quality of the food – a five course meal, to which they added extra desserts, cost $55 a person. That does not include the cost of the wine. The service was excellent. But I have to say that we were there very early – so I have no idea what their service is like when they are very busy.

      1. I met Josh @ West of Western and after chatting with him for a couple mins and trying his meyer lemon lollipops off the anti-griddle, I knew I had to go asap. I went tonight and was not disappointed.

        I opted for the four course ($45) with $15 foie supplement, and no other instructions other than i wanted something off the anti-griddle. So, four courses turned into this:

        amuse: cabrales cheese wrapped w/apple leather, olive oil, basil chiffonade
        first: cured salmon and cucumber salad w/horseradish sauce, trevisio
        second: foie gras torchon brulee, pineapple, apple/pear water, pickled grapes, blood orange
        third: seared scallop, spinach, shiitake mushrooms
        fourth: kangaroo, tepary bean puree, bacon broth
        fifth: braised short rib, broccolini
        dessert: chocolate pate, chocolate plaquettes w/white chocolate mousse, buttermilk panna cotta
        meyer lemon lollipop

        Of course, the details are pretty irrelevant because if drove back right now, I probably wouldn't see the same things with the exception of maybe the amuse and part of dessert. The standouts were the foie gras and the kangaroo - candied goose liver with fruit and the pop of pickled grapes - hard to go wrong there. The kangaroo was lean, tender (not gamey at all) and served over delicious local tepary bean puree and a bacon broth I could drink a bowl of. The scallop was nicely cooked, and noticeably smaller and more flavorful and a lot of scallops I've had. The cured salmon salad was a bit salty, but balanced nicely with the horseradish and mildly bitter trevisio. The short rib, as braised meats have a tendency to taste, was succulent and well done. Of the three items in the dessert "trio", I would rate the buttermilk panna cotta as top notch because I prefer a slightly less-sweet finish.

        Since I was dining solo at the bar, I was able to chat about the dishes, ask questions, see some cool toys, etc. There are some tables near the windows, but the room focuses on the bar and kitchen, so I think that's the place to sit. The stools had foot rests and were fairly comfortable, but they weren't overly large or cushy either. I skipped wine and went with beer, but their wine list, both bottle and b-t-g seemed much deeper than their beers.

        In total, 2 beers, 6 courses with foie supplement, $75 before tip. Outrageous deal. Go to this place.

        2 Replies
        1. re: azhotdish

          Thanks for the great report. Posh is high on my list of get-to places, and you just moved it up to the top.

          Paul the wine guy at Jug n' Barrel (unfortunately, now closed) had been enthusiastically telling us about Posh for weeks before it opened as the chef is a friend of his. Twice we had dinner plans, but they got changed. After reading your review, I'm not going to let that happen again! Sounds like a wonderful meal, and a great price point too. Did you give him any choices (meat, etc.), or just let him run with it?

          1. re: Rubee

            I let him run with it - I don't have any food allergies, and don't really dislike anything. Interestingly enough, I'm actually not a huge fan of scallops but I enjoyed the scallop dish. Looking forward to your report.

        2. Another visit to Posh on Friday night, this time with gf in tow. No notes, so details are a bit weak.

          blue cheese wrapped fruit leather w/truffle oil
          layered ahi tuna tartar w/blood orange and potato chips
          blue crab salad over grilled bread, smoked blueberries
          artichoke with preserved lemon?
          monkfish w/asparagus tips and potato chip
          seared kangaroo w/pappardelle pasta, morels, peppers
          seared duck breast w/preserved lemon jus and thyme, (shallot confit?)
          grilled kobe w/hibiscus and wasabi sauce
          braised short rib w/broccoli
          fresh sardine, sliced onion, (preserved lemon, blood orange jus?)
          buttermilk panna cotta, chocolate pate w/peanut butter, chocolate plaquettes w/white chocolate mousse
          secret dessert
          blood orange lollipops

          I absolutely loved the monkfish entree, the sauce had tons of smokey bacon flavor that put it over the edge. A close second was the kobe, seared on the outside with a very interesting flavor combo in the sauce; the wasabi was subtle, not overpowering. I loved gf's kangaroo dish, again nicely cooked meat with an al dente fresh pasta alongside with oops, barely gritty morels. Take out the mushrooms, an awesome dish. The sardines were an additional course (we chose 5, $55/ea), something he had just got in. Awesome flavor, and something I've never had fresh before. Holy bone count in the fish.

          If I were to nitnick, a couple of things. I love the fruit leather / blue cheese thing, but I might do a palatte cleanser after that. I didn't notice it the first time, but the flavor lingered for a bit longer before course 1. Second, the pacing seemed to slow a bit as the night went on, we got to 2.5 hrs for 6 courses. Sitting at the bar on those stools, it got a bit long.

          And the dessert was basically the same as I had last time. I would have loved a cheese course instead. Perhaps I should have asked.

          Josh and these guys are on their game. Great service and overall experience.

          2 Replies
          1. re: azhotdish

            Need to eat here soon. It is quickly moving up my "must eat" list. I love well-prepared marsupial.

            1. re: ejs1492

              Girlfriend asked, "is it even legal to serve kangaroo?"

              We have enough problems with border security - who knows what those things have stuffed in their pouches.

              I say, grill 'em.

          2. I ate there on Friday, July 10th, and the place is great. Along with Binkley's, it is some of the best prepared food in town, and is what you would see served in the best kitchens in New York or Europe (though the portions were a bit larger in Europe). My wife and I decided on the "full menu" option for $110 (each), and I added the foie gras supplement for $15 more. Other than the Maytag Blue cheese that my wife got (she opted for a cheese course, while I got a surf and turf), everything was spot on. While the courses are small, they have to be with how many courses we were having, so I am not complaining in the least. Here is what we were served over 4 hours of gluttony (forgive me for not remembering everything on each dish):

            Amuse: Lychee gelee with licorice sauce and mint (not a big licorice fan, but the taste subsided quickly. The mint and lychee were great.)
            Salad: Greens with goat cheese, bing cherries, and mustard vinaigrette (3-4 bite salad, but very tasty with some heat on the back end).
            Soup: Popcorn soup with clarified butter and smoked paprika (This reminded me of sitting down at the movies with popcorn and butter delicious!)
            Fish 1: Black bass (firm fish cooked perfectly with crispy skin)
            Fish 2: Mahi Mahi (I have had this a few times in the past, but this was by far the best. I think the key was not over-cooking the fish, which most joints do {yes, I am talking to you, McCormick and Schmicks!})
            Fish 3: Grouper with green grape and red onion relish (I never had this before, but if it is served like this, I would order it over and over tasted like the ocean in a good way)
            Fish 4: Halibut (Relatively standard, but good. Nothing popping about it, other than it was cooked perfectly)
            Meat 1: Kangaroo with sea beans over chantrelle mushrooms (Never had this meat, but was excited to try it. It tastes like lean beef, and if you didn't tell me it was 'roo, I wouldn't know the difference. The chantrelles were perfect and made the dish)
            Meat 2: Venison with red-wine onions (Best venison I have ever tasted...which is to say it didn't taste much like venison. The onions were the best I have ever tasted, and I will attempt to make these at home).
            Meat 3: Frog leg (For the first time I had this without overpowering garlic. It was sauteed up and crispy on the outside, but medium rare inside....and didn't taste like chicken!)
            Meat 4: Me: foie gras torchon in watermelon broth with cherries (superb "brulee'd" dish). Wife: Gnocchi with shredded rabbit (I loved it...better than the tasty rabbit I had in Paris!)
            Meat 5: Lamb (Not very gamey, unfortunately. Still very good and cooked perfectly)
            Meat 6: Duck breast with snow peas (I love good duck, and this was cooked very well. The skin could have been crisped a tiny bit more, but was still wonderful).
            Meat 7: Pork belly (This dish was great and was like melting bacon in my mouth. My wife had one bite and decided she was done with mains, so I delightfully finished off her portion)
            Fish 5/Meat 8 (me only): Surf & Turf with NY strip and Loup de Mer served with chinese long beans in a miso sauce (I was very happy with this dish as my last main course of the night. Never had Loup de Mer before, but this was perfect. It was flaky and had a bit of crisp on the skin. The NY strip was cooked well, and the miso added a good bit of salt. The long beans tied it all together)
            Cheese (wife only): Maytag Blue and Humbolt Fog with garlic toast points and aged balsamic vinegar (Both too strong for me, but my wife said the Humbolt fog was the best cheese she has ever had in the US).
            Dessert 1: Me: Strawberry Rhubarb sorbet. Wife: Pear/Cabernet sorbet. (Both were good, but my wife was very happy with the wine flavor in hers)
            Dessert 2: Me: Sugar torched fig with cinnamon and panna cotta. Wife: Lemon cake with ricotta filling and chocolate pate with chocolate tuile and white chocolate. (The cake was great with lots of palate cleansing lemon. The chocolate was to die for. Mine were just OK, as I am not big on cinnamon or figs. The panna cotta was good, but nothing to rave about).
            Dessert 3: Lollipop made on the anti-griddle consisting of pear and ricotta cheese and a few other things. It was good, but not great. The best part was the texture for me, as it melted perfectly when eaten)
            Dessert 4: Cookies to take home.

            We didn't get the wine pairings with dinner as we had plenty to drink the night before. Instead we had 2 glasses of Cava for $8 (excellent substitute for champagne), and I had a Long Island ($9) and a Caipirinha ($7). The caipirinha wasn't the best in town (Fogo de Chao or Fogo E Brasa has much better, but only because they use much better cachaca), but I didn't expect it to be.

            As you can see, the price is obviously justified. This food was fantastic, the service was above average, and watching the kitchen from the bar made for a pretty eventful meal. I will definitely go back to this gem in due time....though will probably stick to the 4, 5, or 6 course menus. I encourage any chowhound with a sense of adventure to check this place out. It will cost you some money, but you get what you pay for. Congrats to Chef Hebert on such a wonderful concept. I hope this place stays around the valley for years to come.