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Feb 6, 2009 08:38 AM

Richardson's, Tarbells or Rancho Pinot tonight?

I have read about these restaurants over the years, but have not seen many recent posts on them. which do you prefer for great food and ambience? thank you!

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  1. Now, if you'd said Monday night rather than tonight, I might have gone with Rancho Pinot, because that's when Chrysa Kaufman is doing her mozzarella pulls for the special menu. That's locavore food plus entertainment. Since you're saying for tonight, and you're specifying great food *plus* ambience, Tarbells, for the win.

    1. Haven't been to Tarbell's or Richardson's, so can't compare, but you wouldn't be disappointed with Rancho Pinot. I'm a fan of the ambiance--sort of a casual/quirky elegance, upscale and quiet but not remotely stuffy, an unusual mixture of white tablecloth and old western memorabilia, saguaro ribs, etc. (completely unpretentious). The food is fantastic--the skirt steak, surprisingly, is one of my favorite steaks I've had in the past couple of years--everything I've tried there has been great. Long story short: 1 vote Rancho Pinot

      1. You can't go wrong with any of them, but I do know Tarbell's just started a new menu in the past week so if you decide to go there please report back on what you think. Each one has great food, so it more depends on the ambiance you're looking for. crsin hit it on the head for ambiance for rancho pinot, tarbells is more classic fine dining ambiance while Richardson's is more laidback and less expensive than the other two.

        2 Replies
        1. re: AnonymousWaitress

          I jsut wnated to report back that my parents and their friends--all of them--had a horrible experience and meal at Tarbells. I have not gotten specifics on what they ordered yet, as they have not yet returned. Other meals that were better were Ocean Club, and the best was Mosaic--looks like it is back to having phenomenal food.

          1. re: ljero

            I'm really surprised by this... last time I went, Mark Tarbell (the owner) was walking around talking to people, making sure everyone was enjoying themselves... I've never heard anything bad about Tarbell's. Let us know when you find out their complaints....

        2. We've been to each place. We loved Richardson's and Rancho Pinot. Tarbells was a big *shrug* for Tara and huge disappointment for me. The first try on my order was too salty and when they tried again, it was completely bland. There didn't seem to be any middle ground. Richardson's Carne Adovada is amazing and is one of my favorite dishes anywhere. Rancho Pinot was really good all-around, but no single dish jumps out at me.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Firenza00

            Also recently heard very negative things about Tarbell's. Wonder what's going on there as had heard solid things for so long.

            1. re: ccl1111

              the only thing that I love at Tarbells is the cheesecake with rosemary caramel sauce, it is to die for!

              Richardson's is really good but the food is heavy, so be hungry.

              Haven;t tried Ranchot yet...

          2. Had light late dinner at bar at Tarbells tonight. 1st visit. Cioppino and arugula flatbread. Each pretty good if not inspiring. Had Argentinian pinot noir and malbec by the glass. Both had been up on the counter and were a bit warm. But very comfortable and would try again for a 'real meal'.

            3213 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

            1 Reply
            1. re: nocaliban

              Although I have never had a great meal at Tarbells there is something about the place I really like. We often stop in and sit at the bar to eat which is very pleasant.
              We have eaten at Rancho Pinot many times and never had a bad experience.