Thank you PHX & SCF--longish
We're most of the way through a week visit splitting time between Hyatt Regency Gainey and Biltmore. First, you all should be proud of the board quality here. We don't post much, but we read a lot, and thanks for all your suggestions. Hunt and JK... you've have been particularly helpful (and really fun to read).
We often eat at bars, and our bar service has been uniformly outstanding. You grow good barkeeps out here. No exceptions so far.
And still up are meals at Richardson's and Noca. So wish us luck.
Sat night Cowboy Ciao. Third visit there. Fun flight of pink bubbles for aperitif and then a very solid Sangiovese set. Their chopped salad remains the standard-setter for us. Mushroom and polenta was still very good, but not ethereal. Could be us just getting used to how good it is.
Sunday Gainey Ranch Hyatt Regency Patio. Maybe best single dish yet on trip. Scallop and shrimp chipotle. Perfectly cooked, with outside sear and moist inside. Spicing subtle and fresh. Flat out excellent. The old caveat about not eating in the hotel out the window here. And the view fantastic.
Mon night: ZInc Bistro. 2nd visit. We didn't do any deep thinking here. Clay scored points with recommendation of simple Cotes du Rhone to go with the steak frites, which was perfectly cooked. It's a bistro, we ate bistro food, and we liked it a lot.
Tues night: Los Somberos. Another good bartender. 1st visit. Huitlacoche Crepas very good. Lamb what it should be, though I cheated and crushed some chips into the broth to thicken. But tortillas a non-starter. Gooey, steamy, industrial. Would have asked for another batch, but why bother if they would have come out again from same process. With rest of food so decent, I would pay up for real-deal tortillas. (or BYOT?)
Wed night: Bloom. 2nd visit. I think same bartender we had a couple of years ago. Which is nice. Spoke knowledgeably of the wines off the cuff and without pretense about flights. I had 'cult reds' and SO had upscale chards. Beet salad excellent, as were artichoke/parmesan/truffle oil. Pad Thai shrimp were more poached than stir-fried, but ok. Will come back
Thurs night? Maybe Richardson's or their place around the side.
Friday night: Noca. By the way, making reservations at Noca was one of the funner calls to a restaurant I've made in a while. Called early this week, and if it wasn't owner who answered it was someone who paid attention. Looking forward to this one.
Cheers and thanks again!
7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Los Sombreros Cafe & Cantina
2534 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257
15034 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Richardson's Cuisine of New Mexico
1582 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016
3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Gainey Ranch Hyatt Regency
7500 E Doubletree Ranch Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
8877 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
It sounds like you've stumbled on one of the locals' secrets. In Phoenix, the hotel restaurants are destination dining. This is the first I'd heard of the Hyatt Gainey Ranch joining the fray on that end, though. It doesn't entirely surprise me; that's always been a quality property, and it's good to hear that their recent renovation ended with good chow.
Next time, start exploring our strip malls (Getting your feet wet with Richardson's and Noca are a great idea) and you'll really be eating like a local!
re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
Thanks JK. Note we ate on the outdoor patio at Gainey Ranch, and asked for the regular indoor bar menu from which we chose appetizers. Seemed to work.
Also, had a chance to swing by Dick's Hideaway for late lunch. Excellent green chile stew, quesadilla and house caesar. Wine specials at $5 a pop a great value. Klinker Brick zin was served a bit cold (came out of same fridge as La Crema chard) but warmed up ok. Raised a glass to the cook behind the counter and enjoyed our mid-day meal.
6008 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016
No, thank you for your detailed report! We love it when people come back and make the effort to post their experiences.
If Cowboy Ciao is becoming predictable for you, how about next time head across the way to Digestif? They tout themselves as Cali-Italian; I love them for their charcuterie. Very passionate people running the place, and you still have access to the Kasperski cellar and Tracey Dempsey's pastries from Ciao.