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Scottsdale/Phoenix Report

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Just spent a weekend in beautifully balmy Scottsdale with my husband and MIL and benefitted from searches of this board before leaving, so I wanted to report back with a thank you and hopefully get a few tips for next time...

With time to kill before our NOCA reservation, we had drinks at Digestif, and couldn't resist the amazing pate of the day as well as the salmon rilletes. The drink list here is phenomenal and with three of us we did a lot of tasting and passing - I want to take the bartender home with me. Permanently. We left for NOCA with good wishes from the waiter, who told us we would love it, and the table next to us who said the same thing, plus all the praise from this board... and I dont' know that it quite lived up to the advance press.

Not to say that it wasn't good - it was. But I found the space to be a bit odd, both in the location and then the unavoidable shape of the room because of the location. Our server was pleasant, but didn't have a good grip on what had been 86'ed. She assured us that the two starters we were interested had "lots left" - we offered to order those up front so that we didn't lose them, she told us it wasn't necessary and then left us there for quite a while. When she came back, two of the items we wanted had disappeared off the pasta and main menu, but our starters were intact. We ordered. She came back about 5-10 minutes later to tell us that no, actually, our starters were no longer availbile. I don't know if they'd been 86ed for a long time and she just didn't know, or if we waited too long, or what, but by this point, 3 of the 6 dishes we had ordered were not availible. She was very nice about it but it threw us all off and we had to rethink - it was also disappointing.

The food we did have was nice - the duck confit was rich and wonderful and the foie dish was cooked 90% perfectly (which is all I expect in a restaurant these days). The big eye tuna tartare was nice enough, but didn't shine - we all felt the tuna overpowered everything else mixed in a little too much. The mains were a nicely cooked cod with interesting sides and a rib eye which confused all of us, as it was trimmed of its cap and cut like a tenderloin. And sliced. We actually asked why they did this, and were told that the cap gets used other places and the slicing gives better sauce distribution. It struck us all as odd, since if you order ribeye you expect the slightly fatty, rich, thickness of it - if you want filet, you order filet. This just didn't have the flavor of a ribeye. Also, if I'm paying $36 for ribeye, I want the cap which we all agreed is 'the good part' . It wasn't bad ... just not at all what we expected and a little odd. I loved the cotton candy at the end and overall it was a good meal, but not the shining star I was expecting.

The next day we had a late lunch at El Nopalito and really enjoyed it - authentic, good, cheap and such a pleasure for people who used to live in LA and now live in the south. Enough said, but THANK YOU to whoever reccomended this place.

Sunday eve we had a reservation at Cowboy Ciao that we cancelled in order to eat & drink more at Digestif. Not sad about that at all as we had a great salad (with rabbit and persimmon) two pastas that we loved (one that was exactly what we were expecting and one that totally wasn't, but worked in a way I hadn't imagined ... it almost ceased being pasta) and a crazy intense chocolate dessert that would have fed 6. And more of those lovely cocktails. Great place.

I know we'll be back - any suggestions for the next trip?

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