After soliciting advice on where to get a good prime rib in Phoenix in this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616137 , we headed off to Christopher's to try their 32oz bone-in prime rib.
-Escargot. This was a bit of a letdown. The dish seemed a bit oily for some reason, and the pastry shell seemed a bit too thick. I also thought the dish lacked the necessary garlic flavor.
-Goat cheese salad. My companion enjoyed this salad and my one taste of it was enough to show me that it was definitely better than the escargots. The salad had a nice sweet-salty contrast, the parmesan and bacon were nice touches.
-Duck fries. These were great; light, crispy and with nice subtle spicy punch; almost like potato chips. We were also give a nice sample of the truffle fries because we couldnt' decide between the two. Duck fries were proclaimed the winner, although the truffle version was tasty as well.
-Pig trotters. I was really looking forward to this. Maybe it was my expectations were too high, but the dish seemed almost too rich. I like pig's feet -- braised, pickled and even stir-fried -- but when chopped up, battered up and deep-fried, it almost seemed like overkill. There was almost too much "gelatinous-fat" mouthfeel. The dish needed something to balance that richness, and the sweetbreads were no help.
-Prime Rib. My companion was really unmoved by this hunk of meat. It was way too fatty, and there wsa no char on the outside. It was cooked as requestd (medium rare), but just looking at the plate it seemed like there was more fat than meat. I was also told that the meat was lacking in flavor.
-The chocolate tower that everyone speaks of did not disappoint, although I don't really like "tall" food, but then that's a minor quibble.
The room is really nice, sleek and modern (and so are the restrooms), although I'm not sure I really dig the orange accents.
Service was exemplary, bordering on overbearing. But if a restaurant were to err, it would definitely be better to err on too much service, than not ehough I suppose.
Regarding trotter, recently had a great prep done by Chef Payton at Digestif for Savor Scottsdale's "Notorious P.I.G" dinner last weekend. It was the first course - stuffed and thinly sliced, served with a salad of Maya's arugula, sorrel, and radishes with pecorino and Queen Creek Olive Oil. Paired with local AZ wine Dos Cabezas 2007 "R.R. White". Not sure if he has put it on the menu yet though.
I reviewed it on my blog and was very, very disappointed. Although the food was "okay" (at best), the service was incredibly weak. Looks like they may have solved that problem. I couldn't help but feel like time has passed by Christopher Gross and his James Beard was a relic of a past career, not a present one. I felt that there are many other great options in the same price range, e.g. Noca.
Agreed on the value point.
Nothing at the restaurant really "wowed" me. We kept thinking that the real action was over at Crush.
Re: service. Part of it was that the restaurant was maybe only 1/4 filled, if that.
I will, though, that I would go back for those fries and maybe just a glass of wine any day.