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Chowhound needs nice dinner for 9 fellas! North Scottsdale in March

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All,
I'll be in Scottsdale for spring training baseball and golf in March, like may of the other visitors. We need a nice place for a nice steak dinner (some guys might eat the fish) and reasonably priced wines.
In past visits we've dined at Mastro's Ocean Club (bit proud of their wine and they almost get offended if you don't want the "seafood tower" !) , Paul Fleming's, and the restaurant at the TPC Clubhouse (actually very good!).
We'll be in North Scottsdale and like to stay within a few miles of the neighborhood for reasons of drinking and driving. I've thought about City Hall which is down at Camelback at Fashion Square but hoping we don't have to drive that far south.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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  1. I guess looking around other restaurant options include:

    J&G Steakhouse which is the new Jean Georges steakhouse at the Princess:
    Eddie V's:

    Anyone know much at Deseo at the Westin Kierland?
    How about Rancho Pinot Grill?

    1. J&G Steakhouse is actually at the Phoenician. It's a great restaurant, but further from North Scottsdale than City Hall. Deseo is latin cuisine and Rancho Pinot, while great, doesn't fit the request.

      Bourbon Steak at the Princess is excellent. There is also Ocean Prime at City North. I haven't been there yet, but I've heard good things. Given your post, I think Bourbon Steak fits the bill.

      Barry

      2 Replies
      1. re: barry

        My wife and I did Bourbon Steak 3-4 months ago. Everything about it was top notch except for my Ribeye. I suppose if you want to spend 80-150 for the Kobe you get a good steak but the 45.00 Ribeye was terrible. The first incarnation arrived very overcooked and given it’s less than thick stature I imagine cooking it medium-rare would have been quite a challenge. Their second effort at one that was not any thicker resulted in medium at best which I ate but not happily. It was a shame as everything else from the fries to the appetizers and my wife’s dinner were quite good.

        1. re: barry

          I had heard many good reviews about Bourbon Steak but went there and unfortunately my steak and my dining partners was very underseasoned. At 240 before tip for 2 with a bottle of wine being our only alcohol it was very disappointing. Might have just been there on an off night of course...

          If you decide to go to Old Town Scottsdale I'd also consider Don and Charlies. Full of sports memorabilia, perfect place for a group of guys playing golf and watching baseball. Not the "scene" that city hall is and I do think the steaks are better at City Hall but also more expensive.

          Rancho Pinot is definitely a great restaurant but might not be the steakhouse kind of scene your group is looking for. Also, if drinking at all think about paying for a cab, the DUI laws here are very strict and very well enforced, and with a group of 9 you could easily fit in two minivan cabs.

        2. J&G is very good, but surprsingly the highlights of the menu are not the steaks. Go for the raw bar, ravioli and pork belly apps.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Thanks for the input so far. I'll look at Don and Charlies. It would be nice to find a "reliable" steak spot, just below the tier of the prices at Mastro's , Morton's , City Hall, etc.

            1. re: iuspock

              There is a Capital Grille in N. Scottsdale. I don't know how it compares, but, I've seen some favorable reviews.
              http://www.thecapitalgrille.com

              -----
              Capital Grille
              16489 North Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254

              1. re: iuspock

                Don & Charlie's is all atmosphere (which is great) but only mediocre food at best.

            2. We'll be there in March, too and there are 2 places we always try to get to. Cowboy Ciao @ 7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (480) 946-3111 and Donovan's Steak & Chop House @ 3101 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016 (602) 955-3666. Donovan's used to have great free Happy Hour apps too. Not sure if they still do.
              Bon Appetit!
              A former chef.

              4 Replies
              1. re: cynical0ne

                We recently ate at Donovan's and it was pretty bad. All the food was like mediocre hotel banquet food. Don't waste your time or money. Go anywhere else!!!

                1. re: cynical0ne

                  I heard Donovan's closed??

                  1. re: drewb123

                    I just called Donovan's. They are not closed.

                    1. re: Seth Chadwick

                      Thx!!

                2. Heirloom at DC Ranch is a great choice (and it's actually in North Scottsdale). They don't specialize in steak, but so what? You might consider dining Italian at Sassi near Cave Creek also. If you're coming all the way to the Valley, you might as well glory in Sassi's gorgeous, desert setting with outstanding chow. And the place is beautiful, designed like a Tuscan villa. You can get a steak when you get home. Or go Southwestern at Tonto Bar & Grill in Cave Creek ... so cool inside. Also hit Morton's at Kierland for unbelievable happy hour deals: $6 steak sliders, crab cakes, etc.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Kim Rose

                    What about this plan, Ocean Prime for dinner and drinks afterwords at the Blue Martini? Are those two establishments at the same spot?
                    Thanks all for input so far

                    1. re: iuspock

                      Both are located in City North. You could park at one and walk to the other. I haven't been to Ocean Prime yet, but I've heard good things. It's in the same mold as Mastros, City Hall, etc. Blue Martini is a hot bar. Live music at times, and a DJ at other times. If you're looking for a big steak followed by big martinis, you've found your spot.

                      Barry

                      1. re: barry

                        Well sounds like a plan, we'll see if we stick to it. Keep the sun out please and I'll report back in a couple weeks!

                  2. Durant's..

                    http://durantsaz.com

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      Just back from our time in Scottsdale and wanted to write about our dinner at Ocean Prime which is in the City North complex.

                      First, setting and ambiance was pretty cool. I'd go back simply to enjoy the bar or sit on the couch outdoor along the city sidewalks and enjoy a martini. They do a great job serving drinks and the gals serving are gorgeous and friendly.

                      We actually sat with 9 guys in one of the private rooms, which was ideal. The private room included a flat screen if there was something on tv (sporting event) you wished to follow. We were there strictly for the food and friendship. So for conversation having the private room was great.

                      The food was average. While likely trying to be as good as comparable steak houses (Mastro's Ocean Club, Fleming's, Eddie V's) I believe all those others are a cut above Ocean Prime, including the quality of the steak.

                      I ordered a bone-in strip which was just okay. No good outside crust and the quality of the steak wasn't mouthwatering. Again I've had better elsewhere. When I order a steak out at a great steakhouse, I expect something better than I can fire up on my grill at home. These type of restaurants are supposed to have extremely hot fires that can do things I cannot at home. This wasn't the case.

                      The side dishes, while tasty were very small. The sea bass ordered was prepared well and tasty but again a small portion.

                      The best thing I can say about the place is the service. We were taken care of very well and all our needs met inclusive of good wine recommendations.

                      So I'll go back for drinks , but I'll spend my dinner money elsewhere.

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                      Ocean Prime
                      5455 E High St Ste 115, Phoenix, AZ 85054