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Nov 9, 2010 11:40 AM

Dining in Scottsdale and Phoenix

We are headed to the Hilton Tapatio Cliffs week of Thanksgiving and are looking to check out the local culinary scene. We will have a car and will travel for good food. Looking for lunch and dinner spots with great local fare, any chef-worthy restaurants, and a decent wine list. Most of our meals will include our 14-month-old daughter who has an excellent palate and is well behaved. Recommendations needed please.

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  1. I think this thread is still pretty good for places close to your resort, however, I believe Basis is closed:

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    1. Your hotel is located in a mountain park area of Phoenix between two neighborhoods with distinct characteristics: Moon Valley to the north is more affluent; Sunnyslope to the south is more modest and has a larger immigrant population. Both areas are better for neighborhood restaurants than "chef-worthy" dining or extensive wine lists.

      For times you want to stay close to your hotel, I recommend the following:

      El Bravo -- Old school Arizona/Mexican border food done right. Particularly good tamales and machaca. Definitely a place for beer rather than wine.

      Carolina's North -- Local favorite for its house-made tortillas and Mexican food. I don't think they have a liquor license.

      Bomberos -- Neighborhood wine bar with a South American influence. Nice adaptive resuse of an old firehouse.

      Los Reyes de la Torta -- Specializes in Mexico City sandwiches and huaraches. No liquor license but huge selction of fruity beverages.

      For the more chef-driven and wine-centric approach you have requested, it may be necessary to travel outside the immediate neighborhood. You mention Scottsdale in your subject line. Scottsdale is about 7 miles east of your hotel, and I'll leave the recommendations there to board regulars who have more expertise with that side of town.

      There are plenty of options within Phoenix per se, but recommendations depend on how far you are willing to travel and if you plan to bring your child along to all meals or get a sitter at times. I could recommend places like Noca and Nobuo at Teeter House, but I'd hesitate to bring my own young children to either if only because both places are best appreciated via multi-course meals that may exceed even the most well-behaved toddler's attention span.

      El Bravo
      8338 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020

      8801 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020

      3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

      Nobuo at Teeter House
      622 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

      1. For local flavor try:
        Casual - Lunch-

        1. Carolina's on Thunderbird & Cave Creek -- Mexican (Not quite a dive, but close)
        2. Local Breeze - 606 North 4th Avenue - Breakfast & "bar food"
        3. La Tolteca - 1205 E. Van Buren -- Mexican
        3. Matt's Big Breakfast - 801 N. 1st St -- Breakfast (very small expect a wait on weekends)
        4. Cafe Bink - Carefree - less expensive "cousin" of Binkley's


        1. Elements - Sanctuary Resort - Beau MacMillian at his best (watch Food TV Worst Cooks ?)
        2. Barrio Cafe - 2814 N 16th St -- Upscale Mexico City style
        3. FnB - 7133 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale -- Arizona wines paired with seasonal food
        4. Quiessence 6106 S. 32nd St - Local ingrediants shine in very seasonal menu
        5. Lon's at the Hermosa Inn - 5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd. Southwestern setting (also great brunch)
        6. The Mission - 3815 N. Brown Avenue - Scottsdale -- Latin food
        7. Beckett's Table 3717 E Indian School - Just opened last week - casual food from an great chef owner decor a lttle blah.
        8. If you want to spend a few $$$$ then - Kai @ Wild Horse Pass Resort 94 W Wild Horse Pass Blvd Chandler -- Southwestern food prepared with French technique Great views of the desert - at Gila River Indian Community

        Good luck

        La Tolteca
        1205 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

        6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

        Matt's Big Breakfast
        801 N 1st Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

        6106 S 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042

        Cafe Bink
        36889 N Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, AZ 85331

        7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251