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Prado @ Montelucia

Decided to head over there for dinner. I really wanted to check out the hotel and see the grounds, so dinner seemed a good way to do this in one step.

Wasn't sure what to expect, did read a bit here about the restaurant and on opentable.

Biggest disappointment was that in spite of online menu indicating that they had a $39 prix fixe 3 course dinner, they did not have one. We didn't ask if it was available on other nights, figured we were already there so what the heck.

It was virtually empty, with maybe 1/2 dozen tables occupied. It is a large dining room, not much in the way of warmth or charm. There was some kind of music being pumped in and it often sounded just like a lot of base thumping without any real music.

A nice basket of bread arrived with some ciabatta and a nice olive bread.

We started with a very nice burrata, that was served with a rye batard, delicious Wilcox Cherry tomatoes, and basil. The burrate was tasty, but should have been served at a temp closer to room temp, it was pretty cold. The tomatoes were excellent and the basil a nice touch, but only one large leaf and it would have been good to have a few more leaves; I don't think it would have killed them to serve more than one leaf.

I had Calamarata which was Chicken Cacciatore, Rosemary, Mushrooms,
Onions and Olives. It was served with some nice tubes of pasta. The dish was excellent, great flavor and just the right portion size. The chicken was most likely thigh meat and it was moist and tender.

DH had Lasagnette which was Mussels & Clam Ragu, Blue Nose Bass and Pomodorini tomatoes. It was served with pasta rags. He enjoyed it and said it was reminiscent of cioppino. A good portion too.

We split a lovely chocolate mousse served with a smear of blackberry sauce and a single blackberry.

One other odd thing - the menu in the "window" outside the front door showed slightly different versions of several dishes that were on the actual menu. DH's dish list it as having clams and shrimp. There was halibut on the outside menu, but none on the actual menu - it was swordfish. We thought how much effort would it have been to put the actual evenings menu in the display.

In spite of the no prix fixe and menu variations, we really like the meal and would recommend a visit. I gather it is a bit off the radar and off the beatn track, but maybe that isn't too bad. :o)

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Prado
4949 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

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  1. My impression from others' reports is that the food at Prado has been consistently inconsistent, which could account for the less than crowded dining room.

    Also, last month it was reported that the restaurant is in the process of turning the kitchen over from the now former(?) chef de cuisine to the executive chef, which might explain some of the discrepancies you saw.

    1. We stayed at the Montelucia resort in July and we had no complaints at Prado but a lot can change in 6 months...gorgeous resort and look forward to staying there next year.
      I'll report back.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Beach Chick

        I'd be interested to see what recent thoughts are. It was one of my favorite restaurants (I'm a big fan of Chef Claudio), but we hadn't been since the summer. In the meantime, I've heard that in addition to Claudio leaving, my favorite bartenders Diane and Tyler are gone, as is Maitre'd Paul Xanthopoulos.

        1. re: Rubee

          I was there last week, my comments are based on that" recent" visit.

          1. re: DebitNM

            Thanks DebitNM, I appreciated your post as the OP. I meant 'recent' as in the next month or two as I heard Chef Claudio was remaining at Prado mid-to-end of December before heading over to Bar Bianco.

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            Bar Bianco
            609 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

            1. re: Rubee

              Hmmm, why would Bar Bianco need a chef as most of the food available there is just bar food kinds of things?? Well, I wasn't overly thrilled with Pizzeria Bianco either, so I guess I won't be heading back to either places. {see sep thread on PB and BB}

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              Pizzeria Bianco
              623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

              Bar Bianco
              609 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

              1. re: DebitNM

                Just updating re: Chef Claudio and Chris Bianco:

                Pane Bianco is now serving a dinner menu 4-8 pm.
                http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bell...

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                Pane Bianco
                4404 N Central Ave Ste A, Phoenix, AZ 85012

      2. I agree about just printing one more menu for that night, and replacing the one in the window. OTOH, I can understand how a chef might not find some things fresh that day, and then find some real gems, and make substitutions, based on what the fishmonger had. A bit of a toss-up IMHO. Still, one more sheet of paper in the HP, and one is done...

        Now, we've dined at Mama's Fish House on the North Shore of Maui many times. They pride themselves on full identification of each fish dish served, and print a bunch of that info on the menu, daily: Ahi, line-caught by Thomas Onabi from the vessel "Ranger" off of Molo`kai. Many times, our server would point out that at that time, the Ahi was line-caught by Cecil Watanabi, from the vessel "Good Fortune" off of Kapalua. Now, that I can deal with. We're not talking substituting yellow-tail for blue-fin.

        As we've been pretty put-off by Montelucia, we have not dined there. Probably missed something good.

        Hunt

        1. Just updating that Chef Peter DeRuvo, formerly of Sassi, will be the new chef de cuisine at Prado starting Monday.

          http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bell...

          1. Four of us finally had a chance this week to get to Prado and were very impressed - dinner was wonderful.

            We ate at the bar and had great service from Brian. So that we could get a good sampling of the new menu, we decided to just go with Brian's suggestions, in addition to whatever the chef would recommend. Well, not only did Chef DeRuvo kindly spend some time chatting with us, but the food was simply fantastic. I've already added it to my bio as best meal of 2011.

            There was not one disappointment across the board, with my top three favorites probably the "Corazon" (grilled thinly-sliced rare beef heart with pickled radish, arugula, and 20-year balsamico), foie gras with port cherries and chocolate, and the tagliatelle with Perigord truffles, Piave Vecchio, caviar, and duck egg. Other delicious dishes - Pimientos de Padrón (an addiction of mine!), the high-quality cheese plate, head cheese (I have to say it is now my favorite version in the Valley), razor clams al la plancha (best I've ever had), and gnocchi with rabbit and pork ragu. Can't wait to return.

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            Prado
            4949 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

             
             
             
             
             
            7 Replies
            1. re: Rubee

              Sounds VERY different than our dinner there; thanks for the update~

              1. re: DebitNM

                I was a big fan of Chef Claudio, but very impressed with Chef DeRuvo's revamp. A new tapas menu rolls out on February 25:

                http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bell...

              2. re: Rubee

                Wish you had pics of the razor clams (my favorite)! Last time we had the dish was @ Toro in Boston .

                1. re: Da Beebz

                  Ahh. I miss Toro. I do have a camera phone pic of the razor clams - a bit blurry.

                   
                  1. re: Rubee

                    Thanks Rubee! We're heading there tonight to try the new tapas menu and plenty of razor clams.

                    1. re: Da Beebz

                      Be sure to report back - hope you like it as much as we did!

                2. re: Rubee

                  Had another great time at Prado this week. Because of a previous engagement at Vincent's, caught the tail end of a friend's birthday gathering in the cozy dining area in front of the wood oven and snacked on the razor clams, fried oysters, the wonderful tagliatelle with truffles and duck egg, and special birthday churros with a rich mug of chocolate. Afterwards we planned on staying for a couple of tapas, and I asked Chef DeRuvo for his recs. Loved the 'sausage and peppers' with a juicy flavorful grilled sausage sitting on a bed of sweet peppers and onions. And I cannot stop thinking about the truffle and foie gras mortadella. Melt-in-your mouth deliciousness. Also tried a new favorite cocktail - the Libido with Mount Gay Rum, watermelon, and basil.

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                  Prado
                  4949 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253