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Phoenix Spring Restaurant Week - Where will you be eating?

jkgourmet May 12, 2011 03:56 PM

I'm planning on one or two evenings out for the Spring Restaurant week. We've been traveling a lot over the last 12 months, so I'm not really up on the current restaurant scene.

Where are you going, and why?



  1. Dapuma May 23, 2011 09:02 PM

    Ate at Prado for the other day we went out for restaurant week

    It was very good overall - they have the RW menu as their set menu for the summer as well

    3 of us ate the RW menu and one not

    The non RW order were the scallops which was probably the best thing we ate. They were cooked perfectly and served with a spicy sauce/chutney (not exactly sure how to describe it but it was very good) which went great with the scallops

    The RW menu everyone ordered the chilled squash soup with fried squash blossom, cool and creamy with a hot squash blossom filled with a spicy cheese mixture, it was quite good

    main course one had the salmon which i was told was good but dont like salmon so i didnt try it the other two of us had the duck two ways

    The breast was good - not the best ever but very good, the leg was excellent cooked very well although the skin could have been a bit crispier

    for dessert the entire table got leche bread pudding - which was good, not the best ever but also very good - and after dinner gin drinks were tasty

    overall all four of us felt it would be worth returning again

    If i had to pick Cowboy Ciao / FnB vs Prado i would go with the former but it is certainly very good maybe a notch below those two - however that might just be because we ordered off the RW menu, the scallops were certainly on par with CC and FnB to me

    Cowboy Ciao
    7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

    7133 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

    1. Dapuma May 20, 2011 09:56 PM

      Went to Petite Maison tonight, unfortunatly it was pretty disappointing - had the app of foie gras (pate style not cooked or torched) with bisq and apricot jam - ratios were off but it overall was ok, too much jam not enough bisq and foie was ok, wine was ok (comes with wine pairings - was bit less than half glass) - the main we both had was the beef tenderloin with sweetbread hash, lots of meat which was a bit underseasoned with a very sparse amount of beets, sweetbreads (not breaded) and potatoes

      It was ok but nothing i would ever want to go back for although the meat portion was large it wasnt anything good, have made better at home

      dessert the peach cobbler was all peach no cobbler and bitter, didnt eat more than two bites, the dark chocolate souffle was good with creme anglaise and was the best thing of the evening

      overall it was disappointing and not worth a return visit - they did try to represent with their menu but it fell short

      Petite Maison
      7216 E Shoeman Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      1. Rubee May 20, 2011 02:16 PM

        We did RW at Different Pointe of View last night - they really know how to do it right! All choices were full-sized dishes that are on the current menu, so it was a great representation of the food they serve nightly. Options to choose from were 2 appetizers or a salad, 4 entrees, and any dessert from the menu (except for the chocolate and wine pairing). These were highlighted in red on the regular menu. They also had special $7 wines by the glass specials for Restaurant Week, a nice touch as the regular w-b-t-g menu is in the teens and up. $40 for three courses.

        We had requested a table by the windows and so glad we did, what a view! I often direct people to Elements or J&G for the view, but I have to say, I have a new favorite in town. Stunning. And bonus - it's much closer to where we live. We had excellent service from our waiters Corey and Joe, the friendly manager Bill, and Sommelier Eric (and we had a great conversation about classic cocktails; turns out he spent some time in New Orleans including working at the Sazerac Bar).

        Pics in order: Decadent lobster bisque with pumpkin crème fraiche & vanilla oil for E. Duck ravioli with spinach, shaved truffle, and roasted tomato-sherry butter sauce for me. Entrees were grilled Creekstone Farms filet topped with a Cabrales blue cheese butter with a Cabernet-fig reduction, baby carrots, and fingerling potatoes with pancetta, and I had the pan-seared halibut on top of a beech mushroom-asparagus-rock shrimp ragout with a lemon fennel sauce. Desserts were a panna cotta vanilla and chocolate duo with rum and coke ice cream. and almond lemon cake with freeze-dried raspberries. My favorites were the lobster bisque and the perfectly cooked halibut. I already have plans to meet a girlfriend for dinner there next month. Great introduction to this gem.

        Different Pointe of View
        11111 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020

        4 Replies
        1. re: Rubee
          mwest9 Dec 13, 2011 03:26 PM

          We went there for apps and drinks at the Terrace Lodge this weekend and the food was truly bad. We had the steamed mussels in broth and it was completely lacking in salt. I seriously think they just forgot to salt the dish. We tried to salt it ourselves, but it just didn't work. There is a reason most preparations of this dish includ bacon or chorizo or some salty pork meat. We've had wonderful versions of this dish at NOCA and the Jade Bar. Then we had the truffle fries and and the Kobe sliders. I think the chef needs to learn the difference between a sauteed onion and carmelized onions. There was one tiny ring of onion on each slider and it was translucent and soft, but totally pale, not in any way carmelized with all the rich flavor that brings.

          We went to have a nice night out before the holiday craziness in a place with a view. The view and the decor were very nice, but the bar was almost completely empty at 7 PM on a Sat night (probably due to the restaurant being closed to the public for a private event, but still its telling to me that the place was empty). The server comped two glasses of wine for the poor mussels dish, which was generous of her, but I still expect a lot more when paying those prices. I was really disappointed. Maybe I hit a bad night and they'd do better if I gave them another try, but in this economy, I can't afford to get burned twice, so its highly unlikely I'd try them again.

          Rubee, have you been back? How was it?

          Different Pointe of View
          11111 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020

          1. re: mwest9
            Rubee Dec 14, 2011 11:06 PM

            Oh, that's so disappointing! We actually went back twice after Restaurant Week with great experiences both times - once for dinner with wine pairings, and once for apps and drinks in the Terrace Room (highlights were the lobster bisque - a favorite - and heirloom tomato carpaccio) . Our last visit was back in July, however, so I haven't been in months. So sorry to hear about your visit. I really hope it was just an off night, but I haven't been back recently.

            1. re: Rubee
              mwest9 Dec 15, 2011 06:14 AM

              i really wanted to try the lobster bisque and the duck raviolis, but they were serving neither due to the holiday party in the main restaurant. Guess we picked the wrong night to go.

              1. re: mwest9
                Rubee Dec 15, 2011 09:35 AM

                If we get back there soon, I'll be sure to post an update.

        2. jkgourmet May 19, 2011 02:56 PM

          Four of us had a lovely dinner at Coup des Tartes, all ordering off the Restaurant week menu. Accordingly, we had everything on that menu except the tortilla soup. All the entree's were spectacular - the halibut with the sea beans was unusual and outstanding. Only one item failed to please us - the creme brulee desert was more like underflavored vanilla pudding with a hard glaze on top. But the other two deserts more than made up for it. At $30 pp plus the $9 per bottle corkage fee (BYOB), just a wonderful deal.

          Tonight: Roka Akor. Not my choice, and I doubt that we'll both order off the RW menu, which strikes me as rather mundane.

          Footnote: My first choice was Posh, but they were not taking reservations except for 5PM or 5:30PM seatings. And the RW menu isn't such a great deal compared to their regular pricing. So, save that for another evening.

          Coup Des Tartes
          4626 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016

          Roka Akor Restaurant
          7299 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

          1 Reply
          1. re: jkgourmet
            Dapuma May 20, 2011 05:05 PM

            I did Coup des Tartes last time for RW, and i also thought it was terrific. I think the value there for $30 is huge, as most of their mains are around 30 and they give you full sized apps and desserts from what we could tell - we had 4 different types of their tarts for dessert last time, all of them were great i cannot even remember which one everyone liked the best, we just passed all 4 in a circle trying them heh

          2. k
            kmarg May 16, 2011 09:46 PM

            tried Citizen Public House for the first time, very good and a nice space, The fondue app was great, creamy and savory!

            Citizen Public House
            7111 E. 5th Avenue, Suite E, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

            1. Rubee May 15, 2011 01:02 PM

              I like to use RW to try a new-to-us restaurant so we have reservations at Different Pointe of View. Should add that some nights next week they are closed for a private party, and other nights the Terrace Room Lounge is booked. A little disappointed we won't be able to have a pre-dinner cocktail and check out the lounge first. I'm thinking the duck ravioli and halibut or diver scallops for me, while E's planning on the lobster bisque with filet mignon. Dessert choices are anything from the menu.

              I'm totally overdue for a visit to Posh, and I'm also tempted by the menus at Avalon and Atlas (BYOB):

              Atlas Bistro
              2515 N Scottsdale Rd Ste 18, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

              Avalon - Scottsdale
              7707 E. McDowell Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85257

              Different Pointe of View
              11111 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020

              7167 East Rancho Vista Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

              3 Replies
              1. re: Rubee
                Dapuma May 16, 2011 07:39 AM

                one of my coworkers always raves about atlas bistro - still have never been there, will be intersted to know how it is if you end up there - i havent seen anyone post about it on the forums before / lately

                1. re: Dapuma
                  Rubee May 16, 2011 01:17 PM

                  I think we'll only be able to make one RW dinner, but if we can fit Atlas in, will be sure to report back!

                2. re: Rubee
                  Rubee May 19, 2011 03:48 PM

                  For anyone else planning on Different Pointe of View (we're headed there tonight), I just saw this video of the dishes. Now I'm REALLY looking forward to it!


                  Different Pointe of View
                  11111 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020

                3. c
                  crsin May 14, 2011 12:34 PM

                  Tried Citizen Public House for the first time last week and loved it...might have to take advantage of their RW menu.

                  Citizen Public House
                  7111 E. 5th Avenue, Suite E, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                  1. c
                    contemporaryscarlett May 14, 2011 10:23 AM

                    We went to the Stockyards last night. Interesting note- the $30 price includes a drink. But you can choose not to get the drink, and that reduces the price to $25. We didn't- I had the house Chardonnay and DH had a good Alaskan Amber draft beer.

                    The service was quality. They had no problem with substituting the chili (listed on the website as an option but not on the tableside card), or with letting me have the delicious and creamy Parmesan potato stack with my trout instead of the rice. Water refills were a bit slow, but the personable waiter made up for it.

                    Come hungry, because all dinners start with a veggie basket and dip, as well as rolls and cornbread with raspberry butter. I could only manage a few bites of the chili to start but it was very good. I ate all my entrée, though the trout could have used additional sauce for flavor. DH enjoyed his prime rib as well, it was marbled well and fork tender.

                    For dessert, which again I could only muster a few bites of, I had the pecan pie with bourbon whipped cream. I'm from the Deep South, so to me this version was too heavy on pecans without enough Caro syrup, and it was served warm, which I know is classy but isn't my preference. My husband had the chocolate mousse, which was good.

                    Overall, you get a huge amount of quality food for a low price, served with kindness and accommodation in a historic and comfortable setting. Nothing on the RW menu would thrill an adventurous foodie, but certainly a great opportunity for introducing higher-end dining to those who normally can't/won't try something new.

                    The Stockyards Restaurant & 1889 Saloon
                    5009 E Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85034

                    1. themis May 14, 2011 07:27 AM

                      Did House at Secret Garden last night ... it was terrific-! They're one of the $40 options, but at least they start you off with a bellini. Two of us ordered the restaurant week menu, which included starters of chiogga beet salad or crisped pork belly served with a balsamic reduction and figs. Very generous portions. There was also pan-seared halibut and butternut squash ravioli for entrees. Dessert was "puddin' & pie", a light sweet potato pot de creme topped with house-made toasted marshmallows, paired with a buttery pecan tartlet.

                      My husband opted to order off the regular menu and his starter of house-smoked Steelhead crostini with local goat cheese was also large enough to share, and so good I couldn't really stop nabbing bites. Smoked trout is a serious weakness of mine, and whoever's wielding the smoker there won me over long ago with their smoked pork sliders and brisket sandwiches. He finished with the seasonal pasta -- we know from prior visits this is always a good choice. This time, it was papardelle with local sausage, a dish I'm going to try to duplicate for a dinner party tonight.

                      The House at Secret Garden
                      2501 E Baseline Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: themis
                        ziggylu May 14, 2011 07:48 AM

                        We're headed to House at Secret Garden tonight with friends for a celebration dinner. Am glad to know the full menu is also available. Saw on the RW website they had a peach shortcake listed...I'm very thrilled peach season has arrived. Was the shortcake not available last night?

                        The House at Secret Garden
                        2501 E Baseline Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042

                        1. re: ziggylu
                          themis May 14, 2011 11:53 AM

                          It wasn't offered last night, no, so maybe there was a last-minute issue with peach supply or ripeness. I will say that my out-of-town guest isn't a wine or cocktail person, and they subbed a beer for her with no fuss.

                          It was also my first time eating in the dining room, I'm usually out on the patio or in the barn, and the dining room's sparse and elegant, yet still manages to be inviting.

                          1. re: themis
                            ziggylu May 14, 2011 03:44 PM

                            They called us a couple hours ago wanting to know if we want to order off the RW menu or the regular menu. We've never been there before so a little frustrating to be asked to choose without having seen the regular menu(have looked at the online menu though). Also we are meeting friends that are driving up from Patagonia this afternoon so can't speak for them either. We've been told the whole table will have to either agree on the RW menu or the regular menu. Sounds like you weren't made to decide last night?

                            1. re: ziggylu
                              themis May 14, 2011 04:22 PM

                              No, we weren't. Perhaps they're choosing to do that for pacing; but at that point I'd go for a la carte to maximize my choices, and then actually wind up spending less on food as we'd probably split a starter or two for the table, so that policy would backfire for tables like ours. They were quite large portions.

                              The online menu looks to be accurate except for details concerning the seasonal pasta and the vegetarian trio. Still have never had a disappointment there.

                              1. re: themis
                                ziggylu May 15, 2011 06:33 AM

                                We had a really lovely meal at the House of Secret Garden last night. This was our first time there. We did not order from the RW menu but from the full menu instead.

                                We started with the olives, sweet potato planks, and the smoked trout. Didn't care much for the sweet potatoes but the enjoyed the olives and the smoked trout was really delicious.

                                Next we had the grilled romaine salad and the beet salad. The beet salad was very good but the grilled romaine salad really stood out as something unique with the olive vinaigrette.

                                I had the halibut as my entree. I loved the sauce on this. The sear on my halibut was perfect though unfortuntely the fish was a bit overcooked. Not enough to ruin the dish but enough to dry it out more than I would have liked. The sauce made up for the cook's mistake though and I still enjoyed this dish. Also ordered was the vegetarian trio which was one of the nicest vegetarian dishes i've ever seen offered anywhere. We were all talking about the carrot puree on the way home. The squash ravioli were very good and the shrimp and grits had tons of flavor.

                                Fig ricotta fritters didn't excite me. But I could eat buckets of the fleur de sel caramel sauce that came with them. Tracey Dempsey Ice Cream is always delicious.

                                We sat on the patio and the setting is really pretty and comfortable. Last night was perfect patio weather. Service pace was just right, slow enough to relax and enjoy the setting, food adn company without being overly dragged out.

                                Anyway, we really enjoyed our meal. One of the best we've had in recent months. Looking forward to future visits.

                        2. re: themis
                          AguasFrescas May 22, 2011 05:19 AM

                          Went with two friends last night and the included cocktail was a Mango Serrano Mojito. We all agreed it's excellent! The peach shortcake dessert stood out too, tasty, fresh and not overly sweet. The portions are generous and it's always a bonus to find a restaurant with patio seating that's far from a roadway.

                          1. re: AguasFrescas
                            themis May 22, 2011 09:15 AM

                            I have had that mojito, I like the lingering tingly lip sensation it leaves you with! I also enjoy their South Mountain Paloma, in season.

                            We made it out last night to Atlas Bistro, who I noticed is extending the Restaurant Week promotion through May 31st, so it is not too late to make it in. I had been many times to AZ Wine Co, but never next door for dinner. And I would like to say, at Atlas, since their normal menu is a prix fixe for $55, the AZ Restaurant Week format is not an awkward adjustment for them; they just knock $15 off the price, and when you sit down, the menu facing you is the AZ Restaurant Week menu, and you are not made to feel chintzy or small for asking for it. That's a relief.

                            We brought a big, jammy, ancient vine zinfandel from Jessie's Grove in Lodi to pair with dinner, as we'd previewed the menu and my husband thought he'd go for the ribeye for his entree. That left me a bit in the lurch, as I am not much of a big slab of meat girl, and the other option that appealed, the halibut, wasn't going to go down well with that wine. So I asked our server if I could instead choose one of the other starter options, crisped pork belly with sweet potato puree and maple glaze, for my entree. He was fine with this, and the pairing was a very good match. My favorite dish of the night, and I appreciated that they accommodated my request.

                            My husband had a tataki over white bean puree for his starter, and it had that wonderful yuzu or grapefruit oil citrusy note that I love, and I stole a few bites from him. I had ricotta gnocchi with ham and frisee to start -- a complicated dish with many elements, but one that balanced well. Salad course for him was Maya's local lettuces and beets, local goat cheese, and Queen Creek olive oil vinaigrette. Mine was the more challenging grilled romaine with white anchovies and sultanas, topped with a local duck egg. It was the only slight misstep of the evening -- I felt it needed a bit more acid in the dressing to counteract the sweet raisins, which were kind of odd in that salad.

                            The room was cheerful (we had, after all, just made it through the rapture together) but not loud. I listened and discovered background music, but nothing obtrusive or competing with conversation. One table near us complained of chill, but ours wasn't drafty. Most tables appeared to be dressed for dinner, but there were also some t-shirts. I'm including these details to help guide people in making their dining decisions, but for me, the food's what matters and I would definitely return. I value local farmers and business and chefs who take care with ingredients, I like a good BYO format and I wish we had more of these.

                            Atlas Bistro
                            2515 N Scottsdale Rd # 18, Scottsdale, AZ

                        3. Dapuma May 12, 2011 05:03 PM

                          Petite Maison - because their menu looks good, have never tried it, and 40 including wine pairing seems like a good deal - and the menu said foie gras on it -

                          Prado - Menu looks interesting and Rubee posted a bunch of times about how good it is, and have never been

                          Petite Maison
                          7216 E Shoeman Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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