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Scottsdale for 5th Anniversary

My husband and I are going to be staying at the Canyon Suites (Phoenician) for our 5th anniversary in mid-October. We would like some help with the following meals:

- Casual lunch upon arrival (somewhere either around the airport or resort)

- Anniversary dinner (Friday night). Was thinking Binkleys, but just mapped it out and it's a 45 minute drive from the resort. I don't think that will work for us. Maybe Noca?

- Casual but interesting Saturday night dinner. Not fancy, but maybe something unique to AZ and not too far from the hotel.

- Sunday brunch. Again, not too far from the hotel/airport, as we will be heading out. Doesn't have to be a big buffet (not really our thing)...casual, good food. A fantastic diner kind of place, or even something slightly more upscale would be great.

The hotel will drive us to places within a few miles of the hotel. We are willing to rent a car if necessary, and might do so anyway.


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

3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

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  1. Bumping this up...doesn't anyone have any ideas for us? Thanks!

    1. We have stayed at the suites at the Phoenician and really enjoyed our stay..

      Carolina's for divey Mex in a rough neighborhood end of the airport but don't let this discourage you..great crispy tacos..they make me a guac taco with a cheese enchi..damn its good....hit it up to and from the PHX airport..resort shuttle/town car has stopped for me and I bought them a burrito..win win for all.

      J&G steakhouse at the resort and get the burger and beer special in the bar..hope it's still going on..nice to dine at a Jean George place.

      T. Cooks at the Royal Palms resort for your anniversary dinner..down the street from your resort..one of the best places to spend a special occasions...Dwight in the bar on piano rocks and can't say enough with the design and vibe of this resort.

      Lon's at the Hermosa is gorgeous and great for Saturday dinner or Sunday breakfast/brunch..
      Lovely place to sit outside with excellent food, service and ambience.

      Durant's is old school steakhouse that is a classic in downtown PHX..if you want the chilled relish tray..great cocktails..steaks/seafood and baked potato loaded....burgundy naugahyde booths are the best!

      Shuttle service at the Phoenician is great and all would work except maybe Durant's...I've tipped them so they come and get us when we call their cell and works well.
      Renting a car in PHX is a pain in the ass..imho...work the courtesy car.. ; )

      Have a wonderful 5th anniversary!


      1. Staying close to the Phoenician and assuming a drive up 44th to Camelback to get there ..
        Lunch on way in = The Vig nice pub with good patio, should be cool enough by October
        Anniversary dinner - Marcellino (Great Italian), Eddie's House (Meditteraen) or BLT Steak at Camelback Inn
        Saturday night - Roaring Fork, 5th and Wine, or Grazie Pizza
        Sunday outbound - Breakfast Club, or Herb Box in old town
        Also recommend a drive to Richardson's on 16th street as an option for any of thesem but that would be a good size cab fare

        The Breakfast Club
        4400 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        Roaring Fork
        4800 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        Eddie's House
        7042 E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        BLT Steak
        5402 East Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

        7114 E Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        5th and Wine
        7051 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        1. For that "event" dinner, I would look to T.Cook's, just down the road by about 1/2 mile.

          Binkley's is great, but we always look to a limo at at a charity silent auction, to get there.


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

          1. Thanks, everyone! T. Cook's looks perfect for the anniversary dinner!

            2 Replies
            1. re: WestsideLisa

              Allow yourselves time to stroll the grounds of The Royal Palms before dinner. Your profile notes that you live in LA. If you remember the Bel Air Hotel, pre-renovation, T.Cooks will give you the same serene sense of history and well-being. This is not a new, glitzy resort, rather, it's a subdued and lovely property........ think the old Getty Museum in Malibu, not the shiny new one. Mention your anniversary when reserving your dinner. Happy #5.

              1. re: Sherri


                Great description - T. Cook's, and the Royal Palms will harken back to an earlier, more relaxed time, and many will greatly appreciate that.


            2. The Grind is just down the street from the resort on 40th and Camelback and is the best burger you will ever eat- I would recommend that for lunch. I think the everyone else hit the usual suspects on fine dining. For breakfast, check out Over Easy which is also fairly close to the resort.

              Over Easy
              4730 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

              1. Does anyone know if there is a decent Mexican casual restaurant for our Saturday night dinner? Something nea-ish to the hotel would be great. Thanks!

                11 Replies
                1. re: WestsideLisa

                  The nearest option to your hotel would be Los Sombreros in south Scottsdale (about 10 minutes away by car). Gallo Blanco (about 15 minutes away) is another good option. It can be tough to get a table at Los Sombreros on a Saturday night, so you might want to try to make a reservation, if possible.

                  Los Sombreros Cafe & Cantina
                  2534 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

                  Gallo Blanco Cafe
                  401 W Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013

                  1. re: WestsideLisa

                    Could not tell from your post-if the anniversary was last week or next weekend, so here some help if your trip as next weekend. I live for blocks from the Phoenician, so this is my neighborhood.
                    If you want very casual, El Molino 3554 N. Goldwater Blvd. is very good. It is an order at the counter kind of place, so if you want something with table service, then I would consider any one of the 3 following: Los Sombreros, 2534 N. Scottsdale Road, ( agree with Hohokam on this one), Carlsbad Tavern, 3313 N. Hayden Road (New Mexico style), Frank and Lupe's Old Mexico, 4121 N. Marshall Way. These 4 are your best choices in Scottsdale.

                    Los Sombreros Cafe & Cantina
                    2534 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

                    Carlsbad Tavern
                    3313 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                    Frank & Lupe's Old Mexico
                    4121 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                    El Molino Mexican Cafe
                    3554 N Goldwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                    1. re: RDBcooks

                      Thanks for the info. We actually just got back from our trip -- ended up at T. Cook's for our anniversary dinner and Los Sombreros for our casual Saturday dinner.

                      Honestly, we weren't blown away by the food at either location. They were both "fine", but really nothing spectacular IMO.

                      T. Cook's: We had to wait a little more than 15 minutes for our 8:00 reservation, so that didn't start out on the best of notes. It was puzzling, as there were many open tables. Once we were seated, the service was excellent. The table was decorated for our anniversary, and our server was very informative. He also hooked us up with LOTS of extra wine, so that was a plus. I started with the crab cake, which I did not care for. It was very, very crispy/crunchy, and didn't really have any flavor. DH had the short rib ravioli to start, and it was also bland. The sauce was not to our liking either. For entrees, I had the paella and DH had the duck. The paella was enormous. Seriously...could have been shared by 4 people. It was tasty, and packed with fun things. I enjoyed it, but it didn't rock my world. DH enjoyed his duck. I tasted it, and thought it was just okay. We shared some chocolate dessert, which was quite good.

                      Los Sombreros was a bit pricey for Mexican food, but it also wasn't your typical rice-and-beans kind of place. DH had the lamb shank and I had the carnitas. Both were plentiful and tasty. I thought the chips and tortillas were both mediocre. They just didn't taste homemade to me.

                      Overall, the food choices were fine for us. Both restaurants were convenient to our hotel, and we had nice meals.

                      Thanks for all of the recommendations! We really had a wonderful weekend in Scottsdale.

                      1. re: WestsideLisa


                        Regarding T. Cook's, while that is not an inordinate wait time, it is still not in keeping with what we have always experienced. They have been right on the "dot," with no exceptions, so that is not as perfect, as it should have been.

                        While the food has always been very good to excellent, it is not what I would typify as "cutting edge," at least not by the standards of some of the restaurants, that we find ourselves dining at. Still, it has always been at least very good.

                        Sorry that things were not "over the top" for you. Maybe a reflection of the restaurants?

                        Thanks for the follow up report.


                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          We were not the only ones waiting at T. Cook's. There were 3 or 4 parties waiting in the bar area, and all were seated somewhere between 8:15-8:20. I'm guessing they were all 8:00 reservations, but no way to be sure. I think the food would fall into the "fair to good" range for our meal. Service was excellent, and the dessert was very good.

                          I forgot to mention that we had lunch at Cowboy Ciao. Kind of a funky place...wasn't quite sure what to make of the menu, but that chopped salad was unique and tasty!

                          We still had a wonderful trip. And while this is off topic, if you ever get to stay at the Canyon Suites, it's wonderful!

                          1. re: WestsideLisa

                            I feel at least mostly responsible, as I had recommended T. Cook's so highly. We have done several meals there recently, plus two board events (those do not really count, as they were served in the meeting rooms), but all was very good, bordering on excellent.

                            When I have a reservation, I am rather picky about how long it takes to seat me. I have graded some very popular restaurants down, when they kept me waiting over about 15 mins. and in one case, well over an hour, only to find out that their kitchen was closing, and we had to both order in a hurry, plus from a very abbreviated menu. Did not sit well with me!

                            As for the food rating, that is horribly disappointing. I have always found them to be very close to the upper end of the spectrum. I need to do a bit of research, as maybe things have changed?

                            Cowboy Ciao has been a favorite of ours, since Peter opened. Yes, it is funky, but in a very good way. Even with a major chef change, they seemed to still have the "magic." Only complaint that I have ever had was with the noise level, but Peter has heard that from me, many, many times. Others love the "vibe," but then I am a bit older, and feel more comfortable in quieter venues. Glad that you enjoyed it. We love their wine flights, and I have probably only done bottles on about six occasions, as the flights have been just right.

                            Sorry for the bum steer, but will do some homework, and maybe amend my recs. in the future.

                            Thanks for the feedback,


                            Cowboy Ciao
                            7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              I just found this post and was surprised Cowboy Ciao was not mentioned earlier.

                              Cowboy Ciao
                              7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                              1. re: MsDiPesto

                                For food and wine, Cowboy Ciao is very, very high on my list, BUT, I find the noise level to be quite high, so for an anniversary dinner, they would fall down the list a bit.

                                I love Peter's wine flights, plus the menu and wine list, but the noise level is a bit too much for me. I feel that "special events dining" should be a bit more quiet and intimate, but then I am older than most around CH, and would definitely be considered "old school."


                                Cowboy Ciao
                                7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                Aloha Bill..
                                I highly recommended T. Cooks as well for their anniversary too.
                                Never had a 'fair to good' experience..always been excellent to over the top..
                                I'd give it another try Lisa when you come back into the Valley..
                                Canyon suites at the Phoenician are a wonderful place to stay..talk about over the top.

                                Thanks for reporting back Westside Lisa!

                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                  I will give it another try, and appreciate all of the help from this board!

                                  And, yes, the Canyon Suites was over the top!

                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                    Thanks for that. I do feel a bit better now, but still feel bad, that things were not as I have come to expect. I do have to admit that every time I make a restaurant rec., I hold my breath. While I feel strongly about MY recs., things might not be up to par, when the person dines wherever.

                                    While we have hosted several board meetings, and then dinners there, I feel strongly that when we dine, just the two of us, we get NO special treatments. We are just diners, and I base my recs. on those occasions. I seldom review any "event," as it is not fair to anyone.

                                    Again, mahalo, and aloha,