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Chowhounds on Retreat

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My work team is holding a retreat in Scottsdale next month and we are looking for a restaurant for a team dinner. There will be 18-22 of us, near as I can figure. We would like to find a restaurant that embodies the best of what Phoenix/Scottsdale has to offer; an ambitious new chef who breaks the rules, a mixologist who thinks a cocktail can be a work of art, a fun, unpretentious atmosphere, a menu that isn't all fried food. To give you a sense of what we are looking for, in other parts of the country we have enjoyed Le Pigeon in Portland, OR, Poole's Diner in Raleigh, NC, Animal in Los Angeles, and Green Goddess in New Orleans (although, granted, some of these were with smaller groups). Cost isn't a huge issue- within reason, any ethnicity is ok as long as there are food options for the timid, and we are looking for restaurants for a Monday and/or a Tuesday. Thanks, hounds!

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  1. Quick question: Where in Scottsdale is the retreat (the town is a rectangle 5 miles wide and 30 miles long), and how far are you comfortable traveling?

    So far as long as you're around old town Scottsdale, it sounds like Citizen Public House is a winner. So far everything I've had is quite delicious, both food and drink. The Original Chopped Salad is mandatory.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

      Not completely sure yet where we are staying--at some resort that is too hot to be expensive. I hadn't realized that Scottsdale was so long. We are willing to travel 15-20 minutes for awesome, only-in-Scottsdale food, but less for food that is very good, but not unlike very good food eleswhere. (We are a world-weary bunch who travel a lot.)

    2. OK, and obviously predicated on the exact location (as mentioned, Scottsdale runs from about Denver to Nogales, Mexico... Grin), elements at the Sanctuary is one place, that comes to my mind. They are centrally located (as much as one can be in Scottsdale), and the food and drink are close to "cutting edged." Note: they do not capitalize the name of the restaurant?

      For a group that size, I would look into Lon's at the Hermosa. Though a tad more "traditional," the new chef is plowing some new turf.

      If you are in North Scottsdale, look at Binkley's, as they are cutting-edge, and I have hosted board dinners for 36, with no issues. Good wine list too.

      Enjoy,

      Hunt

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      Binkley's
      6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Thanks for the list. I have seen your name on NOLA posts, so I imagine that you understand our Green Goddess reference. As soon as we nail down our resort, I will make a reservation for whatever is geographically acceptable from your list! (And we have 2 nights!)

        1. re: coffeebrownies

          When i read your post i was going to say exactly what JK said - nice call :) If in old town that would be a spot that meets all your requirements

          When I was at Animal the only thing that blew me away was the Oxtail Poutine - the mixed drink list is certainly more impressive at CPH - I have only been to each place once so the food is certainly different but it at least equals Animal if not exceeds

          1. re: coffeebrownies

            I do recognize Green Goddess, but have to admit that we have not eaten there yet. Still, based on the people with the recs., and their track record, plus the esteem, in which I hold them, would imagine that it is great.

            Most of all, enjoy,

            Hunt