Scottsdale cocktail party location in/near Westin Kierland Resort?
Hounds: Work-related duties will find me in Scottsdale for a meeting on my birthday in late February. Specifically, I'll be staying at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, so at least it looks like I'll get a nice hotel stay out of the deal (and yes, DH has promised to come as well). I have many friends who will be at the same meeting, and would love to celebrate with them. I was thinking of having a get-together at a local bar...perhaps sending out invitations that say something like " appetizers and the first round of drinks is on me" (my budget won't allow unlimited food and drink, and that way folks will understand that if they want to stay and drink all night with me its ok, but they'll need to ante up eventually). The number present could be anywhere from five or six to 20 or more, but the larger number is more likely. In fact, I can easily see 50 folks showing up, although the further from the Westin the smaller that number is likely to be.
So here's the challenge: Where would you go? Mexican would be my first choice, but I have no idea which part of Scottsdale the resort is in, and I know that Scottsdale is quite spread out. I would love a place where we could fit a crowd that might come and go, and with tasty apps and reasonably priced drinks. A place where those who wanted to stay for dinner (on their own dime:-) could probably be accommodated.
Any suggestions? The bar in the golf club at the resort actually didn't look too bad, and I thought the drink prices were reasonable given the venue. But are there better alternatives a short walk or cab ride away? Also, how is the patio bar at the Westin?
Oh, and being able to accommodate a crowd is a big plus. Just in case. And yes, my birthday does fall on a Saturday this year, so I don't want a place that is too crazy on Saturday nights.....
All suggestions gratefully accepted!
When I went to my friend's performance at the Kerr Center, we were invited to the cast wrap party at Blanco Tacos, in the Borgata complex, as is the Kerr Center, on Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. No idea how far that is from the Westin, but perhaps the local folks can chime in, or google can help. Anyway, I gather it is one of a restaurant group based in the area, and I was a bit skeptical going in (although the same group does own the Wildflower in Tucson, which I enjoyed very much). My memory is a bit hazy, but I do remember thinking that the food was good (not great, but good), the tequila list was very nice, and the service was great, which is a big plus with a group (and with very long tables including a few communal tables, it worked well for a group.)
It was celebratory, and the type of place that would work for apps and drinks, or dinner, although it was loud, and not as pretty as a patio somewhere would be. Very casual, but attractive. Most of all, it was quite reasonably priced, particularly for that neighborhood. I remember being quite pleasantly surprised by the prices but it makes sense when you think about it: actor types, especially in small theater productions, aren't generally rolling in money, and I suspect they were paid very little for that particular production, so they may have chosen it for just that reason. :-)
Perhaps local hounds can weigh in on it in terms of quality of food and distance from where you will be, since I've only eaten there that one time?
Just stayed there last month and the resort is decent for a 4*.
Kierland Commons is across the way from the resort and its a place with lots of restaurants and they have a free courtesy shuttle so you can party away and not worry about driving.
The bar across from the front desk is fun and has an outside patio along the golf course with the bag pipes playing around 5pm..
Zinc Bistro is quaint and lovely and down the street is Carlos O'Briens with a great happy hour and cheesy Mex food.
RA sushi, North, Morton's and Mastro' for a big crowd.
Lots of requirements, but I can't think of anything that fits exactly, so here are a few partial matches-
For Mexican, the closest to the resort is Cantina Laredo- definitely more of a restaurant than a bar, but still has a decent bar area- doubt it will be very crowded at 5 on a Saturday.
For walking distance to/from the hotel, there are a number of places in Kierland Commons and the adjacent Scottsdale Quarter. In the Commons, North and Bar North has a great atmosphere and a good place to grab some wine. Dinner for large parties may be doubtful unless you're eating right at 5. At the Quarter, there's a place called PrimeBar, which is exactly that- a big bar with lots of drinks and decent appetizer/bar-food type stuff- not CH-worthy, but passable.
I would google the restaurants at Kierland and Scottsdale Quarter and see if any of them appeal to you. As far as food at the resort, it's OK. There's actually a pretty neat outdoor lounge that overlooks the 18th hole of the course, and at sunset has a bagpiper in full kilt play for a bit. The inside bar serves out there, but service can be spotty- it might turn into a mess with 50 people there. If you have more specific questions, fire away- good luck!