We went to Christopher's for the first time this weekend and I really enjoyed it. Does anyone else from the board like this place? I really like this style of food, not really sure what to call it, a contemporary version of French food with West Coast influences?
Regardless of how to label it, there is a bunch of stuff on the menu that I love. I had the duck confit salad with aged truffled goat cheese and sherry-infused cherries beside mixed greens. The confit was a thigh piece with crispy skin and moist meat, nicely done. I had a Ponzi Pinot Noir from Wilamette Valley that was a good match for the the dish. My wife had the steamed mussels in white wine, a well executed version of a classic preparation with sausage, tomatoes, fennel and onions in the broth with a side of herbed grilled bread. She had a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile that was quite good. We also got a side of their truffled fries, tasty and perfectly cooked.
I loved sitting at the kitchen bar and watching the open kitchen working as a professional and efficient team, handling issues with poise and decor. There's something reassuring to me when the kitchen appears to be running well and it all results in high quality food combined with good service. I think there is something to be said for experience, and to be able to maintain such high standards for what seems to be so many years.
People don't really talk about Christopher's that much lately, is it because he's been around for so long or do people not go there or don't like it? Curious to hear others' experiences there, if people like it as much as I did.
edit: I did find tucked away in another thread from this past spring some talk about it, dapuma is not a fan, but hohokam and rube are. Anybody else wanna weigh in?
I've been there a couple of times for lunch.
It's ok, nothing I would go out of my way for. I think the place shines when it comes to more basic, simple dishes (e.g. seafood, roast chicken) but loses its focus when it tries to be more daring (e.g. truffle infused steaks, mushroom and foie soup)
I LOVE Christopher's. Have been there frequently for the $20 lunch special! Love the bread and butter they give you - I could make a meal of that! Love the duck fat french fries...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/774470 Dapuma's thread from spring 2011. So it sounds like there were some service and kitchen issues from two different 'hounds at that time.
These things can change from night to night so who knows if I hit them on a good night or if those problems from last spring have been resolved, but I thought the service was professional and prompt and that the food came out right on schedule (not too fast to be rushed nor did we have to wait any more than a pleasant pace).
And to ipsedixit's point, it could be that I liked Christopher's because their style focuses on the execution of simple or classic dishes instead of being super-inventive or creative. As a cook, I'm most impressed with perfect execution using high quality ingredients, much more than I am with unusual dishes.
And yeah, their bread and butter were delicious, that's the kind of stuff that makes me happy in a restaurant.
Its not inexpensive, but I felt like it was good value for what we received. Like we often do, we sat at the bar during happy hour and that helped a lot with the prices. They do happy hour 7 days a week 3 - 6 PM at the kitchen bar with half priced drinks and a handful of food items (soup, pizzas, salad, apps). I would've been disappointed too, if I had received poor service or food that wasn't up to par.
Interesting - I just asked elsewhere about recent experiences here. I just moved to Phoenix and I have to say I really like the menu, but many of the items I'm interested in would be better served to a group (the foie/boudin pizza, the sous-vide foie, etc)
Considering the restaurants.com gift certificates I have to imagine they aren't turning the best of business, but considering they've been around for years I don't imagine they are doing 'poorly' either.
Looking for a good excuse to go, but will probably wait until I know some locals so I can go with a group willing to try some of the more adventurous optons though I do admit the frisee w/ egg salad, duck confit salad, lobster pot pie, chicken, lamb, and duck 2 ways all sound good as well.
I like the place. I end up there a few times a year. As stated by others, the menu isn't especially daring but I think they execute the standards very well. Everything that has ever come to my table has been perfectly prepared, seasoned, and plated. I've been to other restaurants that are sometimes a little sloppy when it comes to meat temps and plating - I've never experienced that here. Reasonable prices and the service has always been satisfactory. I wouldn't order the lobster pot pie again. Everything else I've ever had there I'd order again. If you don't have a large party, I suggest sitting at the bar. The tables are usually a lot quieter and can even be a bit stuffy, er romantic sometimes. Not sure why it doesn't get a lot of love here on the boards though. It seems like there are only a dozen or so restaurants that get mentioned repeatedly here. When was the last time someone mentioned Voltaire? Oh yeah, if you're looking for solid classic French in Scottsdale, Voltaire's the place. They're closed for the summer, but definitely check them out in the fall.