RUBEE TUESDAY: May 24-30: Gertrude's, Christopher's, Rock Springs Cafe, Mariposa in Sedona, Proof, Market Street Kitchen, Different Pointe of View
A weekly feature, Rubee Tuesday is a recap of my week's adventures in dining and drinking in the Phoenix area.
Wednesday, May 23. My aunt and uncle from New Hampshire were visiting Arizona for the first time and we had a fun week of exploring Arizona, including a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden.
Temperatures at 105+ were a little too warm for me, my husband, and my dad, so we relaxed at Gertrude's, the on-site restaurant, where we enjoyed snacks and cocktails.
I also spent some time in the Garden Shop.
That night I joined photographer Jenelle Bonifield and Janet Gordon of The Gordon Group who introduced me to one of her clients, Kazzit, a brilliant new winery resource. We met at Christopher's and Crush Lounge, where I interviewed co-founder Babak Motamedi and Master Sommelier Laura Williamson. After learning about this application, I'm excited to share this indispensable tool for travelers and wine lovers. Look for an upcoming interview and feature in June.
As described on the website: "Kazzit was founded by long time friends Babak Motamedi, a wine-lover and entrepreneur, and Peter Kasperski, the proprietor of Scottsdale’s Kazimierz World Wine Bar and owner of one of the largest collections of fine wine in the United States. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive source of information for all things wine, Kazzit was created to bridge the information gap between wine producers and consumers. Still in its first year of operation, Kazzit is helping select vineyards and wineries tell their stories to an international audience of consumers". You can find out more at http://kazzit.com
We chatted over cocktails and charcuterie as we learned the Kazzit story. My husband and I also stayed for dinner at Christopher's to take advantage of Restaurant Week with a three-course meal at the chef's counter, starting with foie gras torchon paired with a glass of Domaine Bru-Bache Jurancon.
On Thursday, May 25th, we began our Sedona road trip with breakfast at Rock Springs Cafe. They're known for their pies but my stack of dinner-plate-size pancakes was so good, I was too full to order a piece. Next time!
We then headed to Jerome to show our visitors this unique historic mining town founded in 1876. Located on Cleopatra Hill, its winding roads offers beautiful views of Arizona.
We spent a couple hours in Jerome wine tasting at the Echo Canyon Winery tasting room with my friend Cody, aka The Wine Monk, visiting galleries and shops such as Rickeldoris Candy & Popcorn Company, and ending with a stop at the Grand Jerome Hotel. I came home with wine purchases from Echo Canyon and Caduceus Cellars.
Next was the beautiful drive to Sedona with stops at photo op viewing sites. Once there, the men relaxed with beers at Oak Street Brewery & Grill while I spent the afternoon shopping with my mom and aunt at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village.
To end our family day, I had planned dinner and sunset at one of my favorite Sedona restaurants - Mariposa Latin Grill - and it couldn't have been more perfect.
We were seated on the covered patio and greeted with complimentary appetizers from gracious chef and owner Lisa Dahl - flaky corn and queso empanadas with pineapple criolla, addictive Aguacate Frito (fried avocado) with pimentón aioli, and smoky grilled housemade chorizo (a must-order!) We rounded out our delicious feast with dishes such as grilled rack of lamb accompanied by a roasted yellow pepper coulis and cilantro-mint pesto, a juicy veal chop with zesty house chimichurri, decadent mashed potatoes scented with lemon and draped with lobster in a buttery garlic sauce, and sweet finales of key lime pie and chocolate and pistachio gelato.
As sunset approached, the restaurant and patio quickly filled with people gathered to celebrate the stunning view (video below). It was a glorious ending to a beautiful day in Arizona. I'll be back at the end of the month to join Mariposa as they celebrate two years with a festive party. You can register to join in on the festivities here.
On Friday, May 26th, at Proof at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, I met friends Rich and Shayleen of Campari America. Shayleen, Regional Manager, was visiting from her home state of Texas, so this was a special treat. I sipped on a Boulevardier (bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth) as Chef Del Morris treated us to his fabulous smoked prime rib special.
We ended the night at Market Street Kitchen for, as usual, excellent cocktails by Garrit Guthrie and Chef Hunn's winning menu, including fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade, burrata with heirloom tomatoes, pasta alla vodka with lobster, and a fantastic special of fresh littleneck clams tossed with sauteed leeks and nduja.
On Saturday, May 27th, we celebrated my aunt's and uncle's (17th) and my parents' (53rd) anniversaries at one of Arizona's gems - Different Pointe of View. Sommelier Ian spoiled us with a round of bubbly and Chef Anthony sent out fabulous oysters and scallops that had mom and dad exclaiming they were the best they ever had. This special occasion also happened to fall on Arizona Restaurant Week. DPOV is one of the best deals in town where the special three-course prix-fixe includes full-size dishes from the regular menu with choices in red.
A memorable dinner and gorgeous sunset, what a grand finale to the weekend! (video below):
For last week's Rubee Tuesday recap of visits to Desert Mountain Club for the Arizona Foothills Magazine Best of Valley Party, Cafe ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, Arrowhead Grill, and The Mix Up Bar and T. Cook's at Royal Palms Resort, see photos at this link
To browse past Rubee Tuesday recaps, visit this link.