I've been a longtime fan of Lon's at the Hermosa Inn with its idyllic setting and the culinary talents of executive chef Jeremy Pacheco. And I'm not the only one, as can be seen by the many accolades for this property, such as Travel and Leisure's "Top 500 Hotels in the World," Condé Nast Traveler's "Awards for Excellence, Trip Advisor's "Best Al Fresco Dining," and Zagat's "Top Hotel Restaurants." For more on the history of the Hermosa Inn, visit my article in AZ Wine Lifestyle, "Lon's - A Taste of History."
I was recently extended a media invitation to experience Chef Jeremy Pacheco's new spring menu and I think it's the best iteration yet! The farm-to-table movement is not new to this talented chef - it's part of his family's heritage and their working farm. At Lon's, he not only uses his family's durum wheat when creating dishes, but is committed to supporting the many Arizona artisans, ranchers, and growers, and sourcing local whenever possible. Did you know that Gila Bend, Arizona is home to Desert Sweet Shrimp? Lon's at the Hermosa Inn is one of only two restaurants sourcing these fresh crustaceans. You'll find them on the menu in a fantastic creamy risotto studded with mushrooms and scented with lemon and fennel. And look for Rovey Dairy and their new partnership with the Hermosa Inn. When the owners came in talking cheese, they left convinced by Chef to also supply him with lamb and beef raised on their dairy farm in Glendale, Arizona. Chef Pacheco proudly shared that Lon's is the only restaurant currently using these products from this family-owned dairy ranch.
Start with excellent cocktails from a list created by Bill Parker, Beverage Manager of the Hermosa Inn. You'll also find a large selection of local craft beer, including a collaboration between Chef Pacheco and Sonoran Brew Company, Arizona wine on draft, house bottled cocktails, libations made with locally distilled spirits including the Hermosa Inn's exclusive Del Bac whiskey from Tempe, in addition to seasonal cocktails. I absolutely loved the Negroni de Mûre, a Negroni variation complemented with Crème de Mûre, a fragrant blackberry liqueur.
It was the perfect aperitif for our spring feast:
Silky slices of beet-cured hamachi graced with Meyer lemon, smoked salmon caviar, and fennel.
Rovey Dairy Wagyu beef tartare with black garlic crème frâiche, crispy parmesan crisps, capers, pickled mushrooms, and house-made saltine crackers.
Porcini mushroom soup with wild mushrooms, Noble Bread crouton, and truffle cream.
Housemade prosciutto with local McClendon asparagus, Crow’s Dairy cheese curds, Arizona citrus, and blood orange vinaigrette.
Desert Sweet shrimp risotto with fennel and Meyer lemon.
Alaskan halibut with colorful roasted cauliflower, purple potatoes and a velvety clam chowder sauce.
Rovey Dairy lamb featuring fennel-rubbed lamb chop, T- bone steak, lamb belly bacon, and braised lamb shank cake over local farro with an olive and tomato tapenade and rich lamb jus (TIP: I've been told the lamb burger on the lunch menu is a must-order).
We were treated to a preview of a signature brunch dish (now on the menu) - thick slices of housemade peppered bacon with an addictive sweet and tangy maple syrup-late harvest vinegar glaze.
If Rovey Dairy Wagyu steaks are a special the night you dine, it is worth the splurge! (video below):
Truffle mac ‘n cheese with truffled goat cheese and Hayden Mills pasta made with locally-grown and harvested heritage wheat was a perfect side dish.
Decadent desserts change seasonally, such as a pistachio cake with pistachio gelato and kumquat compote, or the S’mores bar layered with milk chocolate mousse, chocolate cake, and marshmallows on a mesquite graham cracker.
Lon's at the Hermosa Inn is truly a special spot. Spend some time ensconced in Arizona history at this beautiful property and see for yourself.
I received a complimentary media invitation.