- Where to Go
- The Best of the Valley of the Sun
- Wild West Adventure
- Let Scottsdale Rock Your World
- Finding Water in the Sonoran Desert
- Spring Training
- Arizona Family Road Trip
- Phoenix Points of Pride
- Southwestern Culture and Heritage
- Nocturnal Scottsdale
- Exploring Phoenix’s Architecture
- Unexpected Arizona
- Desert Chic
- Chilly Drinks and Cool Eats in Scottsdale
They just don’t make ’em anymore like El Chorro Lodge (5550 E. Lincoln Dr., 480/948-5170, www.elchorrolodge.com, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 5:30–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 5:30–11 p.m. Sun., $25–35). This Paradise Valley institution has been serving fresh fish, roasted duck, beef stroganoff, and mesquite-broiled steaks since the 1930s. Come with that special someone, and order the “trailside specialty” Chateaubriand for two and cap the evening with El Chorro’s famous sticky buns, a 65-year-old El Chorro tradition.
The panorama shot of Mummy Mountain at sunset is worth the reservation alone. From its perch atop Paradise Valley, Elements (5700 E. McDonald Rd., Paradise Valley, 480/607-2300, www.elementsrestaurant.com, 7–10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., 5:30–9:30 p.m. daily, $17–32) is a treat in many respects. The mod decor is stylish, and the views are stunning. However, it’s the simple and natural menu by Iron Chef-winner Beau McMillan, the friendliest chef you’re likely to meet, that makes Elements special. His innovative dishes change with the season but always maintain a farm-fresh American flavor with Asian accents.
Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn (5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd., 602/955-7878, www.lons.com, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5:30–10 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 5:30–10 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5:30–10 p.m. Sun., $15–35) prides itself on being the most authentic hacienda in Arizona. Once the home of cowboy artist Lon Megargee, the elegant yet cozy adobe and wood-finished interior captures the allure of Old Arizona. Grilled salmon with blackberry shellac, duck confit with chile-pomegranate glaze, and truffle-scented mac and cheese round out the menu, which features ingredients grown on the inn’s grounds. Dine on the patio for beautiful views of the desert, and save room for dessert—the chocolate truffle torte with minted berries is incredible.
Slow food chef Chrysa Robertson’s Rancho Pinot (6208 N. Scottsdale Rd., 480/367-8030, 5:30–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., www.ranchopinot.com, $15–35) is a master class in using fresh, seasonal food without a lot of hoopla or Scottsdale flash. You can’t help but love the vegetarian antipasto and diver scallops on corn-bacon fritters. The Southwest decor and artful recipes may not be for everyone, but you can’t help but admire the restaurant’s use of local ingredients and experimental flavors.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition