Southwestern cuisine comes to mind when thinking about Phoenix, Arizona. And, in fact, Phoenix does have some of the best southwestern and Mexican restaurants in all the country. However, the chefs in the southwest are a diverse bunch that specialize in Italian, French and seafood cuisine as well.
Donovan’s Steak and Chop House offers USDA prime beef as their star attraction. You’ll get the luxury of valet parking as you drive up to this great restaurant. Start your meal with an appetizer of a Giant Shrimp Cocktail then try Donovan’s Chop House Salad with bacon and hearts of palm. For your main course any of Donavan’s steaks are supreme. Top off your meal with Crème Brulee with fresh strawberries.
Sophie’s French Bistro is a casual, yet intimate restaurant located in central Phoenix in a 1940s cottage. French cottage décor will surround you as you enjoy oven-roasted quail or fresh Alaskan halibut. When you first enter it will feel as though you are part of a Parisian experience. Sophie’s offers a full bar and a wide array of wines from France, Australia, Oregon and California. There is patio seating for warm weather lunches and dinners.
Steamers Genuine Seafood offers the freshest seafood, chicken, pasta and steaks. Chef Jose Overa creates award winning dishes including some just for Steamers. You will have a hard time making a decision between their Fire and Ice Salmon, Stuffed Lobster and Pepper Encrusted New Zealand Swordfish. For dessert they have a nice selections of sorbets and Gelatos and for the delectably inclined try the Snickers Cheesecake or Key Lime Pie. They are open for lunch and dinner daily.
Elements Restaurant at the Sanctuary offers an Asian accent to their American style cuisine. Executive Chef Beau MacMillan presents a menu with different dishes (seasonal) monthly. Elements is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A sample dinner might include an appetizer of Chinese long beans & miso scallion vinaigrette followed by a farmer’s market salad. For the main course you might order pan seared wild salmon with sesame jasmine rice, ending the beautiful meal with a peach panna cotta or a white chocolate mousse.
Lon’s at the Hermosa is an authentic hacienda. The spectacular Arizona scenery surrounds the adobe dining room. Enjoy your meal sitting next to one of the warm fireplaces or in warmer weather, out on the patio. Dishes range from cactus pear lacquered breast of duck to pecan roasted pork chops. The dishes at Lon’s are created to reflect the current season. Lon’s offers special events such as their Wednesday’s wine. It is held between 5 pm and 7 pm, offering wine tasting from their award winning cellar. Sunday Cool Jazz Brunch is offered from 11 am to 2 pm and is accompanied by live jazz musicians.
Cowboy Ciao has a global and southwest bend to their modern American cuisine. Although their entrees are beyond compare, their desserts created by Chef Tracy Dempsey are out of this world. Try the Fossil Creek Creamery Chevre Tart or the House Made Ice Cream and Cookies for a perfect ending to your meal. If you live close by or can plan an event in Phoenix, call them ahead to set up a special event.
Salt Cellar, a seafood restaurant, has the largest Phoenix selection of fish flown in daily for freshness. You’ll love the Maine lobster, Hawaiian Ahi, Alaskan King Crab and other seafood that has risen the Salt Cellar to the top of the restaurant popularity list. Try the Charcoal Broiled Georges Bank Sea Scallops for a real treat. Salt Cellar offer two different happy hours, 4pm to 7pm and 10pm to 1am.
Capital Grill serves American cuisine of steaks and seafood. Food Critics have praised their dry aged steaks as superb. Seafood is flown in daily for freshness and they tout a collection of 400 award winning wines to choose from. They specialize in personal event planning. The décor abounds in African mahogany and original oil paintings. If you are feeling really hungry try the 24 ounce porterhouse.
Houston’s prepares everything from fresh chicken, beef and fish made daily. You’ll find surroundings of mortared brick, brass and stained wood. This is fine dining with a casual atmosphere and menu. Eat the best steaks and prime rib you’ve ever had. You’ll love their use of fresh herbs and spices. It’s been said that their tortilla soup is like none other you’ve ever tasted.
Pizzeria Bianco was unofficially dubbed to make the “best pizza in America.” This place is small in size, but large in flavorful gourmet pizza flavor. Your meal will start with delicious crusty bread with a side of olive oil for dipping. Next you might try the Spiedini (salad) with two skewers of Fontina cheese wrapped in prosciutto heated in a wood fire oven. The next dish might be a wonderful antipasto. When your pizza finally arrives you will notice how handmade it appears. But with the first bite you will know that it was made with such a special sense of flavor and texture. You might order the Wise Guy, the Margherita, the Sonny Boy or Biancoverde. All exquisite.
Tarbells received the “Best Restaurant” award from Food and Wine Magazine as well as the “Best Chef: Southwest” nominee for Chef Mark Tarbell from the James Beard Foundation among many other nominations and awards. You’ll enjoy the friendly atmosphere of light wood and white table cloths. Tarbell’s offers more than 30 wines by the glass. Mark Tarbell studied in Paris. He offers house-made pastas in dishes such as Ribbon Past with Bolognese and Mark’s Famous Spaghetti and Meat Balls. For a special treat for dinner try the Pan-Roasted Organic Chicken and Buttermilk Mashed Broccolini.