- 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
Binkley’s (6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., 480/437-1072, www.binkleysrestaurant.com, 5–10:30 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $25–32) may be the best restaurant in Arizona. Chef Kevin Binkley, who trained with superstar chef Thomas Keller, brings style and culinary panache to his eponymous Cave Creek eatery, changing his menu daily to showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients. What’s all the fuss about? Order the four-, five- or six-course tasting menu, and you’ll see. The carefully arranged arugula salad, sunchoke soup with pancetta, and brown-butter-crusted cod are punctuated by a series of amuse-bouche presentations, which range from fois gras to “frozen balls of carrots created through the magic of molecular gastronomy.”
For a more causal option, consider Café Bink (36899 N. Tom Darlington Dr., 480/488-9796, 11 a.m.–9:30 a.m. Tues.–Sat., $8–20), which features superb mountain views, a cozy patio, and French bistro-inspired fare. You’ll find a few of the usual Parisian suspects—cheese and spinach quiche, onion soup, heirloom tomato salad, flat iron steak—though chef Binkley shakes things up with some inventive additions. For instance, the lunchtime Cuban-style pork sandwich with Dijon mustard, gruyère cheese, and crunchy bread is incredible. In the evening, the dinner lineup expands to include roasted chicken legs with confit garlic, seared sea scallops, and a rich pork cassoulet.
Enjoy a glass of pinot noir in the unique North cottsdale] setting of DC Ranch Marketplace at Armitage (20751 N. Pima Rd., 480/502-1641, www.armitagewine.com, 11 a.m.–midnight Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–1 a.m. Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–midnight Sun., $9–17). The wine bar and bistro has a little bit of everything, from tasty bruschetta and baked brie for the peckish to beer brat paninis, ahi tuna sliders, and whiskey butter ribeye steaks for the downright hungry. Sundays are ideal; the filling brunch menu lures neighbors from their million-dollar homes with the promise of bellinis and bloody marys, and the live music in the evening keeps the party going.
Next door, Eddie V’s (20715 N. Pima Rd., 480/538-8468, www.eddiev.com, 4:30–11 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 5–10 p.m. Sun., $30–45) prepares the freshest catches of great seafood in town, with new deliveries of lobster, shrimp, and scallops arriving every morning. Go with Eddie V’s oyster bar or the tower of iced shellfish before trying out the Chilean sea bass, steamed “Hong Kong style.”
Slow down and sample the multi-course lineup at Heirloom (20775 N. Pima Rd., 480/515-2575, 6–9 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $30–50). Noted Valley chef Michael DeMaria’s restaurant at DC Ranch Marketplace features an exquisite mix-and-match tasting menu shaped by seasonal ingredients, allowing diners to savor a variety of fresh flavors and textures. Begin with one of the locally grown starters, like the namesake heirloom tomato soup with tiny “pestoed” pasta or the organic beets with chianti-tossed arugula, lamb’s lettuce, and manchego cheese. The bacon-seared Idaho trout, butter-poached lobster with garlicky spinach, and braised Kurobuta pork are also phenomenal. Thankfully, the portions are small, which means you’ll have room for the custard-filled cake doughnuts on smooth lemon chiffon.
Mosaic (10600 E. Jomax Rd., 480/563-9600, www.mosaic-restaurant.com, 4:30–10 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $12–40) will delight even the most finicky and jaded taste buds. Chef/owner Deborah Knight’s eclectic dishes are designed to be savored, and with the broad range of flavors and ingredients, you’ll want to try it all. Consider the green chile and citrus-marinated lobster tail, followed by the truffle-seared veal tenderloin. The next course: Why not a cardamom-caramel fondue? Thankfully, diners who are having a hard time deciding what to order can select from three five-course tasting menus, in addition to à la carte options.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition