In a city of “spectacular views,” L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek (301 L’Auberge Ln., 928/282-1661, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Sun., $6–12 breakfast, $15–40 lunch and dinner) stands out. The flagstone patio of the elegant restaurant and wine bar creeps right up the banks of Oak Creek, creating a leafy, romantic setting. The menu’s seasonal ingredients reflect the changing scenery, from wild game and hearty soups in winter to fresh salads with wild greens and creamy cheeses in the summer. Even Wine Spectator magazine is a fan, bestowing L’Auberge with its “Best of Award of Excellence” for 14 consecutive years for its large selection of vintage wines.
The formal dining room at René at Tlaquepaque (336 Hwy. 179, 928/282-9225, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–8:30 p.m. daily, $15–42) attracts locals and visitors celebrating weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays, although it’s the Southwestern-inspired French cuisine that keeps them coming back. Feast on traditional Gallic treats like escargots, onion soup, and steak au poivre, or try surprising dishes like the seared Ostrich René, topped with béarnaise sauce, king crab, and asparagus.