Epicurean Extravagance: The ‘dish’ on fine dining in Scottsdale

Epicurean Extravagance: The ‘dish’ on fine dining in Scottsdale

By Alison Bailin Batz

If you are going to make it a night out, make that night out count. Do it in style. Wear heels. Splurge on a new dress. Pick a place that will blow your mind. Here are a few of our favorite haunts to flaunt your haute couture while enjoying haute cuisine right here in Scottsdale:

Mastro’s Ocean Club

True story: In approximately 2008, my mom and I — Airpark-area residents since before Frank Lloyd Wright had speed traps — found amazing new dresses at Dillard’s that were just begging for a place to be seen. Of course, we dolled up, threw them on and visited Mastro’s Ocean Club. As we approached the host stand, we noticed another family of dapper dressers waiting to be seated. It just so happened to be the late, great Muhamad Ali and his family. I tell that story to say that if it is good enough for the man nicknamed “The Greatest of all Time,” then it must really be something. And it is. Dark fabrics, lively bands, plush décor and elegance drip from every pore of the Kierland Commons icon. The menu is a celebration of fresh seafood and shellfish as well as elevated comfort classic sides and ultra-high-end imported steak. Each item is more decadent than the next, in the best possible way. mastrosrestaurants.com

Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak

Egyptian-born Michael Mina is a magician with flavors. His team members at Michael Mina Group, which has more than 40 high-end concepts worldwide to date, are artists of atmosphere. And the food and beverage team at his Scottsdale namesake? They are masters of melding both into unforgettable evenings for every single person who dines with them. As with many of the other entries here, the steak offerings will rock your world. However, dig a little deeper into the menu when you have a chance and explore the other delicacies, including the shellfish platter. Served one of two ways — chilled or broiled — this platter has a taste of all the delicacies the ocean has to offer, 4 ounces of king crab, half a lobster, four shrimp and four oysters. If ordered broiled, the dish is served on a bed of rock salt and accompanied by miso butter. Also, don’t miss that glass wine cellar. It is what dreams are made of. scottsdaleprincess.com

Dominick’s Steakhouse

Those who see this massive palace to all that is indulgent as one of the anchors at Scottsdale Quarter likely assume it is a national chain, perhaps connected to Mastro’s. Yes, but no. Dominick’s is the ultra-high-end steak concept from Arizona’s own Mastro family. Patriarch Dennis Mastro helped launch true steakhouses in Arizona back in the 1980s before opening the Mastro brands years later with his sons. After selling that brand — including Ocean Club — several years ago, the family put pen to paper on their dream restaurant. Enter Dominick’s, which is named for Dennis’ father and is — like the Mastros themselves — bigger than life. The venue boasts one of the most opulent bars in Arizona as well as an open-air dining option on the roof, complete with a pool serving as the centerpiece of the space. All of the meat on the menu is responsibly sourced, wet-aged for 28 days and hand-cut by the family’s in-house master butcher. dominickssteakhouse.com

Talavera

The Forbes Four-Star Award-winning Talavera, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and a dramatic fire that lines the interior of the entire restaurant, is the jewel in the crown of the sophisticated Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort Troon North. The Spanish-influenced menus, featuring paella, jamón ibérico and a laundry list of globally inspired tapas, are quickly becoming the stuff of legend. Insider tip: Within Talavera, there is also a small cocktail spot called Gin Bar that specializes in gin tonics, which are far more aromatic and botanically forward than traditional gin and tonics. It is the perfect way to kick off or end an unforgettable evening. talavera.com

Roka Akor

Chic and sexy are always on the menu at this posh Japanese steakhouse. To really go big, opt for Omakase — loosely translated as “to entrust the chef.” Offered nightly, this personalized tasting menu features exclusive in-house premium, chef-selected ingredients and is meant to showcase the best of Roka Akor’s three kitchens. During the feast, guests will enjoy hot and cold appetizers, premium sushi and sashimi, and items from both the robata grill and tempura kitchen. Entrees are accompanied with a wild mushroom rice hot pot, which is an earthy risotto-like dish, and dinner is topped off with decadent dessert platter featuring the venue’s most popular desserts, sorbet, ice cream and exotic fruits. rokaakor.com

HUSH Public House

It may be called HUSH, but for Scottsdale foodies in the know, the secret is out about this exceptionally special North Scottsdale spot. The restaurant is limited to just 40 people at any given time and is dimly lit by design for the optimal intimacy. The dinner menu only features about 20 options at any given time and changes weekly, but expect both whimsical and well-balanced offerings from some of Arizona’s deftest kitchen talent. There are also options for the more adventurous eaters in the group (chicken liver mousse, but in a way you will not expect, for example) and a combination of classic and modern cocktails that pair nicely with the evening’s seasonal selection of bites. hushpublichouse.com

The Americano

Celebrity chef and Scottsdale resident Scott Conant does not mess around when it comes to food. His finesse is at its finest at The Americano. This elevated yet approachable menu serves every taste, from fine steaks, such as prime and American wagyu beef, to freshly made pasta, organic salads, Italian antipasti, and Mediterranean seafood including Italian crudi. The Americano blends a European style of highly personalized, tableside service with contemporary Italian-inspired dining to create an unmistakable, convivial experience within the heart of North Scottsdale. A bonus: Conant’s culinary vision shares the spotlight with an inventive cocktail program that is playful and intricately devised, plus there is a thoughtfully curated selection of 200 distinct wines from iconic, established and emerging Italian and American labels, including Conant’s private label, SC Wines. theamericanorestaurant.com

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