Seth,thanks for reminding me of Durant's. We were there for my bf's birthday a few weeks ago and forgot to post my review.
Durant's is oft recommended on the board, but I haven't seen a review ever.
I'll do my best to remember the meal, I was great. Keep in mind, we were with two not so chowhoundish folks. So, not too adventuresome.
The four of us arrive right on time on a Wednesday night to a 7:30 reservation and were promptly seated in the booth I had requested. It was busy and there was a wait if you didn't have reservations. That says alot for a restaurant in Phoenix on a Wednesday night when it's 100 out at 7 p.m.
We started with cocktails, I had a Maker's Mark Manhattan and the bf had a Ketel Cosmo (who's wearing the skirt in this relationship, huh?). The Manhanttan was perfect, and they met my specs of a little extra cherry juice, yum.
We ordered one shrimp cocktail and the spinach artichoke dip to start. The shrimp cocktail was four perfectly cooked shrimp. About three bites worth. The cocktail sauce was yummy with lots of fresh horseradish on the side. Love the burn...more on that later.
Artichoke dip? At Durant's? Who'd a thunk it? It was great. The nice hot cheesy kind packed with artichoke hearts and spinach. I hate the soggy cream cheese and mayo kind, I want real cheese, hot and gooey. Great choice. I'll definitely have that next time I'm having drinks at the bar.
On to wine, the non-chowhoundish couple (bf's brother and sister-in-law) ordered the bottle of Wild Horse. Standard Pinot Noir. It was nice. We talked to the sommelier and told him what we like. Since they don't have any French wine, we wanted a little guidance. We love dirty, earthy French wine. He recommended the Wild Hog, an unfiltered Pinot Noir from Sonoma. And surprisingly, it was only about $45 if I recall. It was great. It coated my mouth perfectly had an interesting look since it's unfiltered.
The guys both had the king cut prime rib and mashed potatoes...they're twins and apparently are still attached at the brain. The prime rib is great, wonderful hot, fresh horseradish on the side. Both guys went into horseradish induced convulsions at one point during the meal.
Sis-in-law had the pan seared salmon with rice pilaf. Really nice and simple.
I had the trout. A great deal for $19. A big piece of trout, pan fried simply with S&P and lemon. Lovely with a big, ol' baked potato.
When I called to make the reservation, I told them it was a birthday. We had the raspberry sorbet and creme brulee trio. The raspberry sorbet isn't probably what I would've picked, but it was good and in a bowl as big as your head. There must have been 6-7 huge scoops, garnished with fresh berries and mint. The creme brulee was lucsious, three little ramekins -- toasted coconut, blackberry and chocolate. Man, they were yummy and creamy.
As a nice gesture, the server comped the desserts for us.
For the four of us, the bill was $320ish including the tax and tip. A great experience and the reason that we'll keep going back to Durant's for the great food, and even more for the Phoenix history, charm and legend!