9Lives’ earlier post
reminded me that one of the highlights of their visit with us was at Elements. I've been to Elements before, though not in a while, and while I really liked it, it didn't "wow" me. However, this most recent visit and new menu really impressed. In fact, I just put it in my bio as the best meal of 2010 thus far.
We started with my first “FoodiesLikeUs” event - $15 for “Mojitos on the Mountain”. We arrived a bit early to have a cocktail in the Jade Bar (an Aviation for me, and a jalapeno-celery marg for E). For the event, the four of us hung out on the patio by the fire, chatting with new and old friends, and admiring the gorgeous view. The price included multiple samples of mojitos (I have to add that these 'samples' were more generous than the 'glasses' of wine at the Blood into Wine premiere) - Gin Beauty, grapefruit mojito, and a strawberry lavender mojito. I've always been a fan of the cocktails here, and these were all delicious. The $15 for the two-hour cocktail event also featured passed appetizers such as juicy chicken satay, rich oysters Rockefeller, tofu with spring vegetables wrapped in thinly sliced cucumbers and, my favorite, the gougeres stuffed with foie-gras mousse and drizzled with black pepper-caramel. Great event and will definitely attend more - this Saturday is a "food fight" between Chefs Christopher Gross and Josh Hebert at Posh (link below).
Everything was so good that we decided to retire back to the Jade Bar and try more off the menu. I have to say that everything we had was a winner. We ended up sharing:
Calamari with lop chung, pepperoncinis, fried herbs, miso scallion vinaigrette
Crispy sesame sweetbreads on turnip greens with smoked ham hock and spicy sauce
Escargot & mushroom dumplings with soy butter, roasted garlic, parsley
SIDE DISH: Shishito peppers, soy caramel (SO GOOD) & crispy garlic
ENTREE: Pan fried short rib ravioli with sugar-cured shallots, tomato jam, and horseradish hollandaise.
Top 3 for me were the shishito peppers (we already plan on returning for their new Happy Hour and snacking on bowls of these), the escargot dumplings, and the fantastic short-rib ravioli - I loved the combination with the creamy horseradish hollandaise and sweetness of the tomato jam. Hmmmm...I want some now.
I have to add we had GREAT service from Chelsea, who recommended many of the dishes, including the shishito peppers and the ravioli, and chose excellent wine b-t-g choices. Friendly Chef Beau also stopped by our table. He's also from MA and it turns out we know a close friend he went to high school with, and are friends with some of the same Boston chefs. We had such a fun time, and it was the perfect last night for our Boston Chowhound friends. Can't wait to go back and explore more of the menu in such a beautiful spot.
5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
7167 East Rancho Vista Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251