Restaurants & Bars


Prado - Paradise Valley, AZ


Restaurants & Bars 4

Prado - Paradise Valley, AZ

Rubee | Apr 17, 2009 03:33 PM

We've had a chance to visit Prado and the MBar a couple of times recently. One night was on a Monday when visiting friends were staying at the Montelucia for a couple of days. The first glitch was when we were told we just missed Happy Hour - after my girlfriend spoke personally to someone at the pool area, who called the front desk, and said that there was no more Happy Hour on Mondays. But Diane, the bartender, graciously offered to give us the tapas at HH prices. She was GREAT, personable and friendly, and made excellent drinks (I LOVED the Amante Picante with its secret ingredient of green Tabasco, and Julio's Margarita was excellent too). She made a nice first impression, and one of the reasons we liked MBar so much. We also really enjoyed all the tapas we ordered too - smoky grilled head-on prawns, velvety jamon serrano with delicious bread, spicy merguez sausage, and crispy, tender calamari with roasted garlic aioli ($5 at Happy Hour, Monday thru Friday, 5-7).

The four of us also had a very good dinner - excellent wood-grilled ribeye with burrata, fideua with day-boat scallops and langoustines (a little salty, but still delicious and one of my favorites), and for me the Monday night wood-oven grill special - cochinillo or suckling pig (great). These nightly specials are limited, so be sure to call ahead. In fact, one of the chefs (Ivan) came out personally to tell me they were out when Diane told him I'd be disappointed with the bad news, but then returned to our table to happily inform me that there was one serving left. Nice personal touch that was very much appreciated. The nightly specials from the wood oven are: Sunday - Wood-grilled meats, Monday - Cochinillo, Tuesday - Roasted leg of lamb, Wednesday - Roasted chicken with garlic and rosemary, and Thursday - Roasted duck.

They do have some kinks to work out though - the hostess "misunderstood" our reservation and request to sit outside on the patio, which we made in person before we went to the bar for pre-dinner drinks and HH. She did apologize and ended up seating us at a nice table by the window, however. Also there was some confusion once seated, and it took half an hour for someone to take our order. I think there was some mixup about who was to take our table, though once we met our waiter, he was efficient, helpful and very attentive.

On a subsequent Tuesday night we were back for HH at the bar. Again, we enjoyed the tapas and excellent drinks, this time made by Ross (who makes one of the best Negronis in the Valley). One disappointment. I'm a big fan of the splurge-worthy jamón ibérico de bellota now that it's finally available in the States, but the serving were small pieces, some cut too thick, instead of the thin slices it should be, especially for a splurge on a high-quality menu item like this. Maybe it was the end of the leg?

Overall, I was impressed with the food, but think right now it's good, not great. OTOH, it's a gorgeous restaurant, love the menu (hopefully they'll have Padron peppers this summer!), and beautiful bar area with friendly, skilled bar staff. I was able to speak to Pavle on our last visit, so knowing he'll be there this weekend, we're planning another visit tomorrow night for a birthday dinner. Besides, Ross tempted me with the promise that Saturday there's a new cocktail he'll be putting on the menu - something with Campari and passionfruit syrup. hmmmmm.......

4949 E Lincoln Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

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