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Sedona Trip Report (long)

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Sedona Trip Report (long)

Rubee | Apr 2, 2008 12:35 AM

We had a wonderful time in beautiful Sedona this past weekend - many thanks to the Chowhounds who posted in this thread:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/502689

Our first stop after checking into our hotel Friday afternoon was a sunset cocktail and some appetizers at Enchantment Resort in Boynton Canyon. We had a great table outside on Tii Gavo's patio with its magnificent views. This is the casual restaurant at Enchantment. For a snack before dinner, we enjoyed some chips with salsa and guacamole. Chips were fine and guacamole was fresh, though needed the lime juice and salt I added. We also shared the crispy fish tacos - mahi mahi marinated in achiote and served with crema, lettuce, and asadero cheese. Everything was pretty good, though I totally spaced and forgot that I had read you can order from Yavapai's menu - their upscale restaurant - which is what I'll do the next time we visit. The margaritas were fine, but not great. I had their signature prickly pear margarita, but it pales in comparison to my favorite at LV Bistro at the Scottsdale Princess. Those are so good, I want one now.

We had a great dinner at Silver Saddle. We started with margaritas, which were just okay. For appetizers, E ordered a classic wedge, while I tried a brand new appetizer on the menu - venison "dumplings", tender braised venison sandwiched in a cumin fry-bread cake and served with chipotle-buttermilk cream. Very good, though one of the two was too thick and undercooked and doughy. They did offer to make me another one, but I was already feeling a bit full and needed room for the entrees. E liked his chicken adobe with smoked gouda cream and cilantro-poblano pesto, while I LOVED my entree, the "Big Game Burgundy". Braised venison, buffalo and wild boar served in an intensely flavorful sauce over papardelle, like a deliciously rich version of beef stroganoff. No dessert for us - we couldn't even finish our meals.

Lunch the next day was at L'Auberge - what a beautiful spot (I posted pics on the Places link below). Well, this certainly lived up to our expectations. Seated next to Oak Creek outside on a sunny day enjoying a delicious lunch and a bottle of chablis - it doesn't get much better than this. Starters were another wedge for E, but this time L'Auberge's version with pancetta and apricot vinaigrette. My salad of goat cheese, greens, and gold and chiogga beets was delicious. E then had the burger, which he declared excellent, while I especially liked the addition of thinly sliced green apple on my classic flatbread with smoked salmon, red onion, capers, and creme fraiche.

We had a snack later in the afternoon at Stakes and Sticks, the steakhouse at Los Abrigados that also has horse racing. We sat at the bar and spent a nice hour here - E hit the very first superfecta he bet, and our bartender was efficient and friendly. A pretty good Mint Julep, and the half-order of nachos weren't bad either, piled high with tender shredded beef.

Dinner Saturday was one of the highlights of our trip, Cafe Elote at the King's Ransom Hotel. We absolutely loved this place, one of our top meals so far in Arizona. We were prepared to wait as reservations are only taken for parties of 5 or more, and so when we saw the crowd, we were happy to snag two seats at the small bar when we walked in. First up were margaritas, an El Dorado for my husband, and I had the special, which was a delightfully tangy Meyer Lemon margarita. Finally, two excellent and well-made margaritas, by far the best we tried on our trip. This is already getting too long, but suffice it to say we ordered too much food but loved every dish - queso fundido with chorizo and roasted poblanos to start, and then grilled mushrooms in chipotle cream, the namesake dish of elote - creamy grilled corn with chile, lime and cotija - mole tacos, and flautas de pato (roasted duck). We were having such a good time at the bar that we canceled our table and ate dinner there. Great staff too, including Cameron who recommended a very good local wine (Page Springs) for us to enjoy with dinner.

Our final meal was lunch at Tlaquepaque. We were hoping to follow Gini's suggestions and eat at Rene's, but they weren't open for another half an hour and, having skipped breakfast, we didn't want to wait. We ended up at El Rincon. Nothing outstanding (including a too-sweet prickly pear margarita), but it hit the spot. For E, the omelet-style rellleno with green chili, and for me the "Arizona-style" chimichanga (machaca wrapped in a masa dough, folded into a half-moon, and fried) enchilada style.

Needless to say we had a wonderful time, can't wait to go back, and will now be giving our wallets, waistlines, and livers a break. ; )

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Tii Gavo at Enchantment Resort
525 Boynton Canyon Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336

L'Auberge
301 L'Auberge Lane, Sedona, AZ 86336

Silver Saddle
241 North Highway 89-A, Sedona, AZ 86336

Stakes & Sticks
160 Portal Ln, Sedona, AZ 86336

Elote Cafe
771 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ 86336

El Rincon
336 Highway 179 # A112, Sedona, AZ

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