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The Grille seats 60 in its Southwest-themed dining room and 40 more on the patio overlooking Sedona Golf Resort and the mesas of the Village of Oak Creek – a great spot to sample one of 15 small-batch tequilas. Chad Oakes, food and beverage director, says about 70 percent of diners are resort guests. At dinner, Daryl likes to welcome them with a complimentary chef’s sampler, or amuse bouche (“Lately I’ve been serving smoked trout with lime jicama salsa and a poblano crème sauce.”)
The Grille at ShadowRock serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (reservations strongly recommended). Daryl also creates special menus for private events held at the resort.
The Grille at Shadow Rock 90 Ridge Trail Dr. at Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa in the Village of Oak Creek (928-284-4040; www.hiltonsedonaresort.com)
The Inn on Oak Creek
Locals wake up to the offer of a special breakfast
It’s been like a well-kept secret, but you don’t have to be a guest at The Inn on Oak Creek to enjoy its four-course gourmet breakfast. Though space is limited – the dining room and deck only seat 24 – owner/chef Jim Matykiewicz is putting out the welcome mat.
“We start with homemade granola and maple yogurt, then we have a fruit course, a sweet and savory pastry, and our main entrée, which changes every day,” Jim says. “Guests never have the same meal twice.” Favorites include chocolate cherry-banana smoothies, blueberry stuffed French toast with brandy cream, crustless crab quiche with baked tomatoes Florentine, and cheddar dill scones.
The inside dining area is decorated in French Country with a Sedona flair but the choice dining spots are located on the other side of large glass doors: A redwood deck above Oak Creek with views of the red rocks and the park-like atmosphere of Los Abrigados across the creek. Innkeeper Pam Mahan says it’s not unusual for diners to spot javelinas, ducks and other wildlife.
In January, Jim plans to open a cooking school next to the inn. The kitchen will include a 16-foot granite top island where ten people will gather for cooking tips and menu ideas from Sedona chefs. Jim says guests will assist in preparing the meal and, in the end, everyone will enjoy a gourmet four-course dinner. Classes will be open to guests and the public.
In the future, look for high tea and private dinners at the inn. Locals who refer guests can enjoy a free breakfast at the inn; for anyone else not spending the night, breakfast is $12 per person, served from 8 to 9:30 a.m., by reservation only.
The Inn on Oak Creek 556 Hwy 179 (928-282-7896; www.innonoakcreek.com)
L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek
How 1,000 wines go into seven courses every night
When the restaurant at L’Auberge de Sedona appended “on Oak Creek” to its name, they weren’t kidding. The contemporary American restaurant with a French influence has a cozy dining room with a large fireplace and views of the creek but from April through October you’ll find most guests choosing to sit at creekside on the terrace, watching the resident ducks and squirrels. Maury Kepley, the restaurant manager, said he’s seen a lot of changes at L’Auberge (“the inn”) in his 11 years in Sedona: The restaurant once required formal attire and had 300 wines. Today the atmosphere is much more relaxed and the wine list, which has won the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator 14 times, exceeds 1,000.