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Steak & Sticks Dining & Diversions
A chef gives new meaning to the ‘dine-in’ kitchen
Gourmets eager for a more interactive dining experience have several ways to get up close and personal with Chef Gino Di Fabio of Steak & Sticks at Los Abrigados Resort and Spa. Kitchen with a View, convening every Tuesday at noon, is open to 24 people (resort guests and non-guests welcome; $25 per person) who sit in the stainless-steel kitchen at special tables and observe as Gino prepares a four-course lunch paired with wine.
Steak & Sticks also offers the Spontaneity Dinner (reservations required at least seven days in advance; $75 per person) at a special linen-clad high-table in the kitchen. Guests are interviewed in advance on their preferences, then Gino prepares a special, four-course meal with items not usually on the menu.
“Some diners may look down on dining in the kitchen but I think that attitude is changing,” says restaurant manager Nicholas Papas. “It’s more elite; we call it dinner with a show.”
Steak & Sticks’ wine list has more than 250 labels ($19 to $900 per bottle). The restaurant has received Wine Spectator magazine’s Best of Award of Excellence twice, and each month spotlights a Winery of the Month. Every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. it hosts a wine tasting for guests and non-guests ($15 per person).
Nicholas says while the restaurant is known for its “steak, chops and seafood” it also has the Mis-Steak – a grilled Portobello mushroom atop mixed grilled
vegetable planks for vegetarian diners. Also popular are the creative homemade desserts such as the Signature Cigar: A puff pastry filled with cognac cream and dipped in chocolate, served in an almond Florentine ashtray.
Steaks & Sticks is open for dinner Wednesday through Monday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Steak & Sticks Dining & Diversions 160 Portal Ln. at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa (928-282-1777)
The Yavapai Restaurant
Six courses with wine – now that’s enchantment
The 180-degree views of Boynton Canyon from the linen-clad tables at The Yavapai Restaurant at Enchantment Resort are indescribable and the restaurant strives to ensure its food matches the view, says sommelier Steven Johnson. The Yavapai Restaurant, named for the local Native American tribe, offers a six-course tasting menu with wine pairings for $140 per person ($95 without wine) and next year plans to resume its quarterly winemaker dinners after a brief hiatus.
The Yavapai seats 120 and Steven says there’s a bottle of wine at nearly every table during dinner and a glass of wine at every table during lunch. The wine list includes 750 labels ($32 to $2,500), mostly from California and Oregon with a focus on reds. The list has won Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence three times.
Favorite dinners include the grilled Tasmanian salmon, buffalo tenderloin and rack of Colorado lamb, says Bill DeLong, director of food and beverage. Most of the restaurant’s diners are guests of the 236-room Enchantment. Yavapai also has a local following; non-guests must make reservations for breakfast, lunch and dinner.