Eight miles north of Sedona, in the heart of Oak Creek Canyon, you’ll find Junipine, luxurious creek-side houses that have been welcoming visitors for more than 25 years. Junipine’s cafe recently went through some updates, including a new menu and a new name: The Table at Junipine. Open to the public, the restaurant has long been a favorite stop for those exploring Oak Creek Canyon, and now it’s even better.
The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and a full-service bar (local microbrews on tap) in either the casual dining room or on the charming wood deck. September is one of the best months to take advantage of the deck, which is situated on SR 89A but under verdant pine and oak trees. In the late summer, warm breezes rustle the branches while autumn means the leaves begin to turn gold, orange and red. If you look up, you’ll get a glimpse of the canyon walls between the boughs. Despite its close proximity to the highway, The Table offers a respite, a chance to slow down, even if just for an hour.
For dinner, start with the calamari, a heaping plate of lightly battered squid served with cocktail and tarter sauces. The calamari is chewy and crunchy all at once – exactly the way it should be. Junipine’s signature dish is the locally caught trout, served for lunch and dinner. Our trout was prepared with the house-special almond crust. The moist, mild fish arrived piled high with sliced almonds and a side of creamy potatoes that were baked and then sauteed with red bell peppers and sprinkled with Parmesan. These aren’t your typical boring Yukon golds. The fish also came with a side of carrots and broccoli. The evening’s special was prawns, and we ordered ours deep-fried. The large, crispy, slightly sweet prawns were accompanied by the same side dishes as the trout, along with tarter sauce for dipping.
During our visit, both dessert options were baked on-site, and we opted for our server’s suggestion – New York cheesecake topped with raspberry sauce. We’ve had our fair share of cheesecake, but this one was extraordinary. If it’s available during your visit, don’t miss it. – Erika Ayn Finch. Photograph by Deb Weinkauff.
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