Sedona Fine Dining: Storytellers

When you walk through the glass doors of Storytellers, Cliff Castle Casino Hotel’s signature restaurant, you leave the sounds of ringing slot machines and the casino floor behind. The restaurant is a tranquil oasis designed to look like a red rock cave. The lights are low. There’s also a trickling waterfall near the entrance and a flickering gas fireplace toward the back of the dining room. Native American artifacts hang surreptitiously on the walls, and the large booths feature copper-topped tables and recessed lights that slowly change colors to mimic sunrise and sunset. Immediately, you begin to feel yourself slow down.

Executive Chef Joanne Kenney’s menu features traditional steakhouse fare: various cuts of steaks, pork chops, lamb, chicken and fresh fish. We ordered the signature Applewood Bacon Wrapped Filet, which is available in a 10-ounce or 6-ounce portion. We requested our steak be cooked medium rare, and it arrived pink and red in the center. The fatty, smoky bacon was a nice complement to the lean steak. All entrées at Storytellers come with your choice of soup or salad and two side dishes. We opted for the house salad along with the mashed potato du jour and the asparagus du jour. The heaping portion of mashed potatoes was flavored with rosemary and A.1. steak sauce, while the asparagus was topped with tangy lemon pepper. We also ordered the Shrimp Trio with a house salad, long-grain wild rice and asparagus with béarnaise sauce. The shrimp dish featured shrimp cooked three ways: coconut encrusted, tempura battered and skewered with garlic and butter. Storytellers’ attention to detail extends to its plating. Both dishes arrived with purple orchids on the side.

Storytellers begins tempting you with dessert as soon as you walk in the door – the dessert tray is located near the front desk. We settled on a large slice of chocolate mousse cake with two forks. The cake features dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate mousse topped with chocolate shavings and a heavenly vanilla-bean sauce. As if that isn’t enough chocolate, there is a mound of shavings on the side. You won’t leave the restaurant hungry, but you will leave feeling like you’ve spent a few hours in a secret hideaway. – Erika Ayn Finch. Photo © Cliff Castle Casino Hotel.

Storytellers, 555 Middle Verde Road at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel in Camp Verde. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 5-9 p.m. (10 p.m., Friday and Saturday). MC, Visa, AmEx, Disc, DC (928-567-7905) (Expensive to Very Expensive)

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