REDS Restaurant in Sedona

REDS Restaurant at Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa has a modern vibe that has made it a favorite locals’ hangout for years. If you live here, it’s practically a given that you’ll run into someone you know if you’re dining at REDS. The lounge area boasts two community tables, live music several nights a week, a patio shrouded in bamboo and a lively bar with a bar back designed to mimic the striations in Sedona’s red rocks. You’ll find local wine and local beer as well as handcrafted cocktails on the bar menu. We’ve spent plenty of evenings noshing on delish bar food such as the mushroom tacos topped with Mexican cheese and pico de gallo, towers (literally) of onion rings and cones of fluffy sweet-potato fries. If you’re looking for a casual evening, you don’t need to venture any further than the bar.

If, however, you’re in the mood for something a bit more upscale, settle into the dining room, which is arranged around an open kitchen where Executive Chef Shawn Murphy and his staff are hard at work. We’ve been big fans of REDS’ Pan Seared Salmon in all its seasonal incarnations for several years now. This winter, the salmon is served on a bed of pesto couscous along with baby kale, arugula and a roasted-tomato-and-olive tapenade. It’s topped with a bright lemon-beurre blanc sauce. The sear on the fresh piece of fish is absolute perfection. New this season are the Pumpkin Mascarpone Raviolis served alongside fresh veggies. The generous portion of raviolis are topped with a creamy roasted-yellow-pepper sauce. It’s everything you love about fall and winter in one hearty bowl. For lighter appetites, the Mighty Greens Salad features baby kale, arugula and sections of juicy orange and grapefruit, all topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, Parmesan crisps and a honey-Dijon vinaigrette.

For dessert, we couldn’t pass up the chef’s specialty: the enticingly named Erotica. The pie-like slice of heaven features a thick oat-and-pecan crust topped with a layer of chocolate-cherry ganache and a layer of roasted macadamia-nut butter cream. The concoction is drizzled with chocolate sauce and served with fresh berries on the side. One slice of this rich dessert happily satisfied three people with nary a thought about holiday waistlines. Erika Ayn Finch. Photo by Deb Weinkauff.

REDS Restaurant, 2250 W. AZ-89A at Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa in West Sedona. Open daily, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., for breakfast, lunch and dinner. MC, Visa, AmEx, Disc (928-340-5321) (Inexpensive to Very Expensive)

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