About This Guide
These listings are a selective guide to area restaurants. All were visited anonymously, and the blurbs reflect independent judgments; no fees were paid for inclusion. Price ranges, necessarily somewhat subjective, are: Inexpensive = $10 or less, Moderate = $11-20, Expensive = $20-30, Very Expensive = $30 and up.
Oak Creek Canyon
Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge
Prix-fixe dinners in a bucolic setting that calls to mind upstate New York, but with an unmistakable southwestern touch at a hidden location across the creek. At 7 p.m., a dinner bell summons the limited group of 50 diners into the lodge. The four-course menu changes each night. On our visit, we started with a light and tasty Southwest-style corn chowder and a colorful green salad. The centerpiece came next: tender scallops and shrimp, with scattered garden herbs imparting a subtle taste nuance and brightly colored sautéed vegetables alongside, all exquisite. For dessert, we love the homemade shortcake biscuits filled with fresh strawberries and blackberries in a sweet cream sauce. Prix-fixe dinner served Monday through Saturday, 7 p.m.; cocktails, 6 p.m. Reservations required. MC, Visa • 8067 N. AZ-89A (928-282-3343) (Very Expensive)
The Table at Junipine
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. For dinner, start with the calamari, a heaping plate of lightly battered squid served with cocktail and tartar 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. 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. Open Wednesday though Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., for breakfast, lunch and dinner. MC, Visa, AmEx • 8351 N. AZ-89A (928-282-7406) (Moderate to Expensive)
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