Heartline Cafe is as generous as the name implies

It is no wonder Heartline Café received the 2011 Sedona Chamber of Commerce award for best customer service in the Sedona area.

Co-owners Phyllis and her husband, Chuck Cline, also the chef, continue to be generous toward not-for-profit organizations in especially hard times, meaning not only during the economic downturn but also during and after the 2009 fire that nearly demolished the restaurant.

Here is how The Dunnery benefitted from that generosity.

The Sedona International Film Festival held a fundraiser called “Flicks at the Farm." On a beautiful evening last summer we join several others for an outdoor event at a farm off of Page Springs Road.

There was wine tasting presented by several AZ wineries, wonderful hors d’oeuvres, a sit down dinner, live music, film screening and an auction.

We love silent auctions and know when to raise and when to fold. Live auctions are something else and SIFF executive director, Patrick Schweiss, knows how to raise those bids!

In the fever, we bid and won a five course group dinner at Heartline Café to be held at a mutually agreed upon date.

The first step we took to cash in on our prize was to set the date. Then we perused the online menus (www.heartlinecafe.com) to get an idea of menu possibilities. We breakfasted at Heartline Gourmet Express in the room where our event would be held.

Phyllis sat down with us to discuss the menu, colors of linens, table arrangements, and service. We felt like a bride and groom making plans for a wedding reception. For a couple whose wedding reception was arranged nearly 48 years ago by the ladies guild at Trinity Methodist Church in Columbus Ohio, this was a huge change!

We were awed by the attention given to us by Phyllis. Since the Express part of the business doesn’t have a liquor license, alcohol for events can be purchased and delivered from the main restaurant. Jeff inquired about bringing in our own wine and paying a corkage fee. Phyllis agreed. We and our guests were very pleased.

As guests arrived, each person was asked to sign in and note the kind of wine they brought. One couple provided outstanding Piper Heidsieck Champagne, which prompted us to have a round of toasts. Heartline Café set a lovely table of hors d’ourves among which were a Southwest Anti Pasta Platter, Baked Brie in Puff Pastry and Marinated Chicken Skewers.

When we were seated, we were served Roasted Pear and Butternut Squash Soup followed by a salad of Baby Green with Strawberries, Candied Pecan, Gorgonzola Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette.

For the entrée, we had a choice of Pan-seared Alaskan Halibut with Ginger Lemongrass Butter, Hudson Valley Duck Breast and Leg with Dried Cherry Relish, Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Cabernet Sauce or Roasted Rack of Lamb.

Most of our guests ordered either the Filet or Rack of lamb and each one exclaimed that his or her portion was cooked to perfection.

There were also choices for dessert -- something for every palate: Poached Pear with Warm Caramel Sauce; Flourless Chocolate Cake with Bananas and Warm Caramel Sauce; or Crème Brulee.

No one went away hungry or thirsty! Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon; Cirque du vin Red, Medoc, Mirassou and Petit Syrah were all enjoyed at some time during the meal.

Nothing but compliments came our way following this event. Guests contacted Phyllis Cline, herself, to express their pleasure.

So, thank you Phyllis Cline and thank you SIFF for making our wonderful event possible.

Heartline Café serves dinner nightly from 5 p.m and breakfast and lunch across the parking lot at Heartline Gourmet Express. Telephone 928-282-0785.

To our readers, health and happiness. Jeff and Suzie at The Dunnery

Bites and Sips!

We have been eating out frequently, as guests and with visitors

• At Cucina Rustica, Lisa Dahl sent out delicious bacon wrapped stuffed dates (recipe in her cookbook) to tease our palates.

• At Nic’s Crab House in Old Town Cottonwood, for an appetizer we enjoyed mussels simmered in a garlic broth.

• Bodacious Burger in Bashas' Shopping Mall has an extensive variety of burgers. For lunch one day, we chose angus burgers and were not disappointed in either the burger or the sides of fries and cole slaw. Prices are reasonable.

• Pita Fresh, in New Frontiers Marketplace, was a quick dinner stop for Mediterranean cuisine before a show. Jeff liked his falafel and Suzie her gyro. The frequently published two for one coupon makes it extra nice.

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