Wed, June 26

Reds: American Bistro

Words like casual innovative, cool and jazzy are used by Tauseen Malik to describe Reds, one of Sedona's newest restaurants.

Malik is the director of food and beverage at Reds where the menu is fresh and the feel is absolutely stylish.

"Reds is actually an upscale American bistro," Malik said. "It's where you can find food with a contemporary flare."

Chef Kyle Evans has worked to create a menu that is "really innovative and delicious," Malik said.

Reds opened about three months ago as a part of Sedona Rouge, an equally stylish hotel. Malik says the décor of the hotel continues on into the restaurant.

"Everything has been handpicked," he said.

From the glass behind the bar, which has been specially designed for Sedona Rouge, to the rustic tables in the lounge, down to the plates on which the food is served.

The restaurant seats about 60 and so does the bar. There's room for 26 in the lounge, which is where people can relax, have a drink from the bar or a Reds "appeteazer."

Chef Evans calls his kitchen creations "American cuisine with sophistication." His goal was to take comfort food and elevate it to a new level.

Judging by the menu, that's exactly what he did.

Diners can choose from house specialties like the mac and cheese skillet with Vermont-aged cheddar, house-baked ham and roasted jalapeño.

There's also the sea bass with fresh baby fennel, mussels, olives and tomatoes in an orange-saffron broth.

"I love the idea of simple sophistication," Evans said.

Evans has a varied culinary background that has helped him create the Reds menu. He spent time working in Vermont where he says he learned a lot about very fresh ingredients.

"It's that whole romance between the farmer and the chef," Evans said. "I use the best."

He has also worked in some of Napa Valley's most esteemed restaurant. He trained at the New England Culinary Institute and learned much from a master chef in France.

More recently, Evans has served as the chef de cuisine at the Squaw Peak Pointe Hilton's Lantana Grille.

Years ago Evans lived in Flagstaff but is fairly new to Sedona. He said he wanted the food to represent the southwest, but Reds is by no means a southwestern restaurant he said.

Restaurant patrons should look for specials and new menu items, according to Evans.

"A lot of people are enjoying the food and atmosphere," Evans said. "We're just at the beginning."

The menu right now is very diverse. Evans believes that variety is key.

"You can't just have one flavor going," he said.

"Appeteazers" like the onion rings, mashed potato martini or chorizo fondue could be the right way to start off your meal. But a dessert is definitely the way to end it, Evans said.

"They're fantastic desserts," he said.

Everything served in the restaurant is made from scratch, including the desserts. Diners have their choice of a number of tasty treats including a molten chocolate cake, banana crepe or tapioca martini.

Reds is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week and Malik says the staff strives to make the restaurant a place people will want to come back to time and time again.

"It's different," he said. "I can assure theme they will get a great value for their money."

Reds is located within Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa at 2250 W. Arizona 89A. For more information or to make reservations, call 203-4111.