Sun, Dec. 15

Diving in to Dine in Sedona

Who could resist Taos Cantina&#8217;s rendition of Fried Ice Cream?  Enough  for two!<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

Who could resist Taos Cantina&#8217;s rendition of Fried Ice Cream? Enough for two!<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

Our loyal readers will remember that last year we reported on Dine in Sedona, a promotional event sponsored by several local restaurants during a typically slow tourist time.

Sedona was fortunate to be offered the event again this year, whereby participating restaurants provide a multi course meal at a fixed price with two or three choices for each course.

The restaurants are grouped into four different price categories ranging from $10 to $40. Like last year, we selected three restaurants, each in a different price category.

We would have loved to stretch out our dining over the two-week promotion but were out of town the first week and had to do all three in five nights. Notwithstanding, your hard working reporters were up to the task; however, a few extra sets of tennis and several miles of climbing hills on our bikes were required to avoid extra poundage!

The first place we visited, The Reserve Room at Barking Frog, was in the $30 “Classic Dining” category. We were accompanied by our friends Glen and Jan Snowberger and Dick and Susan Hackl, friends visiting from Milwaukee.

We all opted to add the $17 wine flight which consisted of three wines from local wineries. For the first course three of us chose the Caesar Salad and three chose the Black and Blue Salad, consisting of field greens with blue cheese, blackberries, pecans and dressed in raspberry vinaigrette. For the main course Jan chose the Shrimp Tamales, stuffed with jack cheese, sautéed peppers, onions and grilled jumbo Mexican white shrimp, finished with a delicate pablano crème sauce.

The rest of us chose the Achiote Filet Mignon with sweet potato goat cheese gratin, fire roasted corn relish and cilantro crema. For the dessert course three of us chose a Crème Brulee with a strawberry glaze topping and three chose Chocolate Tiramisu.

The Dunnery went alone to the next stop which was Hiro’s Sushi and Japanese Restaurant, listed in the $40 “Elegant Dining” category. We both selected cold Saki to accompany the meal. For the appetizer Suzie selected Kama – grilled yellowtail cheek with ponzu sauce.

Jeff chose Tuna Tataki – seared tuna drizzled with Hiro’s own onion miso sauce. Although Jeff enjoyed his selection, he also had a generous sample of Suzie’s selection which was outstanding and remains a plus in our gustatory memory.

For the main course we both selected the Chirashi Traditional – Sushi rice topped with freshly sliced Ahi tuna, albacore, salmon, whitefish, shrimp egg omelet smelt roe, mackerel, squid, freshwater eel, salmon roe and crab. The entrées included salad and miso soup, a virtual feast.

For dessert we both ordered the Mochi Trio –fruity ice cream wrapped in a soft rice dough. The intense flavors and texture of green tea, vanilla and strawberry mochi were a treat.

We have frequented this restaurant previously, but have always ordered from the sushi menu. This trip widened our knowledge of what this restaurant has to offer and we will return.

For our last stop we also went unaccompanied to Taos Cantina, positioned in the $20 “Modest Dining” category. This is a relatively new restaurant owned by L’ Auberge de Sedona and located in the space formerly occupied by Orchards Restaurant.

Suzie only stayed with the “Dine In Sedona” menu for the reason stated below. For her appetizer, she selected Espanola Shrimp Ceviche–fresh and tasty citrus marinated shrimp with fresh avocado, cucumber, red onion, serrano peppers and lime juice served with blue corn tortilla chips.

For her main course, she selected the New Mexico Enchiladas - three layers of corn tortillas stacked with vegetables and served with a green tomatillo sauce, guacamole, sour cream and queso fresco.

Jeff opted to order off the menu because any time he sees Chiles Rellenos and verifies they are made with pablano peppers, he looks no further. These pablanos were filled with shredded chicken, carmelized onion, garlic, apricot, cotija and Monterey jack cheese.

The Fried Ice Cream Sundae- a huge banana split included in Suzie’s meal – was devoured by by two-us! We both agreed this restaurant also warrants a return visit and just maybe Jeff will try something besides the rellenos.

Really, readers, you all must join us next year, if our area is so lucky to have the opportunity again. Thanks to all the participating restaurants, their serving staff and our friends for helping us get the details right. To your health and happiness, Jeff and Suzie at The Dunnery.

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