Deux Bistros -- small, unpretentious cafes

Diane and Gary Carson celebrating their 52nd anniversary at Dan’s Bistro.

Diane and Gary Carson celebrating their 52nd anniversary at Dan’s Bistro.

DAN'S BISTRO

1650 W. SR 89A

(next to Mexidona)

928-282-0744

On a snowy evening before the Sedona International Film Festival opening, we chose to dine at Dan's Bistro with our friends, Jeff and Susan Hughes.

We had met Executive Chef Dan Martin the previous October when he catered Page Springs Cellar's Inner Circle event. He informed us that he was soon to open a restaurant in Sedona. Noted!

A local resident since 2001, Dan has spent the last five years as Executive Chef/Food and Beverage Director of Seven Canyon Private Golf and Residence Club. With the demise of that place, Dan opened his present location in September, offering lunch only Tuesday through Saturday. In November, dinner hours were added.

On our film festival evening, along with the Hughes' CA Chardonnay and The Dunnery's Zinfandel (total $8 corkage fee) we shared an appetizer of jumbo bacon-wrapped sea scallops and proceeded to dine on four entrees and two desserts (cashing in on a newspaper coupon.).

Jeff H. had Sea Bass, Susan had Salmon with Cranberry Lemon Buerre Blanc on Strozzapretti (rolled flat pasta), Jeff D, Veal Scaloppini and Suzie, Pork Roulade. We selected House Made Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chantilly along with French Press coffee. Everything, including service, was to our taste.

The Dunnery made a return visit to gather more information. Jeff chose the Pork Roulade this time and Suzie had the Chef's Chopped Salad with Poached Shrimp. No dessert this time, but we shared a wonderful bottle of Carr Pinot Noir from The Dunnery Cellar Collection.

In the dining room with us were Elinor, Diane and Gary Carson. Diane and Gary were celebrating their 52nd anniversary. Gary said to mention that he repeatedly orders the Salmon.

Where there were just 24 seats before, there will be double that at press time. Manager Roman said patrons may choose to dine in the Red Room or Yellow Room. Dan will also increase service to seven nights a week and serve all but Sunday lunch.

The $4 corkage fee will continue, if you choose to bring alcohol. Dan has no plans for a liquor license. Reservations are accepted for lunch 10:30-3 and dinner 5-close. The menu will change seasonally and can be accessed via the internet.

Dan's Bistro continues with an active catering business and delivers meals. Professional tour guide Craig Stuart, owner of AZ Photography Tours, orders lunches to go for his customers and raves about Dan's service and thoughtful packaging of perishable foods.

PINON BISTRO

1075 SR 260

Cottonwood (Across

from Home Depot)

928-649-0234

Since 2001, Terri Clements and Donna Fulton have operated what Arizona Highways in 2008 described as a "two parts funky and one part swanky bistro decorated with linens, fresh flowers and works of local artists."

The ladies, who enjoy summers in Maine and days off, open their establishment from September to May, Thursday through Saturday nights from 5 to close. Payment is by cash or check only. Reservations are suggested.

Donna, a self-taught chef, creates seasonal menus based on availability of fresh produce, meats and cheeses. Dungeness Crab Cakes with Creole Mustard Sauce, Crispy Calamari with Lemon Aioli, and range free, antibiotic free Filet Mignon with Roquefort Butter are always on the menu.

These three items keep especially the men coming back, says Terri, watching over and serving patrons in the seven table dining room. Glen and Jan Snowberger treated The Dunnery to its first experience at Piñon Bistro last October.

We remember the delicious Potato Leek Soup with Truffle Oil, the Scottish Salmon with Pinot Noir Sauce and Risotto Cakes and the Titus Zinfandel 2008. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we four made reservations for 2/14/11 (special Monday night opening) pre-fixe menu to honor the restaurant's 11th Valentines celebration.

Our meal began with a beautiful and tasty trio salad: chick pea and carrot, celery root Remoulade and Brussels sprouts with greens.

Shrimp Bisque was followed by a choice of New Zealand Red Deer Venison Loin with Zinfandel Sauce and Parmesan Polenta, Mahi Mahi with Mustard Crust, Nicoise Olive Tapenade and Roasted Plum Tomatoes or Filet Mignon. Jan chose the Mahi Mahi while Glen, Jeff and Suzie selected the venison.

A Valentines dessert of Bittersweet Chocolate Almond Cake with Very Berry Ice Cream perfectly finished the meal. Selby Wines, from Healdsburg, CA, were featured this evening and Susie Selby, winemaker/proprietor for 17 years, graciously spent time with us sharing her love of the business.

Our favorite wine of the evening was the Selby Library Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2005, served with the bisque.

We thank all our fellow diners and so appreciate hearing of dining opportunities from our readers. To your health and happiness, Jeff and Suzie at The Dunnery.

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