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Easy Eatz: SaltRock Southwest Kitchen

Butternut Squash Relleno (photo_Courtesy Salt Rock)

Butternut Squash Relleno (photo_Courtesy Salt Rock)

As residents of the Village, or elsewhere throughout the Verde Valley, we are fortunate to have such a wide variety of restaurants and cuisines available to us, traffic notwithstanding. Once we arrive to our dining destination of choice we are often faced with restaurant parking lots full, limited street side parking or visitor parking lots available blocks away, all of which detracts from the dining experience.

Recently I have had the pleasure and convenience of dining at one of the best restaurants Sedona has to offer, SaltRock Southwest Kitchen, in uptown Sedona. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as a dining guest of SaltRock at the Amara Resort & Spa, complimentary valet parking is offered to those guests with dining reservations.

I recently met several friends for breakfast at SaltRock, each of us arriving by separate vehicle. The ease of pulling up in front of the resort lobby to be greeted by the Valet to park our car, elevated the sense of arrival, feeling quite privileged to be so accommodated.

The breakfast menu offers Juices and Smoothies, Sedona Lite options, favorites such as waffles, eggs benedict, breakfast sandwiches and southwest spiced chilaquiles and burritos. the chilaquiles with pork carnitas, salsa roja, guacamole and pico de gallo was the hands down winner! Service was prompt, attentive and friendly – a great start to our day!

For a second visit, the view of Snoopy Rock above the SaltRock patio was the perfect setting for an early dinner to enjoy the dramatic sunset and seasonal, modern Southwest Cuisine of Executive Chef David Duncan, and Sous Chef Zach Portell, both very talented culinarians. Their presence was visible throughout the evening as they touched tables, greeting diners, answering recipe questions and often assisting servers in delivering the fruits of their labor to tables.

While we tried to narrow our dinner choices from the many menu options, we selected drinks from the hand-crafted cocktail list. We enjoyed a Classic Margarita, a West Fork Margarita with jalapeno-infused blanco tequila and a Smoke Signals with bourbon, bitters and cherry wood smoke. All cocktails are hand shaken – no blenders at the bar. Non-alcoholic mocktails are included on the extensive and well thought out beverage list created by Tom Greer, Director of Food and Beverage and Ardi Dulaku, Assistant F&B Manager.

For starters, at the recommendation of our server, we chose to share the Aguachile Verde, a chilled Wild Blue Shrimp dish with mango, avocado, serrano peppers and lime; the Blue Crab Empanadas, encased in a light, crispy pastry with poblano, radish and salsa macha; the Pork Belly Tostada with crispy tortillas topped with moist, crunchy cubes of pork belly, pinto beans, pico de gallo and cotija cheese. The variety of textures, spices and levels of heat with the freshest of ingredients were the perfect start to our dinner.

Our range of entrees showcased the culinary skills of the kitchen, from Huitlacoche tacos with the earthiness of the cornfield mushrooms smoothed by avocado crema. The Butternut Squash Relleno, a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with Oaxacan cheese, button onions and g olden raisins atop black rice was filling and showed the creativity of SaltRock’s vegetarian selections. The pan seared scallops were a further testament to the quality of seafood on the menu, served atop farro risotto, kale and carrot mole. The Prime grade Skirt Steak Asada with roasted peppers, black beans and corn tortillas showcased the tenderness and rich beef flavor of the steak.

Our server was well versed with the menu and beverage list, offering great suggestions with an engaging sense of humor. Once the sun had set and having finished our dinners under the stars, we presented our Valet ticket to our server to have our car brought to the front of the resort. While Valet parking is complimentary, we, of course, gave the Valet a gratuity for his service.

SaltRock should be added to your list of future dining destinations to experience its culinary creativity, casual setting under the red rocks, attentive service and Valet parking. Reservations are highly recommended.

SaltRock Southwest Kitchen

Amara Resort and Spa

100 Amara Lane, uptown Sedona


Reservations on Open Table

Breakfast: 7–10:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Dinner: 5–9 p.m. (10 p.m. Fri & Sat)

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