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Restaurant of the Week: Indigo Crow

There’s a certain panache that some Arizona towns possess — an unmistakable, one-of-a-kind charm that immediately lets you know you couldn’t be anywhere else. Cave Creek is one of them. As soon as you enter the city limits, it is almost as if you can taste it in the air. You can certainly feel it when talking to the inhabitants, and you can experience it, first-hand at the delightful little restaurant that is Indigo Crow.

If Cave Creek had a signature cuisine, it would be what the wonderful staff lovingly serves here. Locally inspired and freshly sourced, owner/chef Carlos Marquez has assembled a menu that is somehow both unique yet strangely comfortable. You’ll be right at home as you dive into his tantalizing array of generously sized plates and sip on the brief-but-excellent selection of fine cocktails that await.

The unmistakable air of Cave Creek is apparent from the moment you walk into the door at Indigo Crow. A splendid collection of large-scale art pieces that populate the wooden two-story space. (Pro Tip: The second story is home to a quaint bar where one can sip local craft beers and enjoy some delectable comfort food ran up from the shared kitchen.)

The artwork on hand is so striking that it’s tough to resist the urge to walk around and leisurely survey  each and every piece; and during our visit, we were told that none other than recent Grammy host Alicia Keys and her music producer husband Swizz Beatz inquired about taking some home during their Indigo Crow experience.

But as always, it’s the food that matters here, and I am proud to report that Indigo Crow delivers ‑ especially if you are a carnivore. The centerpiece of the menu is a market-priced selection of all the requisite cuts of prime, open-range beef. The standout is the 90-day prime dry-aged tomahawk ribeye. Served with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, it makes a feast fit for several kings.

There’s also a concise but strong assortment of game options. The broiled New Zealand rack of lamb is particularly succulent and comes with a wild berry port reduction, a parmesan saffron risotto, and season vegetables. The slow-roasted Duroc Bone-In Pork Tenderloin might be even bolder in its arrival, and comes paired with mounds of hatch green chile, whipped potatoes, and candied brussels sprouts, and is topped with bacon and tomatillo salsa. (FYI: With portions like these, I can assure you, no one has ever left this place hungry.)

As for sea fare, the Coho salmon (with avocado basil sauce, roasted heirloom potatoes, pistachios, and season vegetables), left nothing to be desired, but it was the trout that really caught me off guard. Served over bamboo rice with sautéed vegetables, avocado, scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and ponzu, it feels as unique as the restaurant itself. A minor revelation in this vexing yet enchanting little town.

The appetizers menu is wisely dubbed “Cravings,” and that pretty much tells you all you need to know. Lobster ravioli, hemp tamales, parmesan shrimp risotto…one could venture no further than this part of the menu and leave rightfully satisfied. But if you order one appetizer, please make it the “Pig Wings,” smothered in a sriracha glaze pork and served atop a pool of mouthwatering whipped potatoes with rich lobster cream. If you were only going to order one thing, you really couldn’t do much better than this supremely comforting comfort dish.

Like the food, the drink menu is brief but taut and full of personality, and here’s an admirable selection of different unique and reasonably priced wines to make the evening just right. Yet I would imagine the people that come to this funky little restaurant again and again do it for three things: the cuisine, the personality, and the warm, attentive reception the wonderful staff gives you.

If you were looking for just one memorable place to dine that screamed “Cave Creek,” I doubt you could do much better.

For more information, hours and complete menu, visit cavecreekcrow.com.

ty-fahlman-author-bioAbout Author Ty Fahlman

The former Managing Editor of Jetset Magazine, Ty Fahlman has earned a stellar reputation for his probing, introspective interviews of celebrities, as well as his in-depth profiles of resorts, restaurants, and destinations. With over 150 articles published, Ty has ghostwritten for New York Times bestselling authors and celebrities, and given thoughtful and in-depth profiles and interviews of dozens of A-List celebrities including Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Leonardo DiCaprio. He currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona but travels as much as he can.

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