jacy dakotas

Restaurant of the Week: Jacy & Dakota’s

With a mission to make dining the destination, Chef Brady Bryner of Westin Phoenix Downtown’s new Jacy & Dakota’s brings Arizona influences and picture-perfect presentation to his menu. And the restaurant’s patio–it’s a thing of beauty.

First, the restaurant’s name: Jacy & Dakota’s. Could it be the first dining destination named after a couple of cacti? The 75-year-old duo, Jacy and Dakota (meaning “beautiful” and “friend”), were carefully moved from the Tucson desert to live out the rest of their days on the patio of their namesake patio. With most saguaro living 150 years, the prickly pair still have decades to watch over diners as they enjoy an after-work drink, brunch with the family and first dates.

Before you even consider what’s for dinner, you’ll want to place your order for Jacy & Dakota’s fresh-baked apple pie, with a buttery house-made crust. This baked beauty takes 30 minutes to prepare, and tastes like the holidays at grandma’s house–and no one wants to skip out on that kind of nostalgia. (This is an actual whole pie, by the way. Not a mere slice.)

The menu spotlights local purveyors and farmers, with Chef Bryner’s fried green tomato and burrata (a spin on a caprese salad) showcasing Maya Farms’ vibrant tomato, alongside fresh burrata and micro greens. The salad lays on a thick swipe of sweet tomato jam, which also comes into play in the roasted bone marrow and oxtail dish. With that, diners are invited to layer crisp crostini with the jam, tender oxtail and butter-smooth bone marrow for a rich, decadent dinnertime treat.

The achiote-braised bone-in pork shank is for the heartiest of appetites. The tender, flavorful pork, paired with cilantro-lime rice and black beans, is a comforting, stick-to-your-ribs repast while the blackened salmon is a lighter dish that is still bursting with loads of vibrancy and springy flavor. The perfectly cooked salmon is accompanied by a smoked corn salsa, spinach, chimichurri and, the best part, a silky corn puree that you’ll be tempted to lap up straight from the plate.

And promise that you won’t snooze on the Three Sisters bowl; it might not read as seductive as bone marrow or burrata, but it is a must order. It is brimming with sweet roasted corn, Anasazi beans, squash, avocado and pico de gallo on a bed of cilantro-lime rice and quinoa. Then, a drizzle of tangy tomatillo-avocado crema brings everything together in one colorful presentation. (PS: We’d gladly buy the crema and aforementioned tomato jam in bottle form!)

Though the interior of Jacy & Dakota’s is lovely, with a crisp modern design, its patio is a magical space. A large fireplace, beautiful rattan chairs (alongside more traditional dining tables), chic pendant and string lights and those majestic pals, Jacy and Dakota, come together in what is best described as boho dream come true. Grab a cocktail from the seasonal menu, and just soak it all in.

Jacy & Dakota’s brunch service is currently on hold; dinner is served 4 to 10 p.m. daily. To learn more, visit www.jacyanddakotas.com.

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