The king of all date nights is upon us: Valentine’s Day. Since the key to many a heart is through the stomach, here are some of the most romantic restaurants in Arizona. Each is ready to help to you impress that special someone, be it for Valentine’s Day or just because.
Sleek, chic and oh-so sexy, Roka Akor sets the standard for elegant dining in the Valley. Frequented by couples and celebrities from around the globe alike, the most seductive experience at the hotspot is called Omakase. Loosely translated as “to entrust the chef,” this mind-bending menu is offered nightly at the luxe Japanese steakhouse starting $145 per person. The personalized tasting menu features exclusive in-house premium, chef-selected ingredients and is meant to showcase the best of Roka Akor’s three kitchens: the sushi kitchen; the tempura kitchen; and the open robata grill, which uses a Japanese white oak called “bincho” that burns with almost no smoke or flame yet infuses an added depth of flavor into all that touches it. During the feast, guests will first enjoy hot and cold appetizers, premium sushi and sashimi. Then comes the entrees, which are accompanied with a wild mushroom rice hot pot, an earthy risotto-like dish. Before the decadent dessert platter – overflowing with sorbet, ice cream and exotic fruits – add a bonus course with a sampling of A5+ Wagyu from either the Hydro or Miyazaki Prefectures for the table. Available by the ounce at market price daily, the fork-tender delicacies are currently the highest-end steaks available in the world. For more information, visit rokaakor.com.
Whether you are cuddled up in the softly lit, intimate dining room or transported to a secret garden with candlelit ambiance on the covered patio, COURSE sets the scene for a romantic evening. Chef Cory Oppold has added thoughtful consideration into all aspects of the Valentine’s Day experience, designing a menu with an aphrodisiac progression sure to make every diner fall in love. For more information, visit courserestaurantaz.com.
Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey
Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey, an intimate culinary sanctuary, casts a spell of romance, particularly enchanting for Valentine’s Day. The allure lies in the cozy ambiance and charming back patio softly lit with the glow of a fireplace. Noteworthy is the “wave” wallpaper, a nod to Hokusai’s iconic woodblock print, “The Great Wave,” seamlessly blending with Scandinavian accents in the dining room. The allure extends to the inviting bar, adorned with gold shelves showcasing a selection of exquisite whiskeys. For more information, visit www.sandfishsushiwhiskey.com.
Tucked away in the iconic Hotel Valley Ho, ZuZu is where romance meets retro. A neighborhood favorite and culinary destination, ZuZu offers a unique atmosphere inside and out. The wide-spread patio features plenty of seating and a fireplace for those cooler nights. Inside, dive back into the hotel’s heyday with bright colors and mid-century modern flair. From daily brunch, weekly specials and an ever-changing monthly over-the-top shake, ZuZu keeps it fresh while still offering its signature favorites. Dining on weekend nights includes live music from local musicians, perfect for pairing with light bites and craft cocktails from the bar. Don’t forget to check out The Rosie Room, a hidden room for private dining in a chic and cozy space. For more information, visit www.hotelvalleyho.com/zuzu,
Set in the heart of Paradise Valley, Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale offers decadent dining surrounded by gorgeous desert views. The large patio faces Camelback Mountain and is the perfect spot for a morning coffee or a sunset cocktail as the cotton-candy hues fall over the sky. Glass windows line the main dining room, making the mountain views visible from any seat at this romantic restaurant in Arizona. The lights dim, and candles come out during dinner, setting the mood for a more romantic evening. Hearth ’61 also features a stunning exhibition kitchen. Local musicians play live music at the bar on Friday and Saturday nights. Grab a cocktail and order light bites while you take in the smooth tunes and the beauty of the surrounding desert. For more information, visit www.mountainshadows.com/dining/hearth.
Ocean Prime is High Street’s answer to the quintessential Scottsdale steakhouse. Diners can start their experience in the lounge to enjoy one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails such as the Berries and Bubbles or the Pineapple Picante, and then delve into a romantic dinner in the dining room. From a customizable Smoking Shellfish Tower to sushi, seafood, steaks and more, the menu selection at Ocean Prime is unmatched. The complete Ocean Prime experience ends with a slice of the Ten Layer Carrot Cake, which is designed for sharing. One slice, two forks—let the romance ensue. For more information, visit www.ocean-prime.com.
The latest drinking and dining establishment from Cast Iron Concepts (the restaurant group behind Hush Public House and Fire at Will), Bar Cena opened in November of 2023 to an already hungry crowd. Sultry and moody, Bar Cena is an ideal date night spot to cozy up at the bar or settle into the lounge seating for conversation and shared plates. With French, Italian and Spanish influences–plus owner Dom Ruggiero’s Midas touch–Bar Cena is the hot new place to ignite a fire. For more information, visit www.barcenascottsdale.com,
Rusconi’s American Kitchen
Chef and owner Michael Rusconi’s attention to detail, innovative approach to the sustainable food movement long before it was mainstream and commitment to presenting the best ingredients in each dish combine to make Rusconi’s one of the most beloved neighborhood restaurants in Phoenix. Featuring comforting yet sophisticated regional American cuisine in an upscale and fun atmosphere designed for date nights, happy hour socializing or brunch, Rusconi’s is definitely the place to take a food enthusiast for a memorable experience. For more information, visit rusconiskitchen.com.
Emanating Old World charm and offering jaw-dropping views of Camelback Mountain, sparks are certain to fly at the signature dining destination at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Prado dishes up seasonal Spanish-influenced cuisine–with a focus on the flavor and heritage of Spain’s Andalusian region–with its paella being a delicious, long-standing menu favorite. For a more casual but equally as swoony setting, the adjacent Mbar lounge hosts live music on Fridays and Saturdays, which is best enjoyed with a glass of sangria or Spanish wine in hand. For more information, visit www.omnihotels.com.
Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen
Arizona’s iconic sunset, rows of palm trees and breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain set the mood for a romantic desert escape at Andaz Scottsdale Resorts & Bungalows. At Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, enjoy a meal in the dining room surrounded by the works of local artists and live music, or get cozy by the patio fireplace to take in the pink and orange sunset hues while sipping on cocktails such as the Permanent Vacation. The Chef’s Table experience offers an intimate and interactive culinary journey through a six-course tasting menu and wine pairings. Executive Chef Sammy DeMarco draws inspiration from the Mediterranean and his Italian heritage with a unique menu complete with personalized touches and surprise elements. For more information, visit www.andazscottsdale.com/dining/weft-and-warp.
Geordie’s Restaurant & Lounge
It doesn’t get more romantic than Geordie’s Restaurant & Lounge, which is literally inside that house that love built. Brief history lesson: Geordie and Jamie Hormel stopped the demolition of Wrigley Mansion in 1992 by purchasing the breathtaking property and restoring it so that its inherent magic could be shared with locals and visitors alike. And in homage to her late husband, Jamie named the restaurant Geordie’s as a means to keep his memory alive. For more information, visit wrigleymansion.com.
Chop, Block & Brew
Located at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Chop, Block & Brew offers a relaxed and culturally enlightening culinary adventure. Three of the many highlights: the dry aging of the meats, allowing them to rest in a carefully controlled state to develop a deeper layer of flavor; select steaks are sous vide, which produces a more consistent taste and size, and ensures a more even temperature based on guest preference; and any number of accompaniments ranging from lobster tail to maître de butter. The 3,454-sq.-ft. modern and sleekly designed restaurant also notably features Native American-inspired artwork and design elements that highlight the culture and traditions of the Ak-Chin Indian Community. For more information, visit www.caesars.com.
Now open, Uchi Scottsdale is among one of the most hotly anticipated restaurants in the past decade. And it does not disappoint. The 5,646-sq.-ft. space, which includes a buzzy sushi bar, explores the intersection of Arizona and Japanese design sensibilities to create a multi-dining experience. Uchi seats 207 total guests, which includes bar seating with unique bites, as well as a lovely outdoor patio. The space has been transformed using a sculptural wood ceiling inspired by Southwestern ramadas and is accented with artwork and lighting from local and national artists. This includes a sculptural wood and neon piece by Steve Jones and a Raku pot by Jeffrey Perkins, both from Art One Gallery in Scottsdale, as well as custom feature tables by Solido, wall sconces by Haru Studio and Zach Lihatsh, and a custom entry bench by Tucson-based, Sam Okerlund. There are multiple tasting menus offered each night, as well as an a la carte adventure for all of the senses. For more information, visit uchi.uchirestaurants.com.
The centerpiece of Sam Fox’s recently opened Global Ambassador, Le Âme is French for “the soul” and very much the soul of the hotel itself. Stunning in its look and menu, the Parisian steakhouse boasts both timeless takes on high-end French fare and a selection of modern twists on the classics. Bonus: Global Ambassador encourages dining around in style, transitioning from Europe to Latin America courtesy of Pink Dolphin, a Mexican and Peruvian fusion restaurant on the patio of the property. And on the roof, there is Théa Mediterranean Rooftop, a visually spectacular dining experience with views for days. For more information, visit www.globalambassadorhotel.com.
Nic’s Italian Steak and Crab House
For those looking for a spot to impress that special someone, why not choose a cozy spot run by a real-life couple? Nic’s is exactly that. Founded by Eric and Michelle Jurisin and named to honor their daughter, Nicole, this fine dining concept is homage to classic combination steak and seafood concepts one might find on the East Coast. Crab, lobster and fine cuts of meat rule here, as do martinis. At any given time, in fact, there are a dozen variations of the classic cocktails on the menu from which to choose at this romantic restaurant in Arizona. For more information, visit nicsaz.com.
The Forbes Four-Star Award-winning Talavera, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and a dramatic fire that lines the interior of the entire restaurant, is the jewel in the crown of the sophisticated Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. The Spanish-influenced menus, featuring paella, jamón ibérico and a laundry list of globally inspired tapas, are the stuff of legend. For more information, visit www.talavera.com.
There is no grander place to fall in love, nor is there a country whose culture epitomizes romance, more so than Italy. Welcome to Passaggio. Incorporating regional and organic products into a bountiful Italian menu, this modernized Sonoran trattoria offers an unpretentious and casually elegant atmosphere that showcases the “Ti Amo” that is put into creating every dish on the menu – which happens by operating a 90 percent scratch kitchen, with the intent to respect every step of the food process. That’s where passion meets Passaggio…in its flavorful menu that offers a hint of Mediterranean and European influences. Signature favorites to swoon over include the braised short rib and gnocchi, the Kabuda pork chop and let’s not forget the swordfish risotto or scallop and squid ink tagliatelle to please the palates, and the array of ingredients that are grown in Passaggio’s private garden and sprinkled throughout the menu in its pizzas, appetizers and salads. An impressive menu of signature craft cocktails poured into chic, unique glassware, ciders, craft beers and bubbles, accompanied by a wine list that is nothing short of Italian clink-worthy, rounds out perfect pairings at Passaggio. For more information, visit www.marriott.com.
Since it opened in late 2020, Ember at We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort has earned a reputation for romance. A chief reason: property Executive Chef Richard Pelz. The gourmand god brought experience from some of the world’s top eateries including New York Times Four-Star La Grenouille, Louie XV in Monte Carlo, Martin Berasategui in San Sebastian, Citrine West Hollywood and both Bottega and Redd in Napa. Pelz only uses the highest-quality USDA Prime and Japanese A-5 Wagyu beef (a special treat is the 32-oz. dry-aged tomahawk steak), and each protein is carefully prepared over a custom wood-burning grill featuring mesquite wood from trees in the area. The space – featuring intimate booths, a grand piano with regular live performances, epic views of the Wine Spectator award-winning wine collection and outdoor patio dining near the fireplace – complements the grandeur of the dishes only heightens the experience. For more information, visit www.wekopacasinoresort.com/dining/ember.
Campo Italian Bistro & Bar
Thanks to the inventive, playful culinary mind of James Beard Award winner Chef Alessandro “Alex” Stratta, Campo is a showcase of the incredible variety and bold flavors of the rustic Italian countryside. And then thanks to a partnership with friend Chef Jeremy Pacheco and Genuine Concepts, Campo has the ambiance – from dark woods and a patio strung with twinkling lights to lush greenery and seductive enclave of semi-private seating options – to match. If a couple who cocktails, be sure to indulge in an espresso martini, limoncello-infused margarita. For more information, visit campoitalian.com.
Quiessence at The Farm
This outdoor oasis – located at the appropriately named Farm at South Mountain – takes farm-to-table dining to a whole other level, all under the glow of sparkling lights strung from above. The magic begins as you drive down the lane and walk up to the farmhouse. As you approach you will notice Soil & Seed, the organic garden on the property that provides seasonal specialty vegetables, herbs and edible flowers for the three different tasting menus. Dining is offered in the rustic farmhouse, under the stars or even in the kitchen at the new Chef’s Table experience. Dinner here feels like a dream; but it is real and truly special. For more information, visit thefarmatsouthmountain.com.
Set upon 53 acres of lush desert, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, a Gurney’s Resort & Spa’s culinary offerings extend across four sophisticated options, including elements, where farm-fresh American cuisine is complemented with spectacular views. Honored by Wine Spectator and with the recent appointment of key personnel to its food and beverage leadership team, including Gregory James as executive chef, the restaurant showcases farm-fresh produce and locally sourced provisions, while providing Scottsdale’s most spectacular mountainside setting. For more information, visit www.gurneysresorts.com.
The Mick Brasserie
This modern French brasserie features small plates inspired from regions once part of the French colonial empire, which is something completely different for the Valley. To them, that means regions that were under French rule anytime from the 1600’s to present. Think Creole New Orleans, Africa, India and Southeast Asia as well as France itself. The inspires conversation and leads to a epicurean exploration. The intimate bistro feel adds to the ambiance, as does personalized attention from the beverage director, Jeff Menzer, known locally at The Cork Dork and lauded for his ability to find the perfect pairing to please any palate, especially in honor of a special occasion. He is always popping open something obscure to sip, inviting guests to choose their own adventure when it comes to wine pairings. Executive Chef Brent Menke often personally visits guests as well, offering tales from his time cooking for kings (yes, he really did) as well as on private yachts and for celebs. Makes for a lively night and amazing memories. For more information, visit themickaz.com.
Mariposa founder Lisa Dahl is one of the leading female chefs and restaurateurs in the country, thanks in great part to this South American steakhouse perched in the heart of Sedona with 270-degree red rock views, perhaps the best sunset views in the Southwest. The menu – which rivals the awe-factor of the surroundings – is an adventure best shared with someone special and inspired by the cuisines of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. There is also a pretty epic steak program using certified USDA Black Angus. Insider tip: top a cut of Dahl’s steak with her mushroom-gorgonzola chipotle sauce or compound roasted garlic-truffle butter but share it so there is still room for dessert. For more information, visit www.mariposasedona.com.
Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante
Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante, consecutively named one of OpenTable’s Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants, is the go-to spot for a memorable meal in Sedona. For over 28 years, Chef Lisa Dahl has made Dahl & Di Luca the ideal destination for couples seeking an unforgettable experience. Situated in the heart of Sedona’s breathtaking red rock landscape, Dahl & Di Luca captures the essence of romance with every detail. From candlelit tables to a menu inspired by regional flavors, the restaurant provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening. Don’t miss the caprese d’amore and the soup of the day, followed by decadent pasta and always make room for dessert. For more information, visit www.dahlanddiluca.com.
There is no doubt that Rome is one of the most romantic destinations on the planet, and the powerhouse restaurant group behind The Rosticceria, The Maggiore Group, has taken a slice of that romance and introduced it to the Valley. Inspired by Chef Joey’s travels through the Rome and Abruzzo regions with his wife and father, Tomaso, the restaurant features menu items prepared by open flame, wood-fired with an Italian twist. With staples including calzones and paninis to Arizona’s only authentic Neapolitan fried pizza, The Rosticceria from start to finish will have you feeling like you just crossed the Atlantic to Europe. To finish, share a milkshake with your significant other at the signature build-your-own soft serve gelato shake bar with over 40 playful toppings offered. For more information, visit therosticceria.com.
Queen Creek Olive Mill
If you are looking for a unique dining destination for your next date, look no further. This agritourism destination in Queen Creek offers multiple date-night ideas, whether you are enjoying a bottle of wine in the olive groves over a charcuterie board while listening to live music or grabbing homemade pasta, sauce and focaccia from the marketplace to enjoy at home, the Mill has all the fixings for a romantic experience. It even has a monthly pizza date night where guests can enjoy an intimate evening of pizza-making and wine sipping while a chef guides you through a three-course culinary experience. For more information, visit www.queencreekolivemill.com.
Flagstaff’s newest eatery is also one of its most ambitious. A true fining dining option in Northern Arizona, Atria is the brainchild of Valley chef Rochelle Daniel, best known for her exquisite work at Fat Ox where she still has a presence, as well as for her appearances on Food Network’s “Chopped” TV show and 2017 Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame induction. Atria is located in the heart of historic Downtown Flagstaff and its ever-changing menus excel when it comes to house-made pastas, fresh fish and premium steaks, not to mention premium cocktails and an extensive wine list. At just 94 total seats, the intimate dining room is accented with natural oak butcherblock tabletops and striking white-leather seating, plus artfully placed mirrors and greenery and hanging plants enliven the space. For more information, visit www.atriarestaurant.com.
Egyptian-born Michael Mina is a magician with flavors. His team members at Michael Mina Group, which has more than 40 high-end concepts worldwide to date, are artists of atmosphere. And the team at his Scottsdale namesake, located in the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess? They are masters at making unforgettable evenings for every single person who dines with them. Given its name, it should go without saying that the steak offerings will rock your world. However, dig a little deeper into the menu when you have a chance and explore the other delicacies, including an ultra-chic take on a shellfish platter. Also, don’t miss that glass wine cellar. For more information, visit www.scottsdaleprincess.com.
Known for having the world’s first build-your-own margarita bar, The Mexicano has mastered the art of elevated and interactive dining. A perfect first date spot with plenty of fun dining elements to keep you and your date busy, The Mexicano’s chef-driven menu with experimental food includes fusion cuisine such as birria bao buns and Instagramable table items like the guacamole and salsa Ferris wheel. No matter which night you choose to stop by, you can dine while listening to Latin music seven days a week by rotating local DJ’s. What’s better than tacos and live music? For more information, visit www.themexicano.com.
With candlelight ever-so-dimly lighting the opulent interior (the lighting, by the way, makes photos appear as if you are taking them during golden hour) and sparkling lights from above illuminating the dreamy patio, Café Monarch is the jewel in the crown of restaurants for the most romantic of rendezvous in Arizona. This go-big-or-go-home Valley must is among the chicest and sexiest ways to celebrate a special occasion. Its ever-changing tasting menu – think shellfish, caviar, Wagyu and surprises with plating that doubles for modern art – is one for the ages, complete with wine and cocktail pairings and some of the best service of all time. Dress to impress and make reservations well in advance for this statement restaurant. For more information, visit www.cafemonarch.com.
Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion
James Beard Award-winning Chef Christopher Gross, the 2016 Scottsdale Culinary Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award winner for his contributions to the Arizona epicurean community, dreams big. Like, free-standing glass restaurant with 180-degree city views, retractable roof and open gourmet kitchen big. Opened amid COVID-19 after several years in the making and with the eyes of chefs, press and diners around the country watching, Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion had to live up to a lot of hype. But it didn’t. It exceeded even the loftiest expectations with its eight-course tasting menu boasting whimsical plates featuring Wagyu beer, caviar, truffles and foie gras as well as bistro lunch offerings and “Christopher’s Classics,” a menu available several days of the week starring Gross’ most beloved and awarded dishes from the past 40 years. Truly, this is a bucket list spot in Arizona already. For more information, visit wrigleymansion.com.
Scottsdale’s reigning palace of all things indulgent, Dominick’s is the epitome of ultra high-end steakhouses in Arizona. Named for Mastro family patriarch Dennis Mastro’s father, Dominick’s is larger than life and proposal-level dining. The venue boasts one of the most opulent bars in Arizona as well as an open-air dining option on the roof, complete with a pool serving as the centerpiece of the space. All of the meat on the menu is responsibly sourced, wet-aged for 28 days and hand-cut by the family’s in-house master butcher. And the sides? Think creamy, dreamy and often topped with crab or lobster. For more information, visit www.dominickssteakhouse.com.
Best described as a delicate and refined interpretation of bold rural Italian flavors housed in chic, modern space that allows one to dress to impress, Fat Ox exploded onto the local culinary scene in 2017 under the leadership of chef and restaurateur Matt Carter and Rochelle Daniel (yes, she is doing double duty here and at Atria). Given its contemporary focus, do not expect traditional chicken parmesan or lasagna here. Instead, delight in course after course of precisely prepared dishes with simple ingredients such as mushrooms, olive oil, anchovies and capers as well as freshly made cheeses and house-prepared pastas small enough to allow for the enjoyment of multiple courses. As authentic behind the bar as in the kitchen, do not miss its cocktails, especially the Italian aperitifs and digestifs and the cocktails with barrel-aged cocktails in house. For more information, visit www.ilovefatox.com.
Arizona boasts some of the most stunningly beautiful sunsets in the world. At J&G Steakhouse, which is located at The Phoenician, you can enjoy one of the singular best views of the Arizona sunset while being treated to a dining experience of equally epic proportions. Dining is available both on the expansive patio as well as indoors, and both offer the best seats in the house thanks to custom-designed floor-to-ceiling glass windows throughout the restaurant. Once awed by the ambiance, prepare to be blown away by the Wine Spectator award-winning wine list as well as the sumptuous menu of seasonal entrees, fine steaks and exceptional shellfish. For more information, visit www.jgsteakhousescottsdale.com.
Sexy, sophisticated and seductive from the moment one walks in the door, Ocean 44 is among the top see-and-be-seen spots in Scottsdale, especially if you have someone special on your arm. Dress to impress at this Valley gem, which is a commanding 12,000 square feet and boasts an elaborate glass expo kitchen, an expansive bar and multiple vibrant dining rooms, which almost have a coastal feel thanks to light colors and accents throughout. Known – as sister venues Steak 44 and Dominick’s are – for offering luxury at every turn, the service is second to none, with every moment at one’s table curated by the wait staff and culinary team to create a memorable experience your special someone is not likely to forget. For more information, visit www.ocean44.com.
Private jet already booked this week? Though in the heart of the desert in Scottsdale Fashion Square’s luxury wing, Francine will transport you and your special someone to the South of France, no flight required. Light, bright and full of life, the 5,000-sq.-ft. romantic restaurant in Arizona was designed in homage to the French-born founder’s mother, famous in her region for epic garden and dinner parties both intimate and grand. Francine feels like you are in her home, being hosted with love and care. The cuisine matches the atmosphere, with delicate takes on the best dishes from the Mediterranean, an expansive wine menu and seasonal signature cocktails that are almost too pretty to sip (you will, and you will love it). For more information, visit francinerestaurant.com.
This intimate dining experience offers progressive American cuisine by candlelight from acclaimed chef Branden Levine, the former executive chef of Café Monarch also known for his appearances on the Food Network’s “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell” and “Beat Bobby Flay.” Offering an a la carte menu as well as traditional and vegetarian prix-fixe menus, expect offerings to change with the season but to always deliver big bold flavors. Those seeking a more adventurous date night are in luck as the menu may include anything from Kaluga caviar and roasted bone marrow to seared Hudson Valley foie gras and Peruvian ceviche. Those in the mood for something special – but a little tamer – are also in luck with more approachable date night dishes including Alaskan halibut and a Wagyu burger. For more information, visit www.selrestaurant.com.
Chic and striking both in appearance and culinary offerings, The Americano is a true Italian steakhouse in the vein of The Palm, blending the European style of highly personalized, tableside service with contemporary Italian-inspired dining and American imagination when it comes to mixology. Adding to its panache: celebrity chef Scott Conant is at the helm, dishing out favorites that have helped define his career in addition to dreaming up new ways for you to fall in love with prime and American Wagyu beef steaks, house-made pasta, organic salads, Italian antipasti and Mediterranean-inspired seafood. Bonus: The whimsical cocktail menu never fails to shock, awe and surprise. For more information, visit www.theamericanorestaurant.com.
In 2017, when the aforementioned Café Monarch moved from its home in South Scottsdale to a larger space across the street, the prior 1,200-sq.-ft. space was then re-imagined into The Reserve. Inspired by Café Monarch owner Gustavo Lewkowicz’s travels through Spain, the ultra-fine dining concept offers a 12-course tasting menu limited to just 25 guests a night. The experience starts with a reception inside the main building, which resembles a living room in a luxe mansion, and is followed by dinner under the stars. Though it changes seasonally, typical menus may feature king crab, lobster and Miyazaki Japanese Mishima Wagyu steak. Each course is presented tableside like a work of art, meant to elicit a visual and aromatic response long before anything touches the guests’ lips. For more information, visit www.reserveoldtown.com.
Given our weather, patio dining is a way of life for about nine months of the year. However, sunshine alone cannot a good patio make. Setting the standard for romantic outdoor dining in Arizona for decades, the often duplicated but never replicated patio at LON’s at the Hermosa Inn is nestled into a colorful, resplendent garden and with breathtaking vistas of the lush desert and Camelback Mountain. The space itself boasts massive wood-burning fireplaces, plush couches, scattered dining tables – many under mature towering trees – and trickling water features to add to the sense of place. While others come and go, LON’s continues to be the perfect gathering place for special occasions. Prefer to dine inside: look into the wine cellar at LON’s, a more intimate, subterranean experience. For more information, visit www.hermosainn.com.
Celebrate and savor at T. Cook’s, an elegant Mediterranean-inspired escape at Royal Palms Resort and Spa. As one of the most romantic restaurants in Arizona, T. Cook’s is an ideal choice for special occasions and is a hotspot for proposals. The resort restaurant exudes an elegant and intimate atmosphere, with a combination of indoor and outdoor dining areas surrounded by lush gardens, fountains and stunning views. Under the direction of Executive Chef Lee Hillson, the menu is as showstopping as the setting. For more information, visit royalpalmshotel.com.