Okay, so we pass up the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess….just kidding. I want to look up Chef Patrick Turcot, who is the Executive Chef of this magnificent resort. Chef Turcot was at the Hotel Macdonald and Jasper Park Lodge before coming here. Chef takes us on a tour of this sprawling campus style southwestern property – several low rise buildings (four storey) and casitas (individual cabins) amid a landscape of palm trees and desert style vegetation, complete with two outdoor pool areas, eight bars and lounges including a gorgeous outdoor bar, the Stone Rose Lounge (owned by Randy Gerber, Cindy Crawford’s husband) and conference centre that can seat 1000 people. On any given day, Chef and staff can be responsible for up to 2500 covers of food, including room service. We tour the kitchen. I’m always impressed with hotel kitchens. This one is large, not too spacious, but efficiently set up to produce $30 million in food and beverage. Tonight the kitchen was plating up a dinner for conference participants.
At Chef’s suggestion, we decide to eat at one of his restaurants, the LV Bistro, a casual dining room with indoor and outdoor seating, in view of the pool. It’s a light menu that’s very reasonably priced. A cool glass of Groth Vineyards of Napa Sauvignon Blanc for me to start and a micro beer for Jon. I order the Southwest Flat Iron Steak Salad, a beautiful plate complete with bib lettuce wedges, pancetta, sweet and our onions, pecorino, finished with a chipotle buttermilk dressing. I also order a glass of Francis Ford Coppola’s Claret, a cabernet sauvignon that’s worthy of buying a bottle or two to take back home – it was delish! Jon orders the Roasted Portobello Mushroom Wrap, a spinach tortilla wrap with California burrata cheese (a cream and mozzarella cheese), pesto aioli and vine ripened tomatoes. Good choices all around.