We used the opportunity of Arizona Restaurant Week (September 18th – 26th 2010) to visit the award winning Bourbon Steak at the Scottsdale Princess Resort, one of Michael Mina’s 16 fine dining restaurants. Michael Mina, if you are not familiar with him, made his chops, (and soups and salads) at his two star Michelin rated Michael Mina Restaurant in San Francisco. Mina’s signature is elegant, luxurious dining with an innovative approach to American cuisine. We were excited to visit again.
Arizona Restaurant Week, a lucky invention of the tourism boards, spurs dining participants in town to create tasting menus at two price points: $29/person & $39/person. I read the Internet posted tasting menu’s for all the high flying establishments we’d love to frequent to Mrs. P Chef and we decided that Bourbon Steak’s Restaurant Week Menu, which included Day Boat Scallops with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette & Roasted Lobster & Corn Bisque as opening acts, sounded the best, for us. Reservations were available for the one night we had a sitter and we were set.
Arriving at the Princess Resort, Bourbon Steak lived up to its elegant reputation with a broad, grown up, décor that compliments the western deserts of Scottsdale. The entrance foyer is a wine cellar and a WINE SELLER that puts you in the mood to relax and spend. For a night out, you feel like you are really out, not just down the block in a strip mall. And everyone, from the waiting hostess to the service staff to Anibal Macias, the manager himself, makes you glad you came in.
Seated at a nice table with outside views we perused the menu (again) and discussed the meal to come.
While horse trading on the menu, we ordered the duck fries sampler. The fries were sophisticated and worth the short trip just by themselves.
Mrs. P Chef, a astute menu trader, chose the Day Boat Scallops to start which looked great. Anibal Macias, the manager verified that the scallops were fresh and dry, having come unadulterated out of the Pacific Ocean, the day before. If you want to learn more about scallop trolling, you should see our (blog post)
And I chose the Roasted Lobster & Corn Bisque with a tempura corn fritter.
The scallops were excellent, firm to the bite but with an easy give and redolent of the sea. The sea foam garish was a noted embellishment. The corn bisque didn’t disappoint either and almost held its own with the exceptional scallops.
A terrific loaf of pan baked Potato Foccacia Bread with Truffle Butter & Chives served in a small cast iron staub Dutch oven was another overshadowing star. Michael Mina has a reputation for paying attention to the details and he kills them with fries and the Potato Foccacia Bread.
After a quick breather the rest of the meal arrived in a precisely orchestrated ballet de cuisine.
The kobe flat iron steak was worth the planning, the sitter, the dressing up and the short wait since the appetizers: rich & delicate. The grilled asparagus side was well executed and well presented.
I don’t have much memory of the flavor of Mrs. P Chef’s smoked Alaskan halibut with basil coulis and smoked tomato water, so that may be the dishes epitaph. And then my photo is bad, as fuzzy as my memory of the dish. We are not doing it justice.
For dessert, we ordered the banana panna cotta and the Macallan 18 butterscotch pot de crème with nutmeg beignets and a toffee float.
The pot de crème saw a lot more action and was the clear winner of the vote by fork.
I imagine some folks think of Bourbon Steak, as their corner steak house, and good on them, but for us it is a special event place and as such we relished it.