For years, Zona Hotel & Suites in Scottsdale has been a close-kept secret of Arizona travelers. And, now, it is about to be in the spotlight as it unveils a huge makeover, starting with the unveiling of its on-site restaurant, Graze Desert Grille. The just-opened farm-to-table restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour spotlighting local and organic ingredients–even the cocktails focus on organic, local ingredients and many of the wines are sourced from Arizona–all under direction of Executive Chef Kevin Myers.
AZFoothills.com was treated to a preview taste test of the menu, starting with the duck-and-brie quesadilla. The sweet and savory appetizer is simply delectable, rounded out with caramelized apples and a helping of balsamic. For a meatless start to the a meal at Graze Desert Grille, the Rocket Salad satisfies with local arugula and pistachios, aged manchego and oregano vinaigrette. Though our tasting was sweetened up with dried apricots, diners should expect fresh peaches to appear on the Rocket Salad as Zona’s very-own peach tree yields tasty fruits in seasons to come. The beet salad is yet another light and lip-smacking salad, with sizable local roasted beets, Purple Haze goat cheese (which as been spiked with lavender) and local baby lettuce. Instead of being finished with nuts, like many beet salads, this interpretation is finished with a unique hazelnut vinaigrette.
For the main course, the pan-seared grouper is light, flaky and mild–a great pick for each the fish-weary. The great grouper is placed on a bed of spaghetti squash, smoked tomato butter and a zesty chimichurri, again keeping the dish light yet satisfying.
A meal at Graze Desert Grille is not complete without a taste of Chef Myers’ flourless chocolate cake–very rich but very delish. (We won’t blame you if you beg for an entire cake to take home.) The chef’s bite-size cheesecake lollipops are another after-dinner winner that will leave you smiling from ear to ear.
Need another reason to stop by Scottsdale’s Graze Desert Grille? It just launched an a la carte brunch this past weekend on Saturdays and Sundays. http://grazedesertgrille.com/.