Paul Fleming is one of the most respected names in the restaurant world. He is the founder P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Pei Wei Asian Diner as well as one of the founding partners behind Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill. So, when he brought a new-to-Arizona dining concept to the Borgata in Scottsdale this spring, we were excited to try.
Paul Martin’s American Grill is the first location for the restaurant in Arizona, not to mention its first location outside of California. (Paul Martin’s sixth location in Mountain View, Calif., opened in December 2013.) The atmosphere at Paul Martin’s is masculine, with lots of dark woods, dim lights and large booths, perfect for a business lunch or a date night. However, families wouldn’t feel out of place bringing their youngsters into the establishment.
The restaurant boasts a from-scratch kitchen that uses seasonal, local ingredients, when possible. The menu is large, but far from overwhelming, with classic steakhouse selections, fresh seafood dishes, a variety of shared plates and more. For starters, the crispy buttermilk-battered Salt & Pepper Wild Prawns are delicious, especially when paired with the pesto aioli. Seafoodies will also savor the Town Dock Calamari, also buttermilk-battered, and served with chili aioli and house cocktail sauce. For a truly decadent kickoff to the meal, the Butcher’s Board offers up a large selection of local cheeses, artisan salumes, Marcona almonds and local olives from the Queen Creek Olive Mill.
For the main event, the black cod (pictured) simply melts in your mouth. Nestled in a super-flavorful tomato-saffron broth (that you mayjust want to drink with a straw!), the pan-seared cod is surrounded by wild mushrooms, snow peas and spinach. Looking for a meaty eat? The all-natural skirt steak is juicy and tender, and the sides of maple-bourbon sweet potatoes and arugula were just as enjoyable and a bit lighter than many usual steakhouse sides.
To end your repast at Paul Martin’s, just about everyone–servers, managers, the couple at the next table over–will scream the praises of the banana cream pie. The large slice of heaven comprises layers of vanilla bean pastry cream, chocolate, bananas and fresh whipped cream. Sheer bliss; however, Paul Martin’s homemade ice creams are mighty tasty too (the salted caramel was the best we’ve tasted). www.paulmartinsamericangrill.com.