Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is hidden in the desert landscape of north Scottsdale, creating a quiet retreat. On a rainy, cool night, we (My fabulous friends Rhonni Boss Moffitt and Christina & Ernesto Barrueta) sat down, tucked into their softly lit, warm dining room. Each table has so much space around it, you feel like you’re eating in a private dining room.

[flickr id=”6341330802″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

A hot skillet of house-made rolls appeared, beginning our torrent of food and scotch about to pour-forth from the kitchen. In a haze of crumbs, nods of approval at each other and the vanishing rolls, Jason, master of cocktails, came to our table to give us an in-depth tutorial on each cocktail.

[flickr id=”6341331308″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

[flickr id=”6340581575″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

Of the four scotch drinks, my favorite was the first, a Macallan 12 year, one cube, fig and lavender. Not too sweet and not too burning alcohol. Refreshing with homemade fig and lavender syrups, I could have sat there and sipped a few for happy hour. Unfortunately, we were starving, so bring on the food.

[flickr id=”6340629871″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

Our first cocktail was paired with stuffed quail, black mission figs, blue cheese, salsify and local greens with cranberry-vanilla vinaigrette. Crisp skin, tender quail, rich blue cheese, fresh greenery with a light, zingy vinaigrette.

[flickr id=”6340637693″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

Next course, a cocktail with Macallan 15 year fine oak, Up, Orange bitters, Cynar. Jason told us that he added some vinegar to this drink to help cut the richness of the next dish. This was my favorite dish of the night, called “Cheek to Cheek.” Braised veal cheek ravioli, halibut cheek, brussel sprouts, bacon, and porcini broth. The veal check meat was so tender and flavorful. Pasta skillfully made and perfectly cooked. Halibut cheek light and flaky. Finished off with a vivid porcini broth, a sprinkle of julienned brussel sprouts and bacon, it is, in my opinion, the season of fall in a dish. Solo, the cocktail was quite bitter and acidic, but paired with the dish, it balanced beautifully.

[flickr id=”6341391590″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

[flickr id=”6341332108″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

The third scotch was a Macallan 18 year with an ice ball, which was visually much more interesting than on the rocks with plain ice. After tasting this, I would love to be able to sit down with someone like John, from Macallan, and sip each scotch on it’s own, to taste the differences and learn how each is made, in order to understand the flavors.

[flickr id=”6340645131″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

This scotch was paired with lobster and wild boar sausage “paella.” I could not believe how much seafood was in this dish. Lobster, mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp and then the wild boar sausage (my new love), a top a generous serving of saffron spiked risotto and splashed with lobster stock. I want to swim in the lobster stock. It’s rich and heavenly, and I’m willing to bet money it has some magical healing properties. At this point, I slipped into a mild food coma or it could have been my pants becoming increasingly tighter and cutting off my circulation. Either way, I was happy.

[flickr id=”6341330200″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

Once the “paella” was placed before me, I pretty much forgot about the scotch that went with it, so I can’t say if it paired well or not. I drank my Macallan 18 year with my dessert course, as I preferred it to the final cocktail.

[flickr id=”6340583391″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

Our final course, was pear bread butter pudding with Macallan scotch raisin ice cream, maple pecans and scotch caramel. The bread pudding was light and cream, a perfect bread pudding in my book. The best part of the dessert was the Macallan scotch raisin ice cream. Unique and well executed. The maple pecans were good and the caramel was good, but I have to say, the caramel wasn’t boozy enough for me. If it had been a little stronger with the scotch flavor, it would have knocked the whole thing out of the park. The final cocktail was Macallan 10 year fine oak with chipotle, maple, and nux. This wasn’t my favorite cocktail. It was definitely interesting, with a little heat, which paired well with the sweetness of the dessert, but it was heavy and being so full, it wasn’t what I wanted to sip on at the end of the meal.

[flickr id=”6340790661″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

In lieu of mints, some mint mousse cover chocolate pops ended the night of scotch indulgence.

[flickr id=”6341334162″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”” align=”none”]

Chef Mel came to speak with each table that ordered the Macallan menu that night, which for an executive chef in a busy kitchen, was an exceptional treat. He spoke with us about what he wanted with the menu and how much he enjoyed working with Jason, cocktail maestro.

We rolled our plumped bods to the car and drove home in the beautiful desert rain. I truly believe that it’s the small details that set a restaurant apart and I was impressed with every aspect of Talavera and their staff.

 

Talavera, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

10600 East Crescent Moon Drive

Scottsdale, Arizona 85262

(480)515-5700

 

*Please note: I pay for my own meals, unless otherwise noted. I do not write pieces about restaurants for free meals. The views are my own.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *