Last Night at AZ Wine & Dine: Balsamic-Braised Short Ribs, Salted Caramel Chocolate Lollipops, and Much More

Categories: Events
PB Bomb from elements crop.jpg
PB Bomb from elements
Much to my surprise and delight, almost every restaurant served dessert, and elements only served two desserts and no savory options. The PB Bomb was extremely rich, designed for serious peanut butter fanatics. It was good, but the thick layer of ganache on top made it tough to cut with a plastic fork, and the PB mousse squished out the sides. This also made it hard to reach the Nutella-flavored crust on the bottom. Arizona Grand Resort served a breathtaking banana mousse tower, but it didn't follow through with flavor. Another attendee told me she thought it was very bland, and that's the truth. The formed cake ring on the bottom was also made to be looked at, not eaten, as it had a weird texture and no taste. Salted caramel chocolate lollipops from Lon's stole the attention from the sausage-stuffed shrimp skewers, which were only so-so. The caramel, on the other hand, was thick and soft with rich, traditional flavor; it would perform really well at Caramelpalooza.

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Wine & diners
A few bites were a real let-down. Nothing was completely inedible, but it's always a shame to get excited about a favorite -- like crab cakes -- only to be disappointed. That's what happened with Relish Burger Bistro's sliders, and it also happened with Arizona Grand Resort. I rushed to their booth to get a (bland) banana mousse tower and was doubly excited when I heard that they also had crab cakes. Too bad they were a little cold and lacked flavor, and the texture was off. I expected to wolf down that crab cake, but I couldn't consider a second bite. And while Little America Hotel's Seven Seas Ceviche was good, it was really forgettable. The cream cheese blackberry brownies were a little better, but they were blown out of the water once I tasted cheesecake at Tanzy.

Of course, there were a few things I was unable to try. Two in particular that I wish I'd tasted were Prado's cioppino, which I noticed many people enjoying, and Talavera's Alaskan halibut. I overheard two women say, "Oh, that's the halibut someone told us we must try!" so it must have been worth waiting in line for (but by that time I was stuffed). Despite having too many options and not enough room in my stomach, and despite the few disappointing tastes, overall it was a successful event. There was plenty of standing room, and elbowing was kept to a minimum. The weather was perfect, there was enough food and drink to go around, and everyone looked to be enjoying themselves.

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Location Info

Venue

Map

Tanzy Restaurant

15257 N. Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Province at the Westin Hotel

333 N. Central, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

District American Kitchen and Wine Bar

320 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

T. Cook's

5200 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Different Pointe of View

11111 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Deseo

6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Doubletree Scottsdale-Paradise Valley Resort

5401 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: General

Bourbon Steak

7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel

50 E. Adams St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Relish Burger Bistro at the Phoenician

6000 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Elements

5700 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Arizona Grand Resort

8000 S. Arizona Grand Parkway, Ahwatukee, AZ

Category: General

Lon's at the Hermosa

5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Prado

4949 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Talavera

10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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