Thoughts, Reviews, and Ramblings

Category: Fine Dining


Reviewed By Leslie
A quick Google search of Café Monarch leads you to their website, of course, but also pages and pages of news articles regarding accolades given to the restaurant time and time again.  Sometimes, when a restaurant is hyped to such a level Andy and I get really super excited and want to try it out for ourselves.  A lot of the time we are disappointed.  Maybe we're picky.  Hahahahaha!  Who am I kidding? We are definitely picky.  I am a little choosy about service and food quality. I have pretty high expectations, especially when we intend to drop some dollar signs for dinner. I expect all steps of service to be followed without exception. We both expect the food to be cooked to perfection and plated artfully. Boy were we in for a treat when we finally decided to check out Café Monarch to see what all the noise was about! read more


Reviewed By Leslie & Andy
Sometimes we celebrate by going to a super fancy dinner.  This evening we were celebrating nothing in particular. Andy was leaving for a weekend golf trip with his buddies and he wanted to make sure I was well fed. So I didn't forget about him in the next few days...? Whatever the reason or lack thereof I'm here to tell you elements at Sanctuary Camelback is where you should be celebrating. PS: It may look like a typo, but the restaurant doesn't capitalize their name. So I'm not going to capitalize their name either.  You can direct your emails to the Grammar Police hotline. read more


Reviewed By Andy & Leslie
When we first moved to Scottsdale we were on the lookout for a really good wood fired pizza. We thought we found one in CM2 Pizzeria, but every time we went by, the place was closed. This was not a COVID hours type thing, they just operate within the tiniest window: 5-8pm. What we realized when doing our multiple drive-by-leave-hungry routines, was that CM2 was an off-shoot of the restaurant next door, Casa Mia. We peeked through the glass--they only have slightly better operating hours 5-9pm--and thought, "Well that looks like a delightful little spot." We then thought if a business is only open for 24 hours in the entire week, it must be really special and, by golly, it was! read more


Reviewed By Andy n Leslie
We see tons of posts online by people saying, "I need to find a restaurant for a romantic evening out." Well, here you go! For starters the location is terrific. Stroll through Old Town until you see a cute little house with a tent out front that's even larger than the house. The house was built in 1939 and seems out of place as the rest of town has been built or rebuilt around it over the decades. The inside is cozy, Victorian inspired decor, dimly lit with beautiful wood trim. read more


Reviewed By Leslie
Tucked away at the corner of Scottsdale Road and Indian Bend you will find Alma. Just kidding, you still won't find it. In the Scottsdale Seville shopping center there is a small courtyard you get to from the corner, or from either side (hard to explain). Once in there you will be greeted by Alma, an excellent patio and an elegant dining room. Alma has a menu of Southwestern delights that will start you impressed and leave you stuffed. read more


Reviewed By Leslie & Andy
When Lily tells her friends she went to a fancy dinner to celebrate her graduation, they will inevitably ask "Where did you have your fancy dinner last night? The Mall?" Well, yes actually. Fashion Square Mall has quite a few very nice restaurants, which do not even require you to enter the mall, per se. Francine, along with Nobu, Toca Madera, Zinque and others are attached to the mall perimeter. Drive up in your Ferrari, hand the keys to the valet, walk five feet and there you are: at the front door of the French Riviera. read more


Reviewed By Andy
Oh boy it has been awhile since our last review, but time to get back into the groove. Every now and then we go out and I say, "We really need to write up this place". And sometimes I say it, but the tone is totally different (re-read with your more sinister voice). We were recommended to check out Sel Scottsdale and were told we would be blown away. While not quite blown-away, it was a unique dining experience. read more


Reviewed By Leslie & Andy
Before we left town for a month in June, we watched closely as two new restaurants were on the verge of opening in our neighborhood.  By the time we returned, both restaurants were up and running much to our delight.  Being our cousin and neighbor, Laura's, birthday it was time to try out Campo Italian Bistro & Bar.  Let's find out if we have yummy authentic Italian food within walking distance of our house. read more