Wright's at the Biltmore, the signature restaurant of the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, is known for its American Lodge Cuisine. Once the solarium of the Biltmore--the kitchen was the barbershop--now classic American dishes are reinvented with the freshest ingredients and complemented by richly flavored oils or infusions (instead of heavy sauces). Farm-fresh and artisan-crafted ingredients including Hawaiian goat cheese, Wyoming Elk and Oregon escargot as well as herbs fresh from the chef’s private garden are some seasonal favorites.
Now let’s meet the Chef de Cuisine, Conor Favre.
Not what you expected? Neither is this chef’s subtly flavored feast for the eyes and palate. As much as Favre strives to cook outside the box, it's not for shock value alone. "There must be a purpose behind everything you do." Here's how that applies to our dinner...
Highlights and Headlines from that Memorable Dinner
I ordered the irresistible Heirloom Tomato Soup plus the three-course tasting menu, the day’s “Table d’Hote.” My husband, Herb Simms (who kindly took pictures of the food when we really wanted to eat it) ordered the Feature for the Evening. All were served in a casual but efficient, friendly but not intrusive way lead by our server, John. He also proved to be quite the knowledgeable wine expert recommending wines that not only complemented our meal, but that actually morphed with each course.
Details and Dishes
We started off with “Amuse,” Citrus-Grilled Prawns, perched on frisée over a blood orange and pomegranate reduction. This course, the keynote of our dinner, was the perfect combination of subtle flavors, colors, textures, and overall presentation.
My Heirloom Tomato Soup was a beautiful, creamy combination of tomatoes and pureed vegetables. It’s velvety texture came from hearty vegetables, not cream! Topped with an herb-cheese crisp and garlic aioli, it could have been the hit of the meal, it was that good.
Our main courses exceeded our expectations. Mine, the “Chef’s Daily Masterpiece,” was Pan-Roasted Free-Range Chicken Breast with Granny Smith Apple risotto, baby greens and red wine reduction.
Herb’s dinner, the " Feature for the Evening," Pistachio-Dusted Ahi Tuna, with chickpea salad , mizzuna, fennel and cracked pepper chardonnay pan sauce, was flavorful, served at just the right temperature and moist. Herb thought it was delicious and so did I.
And, of course, then we had dessert. Mine, the third course in the three-course tasting menu, was Ice Box White Chocolate with toasted coconut, candied pistachio crisp, and dark chocolate ganacher. It tasted as good as it looked and just look at it:
When ordering his dessert, Herb hesitated for one second trying to decide which soufflé to order, so John brought him samples of all three—vanilla, Grand Marnier and raspberry—each with their own perfectly matched sauces. We had to work fast to take the picture before they collapsed so feast your eyes:
Wright's also hosts its long-running Winemaker Dinner Series and has introduced new Cigar and Bourbon Dinners, as well as events such as beer or tequila dinner pairings. Chaque un a son gout!
Whether you’re a guest at the resort or not, if you’re in Phoenix you’ll find Wright’s at the Biltmore a delicious culinary experience. I strongly recommend it and suggest reservations.
Visit the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, 2400 East Missouri, Phoeniz, AZ 85016, 602.955.6600, or www.arizonabiltmore.com for information, inspiration, special offers and special events. It truly is a “Jewel in the Desert.”
Click HERE to read more about the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.
Photos courtesy of Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.
Food and herb garden photos by Herb Simms