Dinner Delights in the Sonoran Desert

Sumptuous Scottsdale.

Courtesy of Kembara

With new restaurant openings and an evolving food scene, the popular sun destination for Canadians, Scottsdale, Arizona, is constantly upping the culinary bar. Its proximity to fresh products means local chefs are making the most of the bounty that blooms in the desert, celebrating the flavours of the region and beyond.


Courtesy of Experience Scottsdale


Photo by Claudia Laroye


The Americano

Helmed by chef Scott Conant, The Americano is an Italian-inspired modern steakhouse with cozy crescent-shaped booths, leather chairs, and butcher-block tables with front-row seats to the bustling open kitchen and wood-fired grill. The restaurant serves fine cuts such as prime and American wagyu beef alongside fresh homemade pasta, seafood courses, and decadent sides like caviar fries. One measure of the back-of-house talent comes in the simplest dishes, like Conant’s pasta al pomodoro. The handmade spaghetti noodles draped with his signature sauce twirls in savoury al dente style. The inventive cocktail program is also eye-catching and noteworthy.






Located in Old Town Scottsdale, this vegetable-forward farm-to-table restaurant is helmed by chef Charleen Badman, recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s 2019 Best Chef: Southwest award. Chef Badman is known for her locally sourced vegetable creations, working with local farmers on sourcing, and encouraging the production of heirloom produce in small quantities. FnB’s fall and winter seasonal menus celebrate a bounty of persimmons, mushrooms, Gilfeather rutabagas (a rare cross between rutabaga and turnip), as well as meat and fowl from local purveyors. Complementing the food is co-owner Pavle Milic’s curated Arizona wine list, showcasing the best of the state’s ever-expanding viticulture.







Part of celebrity chef Angelo Sosa’s latest addition to Greater Scottsdale’s food scene, Kembara opened in early December at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. A modern and eclectic space designed by L.A.-based designer Thoman Schoos, the menus reflect Sosa’s journeys and lifelong passion for Asian cuisine. The dinner menu is inspired by dishes from Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Tokyo, Penang, and more. Think delicate tuna Thai jewel in a fragrant lemongrass-ginger broth, marinated tofu larb, succulent crab fried rice, beef rendang, and handmade noodles with crispy pork belly. Share plates are enjoyed alongside craft cocktails named after Asian-centric novels (Joy Luck Club, Tale of Genji, The Sympathizer), and the restaurant features an extensive selection of Japanese whisky and sake poured by the in-house sake sommelier.






La Hacienda

Located on the grounds of the elegant Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, La Hacienda celebrates the vibrant flavours and ingredients of Mexico. From fresh guacamole crafted tableside to slow-braised pork carnitas with sweet corn and habanero, La Hacienda offers traditional Mexican fare infused with upscale, southwestern innovation. Filet a la parrilla—grilled beef tenderloin, Oaxaca cheese enchilades, chile pasilla gastrique—is a local favourite and a signature dish. Inspired by Spanish haciendas, the warm room of wood-beamed ceilings and flagstone floors is anchored by a tequila bar featuring more than 200 varieties of the blue agave spirit, presented by the restaurant’s very own knowledgeable Tequila Goddess.




Courtesy of Experience Scottsdale


Postino on Highland

As the Valley’s original local wine café, Postino began in 2001 with a vision of supplying Scottsdale and the Valley of Sun with unique, approachable wines and simple, delicious food prepared with local ingredients. The new Postino Highland location is housed inside a restored midcentury modern bank designed by architect and Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice Frank Henry. The restaurant includes an expansive outdoor patio bordered by stylized, cast-concrete forms, granting shade from the harsh desert sun to diners feasting on paninis, salads, and the house specialty, bruschetta boards of toasted bread heaped with roasted Mexican street corn, apple, fig, brie, salami, and pesto and other savoury seasonal toppings.