In Dining Out, Travel/Arizona

What makes an ideal dinner date night spot for you? For us it’s great food and cocktails, attentive service, and a warm, inviting vibe. Throw in a great view and the magic happens. All of that is what Hearth ’61 at the Mountain shadows Resort offers – all of that and more. Date nights are few and far between for Tim and me so when we get one, wherever we go has to check all the boxes.

Hearth ’61 did not disappoint.

We enjoyed the restaurant during a recent stay at the resort and had an incredible meal with a breathtaking view of Camelback Mountain. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening.

We started the evening off with a couple cocktails. Tim chose the Maple Manhattan, made with 3 Man Blend Bourbon, maple syrup, Carpano Antica and chocolate bitters. Whiskey isn’t my jam but he loved it.  The Apricot Vodka Sour was definitely my jam – just a hint of sweet and very refreshing made with Ketel One Vodka, apricot puree, lemon, turbinado syrup, aperol and orange bitters. With our cocktails we enjoyed the Spicy Queso and Guacamole with blue corn tortilla chips from the lounge menu. The queso dip had a kick and the guac was perfectly seasoned and tasted like it was freshly made.

For dinner Tim chose the burger, also from the bar menu. That’s a pretty basic choice but his burger tasted anything but basic. It was a thick and juicy patty cooked a perfect medium with crisp lettuce and tomato on a soft and buttery lightly toasted bun. I may have stolen a bite or two and I definitely stole a few of the hot, crispy fries that came with his burger.

My dinner was a work of art. The Niman Ranch Short Ribs served with roasted garlic polenta, pan jus, crispy Brussels and pomegranate arils. This beautiful dish was three of my very favorite things on one plate – short ribs, polenta and Brussels sprouts! The short ribs fell apart with just a touch of my fork, the pan jus was savory, well seasoned and kept the meat luscious and moist, the polenta was smooth and creamy and the Brussels were perfectly cooked with charred edges. Delicious.

A great date night deserves a sweet ending and we definitely splurged. We ordered the Flourless Chocolate Torte and the Vegan Doughnuts. The doughnuts are a good option and definitely an indulgence. They were pretty dense for a donut but the blueberry coulis and banana softened them to a nice chewy texture. They were super sweet and delightful, but our favorite of the two was the decadent chocolate torte. It was super rich and luscious and came with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream and caramel popcorn. The accompaniments offered a great contrast in textures – the creamy ice cream and crunchy popcorn along with the rich and smooth chocolate makes for a deliciously wonderful dessert.

The ambiance of Hearth ’61 is warm and inviting. It has an upscale feel with a relaxed vibe. The lighting and decor were pleasant and relaxing. Our server was top-notch. He kept our water refilled and was attentive and prompt the entire night. Everything about our dining experience was wonderful.

Hearth ’61 is truly a gem within a gem!

Hearth ’61 is located inside the Mountain Shadows Resort at 5445 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253. Book your stay at www.mountainshadows.com.

We enjoyed a complimentary meal in exchange for this post. All opinions are entirely my own. 
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