Over the past several years the valley has exploded as a true culinary destination. Notable new eateries are popping up all over putting Phoenix and the surrounding areas on the map of gastronomic excellence. But let us not forget the veteran establishments that have paved the way for the newcomers, places like the Roaring Fork in downtown Scottsdale.
The Roaring Fork has been around for years and the reason for their success and longevity is apparent from the moment you step in the door. The entire place exudes an approachable, rustic elegance. Warm lighting sets the mood and you know you’re in for a great dining experience.
Here’s a little anecdote that will attest to the deliciousness of Roaring Fork and my love for it – Prior to my wedding day I was introduced to Roaring Fork for happy hour, (one of the best in town). I loved everything about the place, the food, the ambiance the happy hour prices. On my wedding day I decided to take my bridesmaids to brunch there. That may not seem particularly practical; I mean what bride wants to gorge the morning of the most momentous day of her life, when she has to fit into the most beautiful dress she will ever wear? Me, that’s who! That’s how good Roaring Fork is, good enough to make a bride through caution to the wind and gorge just hours before her wedding! It’s the place where I ate my last meal as a single gal, and it was an epic meal that included a couple trips to the buffet and several mimosas! Thankfully, despite the pig out session my dress zipped up and my wedding was just as beautiful as I dreamed it would be, starting off with a visit to Roaring Fork!
Sadly, Roaring Fork isn’t offering brunch right now, but no worries, because lunch, happy hour and dinner are still well worth a visit!
And here’s why…
You won’t find better guacamole anywhere; theirs is straightforward, allowing the creamy avocado to shine. It’s fresh, chunky and served with crispy corn tortilla chips. But the highlight for me on the appetizer menu is the Green Chili Pork. It arrives in a cute little cast iron kettle with a side of hot buttered tortillas. The green chili is full of bite-sized chunks of tender pork and has a balanced heat that tantalizes the taste buds. The warm buttered tortillas are addicting – I recommend ordering both the guac and green chili so you can make your own perfect little tacos. This appetizer is worthy of entree status!
But if it’s tacos you want, you won’t be disappointed in the Grilled Yellowtail Tacos. These are generously sized, much bigger than the street variety, we’ve all grown accustomed to. These are substantially sized corn tortillas stuffed full of perfectly grilled white fish, roasted corn, guacamole, pico de gallo, creamy remoulade and a verdant salsa verde that brightens everything up. These tacos are as messy as they are tasty so roll up your sleeves and dig in! It’s worthy to note that these tacos can be found on the happy hour menu.
One of my favorite things on the menu (second only to the green chili pork) is the Boneless Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Peppercorn Gravy. Sometimes boneless chicken can hover on the drier side, but this chicken is wonderfully juicy. The coating is super crunchy and begs to be smothered in the smooth peppercorn gravy. I highly recommend ordering the Green Chili Mac & Cheese as an accompaniment. This is some of the creamiest, dreamiest macaroni and cheese you can get, spiced up with the chilis for a southwestern spin on a side dish favorite. Together the mac and cheese and fried chicken are a killer combination of comforting classics elevated but done right, oh, so deliciously right!
Roaring Fork also has a killer Medjool Date Salad, full of chewy sweet dates stuffed with goat cheese, served atop a bed of peppery arugula and topped with candied walnuts. The dates are meaty, dense and sweet and match perfectly with the tang of creamy goat cheese. The salad is excellent and should not be missed.
The desserts at Roaring Fork are pretty unforgettable too. Nothing too frilly, just familiar favorites executed with decadent precision, like a fabulous pecan pie, huckleberry cheese cake, and a terrific creme brûlée. Be sure to save room for at least one of the above!
Once you visit Roaring Fork it’s sure to become a familiar stand-by, a place you will visit again and again. A place that serves your favorite cocktail, your favorite burger or your favorite dessert. I can almost guarantee it will become one of your favorite places all together.
Disclaimer: I enjoyed a meal, free of charge as part of a media invite. All opinions within this post are entirely my own.