February 12, 2009

Flagstaff's Finest Dining Establishments

(*Note: This story first appeared (also written by me) in Flagstaff Live! on February 12, 2009*)

Romance (and snow) is in the air these days. Celebrate it at Flagstaff’s finest dining establishments, where the atmosphere compliments the mood of love and the food is elegant and decadent. The menus vary with the season to bring you the freshest ingredients possible, so sample the flavors of the season of love.
It’s hard to go wrong at any of these three restaurants, unless you’re looking for a bargain. The fab food and ambiance come with a price to match, of course. But at least you’ll leave satisfied, so go ahead and treat yourself.
If you go at lunchtime to either Josephine’s or Brix, you can still get great food but at slightly more wallet-friendly prices. Just something to keep in mind, but who can put a price on love?

Josephine’s Modern American Bistro
503 N. Humphreys
Josephine’s is the kind of restaurant that catches your eye from the moment you drive up. With its dark, volcanic rock columns and beautiful, inviting stone patio, it’s a romantic setting anytime of the day. The ambiance increases in the evenings with twinkling lights draped around the historic building. Josephine’s is my favorite fine dining establishment in Flagstaff. They’ve got a unique blend of flavors, as well as variety, and a comfortable atmostphere. The modern menu features bold and flavorful combinations to delight both the eye and the stomach. Josephine’s proclaims on their menu to be free of “ethnic constraints,” instead blending “ingredients and techniques from many different cultures.” This is the place to go for flavors that will dance through your mouth, popping with originality in their combinations.
For dinner on Valentine’s Day they’ve got a special menu, which you can check out on their Web site, along with their everyday lunch and dinner menus.

Brix Restaurant and Wine Bar
413 N. San Francisco
Brix is anything but everyday, not that you wouldn’t want to eat here everyday if your bank account could stand it. The food is fantastic. So fab in fact that Condé Nast Traveler named them among the top 95 restaurants in the world in 2007. That’s a pretty good rec if I’ve ever heard one.
Brix describes themselves as “a casual fine dining restaurant serving seasonal, farm focused, contemporary American cuisine.” The food is fresh and fanciful, but the place is still relaxed enough to wear shorts at lunch in the summer without getting dirty looks. Still, it’s chic enough to serve as a great spot to go and enjoy vino with or without the food.
They too have a special V-day menu for l’amore. You can check it out, along with their everyday lunch, dinner and wine menus, on their Web site.

The Cottage Place Restaurant
126 W. Cottage
The Cottage Place is a romantic little house with food to compliment the atmosphere, Valentine’s Day or not. They’re only open for dinner Wednesday through Sundays, so no getting in on the delightful menu at lunch for a little less dinero. But this is a place worth saving up for. Your taste buds will thank you for sure.
The menu includes everything from classic filet mignon to more unique creations including hazelnut encrusted pheasant breast, forest mushroom ravioli, and chef tableside specialties for two like rack of lamb and chateaubriand.
They have a special Valentine’s Day menu from Thu, the 12th through Sat, the 14th, but reservations are already booked full on V-day. Cottage Place also offers a different kind of fun evening out for a date with specialty cooking classes. You can check their Web site for info on when they are offered, as well as peruse their menu.

Japonais, Je t’aime
Wanna take your sweetheart somewhere upscale but not overly fancified? Check out these great Flagstaff Japanese food gems.

Sakura Sushi and Teppanyaki
1175 W. Rte. 66, inside the Radisson Woodlands Hotel

Karma Sushi Bar and Tapas
6 E. Rte. 66

Hiro’s Sushi Bar and Japanese Restaurant
1312 S. Plaza Way


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