Quiessence is one of my favorite restaurants in the Phoenix area and the choice for my Birthday dinner. The menu changes daily featuring fresh, local ingredients. The best dining option is in the Tasting Menu that is a 5 course chef’s choice (you do not order any specific food, but you can specify Vegetarian and/or food allergies). An optional wine pairing is available, and highly recommended (if you like delicious wine).
My Birthday Tasting dinner included a chilled vegetarian starter, bread (do not eat too much of the bread, pace yourself!), meat & cheese appetizer (not quite fast enough with the camera), yellow squash salad with yogurt dressing, perfectly fluffy gnocchi pasta, salmon and fingerling potatoes, lamb with stuffed mini bell peppers, and desert course (complete with birthday candle).
Quiessence is only open for dinner. There is limited patio dinning and plenty of window side tables to enjoy the beautiful surrounding area on The Farm. For a more romantic experience try to plan your dinner before sunset. Be sure to make reservations. Open Table is my favorite on-line reservation system and the mobile app is really easy to use.
Arizona Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to try a three course meal at a much reduced fixed price to try out the scrumptious food from Quiessence!
I was told that this year was smaller than previous years, for both restaurants and crowds. A lite drizzle of rain really cleared the streets of Grants Park on Friday. I was glad to avoid the crowds, and I am not sure we really missed out on fewer vendors. Many smaller or less well-known restaurants were able to make an appearance in “pop-up restaurants” which allowed many delicious food options. There were MANY pizza places, and a great variety of food from around the world. Our favorite meal of the day was Jerk Chicken Belize-style from Garifuna Flava.
Tickets were 12 for $8. Eli’s cheesecake offered “taste” size original cheesecake for just 3 tickets ($2). While most glasses of wine were between 8 to 10 tickets (average $6 each). 3 Ticket items were rare, and most portions were 8 tickets. Not enough places had true sample or tasting size portions. There were quite a few chain and multiple location restaurants, and only a few unique Mom & Pop places that we could see.
Overall, we left full and happy. We ate some good food and some amazing food. The cool weather and a bit of precipitation was an added bonus!
While in Flagstaff recently, I discovered Vino Loco wine bar. This is a darling little boutique wine bar, located in downtown Flagstaff, walking distance from the Monte V. Vino Loco stocks many varieties of wine, including some great local Arizona wines.
Due to the altitude, and my resulting diminished tolerance for wine, I decided to try the wine flights in order to try as many different wines as possible. Prices are reasonable for flights, by the glass, or by the bottle.
It is one of the best selections for hard to find Arizona small batch boutique wines. The staff is friendly and they offer a few cheese & fruit platters to accompany the wine. My next trip to Flagstaff will certainly include Vino Loco!