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Culinary 'Scene'

The Chicest Restaurants in the Valley

In Scottsdale, fine dining is equal parts style and sustenance, with restaurants going as big on aesthetics as on exquisite ingredients. Just ask the team behind Ocean 44 (Ocean44.com). Oozing opulence at every turn, the space dazzles with natural stone elements, including a long marble waterfall countertop that runs the length of the kitchen. There is also beautiful floor-to-ceiling frameless glass surrounding the kitchen with extensive custom lighting to give guests dinner and a show.

Similarly stunning is Bourbon Steak at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (ScottsdalePrincess.com). When looking in all directions at this modern marvel of architecture, the word “sleek” comes to mind. The entry is dimly lit, offering guests an inside peek at the 4,200-bottle, glass-encased wine cellar and the similarly dark and dreamy lounge. Then all at once, there is light! The airy dining room is modern with floor-to-ceiling windows, warmed by fireside terrace seating.

Joining Bourbon Steak in North Scottsdale are The Mission Kierland, Talavera Restaurant, The Americano, and Arboleda.

During the day, The Mission (TheMissionAZ.com) stands out for its bright, window-filled dining room with massive custom art installations beneath a soaring two-story atrium. At night, the dramatic salt-block staircase is illuminated, creating a VIP walkway toward ample private dining and event spaces and a dedicated second bar.

At Talavera (FourSeasons.com/scottsdale), it’s also all about drama. Meant to be an intimate desert sanctuary, the modern Spanish steakhouse seamlessly blends with the Sonoran Desert outside, practically melting into the Pinnacle Peak Mountains next door. Warm, rich tones create an atmosphere of comfort and charm, with floor-to-ceiling windows framing the outdoor fire feature and expansive patio beyond.

If you're visiting The Americano (TheAmericanoRestaurant.com), expect a wholly different vibe thanks to eye-catching custom sculptures and a modern supper club-style dining room with intimate crescent-shaped booths, rich leather chairs, and butcher-block tables.

Rounding out the North Scottsdale musts is Arboleda (ArboledaAZ.com), which has a living tree in its dining room, helping give scale to the towering, curved cement walls and ceiling, as well as purpose to the natural palette carried from the indoor restaurant to the outdoor patio.  

A bit farther south are Fat Ox, J.T. Prime Kitchen & Cocktails, B&B Cocktail Lounge, J&G Steakhouse, and Cala.

Fat Ox (ILoveFatOx.com) is housed inside a marble-lined, wood-accented space and sprawls across 7,000 square feet, with both the urbane look of Milan and rustic sensibilities of cattle country to honor Arizona and the famed Tuscan cowboys of Maremma.

J.T. Prime (JTPrimeKitchen.com) is where fine dining meets speakeasy. It has all the allure and exclusivity of luxury dining, but the ambiance is inviting, featuring bold masculine noir art pieces.

Just down the street, B&B Cocktail Lounge (BourbonAndBones.com) also feels like a swanky speakeasy. Dark and romantic by design, the centerpiece is a nearly wall-to-wall bar made from white-and-black-veined granite. There are black and brass fixtures and pendant lights hanging from above, offering just enough light to see the menu but not so much that it interferes with the spirit wall, which is backlit so that each bottle appears to glow with an amber hue.

Inspired by the dramatic desert landscape, J&G Steakhouse (JGSteakhouseScottsdale.com) offers legendary views, and its all-new interiors were crafted by the lauded Parker Torres Design. Stepping off the elevator at this fine-dining penthouse, you’ll be enveloped in stylish yet sophisticated decor, starting with the revamped J&G lounge, which features a striking glass teardrop chandelier suspended over a rich red onyx stone bar top.

Finally, there is Cala (CalaScottsdale.com). The 5,000-square-foot eatery is visually airy, with clean lines, white accents, and light wood. There is also a 1,750-square-foot patio space with a 40-foot bar and chic guest dining cabanas that further evoke a beach vibe in the heart of the Scottsdale desert.

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