Go ahead. Live a little.
While moderation is important, so is treating oneself once in a while with something wickedly indulgent and wonderful.
For example, caviar.
Bourbon Steak at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers an utterly opulent way to enjoy the ocean-sourced ingredient with its Caviar Jelly Doughnuts ($35). Each of these warm, fluffy pastries is filled with yuzu-infused cream and topped with a generous portion of Osetra Reserve Caviar, all combining on the palate in perfect umami. ScottsdalePrincess.com
Another edible extravagance: a truffle.
Earthy and nutty with a flavor profile all its own, the expensive ingredient can elevate a dish to epic proportions. At Toca Madera, it is used to create a mouthwatering Truffle Burger ($48). An impressive iteration of a classic burger, this creation begins with two patties of Santa Carota beef topped with Tillamook white cheddar and a blend of shimeji, portobello, cremini, oyster, and maitake mushrooms, all cooked in white truffle oil. The brioche bun is toasted with truffle butter and then brushed with truffle sauce. Once constructed, it is finished with fresh Italian truffle slices and served alongside french fries with truffle hot sauce. TocaMadera.com
Bourbon & Bones Chophouse also features a terrifically tubular option in its Truffled Lobster Mac n’ Cheese ($38). An exquisite marriage of tender lobster and macaroni bathed in a velvety homemade cheese sauce seems indulgent enough on its own, right? Nope, here it goes a step further, thanks to the white truffle oil that tops it all off. BourbonAndBones.com
Not to be outdone, North Italia has an out-of-this-world White Truffle Garlic Bread on its starter menu. The bread is piled high in a skillet and heaped with a dizzyingly delightful combination of house-made ricotta, mozzarella, Grana Padano, herbs, and oodles of white truffle oil before being cooked until perfectly melty. NorthItalia.com
Speaking of melty, B&B Cocktail Lounge marries all the gooey goodness of Gruyère cheese sauce with prime steak tips, garlic, and bell peppers to make its exquisite Steak Au Gratin ($18), also a starter. The dish is paired with grilled baguettes that are practically begging to be dipped in the savory skillet’s leftover sauce. BourbonAndBones.com
Of course, some prefer to indulge in steak during the main course. If in that camp, seek out Roka Akor for its Certified Tajima Kobe Beef (MP). Given that Roka Akor holds one of the only licenses in the United States to source beef directly from Asia’s Hyogo Prefecture, Chinese-born Executive Chef Ce Ban feels a special connection to the protein. This cut, sourced directly from Hyogo, is one of the world’s most desirable and in-demand meats, as it must be bred from a pure lineage of Tajima-Gyu cattle. At the restaurant, the meat is served by the ounce. RokaAkor.com
Nook Kitchen also has a killer cut in its Espresso Rubbed Filet ($42). The 8-ounce beauty boasts an extraordinary depth of flavor thanks to its earthy, caffeinated crust. It also benefits from its pairing of garlic rosemary marble potatoes with gorgeous white truffle cream sauce. NookKitchen.com
On the opposite side of the meaty flavor spectrum, there is LON's at The Hermosa Inn, which offers a 10-ounce Azul Beef New York Strip ($62). While the insane cut of meat shines on its own, it is enhanced with duck fat potatoes, roasted vine-ripened tomatoes, and a chimichurri sauce that Executive Chef Alejandro Martinez makes using his Argentinian grandfather’s recipe. Substituting chopped parsley for the traditional cilantro, Martinez adds freshly chopped garlic, chopped bay leaves, dry oregano, paprika, red wine vinegar, and olive oil to create an herby and tangy sauce that adds both incredible zest and vibrant color to the steak. HermosaInn.com
Finally, there are those who want to walk on the wild side when indulging in the more decadent of dining options. For them, there is Geordie’s at Wrigley Mansion, The Mick Brasserie, and Arboleda.
At Geordie’s, Executive Chef David Brito features Hudson Valley Foie Gras ($30), a French delicacy that he pairs with visually stunning variations of onion and soubise, which is an onion sauce thickened with béchamel or cream. WrigleyMansion.com
Similarly bringing French-inspired indulgences to the Valley is The Mick, especially with its take on Escargot ($21). The surprisingly meaty snails are not only paired with copious herb butter but also brioche, bordelaise sauce, and creamy brie. TheMickAZ.com
And then Arboleda offers a twisted take on pasta with its Squid Ink Fettuccine ($31), a celebration of otherworldly luscious lemon butter and white wine sauce, as well as shrimp and calamari, all laid atop noodles made from squid ink—a luxurious Mediterranean preparation that gives the dish a stark black appearance. ArboledaAZ.com