Talavera typifies fine-dining
The Four Seasons is synonymous with luxury and uncompromising quality…the Scottsdale location in the northern part of the city embodies those guiding principles that make the brand so coveted. Nestled at the foothills of Pinnacle Peak (an iconic rock formation and historic North Scottsdale area), amid towering saguaro cacti and giant boulders, the resort embraces the desert’s rugged landscape through its thoughtful design. The property provides a desert sanctuary and momentary sojourn for its guests and visitors.
I recently embarked on a Scottsdale culinary journey and wanted to make sure that Talavera (The resorts fine-dining restaurant) was one of those stops. Scottsdale is well-known for its diverse and high quality collection of outstanding restaurants—as you will see and read, Talavera lives up to the community’s restaurant reputation. The seasonally-inspired dishes that are artfully presented, along with a world-class setting, make Talavera a destination that certainly summons the gastronomic enthusiast.
Scottsdale locals, as well as many tourists, will be familiar with the drive to the Four Seasons Scottsdale—it shares the same route as the historic Scottsdale dining attraction, Pinnacle Peak Patio. Since the six decades when the Scottsdale landmark was built, the area has grown up into one of the most coveted places to live in Scottsdale. The desert landscape and elevated surroundings of Pinnacle Peak certainly provide a sensational resort and dining setting for the Four Seasons and its Talavera Restaurant.
As soon as you enter Talavera and its adjacent lounge, you can feel the memories from Scottsdale’s frontier days, with its vibrant Southwestern décor woven throughout. The textures, materials and colors are a cornucopia of design elements…rustic, yet highly refined, in its Southwestern style. My girlfriend Terri and I remark at how intricate the decor was and that many of the design combinations were so unique that we would never have thought to put them together…yet they work with great synergy.
Terri and I were joined for dinner by another couple, which allowed us to try several dishes during our dining experience. We started the evening out with a few of their crafted spirits while we delved into the menu.
Our cocktails included:
- Springtime Lemonade – Ciroc, lemon, rosemary, simple and lemonade…a crisp clean concoction.
- Sonoran Oasis – Absolute Pear, Canton, house lemon cello, orange juice and pineapple…a taste of the tropics and Italy all in one.
- Hanger one cocktail – Sunizona, tomato, grapes, thyme and agave…a unique combination playing homage the Southwest.
- Jalisco Heat – Partida blanco, strawberry with Jalapeno and lime. This was the biggest surprise and perhaps our favorite drink…the heat from the Jalapeno provided the cocktail a perfect yin and yang affect.
We then began to dive into the menu. First up was:
- Iceberg wedge salad with avocado, lump crab, blue cheese and Nueske’s bacon…a seafood lovers delight.
- White Asparagus Salad with Maine Lobster, corn panna cotta, chorizo and lemon truffle was a refreshing summer sensation with a Mexican flair.
- Lobster & Corn Bisque with short rib croquette and charred corn was an interesting combination of surf meets turf, but with far too few lobster bites.
- Roasted artichoke hearts with bacon and olives was a savory sensation.
- 8oz Buffalo Tenderloin wrapped in bacon with a purple sweet potato mash and a brandied cherry glacé. This filet was so lean and tender…the bacon and cherry combination set the dish off masterfully.
- Chilean Sea Bass with a potato risotto, artichokes and braised oxtail. Tender white fish takes a dip in a flavorful potato risotto.
- Diver Scallops with spring pea risotto and crispy pancetta was another savory surf meets turf combination…where the sea and land collide, creating an explosion of flavor.
- Copper River Salmon with Oregon truffles, ramps in a mushroom broth was a delicately prepared dish full of gastronomic gusto.
- Fresh Seasonal Berries with a frozen yogurt and honey Florentine was a perfect palate cleanser to a decadent meal.
- Grilled Strawberry shortcake with a cheesecake mouse and caramel powder…need I say more.
- I really wanted to try the Croissant crusted Crème Brûlée with berries and crispy orange, but no one else did and I just didn’t think I could finish it given the extraordinary dishes that preceded it.
- We also had some locally roasted coffee presented in a large stainless steel French Press that was so aromatic and delicious.
Dining at Talavera really is an experience…in addition to having many wonderful entrees to choose from, they also have creative tasting menus and pairings to explore. You can dine both inside or out on the patio to take in the extraordinary views. We thought it would be a bit warm to dine outside, so we opted to stay in. In hindsight, we wish we had chosen the patio as the weather soon cooled off and was quite comfortable outside. After dinner Terri and I checked out the lounge patio where some excellent acoustic music was being performed. We then strolled the grounds and sat next to a mesmerizing water and fire feature, as a once-in-a-100 year “Honey Moon” rose over the mountains and illuminated the dark surroundings like a giant spotlight.
Over all, it was a fantastic evening had by all. Our only critique was that of the service…while our server was well informed and personable enough, he did seem quite busy and left us waiting much too long between courses. We did like however that the restaurant manager came by each table during the main course to make sure everything was satisfactory. If you’ve ever dined at Talavera Steakhouse at the Four Seasons Scottsdale location, please leave a comment below and share your experience or favorite dish.
Contact Information for Talavera Restaurant at the Four Seasons Scottsdale
Address: 10600 East Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale, Arizona 85262
Reservations: (480) 515-5700 | Open Table
Hours: [September-May] Tuesday to Sunday 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm [June-August] Thursday-Sunday (same hours)
Attire: Resort casual