Wright On

Lodge in your mouth

Wright's let monkfish finally transcend its reputation as poor-man's lobster, serving up poached fish that was more tender and flavorful than lobster could ever hope to be. (Granted, it got a boost from lobster aioli and saffron foam.) I loved the shallot tart and sweet, delicate mussels that accompanied it. And as for the aged buffalo loin, it had the kind of seared, caramelized exterior that needed no embellishment. That said, it was great with a dab of rosemary jus and forkfuls of white-cheddar mashed Yukon potatoes.

While none of the dishes resembled architecture, one dessert did remind me of abstract art: the "Elegance," a dessert vignette of moist hazelnut cake, orange marmalade in a pastry spoon, prickly-pear sorbet in a doll-size bowl made of sugar, and assorted other sweets. Mascarpone cheesecake was surprisingly dense and almost fudgy, served with roasted strawberries and vanilla pistachio ice cream. And the soufflés were outstanding, served hot and moist and ready to be deflated with a spoon. The best one was a seasonal peppermint flavor, filled with melted bits of candy and served with a light chocolate crème anglaise.

Wright's chefs Michael Cairns (left) and Matt Alleshouse have plenty to smile about with their "American Lodge Cuisine."
Jackie Mercandetti
Wright's chefs Michael Cairns (left) and Matt Alleshouse have plenty to smile about with their "American Lodge Cuisine."

Location Info

Map

Wright's at the Biltmore

2400 E. Missouri Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: East Phoenix

Details

Bosc pear and Maytag blue cheese tart: $11
Apple glazed duck breast: $19
Poached monkfish: $30
Duo of Colorado lamb: $34

602-955-6600, »web link.
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wrights at the Biltmore,

2400 East Missouri Avenue, 602-955-6600, www.arizonabiltmore.com. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

2400 East Missouri Avenue

From now on, if someone brings up Frank Lloyd Wright, I'll think tarts instead of Taliesin, foie gras instead of Fallingwater. It's probably heresy to say this, but American Lodge Cuisine completely eclipses its venerable surroundings. And for people who care more about fine dining than art deco, that's a very good thing.

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