BEST PATIO DINING - 2007
Lon's at the Hermosa
Do you ever wonder what the Valley used to be like before it was a sprawling web of highways and strip malls? Head to Lon's, the fine-dining establishment at the Hermosa Inn, to get a taste of tranquility in the great outdoors. The elegant adobe dining room, part of the historic hacienda that once belonged to artist Lon Megargee, is a lovely place to visit year-round, but right around the time you start bragging about how you don't have to shovel sunshine, the patio's the best place to enjoy executive chef Michael Rusconi's rustic American cuisine. Pepper-crusted pork tenderloin with prickly pear braised cabbage, and wood-grilled buffalo strip steak are just a couple of the outstanding options. Surrounded by trees and gorgeous landscaping, with Camelback Mountain in the distance, Lon's outdoor seating area is relaxing and romantic, with the warm, enticing aroma of mesquite wafting from a nearby chiminea. Around sunset, when all the candles are lit, it's the most magical place to experience the desert scenery.