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10 Top Picks for Arizona Restaurant Week, Fall 2014

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Binkley's Three courses with multiple amuse-bouche between courses, $44

Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek is always a contender when it comes to making our Restaurant Week dining reservations. Normally, the four-course tasting menu option starts at $74, so a $44 meal is pretty much a steal. On the other hand, the Restaurant Week menu is quite limited, with just one option for each of the three courses -- though fans of three-time James Beard Award semifinalist should have no qualms about trusting each to be worth every penny. Plus, you can look forward to a few fun small bites in between each course.

The Clever Koi Three courses plus wine or beer, $33

If you haven't had a chance to go check out The Clever Koi in Central Phoenix, now is as good a time as any. The restaurant is offering three courses and a beer or glass of wine for just $33, which probably works out to be just a slight discount from what you'd normally pay. Since the Restaurant Week menu includes all items off the regular menu, it's a great opportunity to dine your way around for a set price. Just be sure to order the roasted peach fritters with five spice and vanilla cream cheese to end your meal.

Petite Maison Three courses, $33

Chef James Porter must have been out of his mind when he priced Petite Maison's Restaurant Week menu because you could easily spend more than $50 on three courses from the restaurant's regular selections. Then again, Porter has written a special menu for the event -- which isn't to say it sounds any less luxurious than the regular offerings. The "my Montréal Lobster 'poutine'" is of particular interest considering the chef just returned from a trip to the Great White North.

Gertrude's Three courses and a beverage, $33

When you remind yourself that the new chef at Gertrude's at the Desert Botanical Garden is Matt Taylor, $33 for three courses and a drink seems like a no-brainer. Since taking over earlier this year, the chef has been able to install his own menu of refined Southern-inspired cuisine at the restaurant with the goal of making it one of the state's iconic dining spots. We'd happily dig into the smoked pork gumbo with horseradish potato salad and crawfish or the black pepper spaghetti with Calabrian chili, lemon, garlic, and bottarga.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria