Even the drive up to J&G Steakhouse, located at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, feels luxurious. A winding road leads you up and up until you reach the driveway of the resort, perched at the base of Camelback Mountain, when you can leave your car and enter one of the Valley's more beautiful and impressive resort properties. You'll find the restaurant on the fifth floor, giving diners impressive views of the Valley below while they enjoy some of the city's best steaks.
Last week we were invited to come experience the restaurant's new fall menu, one that blends celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's famous steakhouse fare with the flavors of the season. Who needs leaves changing color when you have squash gratin and caramelized Brussels sprouts?
If you haven't seen the inside of the restaurant before, you might be surprised to find how much its interior differs from the aesthetic of the rest of the resort. The restaurant, designed by architect David Rockwell, is sleek and modern without feeling fussy, giving the space an element of drama. The highlight is definitely the view, which is best enjoyed on the large outdoor patio.
Our evening began with a cocktail from J&G's bar. The Hanky Panky -- a combination of gin, sweet vermouth, and Fernet Branca -- was a balanced and easy-to-like concoction with the ability to appeal to light and dark spirit drinkers alike.
From there we dove into a sampling of dishes from the restaurant's newly introduced fall menu. Executed by chef de cuisine Jacques Qualin, who's been with the restaurant since it opened in 2009, the menu features entrees and sides with both French and Asian-inspired food.
Some of the highlights of the new menu included the creamy Butternut Squash Soup with oyster mushrooms and the Chopped Salad. The salad featured two types of greens, chunks of sweet apples, candied pecans, and pieces of bleu cheese. Altogether the ingredients made a refreshing mixture with a nice contrast of textures.
Black Truffle Cheese Fritters were also a hit, delivering a rich punch of truffle and decadent cheese.
One of our favorite dishes from the fall menu was the Sautéed Grouper, a dish that featured perfectly-cooked fish over a bed of spaghetti squash. The combination was not only unexpected but also perfectly paired with a delicate sesame broth with chile oil.
When it comes to beef J&G Steakhouse offers a variety of steaks for diners to choose from including two sizes of filet mignon and NY Steak plus ribeye, porterhouse, and a bone-in filet. All will be served with a selection of housemade accoutrements, our favorite of which was the Black Pepper Condiment.
For sides, you may like the Caramelized Brussels Sprouts studded with pecans and dressed with aged balsamic; the fragrant vegetable dish smelled with Thanksgiving stuffing, in a very good way. We also enjoyed the Squash Gratin,a creamy autumnal dish accented with pumpkin seeds, thyme, and chili crumbs.
A sweet ending for the end of the night came by way of a rich Apple Crumble with a side of cinnamon ice cream.