Sunday, September 16, 2012

Elote Cafe, Sedona, Arizona

From the Kings Ransom Website
If I have a guest visiting and they are willing to drive a little bit for dinner, I try to take them to Elote Cafe in Sedona, which has rightfully earned the reputation of being one of the best restaurants in northern Arizona.

Located at the Kings Ransom Sedona Hotel, you can tell that this used to be a much more modest restaurant until former Scottsdale star chef Jeff Smedstad decided to take root here. They emphatically do not take reservations: it's first come, first served, starting at 5 pm. During busy times, the wait can be 2 hours, but on weekdays, I have usually waited 30 minutes to an hour. While you wait, you can get a margarita or other libation, munch on their tasty spiced popcorn, and look out over the beautiful pool, if the weather is nice. Be patient, and you will be rewarded.

For guests who have never been to a "real" Mexican restaurant and have only had the experience of generic, Americanized chains, this cuisine will be a revelation. Kind of like "comfort food" has been transformed to an upscale experience in recent years, Elote Cafe takes traditional Mexican dishes and elevates them. Dishes cover several regions of Mexico and everything I've had on the modest sized menu is delicious!

The namesake dish, Elote: Fire roasted corn with spicy mayo, lime and Cotija cheese. I got the recipe and it doesn't taste the same when I make it.
Green Chile Carnitas: Slow-roasted all natural pork shoulder served with Green Chile sauce and Green Chile corn fritters 
Grilled Scallops:  Served with Grandma’s corn cake and Mole Verde

They have an extensive tequila list and knowledgeable bartenders who will guide you through a tequila tasting if you like. They also have creative margaritas and a good selection of beers.

Elegant Mexican cuisine among the red rocks. Definitely worth the wait for a table.

Elote Cafe
771 State Route 179
Sedona, AZ 86336
(928) 203-0105
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