Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Weekend Recap

After an amazing weekend full of fun, sun, and food, my boyfriend, Andrew, and I got to talking about the future of my blog. We discussed how weekly we are looking for a new restaurant to try for our "Tini Tuesday" happy hour group, and that it would be cool for me to have reviews of different places to share with all of my readers, whether they are locals, or even just visiting. I loved the idea of featuring not just recipes, but also experiences, so without further ado, I will be posting a weekly review with everything from food to drinks to ambience. I would love to hear feedback from places you have tried and loved, hidden gems, or your go-to eateries.

Friday night, my boyfriend' parents came in to town from Connecticut and we prepared a list of restaurants to take them to. Some were places we had been before, some we were complete novices to. Friday night consisted of dinner at my local favorite, St. Francis. Located on Central and Camelback in Phoenix, this American eatery has an ever changing menu, according to what is in season, while keeping their featured staples all year round.

The boys ordered beers, while the ladies stuck to wine and cocktails. I started off with the "Santa Rosa", and let me just tell you how refreshing it was. It's made with Vodka, pink grapefruit, basil and elderflower liquer. St. Germain is my new go to liquer for cocktails. Its so light, with just a touch of sweet, and makes a great addition to summer cocktails.

We then flipped over our menus to find some appealing appetizers like fingerling potatoes and house made baguettes, but we settled for the Baked Goat Cheese, which was garnished with pesto and served alongside crostini crackers. It was more than enough for the four of us to share, but didn't last very long since it was so delicious!

Now we get to the good stuff, the entrées. My boyfriend and I can never seem to steer clear if the French Onion Burger, topped with crispy onion straws, smoked bacon, and gruyere cheese, this burger literally melts in your mouth. Plus, the generous helping of herb French fries pairs perfectly. Also at the table was the Green Chile Pork, another one of their top contenders. Served with homemade cornbread, you can really taste the quality of the meat and the fresh lime and cilantro stand out well. Their features are always a hit, as was seen by the fresh White Fish. Served alongside snow peas, and a variety of other fresh local vegetables, it was devoured in no time. So as you can see, there is something for everyone here. Their menu also includes dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options.

Last, but certainly not least was the dessert. If there is one thing that is a MUST at St. Francis it is their Sticky Toffee Pudding. Served alongside sweet cream gelato, the mini bundt cake shaped dessert swims in a pool of caramel sauce, literally melting in your mouth. It's sinful how delicious this dessert is.

The ambience at St. Francis is trendy, with low lighting, a bar which opens up to both the inside and the outside of the restaurant, and compete with a large covered patio playing videos of Julia Child displayed on the large protector outside. On a chilly night be sure to sit fireside next their oversized fireplace and snuggle up with a glass of wine and some great company.

All in all, St. Francis is a 5 or of 5 hot dogs in my eyes. I've never been disappointed while dining there, and this is clearly proven since Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives recently dined here and should be featured on the Food Network this summer!

**All images used from the St. Francis website,**

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