September 28, 2008


Friday night Jay and I had dinner at District, the restaurant at the new Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. The hotel and restaurant don't open to the public until Tuesday, but this was Jay's project so we were invited to have dinner there as part of a simulation... basically practice for the real thing. We ate with Jerry (a friend of Jay's from work) and his girlfriend.

We had a lovely meal, including starters, entrees and dessert, with excellent service, and since it was just "practice" we didn't have to pay! Sweet! (This also meant we sort of had to order whatever was highlighted on our menu because they were trying to have everyone get different things and have a chance to practice on all of the menu items.)

The menu is sort of normal, but kind of unusual. I would describe it as "fancy comfort food." For example, my meal was short ribs with cheddar jalapeno grits (I don't think I've ever eaten grits before), and carrots... not something I normally would have ordered, but it was delicious! The presentations were all excellent as well. Jay had scallops with mushrooms, peppers and grilled Italian sausage, and fried calamari as a starter (with 2 different... and excellent... sauces; chimichurri and spicy garlic).

Some of the other entrees are things like fancy versions of other comfort foods, like fried chicken, fish and chips, chicken pot pie, cheese burgers, Memphis BBQ pork with apple sauce and mac & cheese, and even a casserole... Pumpkin Curry Casserole with wild rice and marinated tofu, so not your typical casserole. Other things, like the seared scallops, roasted salmon, and grilled ribeye, seem a bit more typical of this kind of restaurant.

My starter was a fabulous tomato soup with garlic croutons and fontina cheese on top, baked kind of like a french onion soup. It was absolutely fantastic! I would go back there just to have that (though I want to go back anyway to try more things... I hear the salmon is heavenly). For dessert, a fresh raspberry cobbler with pecan sandies. Delish! (Jay and I shared because we were so full by then.)

The bread was unusual too... sort of a combination of a dinner roll and cornbread, with chilis and whole black beans inside (it sounds odd, but it was really good), served with butter dizzled with guava nectar.

So, if you have a special occasion, or if you just want to have a nice meal in downtown Phoenix, check it out, and let me know what you think.

And if you like it, tell me what you had so I can order it next time.

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