A Fabulous Dining Experience at Flagstaff’s Cottage Place Restaurant
The folks at Disney have one very important understanding: people are very willing to pay for an incredible experience. Therefore, they set about their “imagineers” to focus their sites firmly on this mission. Consequently, people from all over the world max their credit cards to experience the Disney Parks.
A fine dining restaurant is no different. You can have the best food in the world, but if you can’t consistently deliver a fabulous experience to your patrons then you are destined to labor in the vastly crowded field of the mundane.
I am very pleased to report that Frank and Nancy Branham, proprietors of Cottage Place Restaurant, understand the importance of creating a dining experience, having squarely in their possession the one-two punch of fabulous food combined with a very memorable experience.
The minute we walked in the door, our first-impression-0-meter was telling us that we were perhaps in for a treat. It is also noteworthy that this impression was sealed without any highfalutin pretension, but with sincere smiles, rapt attention to our needs, mixed with a simple, relaxed casualness that belies big city eateries.
Our dining experience began with a basket of delicious breads, accompanied by a recommended Willamette Valley 2007 Sineann Pinot Noir that possessed that earthy quality that I love from a good Oregon Pinot Noir.
For her entreé, Carol greatly enjoyed a Parmesan encrusted California Halibut served on a bed of Shrimp and Sausage Quinoa, accompanied by seasonal vegetables and finished with Sauce Choron. I took a bite, it was fabulous.
For my entreé, I chose to sample their February tasting menu. This started out with a pan-seared Sea Scallop seasoned with Chipotle Chile place on a bed of Sauteéd Spinach and surrounded by Red Pepper Aioli. This was followed up with and incredible Spinach Soup, a Chicken Caesar Salad, and for my Intermezzo, Orange Julius Sorbet.
Now that my palate was properly cleansed, my main entreé was the Cottage Place Cassaulet. This was a Ragout of white beans, sausage, braised pork and duck breast topped with seasonal breadcrumbs then baked to a golden brown, and believe it or not, topped with Australian Lamb Chops!
For desert, my tasting menu brought with it a Pear Flambé.
You know that feeling when you attend a great concert, and when it is finished you spontaneously jump from your seat with applause? Well, we didn’t do that. It didn’t seem appropriate to subject the other guests to that. But we sure felt like it!
I can completely assure you that when our boots find us again in Flagstaff, that our seats will also be planted in the Cottage Place Restaurant for dinner. We give Frank and Nancy high praise, and can most assuredly understand why they have enjoyed such high accolades over the years.
Thank you to Alice, Ed, and Sam (pictured above with Carol) for making a very special dining experience during our trip to Flagstaff!