An Epic Dining Experience at La Hacienda inside the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort
During our stay at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort, we were excited to dine at the resort’s newest restaurant experience: La Hacienda.
The reborn La Hacienda restaurant combines the celebrity culinary talents of Robert Sandoval with the well known local AAA Four-Diamond Executive Chef Forest Hamrick in the kitchen.
“Richard Sandoval brings the vibrant flavors and ingredients of Mexico into the culinary spotlight, combining the bold taste of classic Mexican cuisine with timeless European cooking techniques. This lighter, ingredient-driven approach showcases a bold new taste for La Hacienda, which offers guests an upscale, sophisticated dining atmosphere for the modern day, while still cherishing the traditions of the past. Mexican-born and trained at the Culinary Institute of America, he is considered the “Father of Modern Mexican Cuisine.”
With the new La Hacienda boasting a tequila bar featuring 110 varieties of tequila from 36 different labels, we figured we had better start out with the nation’s #1 selling mixed drink: the margarita. Our waiter (pictured with Carol above) recommended the Organic which was a wonderful blend of Partida Silver, agave nectar, and fresh lime. YUM! I had two!
Our Antojitos (appetizer) was one of the great highlights of our evening’s dining experience.
The Ceviche Tasting, which consisted of Camarone Ceviche (shrimp, avocado, & chile habanero), and Mahi Mahi Ceviche (mahi mahi, citrus-tomato, & chili serrano) was absolutely out of this world. The expert blend of sweet, sour, and heat provided my palate with a taste sensation never before experienced. Seriously, I wanted to lick the little bit that was left upon the plate. It was that good! Incredible!
We had only began our meal, and we were already commenting that if the rest of the meal can keep pace with our margarita and antojitos, then we were certainly in store for an epic meal!
Next, Carol chose Ensalada Con Almendras (mixed greens, pea shoots, cranberries, caramelized almonds, goat cheese, and a spicy vinaigrette), while I opted for Sopa de Elote (roasted corn, cream, huitlacoche).
What is Huitlacoche you ask? Well, Huitlacoche is the fungal, culinary delicacy ustilago maydis that grows on ears of corn. Inhabitants of Mexico and indigenous people from the Southwestern United States enjoy this rich, smoky ingredient in foods like tamales, soups, quesadillas, appetizers, and ice cream. While farmers treat huitlacoche as an infectious affliction that ruins corn crops, it has a long history in the cuisine of Aztecs, Hopi, and Zuni.
Let me just say this about my Sopa. When my palate encounters a taste that it greatly enjoys, there arises inside me a little boy that desires to get up and dance with joy. My right leg actually started this rapid, involuntary up and down movement as I forced my body to stay in my seat. My goodness, that was good Sopa!
For our Platos Fuertes (main course) Carol elected Costilla de Res (braised beef short rib, vegetable escabeche, crema fresca potato puree, with a chile habanero-guava sauce). Major comfort food on the part of my bride-for-life. On the other hand, I went for the Atun (pistachio chile ancho crusted tuna, sweet potato, green apple salad, with a mole verde).
My tuna was very, very good, but I noticed that Carol’s eye’s were beginning to roll back in her sockets each time she sampled her braised short ribs.
Sadly, when it came time to consider desert we simply had no room for anything more. Even more disappointing was that we didn’t even have room for La Hacienda’s famous flaming table-side coffee. We simply couldn’t eat another thing.
Listen, this was absolutely, and without any reservation the best Mexican cuisine we have ever encountered! It wasn’t at all heavy as some Mexican cuisine can tend to be, and we were exposed to a few new tastes that were simply celestial.
I am greatly pleased to live only 9 miles from La Hacienda as we can easily go back again, and again, and again!
For heaven’s sake, make a reservation at La Hacienda. We highly recommend it!
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