Dining at the Camelback Inn’s BLT Steakhouse and Rita’s Kitchen
While making the fifth stop on our Arizona AAA Five-Diamond Resort Tour at the Camelback Inn, we were greatly enjoyed our dining experiences at Rita’s Kitchen and BLT Steakhouse.
During the first night of our stay with the Camelback Inn, we were invited to sample the cuisine of Rita’s Kitchen. To be honest, knowing that this was “casual fare”, I wasn’t expecting much.
Boy! Was I wrong!
Our meal began with Carol ordering a wonderful Roasted Artichoke, while I enjoyed a piping hot bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup (Avocado, onion, cilantro, jack cheese).
We looked at each other, and remarked that if the rest of the meal was this good, then we were in for a treat. Little did we know that the entrées, chosen from “Rita’s Favorites”, were going to completely blow our minds.
Carol chose Chicken Enchiladas Rojas (Red pasilla sauce, Cotija cheese, slaw), while I opted for the Mahi Mahi Veracruz (Garlic, tomato, onion, olives, capers, avocado, and cilantro rice). Please hear me, this was the best enchiladas ever! And…this was the best fish entrée I have ever had! Anywhere! Wow! This was good!
Schramsberg Wine Dinner at BLT Steakhouse
As it so happened, the resort was hosting a wine-parring dinner, with Napa Valley’s Schramsberg Winery, and we were invited to come share the night’s festivities. YEAH!
I would guess that there were 100 people present, and we enjoyed quite the gastronomical delight. Check out these courses:
- First Course – San Francisco Bay Dungeness Crab with compressed melon, cucumber, avocado, yuzu, and mint parred with Schramsberg, Blanc de Blancs, North Coast 2006. This dish was amazing. The sparkling wine was nice.
- Second Course – Grilled House Made Maple Pepper Bacon with donut peach, summer onion marmalade parred with Schramsberg, Blanc de Noirs, North Coast, 2006. I don’t know? It was a piece of bacon. It was good, and I am certain that it was the finest of bacon, but it was a piece of bacon. The sparkling wine on the other hand was gooood!
- Third Course – Pan Seared Halibut Cheek with local heirloom tomato, consomme, tomato chips and rocket arugula parred with Schramsberg, “J Schram”, Brut Rose, California, 1998. Now this, ladies and gentlemen, was a great dish of fish, coupled with an outstanding glass of bubbly! Hugh Davis, the second-generation wine maker from Schramsberg, explained that these sparkling wines were brought to China by Richard Nixon, and have been a staple at White House functions.
- Fourth Course – Painted Hills Farms BBQ Short Rib with cranberry bean succotash, sweet corn puree, and pedron chile parred with J. Davies, Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain, 2206. MMMM! Both were excellent.
- Fifth Course – Mascarpone Cheesecake with strawberry essence, wild strawberries, and chocolate parred with Schramsberg, Cremant, Demi-Sec, North Coast, 2005. Holy sweet wonderfulness Batman!
To end our evening, our wine maker ushered us all outdoors where he popped the cork of a bottle of Cremant with his trusty Schramsberg sword. Everyone opens their Cremant that way. Right?
Note: click the photograph to see a much larger version, and subsequently the cork exploding its way across the garden.
What a delightful evening! Great food, and new friends.
As we were enjoying the special fare of the wine dinner, everyone was telling us what a wonderful restaurant BLT Steakhouse was. Therefore, after we checked out of the resort, and had made our way back to N. Scottsdale, we decided to make reservations at BLT Steakhouse, that very night, and return to Camelback Inn for dinner.
After getting comfortable, back at BLT Steakhouse, we ordered a beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley and enjoyed a complimentary taste of liver paté on toast as we studied our menus.
As we had spent the last two nights eating rich foods, we decided that we were going to split a dinner this evening. Besides, we knew that we were about to be presented with the BLT Steakhouse’s famous popovers, and we just couldn’t contemplate a third successive evening of gorged bellies.
After many oohs and aashs over our popovers, we shared an order of Fava Bean Succotash, and then shared a 15 oz. bone-in USDA Prime Black Angus Filet which was broiled at 1700 degrees and finished with a dob of herb butter. Wow! Now that was a steak.
Let me just say that whether you are staying at the Camelback Inn, or a resident of the Greater Phoenix Area, this resort has some scrumptious cuisine simply waiting for your arrival.
Hat’s off to the Camelback Inn, and all the chefs.
Thank you for joining Hugh Davies at BLT Steakhouse. I'm glad you had a good time. Great photo – it's tough to capture the cork in mid-air. Cheers! Matt Levy – PR Manager, Schramsberg Vineyards
Thanks Matt! I got lucky with the flying cork.
Rita's Kitchen sounds great!!!!