The Spotted Donkey Cantina II – Scottsdale, Arizona
Spotted Donkey Cantina II ~ Scottsdale, Arizona – We were recently invited to the media unveiling of the Spotted Donkey Cantina II located in The Village at Hayden in East Scottsdale.
The inspired menu embraces Arizona’s southwestern influences such as the popular Arizona Mac ‘n Cheese made with Mexican Cheeses and Hatch Green Chilies. It also strikes a balance between hearty cantina fare and fine dining – part Chimichanga part Tequila Veracruz Pan Seared Alaskan Cod. But it unfailingly presents a modern vision of classic “Cantina-style” dishes. For example, Spotted Donkey’s menu features Nachos with Drunken Black Beans, Pulled Pork and Serrano Chile, a Grilled Calabacita Quesadilla with Portabella Mushroom, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Zucchini. Hall explains, “Our food is more refined with different textures for the sophisticated palate. It’s a culinary blending of many cultures – Mexican, New Mexico, Southwestern and even Native American cultures of the old Spanish and the ancient Indians—Aztecs, Incas and Maya. It’s a cross culture that even integrates some French cooking principals.”
Different from “gringo-style” Mexican entrées where plates are plopped with rice, beans and covered with cheese, the Spotted Donkey Cantina II presents plates where each tasty item is distinctive and separated. The cutting-edge design of the plates and bowls are beautiful presentations that enhance the delectable eats. And, there are no refried beans in sight.
Spotted Donkey is a place you would feel comfortable coming for a quick drink, a light snack, to watch a game, meet friends, enjoy a special date night or, just to eat nachos with the kids. It’s a contemporary spin on the décor and reinterpretation of Mexican cuisine with a little more sophistication. The overall aspirations for the restaurant were simple and straightforward—to create a comfortable, neighborhood restaurant with great food and a welcoming atmosphere.
“It is a place you can wear your designer labels or a comfortable pair of jeans and enjoy the experience.”
Cliff Skoglund and Robert Hall (creators of the concept) and partner Michele Rudolph have expanded the modern take on the Southwestern/Mexican cantina, and in this new space they have significantly more room to play than in their first location in N. Scottsdale’s el Pedregal.
Carol and I first happened across Cliff Skoglund in his fabulously successful Geronimo restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico when we were “eating our way across America” during our 2006 relocation from Michigan to Arizona.
Furthermore, when he opened his first Spotted Donkey Cantina here in N. Scottsdale we immediately popped over to try his cuisine and have been raving fans ever since.
Spotted Donkey Cantina II is located at 8220 North Hayden Road in Scottsdale, AZ 85258. The restaurant is open daily for lunch from 11:00 am – 4:30 p.m and dinner from 4:30 to 10:00pm.
Happy Hour is from 3:00-6:00pm Monday-Friday. Brunch is served 11:00 am-3:00 pm Saturday and Sundays. For more information call 480-922-1400 or visit the website at www.spotteddonkeycantina.com.
We highly recommend that you give them a try. We promise that this will be a favorite of yours for many years to come.