Eating at a hotel cafe is a dicey venture. Sometimes the restaurant’s food is delicious, using fresh produce, interesting cooking techniques, and accompanied by good service. Often, it is serviceable at best with standard dishes, industrial produce, and indifferent service.
So imagine my surprise when I walked into LV Bistro at the Scottsdale Princess and was greeted by not one but two servers who were genuinely happy to be of service. Not that fake corporate-plasters-this-smile-on-my-face attitude, but a genuinely kind attitude. Drinks were brought quickly, orders were taken promptly, and we could not have been treated any more like family if we were at my parents’ house.
The bistro , serving as the breakfast, lunch, and dinner cafe at the expansive resort is casual and sunny, with soaring high ceilings and a casual Southwestern flair. Overlooking the pool and the dramatic Arizona mountainside, the cafe is undeniably casual – feel free to come here in a cover up and flip flops.
This is not my favorite iteration of the dish, mainly because it is so sweet. The balsamic is reduced to a sticky, fruity syrup that is all too similar to the mild avocado oil and the burrata that is creamy to a fault. The cheese has no edge, no salty or firm component. It is all soft interior and no smooth exterior. The tomatoes, on the other hand, are excellent. Sweet, acidic, firm, and ripe with Arizona sunlight. I already mourn the tomatoes of the summer that I won’t see for another year on the East Coast, but here in AZ, the tomatoes are still ripe and juicy. This salad would have benefited greatly from some more salt or some bitter arugula. My sister, however loved the dish, and she is a major sweets fiend. If that is you, you might love this dish, too.
THIS is what I’m talking about – some honest-to-goodness Southwestern style grub. Fresh spinach and hunks of artichokes blended in a cream cheese based dip, flecked with charred bits of smoky, gently spicy peppers. The lemon served alongside is inspired – it gives the dish a bright, fresh side that isn’t normally part of it.
If you visit Arizona, do yourself a favor and order at least one margarita at every meal. They do them right here. Get it with smooth silver tequila, fresh lime juice, and a splash of sugar syrup and you can’t go wrong. This version is tart, refreshing,a nd boozy enough to relax you but not so strong that you can’t stand up after drinking one.
This is a really great hotel restaurant. While it isn’t worth seeking out if you aren’t at the resort, it is a reasonably priced option with well made food and a fantastic staff. Go for a light snack or a whole meal, order a margarita, and you won’t be disappointed.