Experience Chef Jeremy Pacheco’s Tasting Menu at LON’s
When we received an invitation to visit LON’s at The Hermosa Inn just a couple weeks ago, we were amazed by the history surrounding this beautifully unique boutique hotel. Immediately, we knew this would be an excellent feature for February with Valentine’s Day right around the corner. The Hermosa Inn is really the ultimate spot for a romantic stay-cation or even just a great spot to enjoy a lovely meal with girlfriends.
We got a peek at one of the Grande Casitas (the bathroom is fabulous!) and a short tour of the grounds – it is such a lovely property.
We were invited to dine outside on the patio and were seated near the fireplace at an elegantly set table. We opted for the Chef’s Tasting Menu and enjoyed a series of courses prepared especially for us and presented by Executive Chef Jeremy Pacheco. He spoke with us before dinner, asking what we like and what we don’t like, just as he does with regular guests who select the Tasting Menu.
Chef Jeremy was such a delight all evening. We really got to know two of the staff members while we dined, Brett and Misael, who really went above and beyond to make sure we enjoyed our evening. Brett mentioned that Chef Jeremy is always in the kitchen, working on the line and expediting each day. It is so apparent in his creations that this is his passion. The staff really seems to have so much respect for each other.
On to the food!
As we eagerly waited for the first course, Taryn sipped on one of their signature cocktails, the Desert Jewel, consisting of passion fruit puree, aperol, agave and orange vodka – an ultimate, girly, delicious drink.
Chef Jeremy presented and explained our first course (as he did for each of the following courses):
Salted Seared Ahi Tuna presented on top of a block of Himalayan Salt with pickled onion and cilantro, then finished with a ceviche sauce.
Kobe Beef Carpaccio with sunflower sprouts, wild arugula, fried capers and meyer lemon olive oil.
Hiramasa “Ceviche” with avocado puree, pickled vegetables and drizzled with a yuzu vinaigrette. This dish was our favorite of the first course – incredibly fresh and light, and very crisp.
Amy was served a 100% local salad of Heirloom baby lettuce from Bob McClendon on top of roasted, local beets, topped with grapefruit, blood orange, a drizzle of Queen Creek Olive Oil and then finished with Crow’s Dairy goat cheese vinaigrette. The salad was fantastically refreshing and the dressing indulgent. Chef described the dressing as a sort of spin on ranch dressing, and it certainly was reminiscent, only better.
Taryn was presented the Confit Campari Tomato Salad with fresh mozzarella (the only component that is not local) and balsamic caramel. Chef explained that the tomatoes had been cooked for 2 hours at 250 degrees, submerged in olive oil, oregano, thyme, basil oil, and shallots.
Truffle cream topped with an Alaskan spot prawn, friend in tempura batter.
Crisp Mediterranean Sea Bass
This dish is the Chef’s deconstructed Clam Chowder, consisting of fresh manila clams (called cockles), creamed leeks, baby fennel, bacon, crème fraiche, and topped with fingerling potato chips. Did you start drooling at ‘bacon’? We did too. LON’s makes their own in-house bacon and it was incredible. The entire dish is steamed in white wine and finished with butter.
This entrée was Amy’s absolute favorite of the night. Not a drop left on the plate. If you visit LON’s, you MUST try this!
Maple Leaf Roasted Duck Breast with Duck Confit Cannelloni on top of a blood orange mole sauce.
We were each served different desserts…
Amy’s was Mexican Tiramisu made with Kahlua and Mexican Tequila, served in a miniature coffee cup sculpted from dark chocolate. How adorable is this?! It gets better… it was so good, so decadent. Chef Jeremy could not have chosen a better dessert for her.
Taryn’s dessert was slightly more unique: Huckleberry Pie with huckleberry compote, ice water/vinegar gastrique and topped with silky crème fraiche ice cream – a fancified version of your usual ‘Pie & Ice Cream’. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
All in all, it was a truly beautiful evening. We really encourage you to visit LON’s (before summertime hits so you can get a seat on the patio!) if you haven’t already.
Visit LON’s website for menus, hours and event announcements: http://www.hermosainn.com/lons/
LON’s at The Hermosa Inn | 5532 North Palo Cristi Road| Paradise Valley, AZ | 602-955-7878
Written by Amy Martin with commentary by Taryn Jeffries, PhoenixBites Staff