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The Restaurants of the Westin Kierland Resort

Posted on: November 9th, 2010 by Amy Martin No Comments

The Westin Kierland Resort was designed to celebrate Arizona’s rich history and diverse culture. Many of the architectural elements you’ll find at the resort represent a unique part of Arizona. From the structure of the tiered lobby (resembling the Grand Canyon), to the marble whirled throughout the entry-way (illustrating the Colorado River), you will discover unrivaled components at the resort, all in honor of our home state.

Recently, I was given a tour of the resort grounds and introduced to the 8 different restaurants/dining experiences on site. I really had no idea how much is offered here… or how breathtakingly beautiful the resort is.

Amenities include:

  • A full-service spa, the Agave Spa, known for their rain massage.
  • 27-hole championship golf course.
  • 9,000 square-foot water park with a lazy river and water slide.
  • Tennis facilities.
  • Award-winning Family FUN Program (this is especially neat – it’s like having a cruise director on land!)
  • Scottish Pipes at Sunset (Bagpiper Michael McClanathan plays every evening on the greens from 5:30pm-6:30pm).
  • Self-guided walking history tour.


The resort also offers two cocktail classes each week:

Muddle Mania is held at deseo’s Muddle Bar every Wednesday from 5:00-5:30pm. You’ll learn the art of “Muddle Drink Making” and leave with a new skill to impress your friends or even find a new favorite cocktail.

Westin Kierland Resort: Melon Muddler

Melon Muddler

Enjoy “Saturday Night Scotch Tastings” at the Library at the Rim Lobby Bar. David Kent, beverage manager for the Resort, describes a little bit about what you may learn during the tasting, “During the presentation, I try to focus on what the group wants to walk away with. We very rarely get into fermentation or how it’s distilled. We usually concentrate on the various Scotch regions and what effect that has on their profiles. When a guest attends, they have the basic knowledge of what a single malt is versus a blended malt”. The tastings cost $35 and can include a hand-rolled cigar. Reservations are recommended, as the group fills up quickly.

Eight restaurants make up the resort’s dining experience including:

  • deseo (open for dinner from 6pm-10pm)

deseo – meaning ‘desire’ in Spanish – offers a passionate and lively dining experience like no other in Arizona. New creates from the innovative talent of James Beard award-winning, Chef Douglas Rodriguez, and Chef Roberto Madrid have been added to deseo’s existing menu for the fall season. Guests will enjoy new ceviche dishes include the Belizean shrimp ceviche, served with a plantain tostada and lemon-lime juice, and the ahi tuna tiradito served over king crab with a panca pepper paint, as well as other exciting dishes.

Westin Kierland Resort: Deseo's Foyer

Deseo’s Foyer

  • Nellie Cashman’s (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a breakfast buffet everyday)

Nellie Cashman’s is named for “The Angel of the Mining Camp” and Arizona’s oldest club for women, and offers casual dining for all meals of the day. With an emphasis on locally-grown produce and indigenous recipes, Chef Jason Christie’s menu carries Southwestern-Mediterranean flair. They have recently added menu items containing SuperFoods. SuperFoods are known for being healthy and rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients.

A great spot for a casual lunch or early dinner, you’ll find a diverse menu that ranges from light appetizers and salads to more substantial fare, including “Full Scottish” Breakfast Sandwich and Mac & Cheese with a twist. Located in the Kierland Golf Club, Brittlebush offers patio seating with sweeping mountain and golf views, as well as private dining room for meetings and special occasions.

Waltz & Weiser is named after two prospectors in the mining days of Arizona, Jacob Waltz and Jacob Weiser, enjoy fine tequilas and whiskeys and a selection of tacos from their authentic taco bar.

*The Westin Kierland Resort is proud to announce that there are no trans fats in any of their restaurant items.
I was lucky enough to have dinner at Waltz & Weiser during my visit. We sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather with the pleasant sound of bagpipes in the background.

Westin Kierland Resort: Bagpiper Michael McClanathan playing on the green

Bagpiper Michael McClanathan playing on the green

We started the dinner off with a quick whiskey tasting with bartender, Greg Grantham. He brought out three shots of whiskey: Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Four Roses. He explained the differences in Tennessee and Kentucky whiskeys (I MUCH prefer the Kentucky) and gave us a few tips along the way… those tips I will not reveal here because you must visit yourself!

The meal:

Green Chili Con Queso ($9)

Their Green Chili Con Queso is made with roasted poblano peppers and served with warm tortilla chips. One of the best quesos I’ve had… I will admit.

Westin Kierland Resort: Green Chili Con Queso

Green Chili Con Queso

Green Chili Pork Carnitas Soft Tacos ($12)

The soft tacos are available in Green Chili Pork Carnitas (showed below), Ancho Chili-Rubbed Beef or Adobo Shrimp. They are served three to an order with Roasted Tomato Salsa, Poblano Salsa, Vegetable Escabeche, Radish, Shaved Cabbage and Lime Wedges. Absolutely delicious and delicate. One step above those street tacos we all know and love.

Westin Kierland Resort: Green Chili Pork Carnitas

Green Chili Pork Carnitas

Tamales ($15)

Tres Tamales (Green Chili Pork, Red Chili Beef and Chicken Mole). I’m not necessarily a huge fan of tamales, but these were very tasty… a definite re-order on my next visit.

Westin Kierland Resort: Duck Confit Tostadas and Tamales

Duck Confit Tostadas and Tamales

Duck Confit Tostadas ($11)
The Duck Confit Tostadas are served with Pipian Sauce, Shaved Cabbage and Toasted Pepitas. These were my absolute favorite of the evening. Thick slices of tender, juicy duck on soft tostadas… yum. A must try for anyone headed out to Kierland resort (I might even make a special visit!).

Chipotle-Whiskey BBQ Buffalo Wings ($12)
We ordered the hottest chipotle-whiskey buffalo wings offered. The heat factor wasn’t as hot as I could have hoped for, but they were not any less delicious because of it. Slightly spicy and slightly sweet. The chayote slaw served with these wings is especially delicious and a nice accompaniment for the appetizer.

Westin Kierland Resort: Chipotle-Whiskey BBQ Buffalo Wings

Chipotle-Whiskey BBQ Buffalo Wings

I would highly recommend a dinner out at Waltz & Weiser (get a table outside and enjoy the view of the greens)… be sure to try a few of the whiskeys too!

To learn more about the Westin Kierland Resort or any of its restaurants, visit kierlandresort.com

*This meal was provided to us complimentary as a part of a media invitation. However, this has no effect on our opinions and comments regarding our experience. View our Disclosure Policy for further explanation.

About the Author - Amy Martin

Author of Her Plate, Amy's love of food, cooking and all things culinary keeps her endlessly plotting what her next meal will be. Her pastimes include creating in (i.e. demolishing) her own kitchen and baking far more sweets than her tiny family could ever eat.

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