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An Unforgettable Creekside Lunch at L’Auberge de Sedona

Posted on: June 16th, 2011 by Amy Martin No Comments

Last weekend, Taryn and I embarked on our first #Bitecation and travelled up to Sedona for some (hopefully) delicious eats and one particular meal stands out above all the rest. While we visited the red rock city, we enjoyed an afternoon lunch at L’Auberge on Oak Creek and our experience there easily made the top of our list.

L’Auberge is located right in the heart of Sedona near much of the city’s shops (we were thankful for that fact as it made the resort incredibly easy to find). However, as soon as we stepped foot on the property, we immediately felt as if we had been transported out of the touristic city as there is such a feeling of peace here. The resort is absolutely gorgeous and serene. As soon as we were seated at our creek-side table for lunch, we were completely in awe. Our view at our table was so beautiful and romantic, that L’Auberge makes it dangerously easy to fall in love, perhaps even with the stranger sitting at the table next to you. Take your husband, wife or significant other on a weekend trip up to L’Auberge and you won’t regret it! The setting was so relaxing; we just wanted to sit quietly and never leave.

Our table view

Being our first visit to L’Auberge, we really didn’t know the greatness we were in for. I had been privileged enough to “meet” Executive Chef David Schmidt through Twitter a couple of months prior, but never in person – all which added to the excitement of our visit. Needless to say, our entire afternoon experience, from beginning to end, was completely flawless.

We were greeted by Frank Ashley, the Assistant Restaurant Manager, Todd Brinkman, the restaurant’s General Manager & Wine Director and Executive Chef David Schmidt and instantly, we felt welcomed. The team visited our table several times throughout our lunch as well as the other patrons dining that afternoon. We really caught the impression that every guest is important here as they seem to take great care in creating an unforgettable experience for everyone.

Lulzim took care of us the entire afternoon and was an absolute delight. He offered his recommendations of the menu and though we were so tempted to take him up on it, Taryn and I decided to let Chef choose our entrees for afternoon.

Only seconds had passed and Lulzim brought us out a fantastic, creamy Kalamata olive dip – L’Auberge’s “bread and butter” offering. We dove into the dip too quickly to get a great photo, but it was such a beautiful color, pale purple, and was absolutely incredible.

We each enjoyed a glass of Arizona Stronghold Vineyard’s Tazi before our appetizer (always great to see Arizona wines being poured!). Then the appetizer came: Lemon-Garlic Hummus with House-made Grilled Flatbread, and Ratatouille.

Lemon-Garlic Hummus

Ratatouille

House-made Grilled Flatbread

Incredible. Not much more needs to be said about the hummus, though of course, I am going to say more! It was one of those appetizers you just can’t stop eating – so delicious, I almost (almost) wanted to call off the entrees and say ‘Bring me more hummus!’ Give me a creekside seat at L’Auberge and a few dishes of their lemon-garlic hummus, and I will be a happy girl any day.

Soon, Frank stopped by our table again to present a white wine pairing for our entrees (Chef’s choice): a vibrant 2008 Molnar Family Poseidon’s Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay from Napa Valley. Quickly after, two entrees arrived for us to share:

Red Wine Braised Short Rib Sliders with a lovely golden beet salad and a Chicken Salad Sandwich served alongside a fragrant cantaloupe salad (we were informed that this beauty was product of Seacat Gardens and the first pick of the season.).

Red Wine Braised Short Rib Sliders

Golden Beet Salad

Maybe it was because the short rib sliders were placed on my side of the table or the fact that I’m a red meat girl, but I claimed them immediately and holy wow, they were amazing! The short rib, with watercress and caramelized onions, was very rich in flavor and completely satisfied my meat craving – I might have even let out a ridiculous sigh after my first bite – so delicious! The golden beet salad completely held its own – Taryn and I even fought over it a bit.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Gorgeous Cantaloupe Salad

Taryn seemed to favor the chicken salad sandwich that was served on a sweet, light croissant. The gorgeous cantaloupe salad alongside the sandwich was another huge hit at the table. Freshness at its finest!

At some point, Truffle-scented Fries appeared at the table. Just looking at these will make your mouth water:

Truffle-scented Fries

Hands down, they were the best truffle fries I have had to date. The. Best.

After an incredulous amount of food, the raving didn’t stop there. Chef David sent out a plate of delicately fried Squash Blossoms that also now hold a special place on my “best I’ve ever had” list. I’ve had many Chefs fried squash blossoms, but somehow none of them compare to these. Perfection.

Squash Blossoms

The squash blossoms were stuffed generously with goat cheese from Fossil Creek Creamery in Strawberry, Arizona, and served with a housemade buttermilk herbed dressing – fabulous.

Of course, we had dessert (who wouldn’t?). Chef David brought out two plates, both exquisite. I went for the chocolate: a Chocolate Panna Cotta with a plump, homemade marshmallow – Chef David’s version of peanut butter s’mores.

Chocolate Panna Cotta

I’ve never had peanut butter s’mores as delicious as this, so Chef David is welcome to make them for me any day!

Taryn was presented another equally beautiful dessert: his Deconstructed Whipped Strawberry Cheesecake. I was too busy devouring my own plate to sneak a bite, but from her comments it was incredible.

Deconstructed Whipped Strawberry Cheesecake

After the meal, Todd came by convincing us to preview one of their upcoming cask-aged cocktails that will be made available soon once they’ve finished aging. Cask-aged cocktails have gained increasing popularity in New York, but L’Auberge is one of the only properties in Arizona to offer this new and exciting trend. Just another reason to take a trip up to Sedona soon! We sipped on a beautifully fragrant Orange Rum Cocktail made with Pyrat XO Dark Rum and Citronage Orange Liquor. It’s not quite ready yet, though I’m not sure it can get more delicious than it was. Don’t miss out on this one!

All in all, I cannot find a single flaw with L’Auberge, Chef David or the staff. My only regret is that we didn’t stay for dinner, but I can assure you that that will be remedied soon! Chef David is absolutely charming, so personable and down to earth – his passion really showed on our plates.

Next time you need a break from the harsh Phoenix heat or just have the itch to get out of town, head up to L’Auberge for an unforgettable experience. Dine creekside, hang by one of the new firepits on property, cuddle up to your special someone, and stay for a night or two.

To learn more about L’Auberge de Sedona and its restaurant, visit lauberge.com.

L’Auberge | 301 L’Auberge Lane | Sedona, AZ | 86336 | 928-282-1661

*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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