Named for a variation of vibrantly-hued, hand-painted Mexican earthenware, Talavera presents an area-inspired selection of dishes from elite offerings of beef to the finest poultry and game options to a diverse assortment of seafood. You will be astonished by the breathtaking scopic landscape from Talavera’s second story perch overlooking the Sonoran Desert from the foothills of Pinnacle Peak as you indulge in elegance and comfort while Chef Mel Mecinas envelopes your senses with his culinary creativeness.
The entry to Talavera is craftily tucked away into a corner of the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. As you walk through the lounge past the Onyx Bar, a doorway bordered by heavy drapes on each side hints at what lies ahead. Once at the hostess podium, brightly-colored candle holders, hand-sewn rugs and dramatic candlelight welcome you into this oasis of incredible taste, culinary excellence and breathtaking scenery.
A creative blend of contemporary and classic characteristics are woven into the decor of the restaurant. The coloration includes the stunning hues of the Sonoran Desert in bloom, while the entire design was inspired by the southwest. Above, (counterclockwise from top left photo), a cushioned booth inside the establishment, brilliantly-colored art on a restaurant wall, free standing tables awaiting patrons and two views of a separate room for special wine tastings and reserved private occasions.
Speaking of wine, Talavera offers a compendious array of Australian wines. Ask your server to suggest one of these superior-flavored beverages to compliment your meal, and you’re sure to have the perfect evening feast. The photos above show a glass of one of the Australian wines I enjoyed before dinner, the signature La Pina Loca martini (with pineapple-infused tequila, mango and orange), the cover of the Onyx bar menu and the water that is served to each table with fresh cucumber, lemon and lime slices.
Above, the fresh-out-the-oven perfectly browned rolls served right in the cast iron skillet they were baked in with a little creamy butter. These were as delicious as they look in this photo. And their fresh-baked aroma was simply heavenly.
Executive Sous Chef Jesse Hansen was at the helm in the kitchen the evening we visited Talavera, and he most certainly did not disappoint. Below, we started our meal with the Foie Gras ‘PB&J’ ($16), which consisted of seared buttery foie gras joined by a generous portion of apricot jam and a pecan butter brioche “sandwich”. The combination of unexpected flavors were a real surprise, as my husband nor I had ever seen foie gras combined with such distinct tastes. But what a reward this was, as we enjoyed the flavors of “pecan butter and apricot jam” alongside the succulent foie gras more than we could have imagined.
Foie Gras ‘PB&J’
The preparation of the Iceberg Wedge Salad ($14) was a sight to behold. With avocado, lump crab meat, local organic vegetables, smoked bacon cubes and enormous chunks of blue cheese topped by crispy onion strings, who could want more in a salad? The presentation alone was awe-inspiring…
Iceberg Wedge Salad
For my main course, I chose the 8-ounce Hanger Steak ($26) with creamed onions and chimichurri. The chimichurri was not in the least bit spicy, which I appreciated. The creamed onions were full of flavor, while the scrumptious slices of tender beef were the highlight of my meal, cooked to perfection and bursting with savory goodness. Hands down, one of the best hanger steak preparations I’ve had in a long time. And I really loved the straight-from-the-oven presentation with this entree being served in the skillet it was cooked in!
8-Ounce Hanger Steak with Creamed Onions and Chimichurri
My husband’s selection was the Kurobata Pork Chop ($30) with caramelized peaches and a mouthwatering mustard sauce. Just the presentation of this offering alone could force a smile across any diner’s features! The juicy meat and pleasant non-spicy sauce created the perfect blend of zesty and sweet from the caramelized peaches and mustard base of the topping.
14-Ounce Kurobata Pork Chop with Caramelized Peaches and Mustard Sauce
We moved outside for dessert. I enjoyed another glass of wine and admired the unique and colorful candle holders that adorned each table. Below, the beautiful pastels and darker hues that make each of these special unto themselves. Outside, the candles glowed through the glass, creating a romantic and mystical feel.
Dessert-wise, I was leaning more toward the healthy side, while my husband was trying to persuade me toward the chocolate decadent side of the menu. So we did what anyone reviewing a terrific restaurant would do…we got both!
Fresh Seasonal Berries with Frozen Yogurt
Refreshing, healthy, sweet seasonal berries topped with a scoop of homemade frozen vanilla yogurt was just what I had in mind. No guilt here. That was until I took a bite of the sweet temptation my husband ordered…
Valrhona Chocolate Souffle with Vanilla Sauce
…okay, maybe I was opting for a healthy dessert, but once I took a bite of this ensanely self-indulgent souffle, I found myself finishing more than half of it! I had indeed been corrupted.
After finishing our meal, my husband had a couple of cups of coffee that were served to him in the above contemporary-style off-center saucer and cup compilation. Along with that, we were presented with additional sugary treats…peanut-dipped, chocolate-covered, cheesecake lollipops standing atop a horizontally-sliced chunk of laminated wood. Pretty creative presentation! And a pretty impressive dining experience altogether.
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Colorful decor inspired by the blooming Sonoran Desert, cozy seating options and an intimate interior and exterior perfect for a lovely evening.
- FOOD / DRINK: Savory wines, creative signature cocktails from the Onyx Bar and delectable and innovative creations from Chef Mecinas will leave you with a smile on your face and a delightful feeling in your soul.
- LOCATION: Talavera is located within the Four Seasons Resort (Scottsdale at Troon North) at 10600 East Crescent Moon Drive in Scottsdale, AZ 85263.
- HOURS: Dinner is available daily from 5:30PM – 9:30PM.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Delightful service and attentive staff.
- PRICE / VALUE: For what we were presented with…creatively-engineered culinary presentations with outstanding memorable flavor sensations…we were extremely satisfied with what we got for the money. Great value, terrific quality and a definite “must repeat” meal.
- CORKAGE FEE: No outside bottles of alcohol are allowed in the restaurant.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (480) 513-5085, Website: www.talaverarestaurant.com
- PARKING: Our vehicle was parked on property while we were staying at the resort. However, if you are visiting just for dinner, the hotel valet service can park your vehicle for you while you dine.
- TOTAL BILL: Our bill came to over $150, which included three cocktails, an appetizer, a salad, two entrees, two desserts and coffee.
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.