I love getting presents, especially from someone who has put so much thought into it. I know you do, too. And that’s how I felt when I visited the brand new ”Gertrude’s.”
My husband and I had the honor of being the first to sit at the Chef’s table, and fortunately for us, it was for dinner (first service at the restaurant as well). We were celebrating our wedding anniversary. Even though we were enjoying a special occasion, I’m confident that the entire staff treats every party as if there were a big celebration.
One of the first things that you will notice about this incredible staff is that they love what they do. This also is evident in their final product.
Our first course was the Bison Carpaccio. I have only tried bison a handful of times, but this dish is pretty noteworthy. The taste reminds me of an Armenian cured meat called “Basturma.” The thinness of the meat was perfect, and I could tell it was cut with care. The Chèvre created a smooth mouth-feel and made way for more of the juniper and pickled red onion. This course is packed with flavor.
The second course is simply called “Pasta.” It is an appetizer of braised Brown’s Apple Orchard lamb, neatly constructed into ravioli, and surrounded by white beans that were braised in duck fat for three hours. That’s right – duck fat. While I typically don’t care much for ground lamb, I enjoyed this appetizer, especially the beans.
To off-set the heaviness of the lamb and duck fat, our next course was a salad called “Whole Grain.” This, my friends, is what us health freaks call “winning!” This salad is made up of red, black, and white quinoa, cucumbers, herb salad from the Desert Botanical Garden, Cuitlacoche, and lemon. This is not only about vitamins and minerals but protein. The original dish has almonds, so be sure to ask for them without them if you are allergic.
The next course, in the words of Rihanna, “shined bright like a diamond.” The Diver Scallop contains perfectly seasoned and seared scallops surrounded by a tasty kabocha squash, walnut Agro-Dolce (not pictured due to my food allergy), and deep-fried sage. I rarely have the opportunity to try kabocha squash while dining out, but I found that it has a ‘comfort food effect’ on me. The smooth, soft texture of the squash was flawlessly contrasted by the roughly chopped fried sage.
I have one word for the fifth course: intoxicating. I have a love for prosicutto, and this – this was smoked duck prosiccuto. Burrata + Orange consisted of the duck prosicutto served with cream stuffed mozzarella, blood orange sec, basil, and olive oil. The brightness of the basil and blood orange marries well with the smokiness of the duck and creaminess of the cheese.
After all of this flavor, my tastebuds were tickled and happy, but there was more to explore. Brussels + Breakfast – one of Chef Stephen’s favorite dishes – has it all. A farm-fresh egg served on a house brioche with applewood bacon, onion jam, banyuls, and of course, the Brussels. If you don’t like to eat your greens, trust me on this one, you’ll want to eat your greens.
Just before the sweets arrived, we were offered a cheese plate. My favorite components were the pickled grapes and the “Barely Buzzed” cheese. I’m not making this up – the cheese was barely buzzed, and it was delicious. It has an undertone of espresso and lavender. Truly, once they said “espresso,” I was sold.
Then, it was time for the finale. Their amazing pastry chef prepared what she called, “I Love You Like Chocolate.” How could anyone say no to chocolate made with love? This was an amazing end to a fantastic meal.
My husband, Mike, and I were extremely pleased by the meal, the service, and impressed at how smoothly the team worked together. Chef Stephen put together an amazing team and a fantastic menu. He is personable and considerate, and I feel completely comfortable dining at this restaurant despite my food allergies.
Be sure to pay Gertrude’s a visit. I’m confident that you’ll quickly find a new favorite dish. I can’t forget about the amazing wines they offer, along with this noteworthy iPhone Wine App – WineQuest. Gertrude’s is one of three restaurants in Arizona that have this incredibly helpful technology. Download the app today and take the quiz to quickly discover wines that fit your palate. It will also tell you which wines at Gertrude’s that you will love, based on percentages. We had this awesome wine that paired perfectly with our meal, but now I know what other brands I can explore within Gertrude’s supply and beyond.
Meet you at Gertrude’s!
Located inside the Desert Botanical Garden.
1201 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008