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THE 19TH HOLE By Carey Sweet


Whether it’s in Tonto Verde Golf Club’s spacious Mesquite Bar & Grill (above) or out on the club’s panoramic balcony (right), there’s nothing quite like a peach salad


DINING FOR ALL SEASONS


TONTO VERDE’S MESQUITE BAR & GRILL SOARS AND SCORES UNDER WORLDLY CHEF CHRIS FALCONER


M


uch of Mesquite Bar & Grill’s menu changes with


the calendar, but some standards never change. One of the pleasures of dining at a good restaurant is that the chef usually follows the seasons. New seasons mean new ingredients, which inspire new recipes and new dishes for us to look forward to. So it was bittersweet when


the summer/fall menu ended at Mesquite Bar & Grill and the peach salad went away. It was an exquisite creation for something so simple: a circle of firm yet juicy orchard- fresh peach slices, crowned with peppery spinach leaves, curls of lovely salty pancetta, shaved almonds and fennel, creamy clumps


of goat cheese and a slick of tart cider vinaigrette ($9). Yet the arrival of winter


months meant something new to enjoy: the Verde salad, in a satisfying chop of hot-smoked chilled salmon, Asiago, tomato, pepitas, black currants, dehydrated corn and barley dashed in robust apple- mustard vinaigrette ($15). For this eatery at Tonto


Verde Golf Club in the Rio Verde community northeast of Scottsdale, executive chef Chris Falconer draws from his background in fine dining and looks to the calendar for what’s best in the larder. While core favorites remain (I can look forward to a classic, buttery grilled pastrami Reuben on my next visit, the meat sliced paper thin and draped in melted Swiss, Russian dressing


18 | AZ GOLF Insider | PREVIEW 2016


and house-made sauerkraut on grilled marble rye, $14), Falconer offers a full page of seasonal dishes, plus nightly and weekend specials. Some standouts in the specials include Tuesday’s prime rib with self-serve potato bar, veggies and rice pilaf ($26 for 9 ounces; $29 for 12 ounces), or a monster platter Surf ‘n’ Turf of a 6-ounce filet mignon, a 7-ounce steamed cold-water lobster tail presented butter- basted in-shell, a loaded potato and daily vegetables. Falconer ages and hand- butchers the beef in-house,


seasons it with kosher salt, roasted black pepper and spices, then broils it at 1,100 degrees, and finishes it with a generous slather of butter kissed with roasted garlic and fresh herbs. All together, the platter is an eye-rubbing bargain at market price – mine was $36. Such a nimble way of


cooking reflects what the chef learned while growing up in northern California’s wine country, working in Switzerland and under such talent as celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s Restaurant in Hawaii.


www.azgolf.org


COURTESY TONTO VERDE GOLF CLUB


CAREY SWEET


COURTESY TONTO VERDE GOLF CLUB


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