healthy food. recipes. reviews.
Reservations: Yes. 602-955-8100
Where: 3213 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018
We (R and I) are usually wary about fine dining restaurants. They often come with a lot of glitz and glam and about average food. So, when we decided to go try out Tarbell’s we had our expectations high but also knew that they shouldn’t be too high. But, I must say, we both were wonderfully pleased.
After seeing Mark Tarbell on Iron Chef, this restaurant had been on our minds and finally last week, after we had a couple good things to celebrate, we went there for dinner on Saturday night. We made a reservation the same day and when we got there we were immediately taken to our tables. Being an artist myself, the first thing I noticed when we entered were the beautiful and big paintings on the walls…. gave the place a nice feel. The ambiance was nice, but a little crowded. The only reason I give this place a 9.5 and not a 10, is because of the placement of the tables. For a fine dining restaurant, the place could have fewer tables which wouldn’t make it feel so packed.
When I made my reservation they asked if we had any special requests and I did mention that I’m a vegetarian. And sure enough, our server knew before hand and he gave me all the vegetarian options they had. I thought that was really a nice indication of good service.
To start with, R ordered the Frisee salad and I got the Cucumber-Grape soup. And they were both delicious. Initially, when our server described the soup to me, I thought that was an odd combination, but when I had it I thought it couldn’t have been better. It had a real zesty kick to it and I thought that was a great cooling soup for hot hot Phoenix. The salad got better as R discovered new tastes as he worked his way to clean off the plate.
For entrees, R had the pepper steak and with every bite he took, he’d close his eyes and relish the juiciness. He said that that was the best steak he had ever had and every time he closed his eyes, he was trying to memorize the taste. He also said that although every bite was great, every now and then, there was a “Wow! that’s awesome” that slipped out. I was pretty much in the same boat with my Chef’s created Vegetable plate of the day. It was a pasta with spinach, peas and mushrooms. With all ingredients being organic, I could definitely taste the freshness and the firmness in the mushrooms and was more than happy to have every last bit on my plate.
To finish off, R had an espresso that was served with raw sugar and I was delighted to see that. I’m all for raw brown sugar as compared to it’s white ultra-processed descendant. We shared our warm chocolate cake served with pistachio icecream. I must admit, the icecream was very different, nothing like I’ve had before and was delicious. The cake was warm and perfect and the dark chocolate sauce on top was to die for.
The presentation was overall very pleasing to the eye, clean and spotless. The service was great. All the wait staff were very efficient and friendly. Even though the place was crowded, we weren’t rushed at all. I’d highly recommend trying this restaurant out. While on the pricey side, I thought it was well worth it.