The Hotel Valley Ho has been a valley institution for years. This beautiful spot located steps from Downtown Scottsdale has managed to effortlessly combine modern luxury with vintage styling. Stepping in to the lobby is a breath of fresh air for us Arizona locals. Why? Because the authenticity and essence are exciting yet modest, bold yet refined. Basically this place is like a great bottle of wine that seems to get better with time.
ZuZu sits at the epicenter of this iconic valley hot stop. With executive chef Russell Lacasce at the helm, an experience of culinary magnificence awaits you once you sit to dine.
I started my most recent experience at ZuZu with a delightful cocktail and full appetite. The Bourbon Splash was my choice and set the tone for the evening with a mixture of bourbon, fresh lemon juice, and mint. My guest also enjoyed the colorful and brightly flavored Blackberry Mule with vodka, ginger beer, fresh lime juice, and blackberry. For an appetizer, we enjoyed Chef Russell’s generous portion of crispy pork belly with creamy corn polenta, marinated vegetables, and chimichurri. Not only was the dish perfectly cooked, but the pork itself was the ideal ratio of lean to fatty, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Chef also delighted our senses with a special sneak peek of some new flavors, including a brussel sprout dish with bacon, cream, and topped with a fried egg. If this is a preview in to menu changes to come, we can’t wait to see what delectable, addictive dishes are next!
For entrees, we went with the Southwest Beef Tips with mashed potatoes, fried egg, sour cream, crispy onions and salsa verde, served with a flour tortilla as well as the Pan Seared Scallops with farro, pine nuts, orange braised fennel, local farm greens and citrus butter sauce. Not only was the presentation immaculate and chic, but the flavors unfolded bite after bite after bite as we enjoyed our meal. The beef tips were tender and robust with flavors and the scallops were perfectly seared and incredibly fresh.
Make sure you try the special desserts – so ask your server! And if you want to get as lucky as we did that night, check ahead to see when there is live music. Having the addition of live acoustic music was a symmetric accompaniment to this retro-chic evening at a delicious local iconic restaurant and hotel.