Orange Sky at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale serves up class from the time you enter the restaurant, all the way to the dessert course. Guests board an elevator and are whisked to the 15th floor, where city and mountain views greet diners. The hostess escorted us down a long corridor, past private rooms that looked ready to host lively dinner parties, to our table, which was the definition of elegance. A high-backed couch separated us from the hallway, adding a feeling of privacy.
Our, not one, but two servers made us feel as if we were the only four people in the restaurant. For appetizers, we feasted on the roasted local beet salad and the overflowing antipasti plate. The rich color of the roasted beet salad, complete with black mesa ranch goat cheese, truffle oil, white balsamic and local greens, mirrored the rich flavor of the beets, but it was still sweet and light enough to be a perfect summer treat. The antipasti plate was as packed as possible with duck confit, prosciutto, eggplant caponata and grilled ciabata bread. It could have fed an entire table of hungry diners.
As soon as dinner was served, we could not wait to indulge in the rich spread. The shrimp and scallop steaks, wrapped in jalapeno bacon, lived up to their names. There was nothing small about either. The twin tournedos of char-grilled filet of beef were as appetizing as they looked. The walnut-shallot crusted, roasted half rack of lamb was the favorite. The juiciness of the lamb next to the sweetness of the crust made me, previously a lamb neophyte, a convert.
If the lamb was the star of the evening, the sides comprised a formidable supporting cast. The bowl of smoked, cheddar-whipped Yukon potatoes was an airy, golden masterpiece. The roasted sweet carrots tasted as amazing as their deep orange color looked on the plate. As we continued our trip around the culinary color wheel, we sampled the steamed asparagus. Its crunch made a wonderful contrast to the softer textures of the potatoes and the carrots.
As dessert approached I didn’t know if I could go the distance. But then our server showed us the selection and we ordered three. After a rich meal of lamb, beef, carrots and whipped potatoes, nothing tastes as refreshing as the warm, lemon semolina cake with raspberries and blueberries. If you’re a chocolate lover, you will find nirvana in the chocolate mousse, layered with an orange liqueur-soaked cake and ganache on a thin chocolate cookie.
As we finished our desserts, we watched the sun set over the Camelback Mountains and cast an orangey-red glow over the Valley. We made our way onto the patio just as the orange sky gave way to city lights. Like our secluded table, the patio and the large dining room also offer panoramic views, but with a more vibrant, animated atmosphere. The fantastic views, the cuisine and the elegant ambience will keep you coming back to Orange Sky.
If You Go:
9800 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale