Province Restaurant – It’s a quarter-past five and Downtown Phoenix’s streets are buzzing with briefcase-toting business professionals, most seeking a place to unwind. And with such an abundance of restaurants from which to choose, I wasn’t expecting a resort hotel’s Province Restaurant, to be the locale of choice for loosened ties, Manhattans and such a casual, relaxed atmosphere — for both hotel guests and business people.
Province, located on the first floor of the Freeport-McMoRan, is the Westin Phoenix Downtown’s on-site restaurant.
Walk through the maze-like corridor leading up to the restaurant doors, and you’ll quickly realize you’ve stumbled upon what seems to be a hip, yet upscale establishment, a hidden oasis within the downtown, concrete jungle.
Its décor exhibits that. With its spacious environment and floor-to-ceiling window boasting panoramic views of the outdoor patio, Province is splashed with color. The walls are a hot pink hue with bursts of vibrant greens, oranges and blues. Three bare tree branches descend, upside down, from the ceiling.
Province embraces natural elements to induce comfort and relaxation, much like the Westin Downtown Phoenix. It was evident in the cuisine as well.
This American restaurant features seasonal, local, farm-to-table cuisine; the dishes and cocktails created from all-natural and sustainable sources.
What was not immediately evident was the inspiration behind the dishes, South American and Spanish flavors — the dishes full of pleasantly spicy surprises that night. Our first bite-sized “snack” was the Crispy White Corn Croqueta, Latin-influenced with an ancho aioli sauce.
Shortly after came the three different salads we ordered, including an asparagus, Caesar and farms greens salad. The Foxy Farms Asparagus Salad was chosen as the table favorite with its spring onions and garlic, asparagus and croutons with a thick layer of fresh ricotta cheese spread atop, all swimming in a citrus dressing that surprisingly worked with the rest of the elements.
It was now on to the appetizers, which included the Pan Roasted Dungeness Crab Cake, dressed with a chipotle remoulade; the Chorizo and Manchego Roasted Flatbread; and the Melted Goat Cheese Fondue. The cheese, topped with oven-dried tomatoes and smoked onions, was so intriguingly light and whipped, we had to request a second round of herbed crisps.
Though we were stuffed by the sheer amount of food we already consumed, it was now time for the main courses, which included the Pan Seared Rare Hawaiian Tuna, the Mojo-Honey Glazed “Brick” Half Chicken, the Ten Hour BBQ’d Lamb and the
Grilled Beef Tenderloin.
The Ten Hour BBQ’d Lamb quickly became the table favorite. The lamb was moist and juicy, the roasted eggplant, chorizo and cornbread concoction beneath it sweet, complementing the smoky, peppery taste of the lamb.
However, the Grilled Beef Tenderloin was a close second — a medium-rare, juicy piece of meat through which we were able to easily glide our knives. It sat atop buttermilk, whipped potatoes, the meat topped with blue cheese toast.
Each dish had an apparent Spanish and Latin influence, some spicier than others — every dish save the desserts, of course. The sweet blueberry tartlet, topped with vanilla-bean ice cream and a vanilla-honey drizzle, was a perfect end to a momentous dinner.