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Food, Glorious Food: Brittlebush and Deseo in Scottsdale

Every once in a while, I like to talk about a new restaurant I’ve found. Because restaurants are my thing. I haven’t seen most movies (don’t even ask me), I don’t want to skydive for fun, and don’t even start to talk to me about fishing, sewing, or metal detecting. No. For my hobby, I want to sit down in an aesthetically pleasing spot, put a napkin in my lap and be served something lovely. I seriously never guessed that would happen in a resort hotel. Because hotel food is usually, I don’t know, whatever. Not bad or anything, just not worth talking about. Now believe me I love and appreciate anyone who serves up a meal…It’s just, hotel food is often not all that wow.

But this time, I was wrong.

Here are two things you should know about:

Brittlebush

This meal/place/menu basically sums up my newly formed understanding of Scottsdale…a mixture of native Arizona desert and Scottish influence. Did you know that there’s this whole huge Scottish thing going on in Scottsdale….that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it’s called

Scottsdale? Neither did I. (The town was founded by George Washington Scott.) It’s very confusing. You’re in this Coyote vs. Roadrunner setting and then all of a sudden, there’s a bagpiper next to you offering you Haggis. That’s not a weird dream, that’s Scottsdale.

So Brittlebush is this great gastropub with a lovely patio right on the Westin Kierland golf course. The menu defines a mixture between native Arizona favorites and the unique Scottish-inspired dishes. Along with the Build Your Own Bloody Mary (!!), here’s what our table had:

SHORT RIB HASH – Braised short ribs, sweet potato and chayote squash, served with poached eggs and sage hollandaise

TRIO OF SCOTTISH BREAKFAST SLIDERS WITH QUAIL EGGS  - House made “haggis” sausage and cherry tomato, black pudding with branston pickle and crisp pancetta with mushrooms

CORNBREAD FRENCH TOAST – 12a twist on traditional french toast with prickly pear syrup, whipped cream and fruit compote

Deseo

Inspired by James Beard award-winning Chef Douglas Rodriguez, creator of Nuevo Latino cuisine, this offbeat, upscale restaurant offers authentic Latin-influenced dishes.  They whip out the unique flavor combinations with a variety of spices, peppers, sauces and marinades to serve up “food that takes you to another place in time without leaving the restaurant.” Truth.  Deseo features a ceviche menu and a Muddle Bar, where really unique cocktails are created by smashing together the freshest of fruits and herbs with a “muddler” to release their intense flavors.

Gracing the walls of Deseo is bold and colorful artwork by Resident Artist Nelson Garcia-Miranda…who was totally there painting as we were dining. Lovely.

Here’s what we ordered:

(At the Muddle Bar)

CAIPIRINHA MELON – leblon, fresh watermelon, lime

NECTAR GRANDE MOJITO lime, mint, moet nectar imperial

(At the table)

TRES CEVICHES – lobster escabeche / mixto clasico / tuna lollipop

MILLIONAIRE TACOS - yuca taco / lobster / ahi tuna / japanese hamachi

SQUASH BLOSSOM AND TETILLA CHEESE QUESADILLA - tetilla cheese/ butternut puree / heirloom tomato pico

YUCA WRAPPED DORADO AL AJILLO  - mahi-mahi / roasted garlic / amarath  / shaved calamari

BEEF TENDERLOIN “CHURRASCO STYLE” - crab mojo / peruvian potato / tomato / horseradish chimichurri

At both spots, I seriously consulted with the staff (they know their food) before ordering, and these were the menu items they suggested. (Pro tip: This almost always gives you the best results.) And straight up, each of these meals was worth the trip. If you’re ever near Scottsdale and craving some Scottish food (or a flight of Scotch) or Nuevo Latin cuisine or some Arizona prickly pear…or better yet, D. all of the above at the same time, stop by Brittlebush and Deseo. You won’t be disappointed.

Huge thanks to Westin Hotels & Resorts for sponsoring this campaign.  Click here to see more of the discussion.

 

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