Thanks, all. Yes, Jack’s been enormously helpful! I made a rez at Binkley’s and will plan more as travel nears. Biggest problem is that I’ll be there solo on a Friday, and much is closed on Sunday & Monday, so Saturday will be the best chance.
Sorry, I came to this party a bit late, but I can shed a little light on this too…
Binkley’s is by far my favorite restaurant out here. Fortunately for me it is about 15 mins away from my home, and a block away from our office! Kevin Binkley is a French laundry alum, and he and his wife Amy run the show. They do multi-corse dining (4-6) that really turns into about 12 with all of the amuse bouche that comes out. The menu changes daily, and incorporates mostly local ingredients (when it comes to things that can be grown here) Its a hike up to Cave Creek, but the drive is worth it.
Also, as Josh recommended Quiessence is an excellent choice also. It’s located on the far south side of the valley. Many of their ingredients are grown on the premise, the food is excellent, and the pours for the wine pairing are large. You will without a doubt get an Arizona wine too (which can be good or bad).
I would also throw Sassi in the discussion. Gorgeous property, fantastic food. They also use locally grown produce (McClendon’s select) in their Italian food. The specials are great, the pasta is home made, and the wine list has enormous pours by the glass.
I could name about 15 more restaurants, but it sounds like Jack has this covered. (And he would be the go-to guy!)