Reds Restaurant at the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa
Reds is a place you come to love more and more, the longer you stay and the more times you visit. Its charm lies not in overpowering you with its sophistication or elegance, but in the comfort and space one has to appreciate the fine touches and superb dining experience. Whether you’re staying as a guest in the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa, a local who knows Sedona’s best dining hot spots, or a traveler just passing through, Reds is truly a “destination” restaurant you’ll want to include in your meal plans.
The restaurant itself is of contemporary design, featuring an exhibition kitchen and boasting high tables in the lounge area. Leather and wicker chairs invite guests to relax and spend time reviewing the day with colleagues or companions. Candles softly illumine the solid wood tables while the reflection of light from the plank ceiling casts a warm glow on diners from above. The handsome bar boldly proclaims the color “red” with its eye-riveting hand-made red glass back bar, striated with elegantly understated layers replicating the Red Rock geography of Sedona. Here patrons may order from a menu featuring a wide variety of cocktails and enjoy tasty “appeteazers” or other tempting small plate fare.
While researching local places to dine in Sedona, we found that many guests who stayed at the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa concluded that Reds was a far better place to enjoy a fabulous breakfast than any other choice in Sedona. Why? Well, not only is the food superb and the number of breakfast selections impressive, but the price can’t be beaten as well. I don’t think you can get Eggs Benedict elsewhere in Sedona for $7 and if you could, why would you want to leave the cozy comfort of this place? That fabulous egg dish, by the way, is exactly what I ordered the first morning, and it was out of this world! I don’t remember tasting such lovely hollandaise sauce since dining at a French restaurant in La Jolla about 25 years ago. And I think I paid about the same price back then! My wife ordered the corn-flake crusted French toast, topped with strawberries—a treat that was every bit as wonderful as it sounds. Just being reminded of it again stirs up a longing to return as soon as I am able.
Reds is not just about breakfast, of course. Their plan seems to be to keep you riveted to their restaurant tables throughout the day, a tempting thought to be sure. Somehow, we managed to leave their magnetic force-field for an afternoon of exploring Sedona’s wondrous landscape, but we willingly succumbed to the enticements of their dinner menu.
Four of us met for dinner that evening and opted to try the house wine selection, Sedona Rouge, a blend of two French grapes Syrah and Grenache, aged for one year in small French oak barrels. Local winery Page Springs Cellars, owned by winemaker Eric Glomski, has developed a fresh dimension of regional flavors, creating a delicious array of wines from the little known vineyards of the Verde Valley in central Arizona. Our wine, a unique blend crafted especially for this restaurant as Mr. Glomski later informed me, was smooth and fruity, with just a hint of spiciness, offering a delightful complement to each entrée we ordered.
Reds offers a half dozen “Starters”—appetizers that range from Scallop Tacos to Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip to Tarragon Mushroom Bruschetta. Though each seemed tempting, we chose instead to begin our dining experience by ordering from the selection of four salads: Spinach Salad, Grilled Endive and Pear Salad, Caesar Salad, and Reds House Salad. My crisp and tasty Caesar Salad consisted of hearts of Romaine, Croutons, Fresh Parmesan and was topped with a zesty Caesar dressing. While Caesar Salad is my personal favorite and Reds measured up to my expectations, I found that it sometimes pays to stray from one’s own predilections. It turned out that my wife’s Grilled Endive and Pear Salad was the better choice of the evening, featuring Bleu Cheese crumbles, candied pecans, shaved red onions and fresh herb vinaigrette. After finding the grilled endive on her salad to be so melt-in-my-mouth delicious, I wanted to order one just for myself! Next time—if I don’t order the endive salad—I want to try the Spinach Salad which features wild mushroom strudel, roasted tomatoes, goat cheese and warm bacon dressing. Who knows, I may order two salads!
A dozen entrée selections filled the second page of the dinner menu, rendering our selection process, once again, wonderfully agonizing. Fish selections included pan seared salmon, seared rare ahi tuna, oven roasted sea bass, carmelized sea scallops and classic shrimp scampi. Other selections included Chef Ron’s Fried Chicken, Reds Meat Loaf, Roasted Acorn Squash, Dutch Valley Veal Chop, and Vegetable Pasta Primavera. And there were more! Ah, how to choose?
After much deliberation I eventually chose the Grilled White Marble Farms Pork Chop, one of our waiter’s recommendations. This was accompanied by potatoes au gratin, sweet apple bordelaise, and the chef’s vegetable selection. I enjoyed the delicious, slightly (and unexpected) peppery sauce and found the vegetables perfect, served in the preferred al dente fashion. Unfortunately, I discovered the highly recommended pork chop to be a little more dry and chewy than I had hoped, causing me to wonder if the 12 oz. aged, Grilled Ribeye would have been a better selection. I was assured by one of my dining companions that it was, to be sure, a fabulous choice, as I jealously watched her down one succulent bite after another. My wife enjoyed her oven roasted sea bass served with yellow tomato coulis and basil oil, accompanied by the chef’s vegetable selection. She found it absolutely delightful and pronounced it worthy of ordering again on another visit.
Although we had earlier passed on the starters selections, when it came time for dessert we somehow found room in our rapidly sated appetites. Here we faced yet another round of choices, nine to be exact. Was it to be Crème Brulee? Caramel Apple Pie? New York Cheesecake? How about Dark Chocolate Torte served with Frangelico Sabayon and fresh berries? My wife surprised me by passing up her usual favorite Crème Brulee, opting for the Banana Crepe, served with coconut mousse, chocolate and roasted banana, and toasted orange sauce. Wow! Was it ever stunning! I chose the Molten Chocolate Cake, a dark chocolate cake baked to order, topped with hazelnut tuile, carmel ice cream and espresso anglais, a delightful conclusion to a meal that had me awake the rest of the evening from the caffeine and chocolate, allowing me ample time to remember all the wonderful flavors of a fabulous dinner in a superlative dining establishment.
Reds Restaurant at the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa
2250 West Highway 89A in Sedona Arizona.