Instead of frittering away quarters at the arcade like most boys his age, Dean Laplant began learning his trade at age 13 by working the grill at his parents' steak house. He went on to open his own steak house in Wisconsin at the young age of 28, and later moved to Chandler to start DC Steak House, where he channels his years of experience into effortlessly preparing a menu of fine steaks, seafood, and chops.
Dean's wife, Lori, adorned the dining-room walls of DC Steak House's 100-year-old building in vivid murals that depict the local area's rich history. These elegant murals, along with soft hanging lights and white tablecloths, create a dining atmosphere more comfortable than a sofa stuffed with cotton candy. Patrons exit the restaurant into Chandler's bustling downtown square filled with shops and home to a variety of seasonal festivals.
For one afternoon each year, Lettuce Entertain You transforms one of its famed eateries into a mecca for brides-to-be, collecting the wares of both local and national retailers. Ladies linger over tables laden with dresses and invitations—categorized into vignettes such as elegant and vintage—as gown experts divulge their wisdom. To avoid being cut out of wedding photos, male counterparts sequester themselves in the Groom's Room, where man-friendly vendors toss out wardrobe and preening tips. Lettuce Entertain You disperses appetizers and drinks from a handful of their own top-rated eateries to prevent patrons from drooling over the dossiers of custom cake.
At Remington's Restaurant, the filet mignon isn't just grilled to order?it's grilled over mesquite coals, whose smoke imbues the meat with extra flavor. The same coals cook the New Zealand rack of lamb, as well as tender pork chops glazed in prickly pear barbecue sauce. The steakhouse serves fresh seafood, too. Cedar planks salmon are painted in a maple mustard glaze, and broiled lobster can be used for games of Pin the Tail On the Crustacean out on the patio. Many of these meals are scored by live music. Local nightclub pianist Rags Allen often plays, along with other well-known jazz artists.
Executive chef Sunil Kumar's healthy twists on Indian dishes earned Bombay Spice Grill the Best Food award at the 2009 Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Across the restaurant's Phoenix and Chicago locations, olive oil, instead of traditional ghee or butter, creates a heart-healthy base for vegan versions of curry, vindaloo, and other classic Indian sauces. Kitchen maestros top build-your-own entrees with these sauces, mingling rice or quinoa with vegetables, chicken, tofu, and beef. To compliment these dishes, Bombay Spice serves wine and beer from around the world by the bottle, glass, or bathtub.
Rustler’s Rooste has come a long way since its original location posed as a hideout for cattle ranchers in the 1970’s. Today, the family-owned restaurant resides in a two-story, 1,500-seat building nestled amid the Arizona Grand Resort. Here, diners can admire the distant city lights as they chow down on dinner meals of Western steakhouse fare that includes rattlesnake appetizers, family-style barbeque chicken, top sirloin steaks, and homemade bread pudding. Though dinner starts at 5 p.m., guests can head to the second floor lounge for happy hour cocktails and unobstructed views of the live music bands, such as The Peso Dollar Band, playing nightly on the main-level dance floor. And for those looking to make a quick escape to the dance floor, a built-in slide quickly sends riders zooming from the lounge to the dining room.
Rustler’s rustic décor, which also includes wagon wheel chandeliers and an outdoor patio with fire pit, gives the restaurant a true Western feel, which is why many choose to use its extensive space for weddings, banquets, and reunions for the guild of television cowboy actors.
Donovan’s Steak and Chop House isn't out to rewrite the book on fine dining—it just tries to make sure that book is printed in the most elegant cursive possible. The restaurant largely succeeds, thanks to a few simple things it refuses to compromise on. Take, for example, the fact that Donovan’s exclusively serves USDA Prime steaks straight from the Midwest. Each and every rib eye or new york strip is wet-aged and flash-seared at 1,600 degrees to seal in the juices and leave the meat tantalizingly tender. And while beef might be the main event, Donovan’s doesn’t skimp on its non-steak menu, either, serving market-fresh Australian coldwater rock lobster and Alaskan king crab legs in a chilled seafood tower that guests can topple with their choice of a fork or trident.