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.
Saddle Ranch Chop House allows diners to put together a feast from a menu loaded with steaks and salads, then rock and ride with the restaurant's "rock meets Western" theme. Chow on a sizzling steak, such as the charbroiled, marble-cut rib eye ($24.99), or chomp into the pineapple teriyaki burger, served with a wasabi cream sauce ($11.99). To wash down a full order of barbecue baby back ribs ($21.99), take part in the Texas Tea Party, a stiff concoction of vodka, gin, rum, tequila, sweet-and-sour mix, and Coke. Saddle Ranch Chop House's seasoned chefs also cook breakfast and brunchy grub, such as cinnamon swirl Texas toast ($9.99) and buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh fruit ($8.99), until 3 p.m.
Scottsdale Road was little more than a dirt highway when Pink Pony was born in 1947. Back then, the desert’s temperate weather and wide-open expanses had already caught the attention of several Major League Baseball teams, and Cactus League spring training was in full swing. As a lifelong fan of baseball, Charlie Briley saw an opportunity to get involved with his favorite sport by opening a restaurant and bar that catered specifically to the players, umpires, scouts, and fans of America’s favorite pastime. It wasn’t long before Pink Pony was playing host to such baseball legends as Jackie Moore, Billy Martin, and Ted Williams. More than 65 years later, the Pony is a legend in its own right. Though it’s been handed down to new ownership, Briley’s spirit remains, as do the grilled steaks, meatloaf cupcakes, and refreshing cocktails that once drew Bob Uecher and Gene Autry to cozy up to the bar. As you'd expect, the televisions above the bar are always tuned to the latest Major league games, but you might find it hard to pay attention to the action. Everywhere you look, you’re likely to see a fascinating token of Briley’s love of the game, from a rack of Louisville Slugger baseball bats to an egg laid by the original Phillie Phanatic.
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.
Named for their founder, a renegade radio host and showman, Bill Johnson's Big Apple Restaurants please palates with a menu of hearty American fare. Warm up your appetite with Grand Canyon nachos, which––just like the real Grand Canyon––are covered with beef, black beans, avocado, jalapeños, and more ($9). Mama's breaded pork chops ($13.50) and southern fried 1/2 chicken ($14) counterbalance a beefy selection of steaks. A six-ounce sirloin paired with endless popcorn shrimp ($15) tests the limits of appetites and pants, and a bacon-wrapped eight-ounce sirloin filet ($15) brings barnyard frenemies together at last. Guests can also make their own meaty matches with the Make Your Own Smoked Combo option ($17), which allows diners to make three selections from a smoked smorgasbord of pork ribs, beef ribs, pulled pork, smoked brisket, hot links, and barbecue-smoked chicken.