Amid the saguaro cactus and abundant foliage, Michelle McVey operates the Desert Palms Equestrian Center facility with a deep passion for horseback riding, a hobby and career that began when she was five years old. Michelle and her team specialize in showing every level of rider proper saddle technique, as she?s coached students ranging from first-timers to Triple Crown winners. Inside two large outdoor arenas, private lessons focus on the student?s goals, whether that?s to have vigorous exercise or to simply learn the basics. Additionally, the center holds camps throughout the year, allowing kids to get a more in-depth experience with horse riding. During these camps, students ride twice daily, and receive education on horse care, tack components, and equine physiology.
An elegant chandelier sparkles above Amaro Italiano Ristorante open kitchen, but it?s rarely the first thing that guests notice. They are too engrossed by Pizza Chef's delicate dance as he flings discs of pizza dough high into the air, careful not to get them caught in the chandelier?s net of crystal beads. The culinary team pull their own mozzarella and top their Neapolitan pizzas with such creative ingredients as shoestring onions, oven-roasted artichoke hearts, and shaved ham. Pizza is hardly their only specialty, however. Their dishes run the gamut from house-made pastas to a bone-in pork chop with a Dijon and mustard glaze. 70 wines complement the complex Italian flavors, as do the artworks on the dining room?s walls and live musicians who have strung their guitars with resonant spaghetti al dente.
The newly remodeled Asado Mexican Kitchen aims to put a modern spin on Sonoran cuisine and New Mexican fare. Among the space's handsome stone walls and LED-lit wooden-plank ceilings, the sleek granite bar and tables are not just home to traditional street tacos, slow-roasted pork, and Frito pie. There are also more unusual dishes to be found, like freshly roasted hatch chili peppers, Mexican-style ceviche, and a Southwestern pasta tossed with red chili cream sauce, grilled chicken, black beans, roasted corn, and cotija cheese.