Bistros are remarkable in that they somehow manage to be both fancy and casual at the same time, much like a necktie with Taz on it. Feel gussied up without too much fuss with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of upscale bistro-inspired cuisine and sophisticated sips at Christopher's. This Groupon can be used in your choice of the restaurant's hip dining room or the swanky, beverage-bent Crush Lounge and Patio, located in Biltmore Fashion Park. This Groupon is not valid for lunch.
The culinary half of this delicious dichotomy is curated by award-winning head chef Christopher Gross, while the palate behind the fermented lounge is sommelier Paola Embry. Hungry peepers can feast upon Christopher's thoroughly modern dining digs; outfitted with bright, candy-colored fixtures that accent clean geometrics and foundational earth tones. Commence proper consumption by memorizing the full dining menu, which is creatively infused with the flavors of French cuisine, tempting early appetites with first plates such as wild-mushroom soup with foie gras ($18) and escargot en croute ($14), or savory salads such as duck confit with mixed greens, Humboldt Fog cheese, and cognac-infused dried cherries ($16). Warm up every nook and cranny of your mouth in preparation for great after-dinner conversation with a plate of steamed mussels with Spanish chorizo and white wine ($16), or take a large bite of smoked truffle-infused filet mignon ($36) to avoid answering questions about your "secret club" and the only other member, your "Matthew McConaughey." For an edible that's both cozy and elegant, opt for a wood-oven pizza topped with wild mushrooms, shallots, and arugula ($12).
Crush Lounge and Patio offers a short-but-sweet menu of petite bouchées, cheese platters, pizzas, and desserts to pair with a signature cocktail or sommelier-selected sip. Cozy up with a loved one as you split a plate of vanilla-dusted scallops ($10) or an order of two lamb lollipops with mint pesto ($12). Or hand-select four gourmet cheeses to share with a table of friends ($16). Complete a lighthearted meal with a decadent chocolate-mousse tower, as seen in Julia Child's cookbook ($9), or a warm berry tart ($9).
Not valid with other offers or for happy hour. Dine-in only.
Head chef Christopher Gross, of Christopher's and Crush Lounge, was a 1995 winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest. He also won Food & Wine's Best New Chef 1989. The restaurant and lounge space has generated ample press, including reviews by Phoenix Magazine, The Arizona Republic, and Arizona Foothills magazine, which gave it a perfect five stars. Chef Gross was also recently featured by the New Times. Gayot gives Christopher's and Crush Lounge a 15/20 rating. OpenTable reviewers give it an average of 4.25 stars. Yelpers give it 3.5 stars. Seventy-three percent of more than 70 Urbanspooners recommend it:
- There are several approaches to the Crush experience, it seems. You can stop in for a terrific pizza and a few glasses of wine from sommelier Paola Embry’s intriguing list. You can test your taste buds with that tempura bacon and a swig of something stiff, like the uncommon Pisco Sour. – Carey Sweet, Phoenix Magazine
- To the best of my knowledge, Gross introduced this town to hanger steak, a gloriously flavorful European cut (onglet in French) unknown to Americans a generation ago. Now it's everywhere. But it's rarely this good, grilled and covered with roasted shallots. – Howard Seftel, The Arizona Republic
- Don't tell anyone Christopher. But I have a serious crush on you and your elegant eatery and your fabulous Crush Lounge. – Thomas S., Yelp
- We have never been disappointed in any way at this restaurant and highly recommend it for people who are looking for excellent food and a great ambiance. – An OpenTable reviewer who dined on 04/20/2010