Saddle Bronc Grill plunks its guests straight into the middle of a sci-fi western. A hitching post augments the restaurant's saloon-like exterior, where customers are more likely to see motorcycles than horses waiting out front. Napkins have been switched out for bandanas at each table, and the soft glow of 13 flat-screen televisions illuminates the wooden slats of the walls. This blend of genres is no accident—the grill strives to be a country-western bar with all the comforts of the modern era, allowing diners to snack on classic cowboy food even as they follow their favorite sports team. Live bands twang away on weekend evenings, and the Tavern Poker League takes place on Thursday, though players needn't abide by traditional frontier rules that force the loser to eat his own spurs.
The menu, meanwhile, remains faithful to an entirely rustic ambiance. Broasted chicken and flat-iron steaks follow appetizers such as fried onion rings. Side dishes pay homage to the snacks of hungry ranch hands, running the gamut from corn bread and sweet potato fries to a potato-stuffed poblano pepper. To conclude meals, Rock Springs Café populates the Into the Sunset dessert list with a rotating selection of homemade pies.
Alchemy Restaurant at CopperWynd's floor-to-ceiling windows slide open, unveiling the Sonoran Desert. Depending on the time of day, guests may see snow-capped peaks holding up an azure sky, or perhaps a thin ribbon of orange from the sun's last rays brushing over the mountaintops. This setting is a worthy pairing to chef Paul O'Connor's artfully plated New American cuisine, from an open-faced pecan trout sandwich for lunch to pan-seared duck breast during dinner. Regardless of the dish, he prepares each one largely from local ingredients. Besides dramatic views from its stylish dining room, the restaurant also extends to a wraparound patio that overlooks the resort's manicured grounds. An adjacent wine bar doles out drinks to be enjoyed while you’re soaking in panoramic vistas on the patio or using the fireplace to burn Polaroid snapshots that don't do the views justice. These majestic environs earned the restaurant a diners' choice award for both Best Ambiance and Scenic View on OpenTable.
The kitchen at Mountainside Office Bar & Grill can sate appetites with a sizzling steak, flaky bite of fish, or a signature salad. An eclectic, international menu features appetizers such as crab ceviche and teriyaki-dressed chicken skewers, and entrees such as customizable 10-ounce sirloin burgers, barbecue pork ribs, and grilled halibut. At the bar, craft and imported beers flow out of the taps, and bartenders pour glasses of California, imported wines, and fireball concoctions.
Before there was Vito's Pizza and Italian Ristorante, there was Vito Carrieri, rocking gently on a boat to the United States from his home in Ripacandida, Italy. After casting anchor in Chicago—where he feasted on the city's pizza, helped get it elected mayor, and met his wife JoAnne—he packed his bags and family recipes, moved west with JoAnne and his kids, and opened Vito's Pizza and Italian Ristorante in 1986. Eschewing the Windy City’s deep-dish roots, the eatery's specialty taps into Chicago's less heralded thin-crust traditions, with dough dusted with imported Italian flour and topped with cheeses from Italy and Wisconsin. Those family recipes from Vito's bags are also put to good use, with Northern and Southern Italian specialties made with house-crafted marinara sauce and italian sausage.
The staff at Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt rejects the oft-touted claim that Americans don’t care about nutrition. The problem, they say, has more to do with selection than anything else; most low-calorie sweets don’t hold a candle to a fudge brownie or a warm slice of apple pie. They kept this in mind when crafting their frozen-yogurt recipes, working tireless to develop a healthy—and equally delicious—alternative to the dessert status quo by turning to decadent confections and just-picked fruits for inspiration.
Their experiments thus far have yielded more than 60 frozen yogurt flavors, which take turns pumping through the self-serve machines that line their colorful shop’s wall. Before taking a seat in a bright orange chair, guests fill their dishes with cool, low-fat swirls of snickerdoodle, chocolate caramel, and pumpkin pie. Juicy pears, crunchy granola, and gooey chocolate sauce headline a smorgasbord of at least 30 toppings ready to scooped or poured into cups before their final weigh-in.