Quiessence Restaurant & Wine Bar

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The Farm at South Mountain
6106 S. 32nd Street, Phoenix
602-276-0601

Situated on a calming 12-acre oasis of shady lawn, flowers, pecan grove and organic farm, Quiessence is as bucolic as Valley restaurants ever get. The converted farmhouse still feels more like a home than a restaurant, boasting a long sun room, a back patio furnished with fire pits and a special al fresco chef's table in front of the outdoor hearth, where fresh bread is baked daily. Chef Greg LaPrad serves modern American comfort food with a slight Italian accent, emphasizing the farm-to-table approach. Everything is made in-house, including pastas (don't miss farmer's cheese gnocchi with apples, sage and brown butter) and fabulous salumi. The menu changes daily, so just go with the seasonal flow (say, pumpkin martinis and pumpkin créme brûlèe in the fall), and you're bound to be enormously happy. Service can be slow so relax and set aside a couple of hours for a memorable meal. Lunch and dinner, Tu-Sa.
$$-$$$.