Latilla

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The Boulders Resort & Spa
34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree
480-488-9009

Thanks to its soft lighting, curving white-washed walls and subtle Southwestern touches, the Latilla has always been one of the Valley's most intimate and charming resort restaurants. Who can resist the pattern of "little sticks" (latillas) on the ceiling or the dramatic views of the boulders for which the resort is named? But when we're spending big bucks on dinner, we expect more than a pretty room, and Chef Wendy Little delivers — offering Contemporary American food fresh from the property's sizeable organic garden. What Little doesn't grow herself, she procures from top-notch vendors, most of whom specialize in organic products. Even the wine list has organic offerings! Elegant dishes such as pheasant-cranberry pâté, infused with Cognac, perfectly express her classical background, while silky artichoke soup (the very essence of artichoke) proves that this chef knows when to get out of the way and let the ingredients do the talking. Don't miss cardamom-honey glazed duck breast with celery root purée or herb-marinated lobster tail with truffled goat cheese-corn crepe. For dessert, the blueberry Financier is a must. Latilla is pricey but oh-so-worth it.