JEROME, AZ (AZ HIGHWAYS) -- High on a hill, overlooking the Old mining town of Jerome, sits a gourmet food and wine gem called The Asylum.

"It is a quirky little restaurant, we started off in 2001 on a shoestring and a prayer. Basically and we have a lot of really amazing people. That's helped create what it is today," says co-owner, Jennifer Pasich.

The Asylum's new American cuisine menu is the creation of her husband, executive chef, Rich Pasich, who keeps things simple but good.

"He always talks about food as nourishment, it's very, very important to him to get that concept across to people, food is much more than just something to put in your gullet while you're walking through town for the afternoon. It should be an experience, and it should be something that makes you feel good. It needs to be quality," said Pasich.

Along with the wonderful food, you will find a wine list that rivals any of the ones you'll see on the New York or L.A. restaurant scene.

"The Wine Spectator Award we won nine years in a row, we have wines from glass to the magnum, wines from around the world, as well as local wines. Some of the greats are even grown here, in Jerome. We also use some of The Arizona wineries,Page Springs, and Javelina Leap, all those things. A lot of people come here for the wines, to complement the food, of course."

Wine Spectator Magazine has named The Asylum one of the top restaurants in the world for wine lovers. And it's been named winner of the North American Restaurant's Association prestigious Award of Excellence. And if you're lucky enough to get a table by a window, your dining experience will be complete.

"The views are stunning, when you look over the entire Verde Valley, in the distance you see Mogollon Rim, which on clear days, you can see all the way to New Mexico. And you can also see the San Francisco peaks up in Flagstaff Area. So the views are extensive, breathtaking. When the sun goes down, the lights light up into Cottonwood and Sedona, and it becomes like a little light bright board. It's really beautiful and it's a great experience."

As I said, The Asylum restaurant serves up new American cuisine, but the staff says the food is really something else entirely.

"American soul food, it's not really your typical soul food that you think of, it's an American-we call it American soul food because it's good for your soul, nourishes your soul and keeps you happy and healthy and lively."


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