Celebrate the holidays at Tonto Bar & Grill, where they’re cooking up special Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menus that showcase gourmet Southwestern cuisine.
The Christmas Eve a la carte menu will be served starting at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 24 and includes short ribs braised in AZ Stronghold red wine, horseradish potato puree, local honey-orange glazed winter root vegetables, cranberry-persimmon chutney and short rib jus lie for $27.
New Year’s Eve dinner, served 4:30-9 p.m. Dec. 31, also features an a la carte menu, with a main course of pepper-crusted mesquite-grilled four-ounce filet mignon and four-ounce butter poached cold-water lobster tail, vanilla bean celeriac puree, slow-roasted beech mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, grilled jumbo asparagus, Chardonnay butter and port wine reduction for $36. The chef will prepare a special appetizer and dessert as well.
Their sister property, Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House, which is located just down the street in Cave Creek will also feature Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menus. Both locations can accommodate private parties both large and small, with cocktail spaces and dining spaces available.
As a frequent diner at both establishments, I can vouch for the amazing food, extensive, award-winning wine list and attentive service. But I have to admit, I do truly love the surroundings. Tonto capitalizes on the striking views of the Sonoran desert by overlooking the 11th hole of the Rancho Manana Golf Course.
Surrounded by stately saguaros and blooming desert plants, you can see the ridge of the Tonto National Forest in the distance. The rustic charm of this 1940s Dude Ranch and the impressive wine list and Southwestern cuisine creates a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere that always brings me back. I recommend the “Tontorita,” a special take on the margarita, which has become one of my favorite local margaritas.
Cartwright’s is nestled in the side of Saguaro Hill with stunning views of Black Mountain. Indoor and outdoor patios with fireplaces deliver unbeatable atmosphere and are complemented by their appreciation for the area’s rich history.
Whichever restaurant you choose, both offer a great way to celebrate the holidays.
Tonto Bar & Grill at Rancho Manana
5736 E. Rancho Manana Blvd., Cave Creek
Regular hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily
Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House and Lounge
6710 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek
Open 7 days a week 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.