I had helped a friend of ours who'd recently relocated from Chicago to move some things that didn't fit in his new place into his storage unit, so he told me a couple of weeks ago that he'd buy the wife and me a dinner some night to repay me. Not knowing what kind of dinner or what price range he was looking to get into here, I decided to ask, to which he answered "I'm putting it on plastic, let's go for the gusto."
He lives in north Scottsdale (way north, feels like it's halfway to Nevada) so we figured the best gusto we could think up was the Coyote Grill on the corner of Scottsdale Rd and Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd.
The gusto did not disappoint.
Andy, the friend who I'd helped move and who was buying dinner, arrived before Songstress and she was going to be a bit longer, so we each ordered a beer from a pretty healthy list of beers on tap and made smalltalk til Songstress arrived. Once she arrived, we were treated to a small appetizer on the house comprised of 4 tortilla wedges, 2 covered with pesto and the other 2 with a sun-dried tomato substance of some kind, served with delicious habañero cream cheese. As we munched on those, we cracked open our menus and were pleasantly impressed with the variety of items offered.
Andy ordered the shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta, which looked rather tasty. Songstress decided to have the Grilled Salmon "Oscar". Having your salmon "Oscar" style apparently means covering it with crabmeat and asparagus in a bernaise sauce. If that's the case, I might have to see if I can get other places to make me some other dishes "Oscar" style. ;)
The most interesting thing on the menu by far was the "Adventurous" option. What occurs when you order the Adventurous dinner is that the chef essentially makes it up as he goes. Your server does not know what you'll end up with, and has a hard time describing it even when they get it from the kitchen to bring to your table. Hardly being as adventurous as I'd like in most areas of my life, I had to at least do the Adventurous dinner. Again, I was not disappointed in the least.
When the server came out with our meals, she set my plate in front of me after serving Andy and the Songstress and said "Um, it's ... veal, I think." She was right, it was indeed a veal chop, marinated in this amazing sauce that started sweet in your mouth and then kicked up a little bit of spice afterward. Whatever spices were responsible for this delicious sauce were also used as a rub on the meat, and the chop was surrounded on one side by several slices of cucumber that had soaked in that delicious marinade, on the other side by some grilled onions which also seemed to have been soaking up the marinade, and it was topped with what I would have to call "fruit salsa". This was a combination of red, green and yellow peppers, plus pineapple pieces and what I believe to have been some white-grape raisins. Easily the best veal dish I've ever tasted. The only bummer about the awesomeness of that veal dish is that it's not on the regular menu so I won't be able to order it by name. :(
None of us had room for dessert, so we went over to Andy's house for an hour or so and then made the trek from halfway-to-Nevada back to our cozy little condo in Glendale. A wonderful evening, made even more so by the fact that Andy footed the bill. Thanks Andy! ;)