Special of the Day: Sensational Dining in Sedona, Arizona

07 Oct Special of the Day: Sensational Dining in Sedona, Arizona

Elote Smoked Chicken Enchiladas

Elote Smoked Chicken Enchiladas


Our 11th annual college girls’ getaway trip sent the eight of us close friends and sorority sisters from the University of Washington to sunny Sedona, Arizona recently to hike, kayak, wine and dine our way through an exciting extended weekend.

Kayaking on the Verde River

Kayaking on the Verde River


Incredible adventures, including hiking to the top of Bell Rock, kayaking down the Verde River in individual inflatable kayaks, enjoying an open-air off-road Pink Jeep red rock climbing escapade, touring the Chapel of the Holy Cross and strolling through the historic mining town of Jerome, combined to make this excursion one of the best trips we have ever taken together, which is saying a lot considering the array of amazing destinations across America this group has visited over the last decade.

Creekside at L'Auberge

Creekside at L’Auberge

Of course, all the exploring in the hot sun definitely worked up an appetite.  And so, we did our fare share of sampling the best of what Sedona has to offer in terms of food and wine, which was absolutely fabulous everywhere we went. There is certainly something for everyone to eat and drink in this desirable desert town, regardless of what you’re craving. (Good thing we did so much hiking while we were there!)

A few of my favorites from the trip follow, accompanied by irresistible recipes and how tos on replicating the deliciousness at home, as well as two cookbook recommendations from Sedona restaurants we thoroughly enjoyed.

Bringing you home a taste of Sedona in this week’s Special of the Day: Sensational Dining in Sedona, Arizona. Enjoy!

If you go:

Cucina Rustica

Fine Italian Dining and a wonderful wine list

Tequa Plaza

Village of Oak Creek

7000 State Route 179

Sedona, Arizona



Not to be missed- Filetto di Manzo finished in a delicate chipotle Gorgonzola mushroom cream sauce

Elote Café

771 State Route 179

Sedona, AZ



Delectable Southwestern cuisine and marvelous margaritas

Not to be missed: Smoked Chicken Enchiladas (recipe below) and Short Rib Tacos

Enchantment Resort

525 Boynton Canyon Road

Sedona, AZ



Spectacular sunset views of scenic Sedona landscapes, cocktails and appetizers at View 180 lounge

Not to be missed: Kobe Beef Slider (how tos below) and Warm Nuts (how tos below), among other terrific tapas-style menu items

Grapes Restaurant and Bar

111 Main Street

Jerome, AZ


Charming outdoor seating and palatable wine and food pairings listed throughout their extensive menu

Not to be missed- Italian Chef Salad paired with Zenato Pinto Grigio

Indian Gardens Café and Market

3951 N. State Route 89A

Sedona, AZ



Gourmet sandwiches, salads, coffee, beer and wine at Indian Gardens with patio dining out back

Not to be missed- The Bacon & Brie (recipe below)

L’Auberge de Sedona

301 Little Lane


Not to be missed-Champagne Sunday Brunch served Creekside

Recipes and How-tos

The Bacon & Brie

Recipe by Indian Gardens Cafe

The Bacon & Brie, like all of our food, is a simple combination of quality ingredients.  We start with clean bacon (nitrate, hormone, and antibiotic-free) from Beeler’s Bacon, add fresh-sliced Belle toile Triple-Cream French Brie, the delectable Dalmatia Fig Spread, and finish it off with organic baby arugula.  We use a locally-baked 9-grain wheat bread, grilled with a dash of butter.  Very simple, but the highest quality ingredients we can get our hands on.

Elote Smoked Chicken Enchiladas

Elote Smoked Chicken Enchiladas

Smoked Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe by Chef Jeff Smedstad

This is one of those things that sounds so simple but actually has the sophistication of any great dish in the world. I like the contrast of the smoked chicken and cheese with the contrast of tart tomatillo. These were inspired by the enchiladas suizas so loved in Mexico City. At the restaurant we make these to order one at a time but I find at home casserole style is better suited.

8 thick corn tortillas

2 cups shredded jack cheese

4 cups smoked chicken pulled or shredded not too fine

tomatillo sauce

4 cups tomatillos husked rinsed and chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 cloves peeled roughly chopped garlic

2 cups chicken stock

1 poblano chile rough chopped

1 jalapeno chopped

olive oil as needed

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

In a sauce pan over medium high heat cook the onion, garlic, poblano and jalapeno until lightly browned then add remaining ingredients except cilantro and simmer until soft. Puree with cilantro and reserve.

warm tortillas in a large dry skillet and dip into the sauce, fill each one with about 1/2 cup of chicken and a tablespoon or so of cheese, roll them up and place them in a greased baking dish pour remaining sauce over the top and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 10 minutes @375 and serve.

Kobe Sliders

Recipe from Enchantment Resort

Kobe beef patties

Hawaiian rolls

American cheese

Caramelized onions

Build burgers/sliders as you would like.

Warm Nuts

Recipe from Enchantment Resort

Warm mixed nuts in oven and top with blue cheese. Drizzle with honey.

Buy the Books:

Elixir of Life Cookbook

by Lisa Dahl

Elote Café Cookbook

By Jeff Smedstad

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the Day” are archived at sydnegeorge.com.

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