Wright’s at the Arizona Biltmore

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Since this vacation is our first visit to Arizona in 8 or 9 years, we’ve decided to revisit several of our favorite haunts and to discover some new favorites.  In the category of old haunts, we decided to have Sunday brunch at Wright’s at the Arizona Biltmore.  Wright’s, the flagship restaurant at the Biltmore, has been a favorite of ours since we dined there on our honeymoon in ’97.

They used to offer the traditional Sunday brunch with too-large portions and too many options from which to choose.  In recent years they’ve updated the menu to include only cold items on the buffet: succulent 12 count shrimp cocktail, raw oysters, smoked salmon, breads, bagels and pastries.  There was also an ample selection of grilled vegetables, artisanal cheeses and charcuterie.

To compliment the cold buffet items, they offered a selection of hot small plates.  The small plates change weekly, our selection for Sunday included chicken sausage Benedict, char grilled ribeye with over easy egg, buttermilk waffle, roasted apple pancake, and pan roasted Arctic char.

Because I decided to have items from the raw bar, Caesar salad, and smoked salmon, I thought it best to go for only three selections from the small plates menu.  I opted for the Benedict, the pancakes and the waffle (pictured in the array above).

The Benedict was deconstructed, the poached egg served on the side.  Unlike many restaurant who eschew serving soft poached eggs, I got the real deal!  While I’m generally  a  fan on chicken and turkey sausage, I wasn’t overwhelmed by the sausage selection on the Benedict.  It could have benefited from additional flavors – possibly sage or cayenne.  Perhaps because of the sausage, which wasn’t very savory, or my never too distant craving for crab meat or crab cakes paired with Benedict, I was left wanting; it was good, but not exceptional.

In contrast to the middling preparation of Benedict, both the waffles and the pancakes were incredible.  The fig preserves and the chantilly cream with the waffles were amazing.  The roasted apple pancakes with vanilla scented creme fraiche was also quite good.

In addition to the selection of appetizers, they also had an array of delectable desserts. With so many amazing choices, I gravitated to the chocolate pecan pie tart.  I wasn’t disappointed!

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