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Cool dining on a warm night…

September 25, 2009

If it wasn’t clear before, let it not go unsaid, I love to eat out. Well, I just love to eat. Period.

Eating out in a beautiful place with a menu of fun choices to contemplate and decide over is nirvana for me. This week we got to enjoy a wonderful new addition to Phoenix dining. St. Francis opened on Camelback just a stone’s throw from Central and offers a menu with nicely priced American fare.

Chef Aaron Chamberlin came from the La Grande Orange group, where he clearly learned the art of creating great accessible food and welcoming space. The restaurant takes its name from the history of its Central Phoenix location, although it is also a fitting moniker given that the actual Saint Francis is, among other things, the patron saint of the environment. With its focus on seasonal ingredients, St. Francis definitely honors its namesake’s legacy.

The restaurant itself has so much character. There is a nod to the building’s former life as a bank, evident by the safe door that is now part of the ladies room. But any banking stuffiness is gone. The building was beautifully redone to create a hip hangout that is not at all pretentious. It was like eating at the cool kids’ table. I loved the open air bar with its beautiful views, made all the sweeter by the breeze that blew through.

Sean and I shared the crispy fingerling potatoes with rosemary, sage and a wonderful aioli to dip them in. He ordered the Seafood Soup after hearing a glowing recommendation. He must have liked it because he barely spoke and sent back a clean bowl. I had the flatbread with mission figs, argula and goat cheese, which was made in the beautiful wood burning oven. I will be going there again for the flatbread. Probably again and again knowing me. We both loved the warm sticky toffee pudding and a sweet cream gelato, which was the perfect conclusion to a wonderful meal.

I could have hung out all night at St. Francis. It is the perfect example of why I love to eat out.

St. Francis

111 East Camelback Road

Phoenix, AZ 85021


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