I can easily eat my way through any destination! One of the reasons we chose to visit Arizona was for it's terrific food scene highlighting organic vegetables and meats all with a delicious southwest flair. So as soon as our itinerary was set and flights were booked, I starting researching where we were going to eat.
Right away, I came across Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill and Cucina Rustica as both having fantastic reviews. Each one appealed exactly to our tastes in food and decor.
It wasn't until after I made the reservations, I surprisingly realized they were both Chef Lisa Dahl restaurants. I had recently been introduced to Chef Dahl by way of Twitter and Beat Bobby Flay, a cooking challenge show on Food Network TV that I regularly watch. She's infamous in Sedona, throughout Arizona, and all over the country as one of the top female chefs. Chef Dahl has lived in Sedona for the past 20 years and has 4 highly successful restaurants. Along with Mariposa and Cucina Rustica, she also owns Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante Italiano specializing in authentic Italian food, and Pisa Lisa, which features wood-fire pizza in Sedona.
Update! Since writing this original article, Lisa Dahl has added another hit restaurant her list: Butterfly Burger. It will be the first place I go when I visit Sedona next.
Mariposa and Cucina Rustica for Dining in Sedona, Arizona
Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill
Mariposa is a gorgeous combination of rustic and modern, featuring expansive windows for a picturesque view of the red rocks Sedona is known for. The menu offers a unique variety of selections that are traditional to the region but still appealed to our East Coast palates. Since we were reserving one night of our Sedona visit to celebrate our 20th anniversary, I knew immediately Mariposa would be perfect for this occasion. We arrived about a half an hour early so that we could enjoy the brilliant red rocks at sunset and explore the grounds surrounding the restaurant.
But the food! The freshness and attention to detail comes through in every bite. We tried numerous appetizers that Chef Dahl had selected for us. We loved sampling new foods that we may not have thought to order for ourselves. Each bite was fantastic and every last crumb disappeared.
The next night, I had decided on Cucina Rustica in Sedona. It's within walking distance from Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock where we were staying and features traditional Italian cuisine. Yes! We came all the way to Arizona to visit Italy. And it was well worth it.
Sit outside in the charming patio reminiscent of the Italian countryside. Or step inside and you'll see that each intimate dining room in Cucina Rustica is filled with their own character and symbols of Sedona. Dine under a dark sky with twinkling stars in one room, or enjoy a dining room with plush chairs and Italian themed decor.
And the variety on the menu is as bold and exciting as the rich decor. Especially the desserts...you won't want to miss them!
My Virtual Vacations Blog
About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic teenage boys. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels. We enjoy upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, we still need family friendly and comfortable. When we are not traveling, I enjoy dining out locally, as well as cooking and baking in my own kitchen.
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