Seafood Lovers Delight at deseo
Quick, when you think of the best Latin American food in Scottsdale what comes to mind? I bet your first thought was NOT deseo at Westin Kierland, but maybe it should be.
“We’re tired of being the hidden gem in Scottsdale,” Juan Critobal Vallejo, the restaurant manager tells me at a recent Epicurean Experience event.
And with the hiring of new chef Derek Biazo and a revamped menu, now is the time for deseo to take its place in the city’s burgeoning culinary scene.
Every Thursday the deseo culinary team does a demonstration of two signature ceviche dishes paired with a signature mojito drink, and a three-course wine-paired dinner at the bar around the open kitchen. Guests can interact with the chefs, ask questions and learn tips to use at home.
My dinner starts with a trio of ceviches. This has always been deseo’s strength and even with a new chef and new menu, in my mind this is still where the restaurant shines. The interesting flavor combinations make it the best place in town for ceviche. I sample a Hamachi ceviche with truffle ponzu, a diver scallop ceviche in a passion fruit sauce with pickled jalapeno and nitro popcorn and a sole ceviche featuring roasted sweet potato and purple corn. The combination of the fish and sweet potato was my favorite bite of the night.
Watching Chef Derek and his team meticulously assemble the ceviche was also pretty interesting. At one point one of the sous chefs was using tweezers to perfectly place the garnish. And here mine are just wasting away plucking stray eyebrow hairs!
While my tablemates enjoyed a tartare of Arizona prime beef, Chef knew I was a pescatarian and offered me a lobster ceviche. Sometimes it pays to be the picky eater! It was paired with my favorite wine of the night, a completely unique sparkling malbec. I think I just found my new go-to bubbly.
The main course was a surf and turf, or for me a surf and surf duo of salmon and tuna.
Throughout the dinner my bar mates and I pepper the chef with questions about his background, the food and the new direction at deseo.
The food coma night ends with the chocolate cigar dessert featuring a ho-ho type cake shaped cigar, fondant matchbook and cappuccino gelato. A late harvest Sauvignon Blanc is paired with it.
The Epicurean experience dinner is $75/person and can be booked by calling 480.624.1202 or emailing email@example.com.