Granada Bar and Grill at Embassy Suites Scottsdale is a Gem by Lynette Carrington Granada Bar and Grill at Embassy Suites Scottsdale Hotel is a Gem Some restaurants develop a reputation because of their cuisine, the location or the culinary prowess of the executive chef. Granada Bar and Grill is one such restaurant that deserves every accolade. Never heard of Granada Bar and Grill? That’s because it is a slightly hidden gem that you may not realize is taking up the perch on the fourth floor of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale at Scottsdale Road and Chaparral. During a recent private media lunch, Granada’s Executive Chef, John du Toit spoiled Scottsdale.com with a selection of lunch menu selections, plus some off-menu items that were whipped up especially for us. We greeted the mid-day meal with a delicious peach daquiri that was literally the perfect summertime cocktail. The AppetizersFirst up, was the massive charcuterie slat. This is probably the most extensive charcuterie assortment I’ve ever experienced! It included Arizona honeycomb, pancetta, crispy pancetta, Roquefort cheese, purple haze goat cheese, aged parmesan, dried white figs, smoked gouda with lavender and fennel, sage derby cheese, cabernet salami, Maytag blue cheese, dehydrated mango and French bread. There were also nifty little “balls” of balsamic called balsamic caviar which burst in your mouth, releasing the tangy vinegar and adding flavor to any bite! It was a fabulous noshing board for two to share! Every outstanding ingredient added to the appetizer, although the sheer quantity made it feel like a meal. Next up, we sampled two outstanding soups. First was the green chili, chicken and black bean soup. It was not served mouth searing-ly hot, rather, it was a tasty and perfectly seasoned Sonoran style soup. Second was the creamy beer cheese, chicken and broccoli soup. Again, it was not too hot, and the flavors really stood out on their own merit. It was also a great dip for the leftover French dip from the charcuterie platter. Executive Sous Chef, Justin Olsen (who will be departing for a position at another local resort) excused himself from our table to prepare an off-menu item – the naughty Brussels sprouts. The sprouts were halved before taking a bath in white wine, reduced cream, parmesan, garlic butter and bacon bits. Naughty, indeed, but the best Brussels sprouts I’ve ever had. The Main Entrees Next, we tried the signature Scottsdalian Pizza with pesto sauce, roasted red peppers, grilled pesto, chicken, cheeses and pine nuts. If ever there was a pizza that personified Scottsdale, this is it. Not too heavy, but satisfying, this pizza hit the spot. Next, we tried the Granada Bar and Grill signature burger with house ground beef, aged cheddar, lettuce and tomato. It was a fabulous signature burger with a juicy and fresh flavor. Finally, Chef du Toit brought out a light tiramisu that exuded just a subtle hint of espresso flavor in a soft and creamy cake that was sublime. Chef du Toit was recently invited to cook at the James Beard House, and is celebrated for his fresh food approach to cooking, along with his cultivation of produce, fruits, meat and seafood from local farms and fields. Often, chef has procured ingredients mere hours before they are served up fresh on guests’ plates at Granada Bar and Grill. We wish Sous Chef Justin Olsen all the best as he embarks on his new culinary adventure, and we look forward to dining with Chef John du Toit again in the future. Granada Bar and Grill is located on the fourth floor and toward the back of Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Resort located at 5001 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale. For more information, click here or call (480) 949-1414.