2650 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
Spring is the time when most people finally emerge into the outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. In the Valley, it’s the cue to rush out and enjoy those final weeks before we have to retreat to the safety of our air conditioners. And there are few better ways to enjoy the April weather than sitting on the porch of a good restaurant.
One of the best places to combine a late afternoon on a patio with a fancy dinner is Hillstone Restaurant. Well known around the area as a go-to spot for a steak dinner, Hillstone features a large open patio that faces toward Camelback Road. The outside décor is sophisticated, but welcoming, with setups for both intimate dates or friends meeting for drinks.
Sometimes you can avoid crowds at a restaurant by making your dinner plans earlier in the week. This isn’t going to happen at Hillstone. The secret is long out and even before seven o’clock on a Tuesday evening, the patio and indoor dining areas are packed. That said, the service is attentive and accommodating, making the waiting and seating process a smooth one.
The food at Hillstone is made from scratch, which makes it a breeze for anyone needing a dish modification for a food allergy. While its reputation tends to revolve around the steaks, there are diverse options on the menu. Anyone looking to go the seafood route will have some decision making to do. Hillstone offers a House-Smoked Salmon starter, Yellowtail Sashimi and Seared Ahi Tuna, as well as a full sushi menu.
The menu offers classic dishes with unique and attractive presentations. Of particular note is the Classic Caesar, taking a dish that could be found anywhere and elevating it with a beautifully prepared plate. The Cowboy vinaigrette is a stand out, and one recommendation is to get the salad topped with crispy oysters.
The Hillstone Cheeseburger is a mouthful, with two large toothpicks needed to hold everything in place. The egg bun sandwiches perfectly cooked chuck steak and brisket, topped with heaping helpings of mayonnaise, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and barbeque sauce.
If this sauce from the burger just isn’t enough, move onto the Barbeque Pork Ribs. You’ll be rewarded if you’re up for the challenge of eating ribs at an upscale restaurant, with the meat sliding right off the bone. The steaks are the stars of the show and there’s really not a way to go wrong here, with Hawaiian Rib-Eye, Prime New York Strip and USDA Prime Filet, recommended served at medium or below.
Whether you enjoy darkened indoor booths or watching the sunset on the open-air patio, Hillstone’s plates will most likely end your spring evening on a good note.