Sanctuary “elements:” Where Yin Meets Yang
Arizona is recognized for some of the most amazing resorts in the world. Sanctuary, located in the heart of Scottsdale is an upscale resort at the top of that list.
In addition to the breathtaking scenery, tranquil spa and modern classic rooms, Sanctuary houses the award-winning restaurant, “elements” and “Jade Bar”.
Atop Camelback Mountain with jaw dropping views of Mummy Mountain, “elements” has wall-to-wall windows that showcase the setting sun flickering on the swaying palms, an inviting negative edge pool, ambient music and private/secluded booths… a recipe for romance.
The decor has an Asian flare, clean and modern. This theme carries through the entire restaurant, from the bamboo accents to the Yin and Yang shaped salt and pepper dishes atop each table.
The menu consists of farm fresh American cuisine with an Asian influence. “elements” is home to Executive Chef and television personality Beau MacMillan. As stated by the Food Network, “Beau MacMillan inspires his staff with his passion for fresh ingredients. His ingenuity in the kitchen is stimulated by his belief that food should not be overworked, but rather appreciated for its simplicity and natural perfection.” Chef Beau keeps things fresh by implementing menu changes that pair with each season (3-4 times annually). We were fortunate enough to sample the brand new summer menu and all it has to offer. We began our culinary journey of the menu with a couple of signature cocktails and tantalizing starters.
- Jade Bar’s Botticelli – American harvest vodka, aperol Italian bitters, freshly pressed lime and grapefruit juice topped by 2 oz. of champagne. This beverage was a refreshing sensation of bubbly fun!
- ‘elements’ The Fiery Mandarin – vodka, serrano pepper, orange zest, cranberry and lemon. A unique combination of sweet and spicy ingredients, which fits perfectly within the well-balanced yin and yang theme.
- Hamachi Sashimi – the watermelon, jalapeño and yellowtail is a refreshing summer sensation of flavor to help cool the brazen Arizona heat.
- Salt Roasted Beets – the Asian pear, roasted beets, sunflower seeds and creamy boursin cheese created a potpourri of texture and flavor. A brilliant array of color designing an artistic masterpiece.
- Bacon Wrapped Filet of Beef- titillating steak spice atop the tender filet, charred onion, oyster mushrooms with a balsamic chili glaze. A mouth-watering amusement ride for your taste buds.
- Hawaiian Nairagi – the sticky rice, avocado, lobster and mango kimchee produced a cornucopia of seasonally inspired ingredients that beautifully accentuate the delicate fish. Served medium rare, neither of us was familiar with this native Hawaiian fish, but we were particularly impressed with the mild flavor and tender texture.
- Brussels Sprouts and Pork Belly Hash- the al dente vegetables paired nicely with the salty savory pork.
- Lobster Mac n’ Cheese with Mushrooms- richly decedent…a few bites was more than enough to satisfy the richest of palates.
- Honey Poached Apricots with citrus sponge cake, almond granola and orange sorbet. Tangy and sweet with the granola topping to add a touch of crunch. Another well balanced set of ingredients marrying the restaurant’s yin and yang theme.
- Chocolate Stout Torte- dark chocolate mousse, malt crumble and salted caramel gelato, a chocolate lover’s dream. But what drew us to this dessert was the Caramel gelato, a melt in your mouth creamy delight.
The grounds, the décor and the menu items, were a visually appealing culinary journey. The well-balanced unique and fresh ingredients piqued our senses creating a very memorable and romantic dining experience. Sanctuary’s “elements”…it’s where Yin meets Yang. If you’ve been to “elements” before, please leave a comment below and share your dining experience.
Sanctuary’s ‘elements’ Restaurant Information:
Address: 5700 East McDonald Drive – Paradise Valley, Arizona 85253