SaltRock Southwest Kitchen

Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living Magazine, December 2019

Written by Gail G. Collins

A sophisticated couple sat at a patio table with their eyes fixed on the fiery glow of Sedona’s red rocks, bathed in golden light. No words passed between them. A stacked stone water feature nearby spilled over, drops sparkling. From the patio, a path wandered down to the edge of Oak Creek, luring guests to enjoy its solitude and natural beauty. A waiter quietly appeared and served the couple colorful dishes of branzino fillet and Iberico chorizo with roasted heirloom tomatoes on a swirl of charred avocado, roasted fennel fronds and citrus salad.

This combination of inventive, complex and complementary ingredients in a landmark locale draws diners to SaltRock Southwest Kitchen. As part of Amara Resort and Spa, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and boasts a distinguished craft cocktail bar. The intimate boutique hotel offers 100 spacious rooms and suites, mixing modern amenities with a relaxed, yet refined, lifestyle. Though guests are only steps from the bustling pleasures of upscale shopping and tourism, the lush gardens and creek feel a world away.

SaltRock opened in 2014, and with the arrival of Chef Lindsey Dale in February, its menu received a chic revamp. The celebrated eatery showcases fresh, light, seasonal dishes enhanced by Southwestern flair and a California sensibility.

“Native ingredients have been wonderful to explore and learn to use in interesting ways,” said Chef Dale. “Tepary beans, cholla and juniper are new to me.”

The Syracuse, New York, transplant came to Arizona five years ago. With a background in family baking and serious training from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, Dale is pursuing her passions in Sedona.

Her plan is to put SaltRock on the foodie map, “a food destination in a relaxed atmosphere among the red rocks,” she said.

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