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For 25 years of anniversaries, David and I had gone to a different restaurant each year to celebrate. Always trying new places we’ve never been to before. That tradition ended this year. Last night, for our 26th anniversary, we went back to the same place we celebrated our silver anniversary last year.  In the process, we decided that going to Binkley’s, which I believe to be the best restaurant and dining experience in Arizona, is our new tradition every year from here out! Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek is 20 miles from our house, which I thank God for, otherwise, I’d be poor as a church mouse and big as an elephant- because I’d go there each and every week.

Last year we hired a driver since we knew we’d be imbibing in the wine pairing menu…this year we just rented a room… about the same price and more fun!

Let me apologize ahead of time, please excuse the poor quality of the photos.  I hate to be “that person” who takes flash photos of each plate, disrupting other diners.  Since we were sitting in a corner, I was as discrete as could be and didn’t use a flash. Then this morning I made my best effort to color correct the photos I took.

When you go to the link for the restaurant, be sure to watch the slide shows under the “Process” and “Experience” tabs, then you will understand what makes this place so magical and see pictures that do it justice. The other thing that puts this place over the top, is the never-ending amuse-bouche (amuse-bouche are not ordered from the menu by diners, but are served at the discretion of and according to the chef’s selection alone.) I’m not exaggerating when I say that during our 5-course tasting menu, we were served at least 7 or 8 additional amuse-bouche!

We each chose the 5-course tasting menu with wine pairing. Here is what we had, David’s choice is first and mine is second:

Cold Appetizer

Spot Prawn Tartar
uni gelee, radish, snow peas, grapes, chili threads, basil, wasabi, citrus

Shaved Diver Scallop
orange, sorrel, Fresno chile, baby artichokes, fiddlehead ferns, water chestnuts, taro root chip

Hot Appetizer

Crispy Seared Foie Gras
mulberries, vanilla Fresh toast, sunflower, balsamic

Goose Egg
osso bucco ragout, brown butter croutons, parmesan


Black Bass
fava bean & tomato bruschetta, basil, spicy rémoulade

garlic, preserved lemon-ricotta squash blossom, sweet peppers, brown butter


loin, sausage, French dip, vanilla & Szechuan pepper couscous, shiitake mushroom, soy

Filet Mignon
short ribs Sheppard’s pie, mirepoix, red wine demi-glace

Dessert and Cheese Course

Banana Caramel Pudding

Roquefort, Chevre, French Triple Cream

The goose egg and Sheppard’s pie were absolutely to die for, if I could only eat two things the rest of my life, those would be it! Thank you, Kevin and Amy Binkley, we’ll see you again in 364 days!

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1 Grandma H. { 05.05.11 at 2:19 PM }

Sounds like you had a wonderful anniversary. And I can remember when I couldn’t get Dave to eat fish of any kind!

Love, Mom

2 sloane { 05.05.11 at 3:42 PM }

Simply amazing! More like artwork then food!

Happy Anniversary!

3 Guest Post: Mother’s Day/Summer Salad — Les Petites Gourmettes { 05.10.11 at 11:39 AM }

[…] Hello everyone. Linda’s daughter, Marissa, here – reporting with your recipe for today.  As part of my Mother’s Day gift to my mom, I told her I would photograph and write blog posts for the two recipes my dad and I (but mostly me) made her last night for dinner.  My dad was in charge of keeping the cucumber martinis coming, which was also a very important job.  The first recipe is a delicious, fruity summer salad that my mom saw on the menu at Cave Creek Coffee Company, where she and my dad went the morning after their anniversary last week. […]

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