This less rarefied sibling to Gustino could serve nothing but the ambrosial chiles en nogada and earn my undying devotion. This heavenly cousin of the chile relleno was invented by nuns in Puebla state in 1821 to welcome Augustín Iturbide, president of the newly independent Mexico: a poblano chile stuffed with ground beef and pork, onions, and various fresh and dried fruit, bathed in a creamy white walnut sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds. Because of its history and its green, white and red ingredients echoing the colors of the Mexican flag (and also because walnuts and pomegranates are in season), it became the country’s traditional Independence Day dish. Complicated and time-consuming to prepare, it doesn’t appear on many restaurant menus, but Iturbide would have rolled back his eyes in ecstasy after one bite of Sedona Grill’s rendition. The menu is a blend of northern Mexico and U.S. Southwestern cuisine, but be ready for anything. Caesar salad gets a chipotle dressing, shrimp ceviche is served with Navajo fry bread, cioppino is heated up with green chilies, and pork tenderloin is paired with sweet potato mascarpone lasagna. The breakfast buffet is hugely popular, probably because every dish tastes like it was made to order.
- Christine Delsol