Many Valley residents know Mark Tarbell from the wine column he writes for The Arizona Republic. Others know him from his success on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, where he succeeded in his challenge against Iron Chef Cat Cora in “Battle Apple.” His restaurant, Tarbell’s, opened in 1994 and began sserving a seasonal, organic, and sustainable menu long before it was trendy.
The lighting in the restaurant perfectly displays the crisp white tablecloths, glassware, and flatware. The staff is welcoming and knowledgeable. When asked, the server, John, provided information on how each dish was prepared. He knew the premium beef was from Sterling Silver Farms and the salmon was farm-raised off the coast of Scotland. Local residents are familiar with the outstanding organic greens from Maya’s Farm at South Mountain. At Tarbell’s, there is a dedicated salad called Maya’s Field Greens which included pickled baby beets and carrots, shaved fennel, brioche croutons, and organic carrot vinaigrette.
Outstanding menu items included: House-made fettuccine with oven-poached local tomatoes, toasted garlic, cracked kalamata olives, aged Parmigiano and fresh herbs; Grilled Scottish Salmon on a crispy potato cake with a molasses-lime glaze; Tarbell’s Mascarpone Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel Sauce; Southern Bread Pudding with Kentucky Bourbon Sauce; Warm Chocolate Cake with Pistachio Ice Cream; and Iron Chef America Chocolate-Covered caramel mini Apples. On Sundays, they make one batch of housemade ice cream, which is available on a first come, first served basis.
Tarbell’s offers an award-winning extensive wine list with more than 30 wines offered by the glass. The restaurant has received high accolades fro multiple local, regional, and national publications including Wine Spectator and Food & Wine Magazine.
Many recipes for house specialties are available on the website, including this one:
Mascarpone Cheesecake with Rosemary-Caramel Sauce
1-1/2 cup graham crackers
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup sugar
5 ounces butter, melted
Combine ingredients and pat into the bottom of a springform pan.
3/4 package cream cheese
6 ounces sour cream
1 cup sugar
2 ounces sweetened lime juice
3 eggs, mixed with 2 ounces heavy cream
2 T cornstarch
Peel of one lemon
Beat all of the above together and pour over crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cool in refrigerator. Let cool before proceeding to next layer.
8 ounces sour cream
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
2-1/2 T sugar
Combine ingredients and spread over already cooled first layer.
Bake at 4500 for 5 minutes.
Cool in refrigerator.
1/3 cup sugar
1.5 T water
1 to 1.5 T heavy cream
1 tsp butter
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
Stir sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat until mixture is a rich caramel color.
Remove from heat. Stir in heavy cream in increments, until sauce reaches a pourable, chocolate sauce-like consistency.
Stir in butter.
Add rosemary sprig and let steep for 10 minutes.
Discard rosemary and pour sauce over cooled cheesecake.
To make a reservation or gather more information, contact www.tarbells.com or call 602) 955-8100. Tarbell’s is located at 3213 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018.