We are so lucky in Phoenix, aren’t we? I mean, even working in travel, it’s easy to take all the resorts for granted. Sweeping views of Camelback Mountain, which are also amazingly reflected in the glassy pools, palm trees rustling in the light breeze and you, behind your sunglasses and underneath your big floppy hat, gaze with amazement. 

views from montelucia

At least I did. Most recently at the Montelucia, a new resort that opened in early November. The thing is – it’s really a step into a different world. The little details everywhere are amazing. The new-thing-in-town restaurant, Prado, gives the same feeling of, “OH – this is Prado?!” 

Now, let’s just admit something. Resort restaurants in the past were – ummm – not exactly the place to be. A little stale, a little stuffy (and not talking about the air), they were just not exciting or lively or fun. But no more, my friends. Now, they are hip and great because they have life in them. 

inside prado

So what’s Prado like? You come in through this grand entrance, and at the front is M Bar, which serves small plates and the full menu and is this dark wood bar, loungey leather area, and live music. Then the restaurant is in the back half, with a great European/Spanish feel, all open to the patio (more on that later). It’s so cozy, but you’re there for the food, really. So I should tell you that it’s as good as you think. And probably better than you know. For dinner, I had the roasted chicken and about fell over it was so good. My husband had the lamb, which was equally amazing, but he even liked the chicken better. We raved about it so much to our waiter that he brought out the chef, Claudio, who proceeded to tell us that the chicken is organic and from a farm strict about no cruelty to animals. He also mentioned all the farms where they get local produce, meat, almost everything. We wound up going to Prado two nights in a row. I had the chicken both nights, but switched it up the second night and saved room for dessert.

{By the way, we ran into another couple who had been to Prado for three nights – they were staying at the resort for their 29th wedding anniversary – and she said that she had the chicken the third night they were there, and if she had ordered that the first night, she would have had it three nights in a row. So there you have it.}

A dessert doesn’t have to try hard to win my affection, but there were these churros that rocked my world. I mean, I have craved them to high heavens since I went, and I have to get my fix. Everyone knows what a churro is, right? In case not, they are these rolled sweet dough things that are covered in sugar. Prado, Prado, Prado, what have you done to me. They were crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside and when dipped in the chocolate cream, become spiritual. 

Prado churros

{Another BTW – after dinner, stroll over to the sitting area with what I like to call the “lava wall” where a big wall of fire warms an incredibly comfortable seating area. Actually, there are seating areas all over, and it’s the perfect end to a stroll after dinner. It’s gorgeous. Seriously.}

lava wall

From this experience, nothing short of in love with Prado, we went again for breakfast. We sat on the patio – OH the patio. I have a thing with patios. We have a lot of great nights here, and the weather is perfect for the outdoors. But when your host brings you to your table, it’s like all the personality of the restaurant is completely abandoned in favor of some heaters and metal chairs. No, no, no. Not Montelucia style. Their patio made me pretend that I was visiting friends in Ibiza, cozy but thoughtful. I had some of the most delicious breakfasts, including the french toast with nutella (See a trend? Bread and chocolate?). I have to tell you though, that we were blown away by their coffee. From Italy, it was also crave-worthy and I highly recommend it. 

Prado patioview from patio

French toast with Nutella   breakfast sandwich

The sound of the fountains soothe through the meal, the live music in the background, the Mediterranean colors remind you of Europe, but Prado at the Montelucia takes you there. 

Fountains

www.icmontelucia.com