Writer Shoshana Leon
Photography Courtesy of Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]mni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia is known for its spectacular views of Camelback Mountain and its Spanish inspiration. From restaurants to private dining and special events, the Montelucia’s Desert to Dish program highlights Arizona’s local ingredients and farm-fresh offerings prepared with international flair.
The Montelucia, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, features nearly 300 guest rooms, the Moroccan-themed Joya Spa and Salon, three pools, over 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and a variety of dining options.
The Montelucia’s food and beverage program is driven by Executive Chef Marcos Seville, an Arizona native. Prior to joining the Montelucia in 2013 as executive sous chef, he worked in kitchens at the Peabody in Orlando, Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa and Arizona Biltmore.
“We believe our guests enjoy the combination of our unique flavors paired with the picturesque landscape,” said Chef Seville. “From the Spanish architecture to sweeping views of Camelback Mountain, Omni provides a true escape for our guests, and our culinary offerings really push the envelope in terms of experience.”
The Montelucia offers several dining options. The resort’s Prado restaurant offers Spanish cuisine featuring local ingredients in a communal atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating, two private dining rooms and a display kitchen. Prado serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers special menus for holiday dining throughout the year.
In 2018, Chef Belal Rajab was named Chef de Cuisine at Prado. Originally from Iraq, his passion for cooking comes from his mother. His culinary career began in Tucson as a butcher before he joined the Omni Tucson in 2008. He came to the Omni Montelucia five years ago to serve as sous banquet chef and sous chef at Prado.
Prado offers Spanish favorites including a few varieties of paella, as well as salads, steaks, seafood and pasta. Prado’s tapas menu includes albondigas (meatballs), ceviche and grilled octopus. Guests also have the option to build a charcuterie board featuring Spanish meats and cheeses.
On Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m., Prado’s guests can enjoy a tapas tour and get a taste of every tapas item on the menu. Every Sunday evening from 5:30 to 10 p.m., groups can enjoy a four-course, family-style tapas meal.
Prado’s Mbar offers happy hour specials Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. On Wednesdays, select bottles of wine are half price with the purchase of two or more tapas.
There is live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as Sunday mornings. Mbar’s signature cocktails include the Montelucia Caipirinha inspired by Brazil’s national cocktail; the Omni Negroni with gin, vermouth and Campari; and the Camelback Cooler featuring jalapeno-infused tequila and cilantro.
The Montelucia’s Centro Taqueria restaurant highlights authentic Mexican cuisine with ingredients supplied by farms across Arizona. Chef de Cuisine Laura Gonzalez began her career at the Montelucia in 2014 as a cook at Prado. The menu at Taqueria Centro is inspired by her upbringing in San Luis, Mexico, a small town on the border of Arizona and Mexico.
A graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, she previously worked at the Herb Box. In 2018 she won Food Network’s popular “Chopped” cooking competition show.
Mexican favorites on the menu include street corn, chicken mole and a variety of tacos, from fish and carne asada to squash blossom and chicken tinga. The beverage menu includes sangria, craft beer, wine, margaritas and cocktails.
Centro Taqueria hosts Taco Tuesday and Thirsty Margarita Thursday during which guests can get a complimentary salsa trio with the purchase of two margaritas. On Sundays, guests can customize their own bloody Mary and enjoy selections from Centro Taqueria’s game day menu featuring Maker’s Mark barbecue pork ribs, Maker’s Mark barbecue chicken flatbread and Buffalo Effen Vodka cauliflower fritters.
In addition to its restaurants, the Montelucia has an indoor/outdoor chef’s kitchen featuring high-end appliances and a 2,500-square-foot herb garden. The Montelucia hosts private events and monthly theme dinners in this unique space. The monthly theme dinners give guests the opportunity to see chefs working in the kitchen and enjoy a multi-course meal highlighting local ingredients paired with wine or spirits.
2019’s monthly chef’s kitchen dinner series starts January 22 with courses paired with luxury champagnes. The February 21 dinner will feature wines from Frog’s Leap Vineyards, and the March 20 dinner will celebrate the flavors of spring.
Additional Dining Options
The Montelucia’s other dining options include the casual Crave Café market and the Joya Terrace featuring healthy options for guests at the resort’s award-winning spa. The resort also offers several indoor and outdoor spaces and culinary experiences for private dining and special events.
“2019 is gearing up to be an exciting year for the Omni culinary team,” said Chef Seville. “We’re bringing several new enhancements to the Prado menu with refreshed flavors and bold dishes. Our chef’s kitchen dinners continue to grow, and 2019 will be sure to inspire diners with more influence from local farms along with bringing in internationally recognized spirit and wine vendors.
“We’re excited to bring our guests energized dishes that will elicit exciting conversations and bring each and every guest back wanting to experience more of the local flavor.”
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