Little Restaurant, Big Taste
When I first walked into Fournos Restaurant in Sedona, Arizona I didn’t know what to expect. It is small. Very small, only nine tables and when you enter you are right next to a little, open kitchen. But don’t let appearances fool you. I never buy that line that size matters, well not for a restaurant at least.
The restaurant is owned and run by a married couple, Chef Ivan Flowers and Tracy Phillips. With the help of a great server, Tess Griffin they make you feel as if you are dining in their home. It’s personal, intimate and comfortable, just like all great dinning moments.
But a great meal isn’t just about the experience it is of course also about the food itself. Taste counts. Once I sat down, I was served warm bread and a parmesan, garlic, olive oil, spinach dipping sauce (I’m told guests are asking that they bottle it and I know why). I was then treated to a five-course Chef’s tasting menu paired with wines from their boutique list. Highlights from the meal included an appetizer trio of house made gnocchi with cognac mushrooms, New Zealand green lip mussels and Roasted corn esquite paired with an Italian Prosecco. Also, the Australian Barramundi with warm English peas, Japanese grapes and confit tomatoes was brilliant. This was paired with a Yalumbe Grenache that surprised me because it is a red wine, but it complimented the sweetness in the fish and peas.
Once the meal was finished Chef Ivan Flowers sat down with me and I was treated to stories of his youth in Brooklyn, N.Y. and how his Jewish grandmothers and father (who owned restaurants in N.Y.) instilled in him a passion for cooking. Ivan feels that every thing you cook must start in the heart. And if you don’t put your heart into it, it won’t be delicious, no matter how skilled the Chef. Period. I have to admit I completely agree.
So what I will take with me from my visit to Fournos Restaurant is not only the memory of a spectacular meal, but also the love and passion that Ivan and Tracy put into everything they do… No wonder Fournos’ business card says, “The Little Restaurant with Big Flavor.” See I told you size doesn’t matter.