Highlights: The Chef’s Table & Just Cook For Me!
These two dinners at Miraval Tucson, The Chef’s Table ($185) and Just Cook For Me ($175), were two excellent dining experiences, made better by fantastic company and engagement from the skilled, fun chef. However, there were some hiccups – the menus were quite similar, despite being told otherwise, and an overbilling error at checkout dampened the mood a bit. The food was delicious, and came with an ample wine pairing, so definitely an excellent use of the $175 per day resort credit we had.
My standard restaurant reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting.
Both experiences are located in the Cactus Flower Restaurant, however as you can imagine the Chef’s Table is in the kitchen, with chefs running about and cooking, and Just Cook For Me is in a more private dining area in the back, next to a private kitchen used for demonstrations and hosting. TCT was a bustling time, crammed into a small, cold, steel table, three tightly-packed high-top seats on each side, whereas JCFM was at a much larger wooden table, with plenty of space in the large open room with outdoor view, not a soul other than the chef and your small party of up to six.
The dining experience really depends on who you’re eating with. For TCT, we were with a quieter group, while JCFM was three couples who were talking, laughing, and enjoying the experience, so, combined with (what I think) better food, JCFM is definitely my preferred option.
As mentioned previously, the menus were very similar between TCT and JCFM, however the chef (same for both nights) incorporated feedback from guests on the first meal, and applied them to the second, for a much improved dining experience. Below is the menu I have from JCFM
We had a wine pairing with every. single. course. I did my best to complete as much as possible, but it definitely was fantastic. Some bottles the lady enjoyed so much we took a picture of to try at home!
The Chef’s Table Wines:
Just Cook For Me Wines:
Both times we had pickled beets with Humboldt Fog goat cheese and dates, as well as a cheese appetizer between the surf and turf. The first night, the pickled beets were overwhelming sour and hard to consume, but it was toned back for JCFM and much more enjoyable.
Both meals had surf – a delicious lobster tail, chilled, and turf – tenderloin. Chef invited me to sear the meat for everyone during Just Cook For Me – so that was a fun experience, getting the proper grill marks crosshatch on the meat. He took feedback from the first night – the meat was placed on a spicy sauce, so it just tasted like spicy lamb all evening, so that was fixed the second evening!
Even writing about this makes my mouth water – that lobster was AMAZING on both nights.
TCT had a creme brulee dessert, while JCFM was cheesecake. I enjoyed the cheesecake crust so I ate mine and took some of my lady’s.
Upon leaving we were gifted a thank you bag with a spatula, courtesy of their sponsor William Sonoma. It’s a cute bag, sized for a bottle of wine. I also took some photos of where I exited.
The Chef did apologize for the menus being very similar, which wasn’t a problem – I really enjoyed my experience overall. Highly recommend just doing Just Cook For Me going forward – don’t need to do both! Next time I’ll be sure to try their basic dinners. At $175/$185 a person it’s a bit pricey, but when you get $175 per person resort credit and like food, this works out great. Note that you are also charged 6.1% tax on this, which came to $10.68 for JCFM at $175, and $11.90 for TCT at $195 which they gave me a $10 credit to fix the pricing error later.
This Miraval stay was an amazing experience and I enjoyed the dining excursions as well. Check out my full review of the property here. I would definitely come back or try Miraval Austin’s dining experiences next time!
Featured Image of the Lobster from the Chef’s Table. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels.
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