SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It may not be the most upscale restaurant at the Four Season Resort Scottsdale, but Proof, an American Canteen, is arguably the most interesting at an already intriguing resort.
Opened in 2012, Proof has an upscale rustic feel that matches the unique feel of the Four Seasons at Troon North.
This is as American as it gets, from its menu right down to the checkered costumes the wait staff wears. Coffee is even served in tin cups, just like the old West roots here long before the 36 holes of golf at nearby Troon North Golf Club.
But if you're thinking Cracker Barrel, think again. No knock on the country cookin' chain, but Proof is a little more upscale. There are plenty of craft beers, for example, but more than that, there's a long list of comfort foods from every part of the country -- each with a little extra touch.
It's like taking a trip across America. Menu items include delectable treats like fried green tomatoes, shrimp po'boys, and chicken and waffles with bacon and bourbon syrup. There's also an old-fashioned soda fountain that serves up nostalgic milkshakes, malts and spiked floats. And the speakeasy bar at Proof features no fewer than 50 beers, 50 wines and 50 small batch and craft distilled spirits all from the 50 states.
There's also plenty of big-screen TVs, shuffleboard and other games suitable for the whole family. It's the kind of place you'll want to go to for breakfast, lunch and dinner and after dinner, too, perhaps to watch a game.
Fine dining at Four Seasons
Proof is hardly the only option at the Four Seasons. This remarkable 210-room resort, spread out among the rocks of the Sonoran Desert in the shadow of Pinnacle Peak, is a complete resort experience.
The signature restaurant is no less memorable than the newest. It's called Talavera, which is named for type of brightly colored, hand-painted Mexican pottery.
Talavera's steakhouse menu focuses on locally and regionally prime cuts of meat, poultry and game from boutique purveyors, as well as a wide variety of seafood. To highlight the restaurant's authenticity and sense of place, Executive Chef Mel Mecinas seeks out fresh heirloom tomatoes and vegetables from local farms, olive oil sourced from a nearby mill and Arizona ranch-raised meats.
You can also stop by Talavera for regular wine and tequila tastings. The tequila sampling, by the way, comes with the complete history of how the agave nectar is made.
The whole package
Of course, the big attractions at the Four Seasons are the nearby golf courses at Troon North Golf Club, which can be reached in a couple of minutes with the on-resort shuttle.
Both of them are designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morris, with a reconfiguration in 2007 that improved the courses -- the Monument and the Pinnacle -- widely considered the best in the Valley in the Sun (both are in Golf Digest's Top 50 national public rankings).
Staying at the Four Seasons merely completes the experience. Impressive is the way the resort pays attention to every detail. Not only do adobe casitas blend flawlessly into the desert landscape, but also each room is packed with thoughtful features.
Each room has an electronic fireplace, large bathroom with separate shower and extra-large tub, iPod-ready alarm clocks and dimming lights throughout. Guests also will enjoy the breathtaking views from the patios and interior colors capture the natural tones of the desert.
Add to that a spa that features the 'Golfer's Massage' -- which uses warmed golf balls to knead the muscles -- and you've got the ultimate golf experience.