Savor Craft Cocktails and Creative Cuisine at The Camby
The Camby, which officially opened its doors in December of 2015, is the Biltmore’s latest resident. The first and only member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection— a group of boutique hotels—in Arizona, The Camby is Phoenix’s answer to a modern, refined hotel. It’s not much of a surprise, then, that the hotel’s restaurants feature a blend of old and new, with just a touch of whimsy.
Aritzen is The Camby’s fine dining venue. This sleek restaurant—located to the right of the hotel’s main entrance—features royal blue walls, a patio complete with a waterfall and its very own bar. Small details make for a charming setting. Brass light fixtures, succulents in circular gray containers on dining tables and marble table tops make for a refined and elegant atmosphere.
The menu is a colorful mix of dishes that draw inspiration from both locally-sourced ingredients and international fare, like the roasted Thai-curried cauliflower. Stand-out options include the foie torchon, served as a spread alongside pickled blackberries, purple mustard, sweet onion marmalade and toast; creamy smoked goat cheese fondue accompanied by sweet potato chips and texture-rich Brussel sprouts, which are charred in-house. My personal favorite was the smoked Arizona sweet potatoes served with duck fat, chive and white BBQ sauce. Each bite proved to be sweet and savory, making for a well-balanced dish.
One local highlight of the dessert menu was the sticky dates. Warm, decadent and thick chocolate date pudding was served alongside rum ice cream dashed with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios. This flavorful dessert is a tasty homage to one of Arizona’s biggest locally-grown crops, and manages to please each and every taste bud.
The Bees Knees
Like the entire hotel, prohibition-era bar The Bees Knees feels vintage and modern all at once. Located just a few steps from the front entrance, the dark bar, dim lighting and wood shelves are reminiscent of a scene from Mad Men. But it’s not without some distinctly modern touches. A flat panel TV sits at the center of the bar shelves, while moving projections displayed above the marble make for one eye-pleasing scene. The centerpiece of the bar is a warm, cream-colored lounge chair where groups, couples and singles can mix and mingle.
The dedication to craft cocktails is literally evident on the bar. On the night we visited, the head mixologist, Libby Longlott’s, citrus fruits, missing their peels that are grated for zest, were sitting in a wire basket. Two water glasses filled with basil and mint were on the bar, as were a few bottles of bitters used to complement the drinks. However, the real highlight is a rectangular shaped container holding a square sheet of honeycomb, which is used in the spot’s signature cocktail, The Bees Knees. The cocktail certainly lives up to its name. The well-balanced blend of Nolet’s gin, lemon and orange blossom honey syrup is sweet with a slight bite that makes for an unforgettable drink. You’ll also find classics like Pisco sours, Negronis and the cleverly named Liquid Dramamine, a blend of Tito’s vodka, raspberry syrup, lime, cranberry, rhubarb bitters and ginger beer. Martinis, local beers, wine, whiskeys and scotch round out the menu. Small bites like Queen Creek Olive Mill marinated olives, in addition to larger plates like burgers, are also available.
Whether you’re searching for a way to step back in time or looking forward to the future, The Camby, and its two restaurants, manages to offer both experiences.
2401 E. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016