I really hate to write this review because I'm giving away one of my 'watering hole' restaurants. If everyone knows about it, I won't be able to get a table when I want :-(. But, GREAT food, beautifully plated, with an extensive and imaginative global wine list, deserves to be known. I don't know about you, but finding a restaurant with great good and a good wine list....is tough to do. GRAPES has it all. You will have to go up a long, winding mountain road to get up to Jerome, an old copper/gold mining town. But the view is spectacular and bring your camera (long and short lens). You won't regret it. GRAPES opens at 11:30 am and here's my secret advice: be there at that time. Why? Unfortunately, GRAPES is what I call a "hole-in-the-wall" restaurant....very little room. They have inside dining in sumptuous and comfy booths and there's an outside dining area where you can overlook the Verde Valley. Both small. The smart cookie gets a RESERVATION. But if you want the best lunch around, be there at 11:30 am, no excuses. Parking is always tough up at Jerome. My advice is as you drive up the hill, GRAPES will be on your left. Straight ahead, you'll see the Jerome Fire Department. Go park there--that's the local's secret where we park. Otherwise, you'll spend lots of time trying to find a place. And there are some parking areas down the hill. If you have back/hip/leg issues you won't want to try and WALK to GRAPES. Park at the fire department and it's a quick downhill walk to the restaurant. For reservations, menu and other info go to: http://grapesjerome.com/. The food is divine. Fresh. These chefs care about presentation. Food comes hot if it's supposed to be and cold/chilled. They have a "Flite of Grapes" and you get to pick three wines from their luscious wine list (reds/whites/bubbling/champagne). It comes presented on a board with three glasses with an ounce of wine in each so you get to taste some of these yummy wines they have. And the list is always changing...how refreshing... If you're a wine lover, this is the place for you. The service at this restaurant is fabulous...quick service, attentive, they listen. For example, if you don't want onions on something, they'll accommodate you and take it off. They aim to please. My favorite is their creative and imaginative salads. But you just can't go wrong with whatever you choose. I come only at lunch time. They are open for dinner and if you decide to go then, GET A RESERVATION. Otherwise, trust me, the locals in the Verde Valley know this place and it's one of our fab secrets for foodies and wine lovers. And their prices are reasonable....you're not going to spend an arm and a leg for lunch. Dinner is pricier but hey...this is the place for celebrating a birthday, anniversary or any other reason you can make up to get there. So...sigh...I've just given my most favorite restaurant away to you. Enjoy it. I hope I can get a seat at lunch, now :-))
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