Among the best that Sedona has to offer
First visit: August 22, 2012
I have been visiting Sedona for about 17 years now, and I can’t believe that I have never been to the Golden Goose. Than oversight has now been remedied, and I am glad to report that I think it to be among a small handful of great places in a city where touristy pap reigns.
About the Golden Goose Café
The Golden Goose Café and Bistro is a family owned and operated restaurant, opened in January of 2009 by Debbie and Efren Santa Cruz, who have been business and marital partners for nearly 30 years.
After long and fulfilling careers in the retail grocery business and public education, they retired from their respective careers to pursue their dream of owning and operating a restaurant. The pursuit of their dream first led them to a restaurant on Sedona, Café José. They packed their belongings and moved from their West Phoenix home to one of the most beautiful places on earth, Sedona, Arizona. In March of 2008, they took over the operation of Café José, a busy diner and favorite hangout of local residents. The move was so successful they opened a second location in the Village of Oak Creek later that same year.
It, too, was a successful operation and was sold shortly thereafter to allow them to focus on a different style of restaurant. Thus was born the Golden Goose, a casual fine dining establishment that has also become a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Known for beautifully prepared meals and exceptional service, the Golden Goose is conveniently located in the middle of West Sedona.
Sedona’s Golden Goose Café offers casual fine dining at an affordable price. Locals and visitors flock to this Sedona restaurant for fine food and an extensive wine list in an intimate and casual setting. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served seven days a week, by an expert staff and you will usually find the owners on site to make sure your dining experience is superb. Ours was.
Jane and I shared this dinner with her brother Bill and his family. Some of us stared with Green Chile Chicken Soup. It is easy to create a boring version of this New Mexico classic. Too many things can go awry. This version was among the best and tastiest I have ever had. Bill, an Easterner, could barely believe the amazing signals that this bowlful sent to his taste buds.
Home made Bread
We were served a basket of homemade bread. Perfect in every way. We kept getting refills. Be warned that you should resist the temptation to polish it all off — you must leave plenty of room for what will follow. Use some of the bread to dunk in the marvelous Tomato Soup. Spicy and savory, Stephanie loved it.
Jane had a delightful salad for starters. As good as this round of starters was, we had no idea how great he entrées would be.
The best of the rest
Penne with vodka sauce
The menu lists this as Linguine alla Vodka with Shrimp — Shrimp in a creamy tomato vodka sauce over linguine Stephanie asked for it over penne without the shrimp, and Lou Ann got the kitchen to do it that way. Good choice, and a combination that I would order on another visit. Penne cooked correctly, and the taste of the sauce was sublime. I only expect a simple pasta dish as this to be created in an Italian neighborhood mom-and-pop restaurant, but this version trumps any other I have gad.
Lemon peppered tilapia filet—grilled to perfection.
Jane loved this tilapia. It was grilled correctly remaining tenser moist, and very tasty. Lovely dish, with expert kitchen skills shining through.
The menu lists this as a blackened prime rip (Melt-in-your-mouth prime rib rubbed with home-made seasonings that provide a Cajun flair), but Lou Ann suggested that I would probably like it better au jus, and that’s what I got.
This prime rib was cooked to perfection, medium rare just as I requested. The outside was crusty and the inside was incredibly tender. Cut it with a fork. Prime rib can’t be done any better than this.
Hash brown-crusted salmon with a savory delicate sauce.
Jane’s brother, Bill, is somewhat of a harsh critic of food. After tasting this salmon, he declared it to be the best dish that he had anywhere during our five-day trip. Among the very best salmon he has ever had anywhere.
The kid had a hamburger and fries, untasted by this mouth. Looked goo, though.
Wow. What a meal. Unexpectedly fine food in Sedona. If you don’t see what you want, ask for it. Chances are good that you will get it, and with a smile. Golden Goose is a place you will want to come back to, often. It will be on my list every time I visit Sedona. Ant the red rocks call out to me often.
Golden Goose Cafe & Bistro
View menu on Golden Goose Cafe & Bistro’s website