Ocotillo Restaurant in Phoenix
Written by: Bailey Voss (Phoenix Blogger)
Ocotillo Restaurant is in Downtown Phoenix off of 3rd St and Osborn Rd. The grounds are large and easy to find. From the outside, the buildings are industrial with a desert landscape but inside you’re immediately greeted with a spacious, cozy dining room and bar with gorgeous natural lighting. The whole space has a really open and airy feel to it. The concept is quite eclectic and different as they have a ton of unique flavor combinations and the menu itself is HUGE. They describe themselves as “Locally sourced, seasonal American fare in a cavernous space with a modern industrial vibe.” That truly sums it up quite nicely. I have visited Ocotillo Restaurant three times now, each visit had a few months in between so I feel like I have a grasp on the concept and a firm opinion now.
Bumble BFF Brunch
My first visit was a promotional lunch for the app BumbleBFF. A friend of mine that works with the brand, had the opportunity to set up a girly sesh with 8 friends, treat us to a delicious brunch, and gift us each a BumbleBFF goodie bag with all kinds of cute, funny gifts inside. She happened to have chosen Ocotillo Restaurant so we all planned to meet there on a warm Arizona Saturday morning. Upon arrival, I was guided to our table and greeted by my friends who had already arrived. The staff had given us a large corner booth table by the window which provided more than enough space for all of us. The table was graciously set with menus, however, my friend did bring the Sunflower bouquet and our seating name tags which really brought a personal touch to the experience but is not normally provided at Ocotillo.
Sangria and Salmon Board
The remaining girls arrived and we could not wait another minute to put in some pitchers of Sangria. They also brought fruit plates which were presented beautifully. We snacked on our fruit, sipped our sangria, laughed, caught up and went through our goodie bags. We then put our brunch orders in. I chose the House Smoked Salmon board. I was blown away by the presentation and freshness of the ingredients. The smoked salmon was some of the best I’ve had. It was paired with capers, tea egg, pickled shallots, dill creme, and perfectly grilled seeded bread. The portion was just what I needed.
We continued to chat and ordered another pitcher of sangria, which then led to even more laughs when it ended up all over the table and two wine glasses broken… oops. The waiter was so gracious about it and took care of us the entire time. I don’t think this event would have been nearly as memorable had it been anywhere else. We all left with happy hearts and full belly’s and most definitely eager to return for another meal at Ocotillo.
Dinner at Ocotillo Restaurant
My second visit to Ocotillo was for a family dinner. We decided to stray from drinks and focus on food. We put in a couple of appetizers like the Halibut Ceviche and the Grilled Heirloom Squash. Both were tasty and light. Perfect appetizers if you’re trying to taste a lot of things on the menu. I am a pasta lover so to say I was excited to try their pasta’s is an understatement. I gravitated towards the Baked Lumache Pasta with butternut squash, winter greens, goat cheese, parmesan and bread crumbs. This was so incredibly creamy and rich. Plus the portion was massive. My only complaint was that it had a bit too much sauce, I felt bad wasting so much of it. We were happy we got to try so much on the menu and all agreed the ingredients tasted fresh in every dish.
Celebration’s at Ocotillo Restaurant
My most recent visit to Ocotillo Restaurant was for an anniversary brunch. It was a beautiful day so we couldn’t resist the sunny patio. We started off with mimosas and ended up regretting not just doing the pitcher deal for $18 which came out to about 4 mimosas which we ended up having by the end of the meal anyway. This time around I really wanted to try their ‘SWEET’ section on their menu as it has always caught my eye. We decided to keep it fairly light and just share a few things.
We had the Warm Cinnamon Rolls which sits in a warm skillet on a small puddle of maple syrup. The inside lined with Apple Jam and topped with Maple Frosting. I was hesitant about the Sun Dried Strawberries in Balsamigo with herbed ricotta, basil and country bread. It sounded sweet and I was afraid it would be too much. I was wrong as the sweetness was subtle and the herbed ricotta balanced it out. It’s a unique flavor combination but it got better with every bite. There wasn’t nearly enough bread, just one more piece would have been perfect for the significant amount of spread left over. Lastly, the Fried Chicken sat in a hefty pile of parmesan polenta with a fried egg on top and scallions covered in truffle honey. This visit to Ocotillo was relaxing and we surprised ourselves with our choices but left feeling more than satisfied.
Ocotillo Restaurant really proved themselves to me in my three visits and I can proudly say this restaurant is on my favorites list for sure! They stand for exactly what they say they do and the quality shines through with each dish. Eclectic concepts can either be great or really bad and it’s clear they have hit the nail on the head with this one. Whether you have a large party or event, a family dinner, a meeting, date or anniversary, Ocotillo will leave you eager to come back and try more. Their menu does change every so often which makes my heart so happy to know they will continue to provide the community with new and unique food experiences.
Photos By: Natalie Allen
BumbleBFF Event Held By: Kennedy Dawn