Come for the House-Made White Chocolate, Stay for the Service

The Place: White Chocolate Grill
The Location: 7000 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix
The Dishes: AZ Egg Rolls, Filet Mignon Cobb Salad, BBQ Baby Back Ribs, White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
By: Anthony Carli

Prominently located in the southeast corner of the Scottsdale 101 shopping center, The White Chocolate Grill serves contemporary American cuisine for folks looking for an upscale but affordable dining experience in North Scottsdale. Visitors are welcomed into the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired structure, setting the tone for a sophisticated meal. A midcentury-modern influence is apparent as you enter and feast your eyes on rich wood adornments throughout the space. The kitchen sits behind several panes of thick glass where the muffled orders of a chef can be faintly heard as a smoky perfume wafts from the grill.

This place is lively, but not rambunctious. A stunning bar is tucked into the corner of the restaurant, with rows of liquor stacked in a brilliant display of light and color, with a few TVs. White Chocolate Grill boasts a team-service format, ensuring that our needs were met quickly by friendly staff members. Even though it was a full house the night we visited, our drinks were never empty, and our server was able to offer well-informed insights about the menu.

We started with Arnold Palmers made with fresh lemonade, served in sugar-rimmed glasses. Sometimes the little things make a big impact. As a starter, we ordered the AZ Egg Rolls that arrived with two dipping sauces, an oven roasted tomato salsa and a jalapeno cream sauce ($12.39). Hidden beneath the crisp exterior of the egg roll was a spice-rich mixture of corn, black beans, peppers and chicken bound by melted jack cheese. The salsa brought a clean acidity to the dish, while the rich jalapeño cream sauce dampened spiciness and brought subtle heat.

Our server recommended the Filet Mignon Cobb Salad with bleu cheese dressing instead of the standard red zinfandel vinaigrette ($16.99). Her recommendation was spot-on. The wood-grilled filet coupled beautifully with smoked bacon, which in turn gave a new level of depth to an otherwise standard cobb salad. For an entrée, we split the Barbecued Baby Back Ribs accompanied by honey roasted carrots and freshly mashed potatoes with White Chocolate Grill’s ‘good gravy’ ($25.89). Our server noted that ribs are the house specialty. After eating them, I can see why. The meat was easily peeled from the bone and the sweet vinegary sauce added a nice lift to the rich meaty flavor. The flavor was hard-hitting and the ribs were cooked perfectly.

We finished our meal with White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie ($7.89). Sitting atop a graham cracker crust was a pool of vanilla pastry cream in which bananas and whipped cream happily swam. A mountain of house-made white chocolate shavings balanced on top. It’s a visually stunning presentation, and the vanilla pastry cream really shines. Slices of fresh banana pack the majority of the sweetness, and the graham cracker crust adds a gentle salty touch.

White Chocolate Grill is definitely worth a visit. Their team-based model promises exceptional service and the interior design ensures a lively atmosphere. Regular business hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Happy Hours begins at 2 p.m., offering select drinks and snacks for under $10. The restaurant also offers delivery through Door Dash (in case you’re in the middle of your latest Netflix binge).

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