James-Beard Award Winning Chef, Christopher Gross is world renowned and has cooked in Europe as well as many places here in the US. His restaurant, Christopher’s & Crush Lounge has already been named one of the top 10 New Restaurants in the U.S. by Gayot.com. There are so many other things about Chef Christopher worthy of noting here in this review that I have included them directly from the restaurants website.
Among his many media recognitions, Christopher was named one of America’s 10 Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine. Christopher’s, the restaurant, was named Best New Restaurant by William Rice of the Chicago Tribune and Best New Restaurant by John Mariani of Esquire. In 1995, Perrier Jouet and the James Beard Foundation named Christopher Best Chef Southwest. In 1997 Christopher was the first chef in Arizona to be bestowed the honor of the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence.
His previous restaurants, Christopher’s and Christopher’s Bistro, and Christopher’s Fermier at Biltmore Fashion Park received prestigious accolades in Gourmet, Conde Nast, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Bon Appetit, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times, Phoenix Home and Garden, The New York Times, Connoisseur, Home Beautiful, and others. Christopher’s Fermier Brasserie & Paola’s Wine Bar were also awarded America’s Best Restaurant – Phoenix & Scottsdale, Gourmet Magazine 2002, Best French Restaurant – Best of Phoenix 2002 & 2003, The New Times, and Best Lunch – The Rep’s Best 2002, Arizona Republic.
Christopher has become a dominating figure within the industry, consulting regularly for Club Med, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Lines, Disney and others. Christopher has also been featured on numerous panels with Jacques Pepin and Julia Child at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. He and his recipes have appeared in numerous cookbooks, including the Julia Child PBS series and cookbook “In the Kitchen with Master Chefs.”
He has also been a featured chef for the James Beard Foundation Dinner of the Decade,, “A Salute to Peter Kump”; and the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games; and has cooked for President Ford, President Reagan, President Bush, Vice President Al Gore and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
I had the great honor of not only dining at Christopher’s & Crush Lounge but being also meeting the very talented Chef Christopher Gross himself. He was kind and it seemed, very passionate about his work. It was a pleasure meeting him as well as enjoying his food.
Our experience began at the front doors. When walking into Christopher’s, you are immediately enveloped into a world of prestige and class. The rich colors and plush furniture of the interior lends to a cozy, yet upscale dining experience. Upon being seated, we were welcomed with the comfort of knowing that our waiter, David Moelter, was familiar with the needs of those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Per his suggestion we enjoyed the following meal.
Our starter was the absolutely amazing Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup. I couldn’t believe how tasty it was. It was truly delicious and full of many depths of flavor. It was warm and cozy. The mushroom powder and truffle oil really set this soup apart and gave it a unique but very desirable flavor.
The Arugula Salad with Cabrales, Fennel and Poached Pear made for another unique but tasty dish. Fresh and very strong flavors set this salad apart. It was topped with a Parmesan crisp that was absolutely delectable. It was a nice crunchy aspect to this perfectly dressed salad.
For dinner, we enjoyed the Filet of Salmon with Haricot Vert. The salmon was cooked perfectly. It was buttery and delicious. Topped with a lemon vinaigrette, it couldn’t have been any more fulfilling. The beans were sweet and fork tender. They were truly the best beans I have ever eaten. In addition to our salmon we were served the Potatoes Au Gratin. They too, were very tasty. The middle was soft and creamy while the top was crisp, thanks to the wood fire oven. I really enjoyed these different textures. One unique thing about this Au Gratin is that is was creamy rather than cheesy. It set it apart from others I have had in the past.
Wild Mushroom, Shallot and Arugula Pizza was our second entree. This in-house gluten free crust reminded me of a foccacia of sorts. It was fluffy and hearty at the same time, as many foccacia breads tend to be. The cheese was very light and with no sauce this pizza reminded me more of cheese bread appetizer rather than a pizza, however, it was full of delicious, earthly flavors and very filling.
We ended this great meal with Chef Christopher’s Parnassienne au Chocolate Chocolate Tower. The dessert was pure bliss. I am not usually a chocolate fan but this dessert was absolute perfection. From the dark chocolate lattice to the white chocolate cylinder that was the vessel for a pure chocolate mousse you think it couldn’t get any better, then something magical happens. You are served the slightly warmed espresso sauce to pour over top. This alone was one of the top 3 most delicious things my tongue has had the joy of tasting. It was velvety smooth, perfectly sweet and the only possible topping to this Heavenly dessert. Served with fresh berries, it was almost too beautiful to eat. Thank goodness, I did. It was a culinary experience I will never forget. Chef Christopher was so kind as to share the recipe for this signature dish, in which he also shared with the great Julia Childs on her PBS master chef series, with the folks over at The Phoenix New Times to share with all of us. Thank you so much Chef Christopher for that gift!
We loved learning that in addition to offering delicious gluten free dishes and the most amazing dessert ever, nearly every one of the sauces on the menu are gluten free. The gluten free pizza crust is also made in house and cooked in a wood fire oven. The oven is scrubbed and cleaned before each gluten free pizza goes in for cooking. In addition to precautions taken in the kitchen, the servers are very clear in their submission of allergen orders. This and the open kitchen, where you can see everything being made, gave me great comfort in dining gluten free at Christopher’s. I would like to take a moment to thank Sous Chef, Jabari Corbin for a wonderful job on the food for the evening.
Christopher’s has an amazing happy hour worth noting, from 3-6 pm daily in which many of the dishes in this review are offered at half off the regular menu price. What a great way to enjoy even more menu items. Our experience at Christopher’s was priceless, and I imagine yours will be as well.
2502 E Camelback Rd. Suite #102
Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ 85016
Located inside the Biltmore Shopping Center
Phone : (602) 522-2344
Hours of Operation:
Open 7 days a week.
Christopher’s main dining room
11:00 am – 9:00 pm Monday & Tuesday
7 days a week from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm in kitchen bar for discounted food & drinks!
**This company provided me with sample product for review purposes on this website. I was not paid or compensated in any other way for my reviews nor was I required to write a positive review. These are my opinions and my opinions alone.
*We do not take any responsibility for the gluten free dining experience of others. As always, eat at your own risk as this is not a dedicated gluten free facility.