Best Restaurants in Arizona – CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar at Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” – François de La Rochefoucauld

I recently visited the Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona for a staycation article, which you can read by Clicking Here.

During my stay, I had the opportunity to dine at the property’s signature restaurant, CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar; which illustrates one of the many reasons that I love visiting luxury resorts – sometimes a visit reveals a true hidden gem that infuses my experience in a way that always stays with me.

My experience at CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar was such an experience, and I really needed to write a separate article to fully describe the meal and the overall experience; and most importantly to share with people my opinion that CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar is one of the best restaurants in Arizona.

The Space

The CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar is elegantly designed in a contemporary setting, and the dining space flows from the interior of the resort out toward an expansive patio sublimely featuring a Sonoran Desert backdrop. It’s a stunning setting.

This is my favorite panoramic shot.


The Wine Cellar

One of my favorite elements of CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar is the Wine Cellar, which forms part of the architectural foundation of the restaurant, and is adjacent to the bar; creating a warm and communal setting for wine-tasting and taking a few minutes to relax, learn about wine, and meet some new people. So cool.

The Food

You can Click Here to view the Menus. We started with fresh and warm homemade bread and Chili-Roasted Butter; accompanied with Greyhounds with freshly-squeezed Grapefruit Juice. Mmmm.

We then enjoyed some starters, Beef Carpaccio (dijon & capers/quail egg yolk heavy dusted roquefort/chive/smoked aioli), Hass Avocado Tartare (organic hass avocado/summer asian pear/wasabi), Knife & Fork Caesar (parmesan dressing/grilled focaccia/anchovy filets), and M.T. + M. (buffalo mozzarella/heirloom tomato/local watermelon and petite arugula/balsamic reduction/black olive salt). Yummmm.


I enjoyed the Pepper Bomb Filet Mignon (100% certified angus beef filet/sherry mustard jus Boursin creamed spinach with hazelnuts), which was quite simply one of the most delectable beef dishes I have ever enjoyed. This dish alone is worth the drive to the resort. Perfect confluence of flavors and preparation.

My wife enjoyed the Crispy Skinned Rainbow Trout (citrus orzo risotto style/frisee fennel citrus salad), and she adored the flavors. I loved the look of the dish as well.


I love sorbet, and the Strawberry Basil and Summer Cherry sorbets were absolutely divine. We also enjoyed the Summer Cherry “Black Forest” which integrates the Summer Cherry sorbet with Flourless Chocolate Cake, Cherry Panna Cotta, and Dark Chocolate Cream. A resplendent combination.

I also wanted to make quick note of my absolutely lovely Moscow Mule, served in a super-cool cup.

Closing Thoughts

CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar is one of my new favorite restaurants, and my goal is to shout this from the digital rooftops so that other people can go and experience this hidden culinary gem.

Dining is so special in large part because new experiences shape who we are, how we view the world, and how we will use those experiences to make future decisions. I’ll always remember CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar, and how it perfectly complemented our stay at the resort, and more importantly, how it brought my wife and I closer together over some of the best views and food that Arizona has to offer. In sum, we ate most intelligently that evening, and I urge you to do the same and visit CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar.


CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar – Contact and Social

CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar, at the Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain (Website)

15000 North Secret Springs Drive, Marana, Arizona (Google Maps)


Twitter: @RitzCarlton (#DoveMountain for postings)

Instagram: @ritzcarlton (#DoveMountain for postings)

You may also search #RCMemories on these social media outlets for more postings.


More Pictures!

Thanks so very much to the Ritz Carlton PR Team, to Executive Chef Devin, to Sommelier Mike, and the entire team at CORE for one of the most memorable and enjoyable dinners I’ve enjoyed.

Thanks very much for reading this post, and happy dining and traveling!