STAFF PICK: Long a popular spot to dine on special occasions and holidays, for a while the Gold Room at Westward Look was beginning to look a little tired and tattered about the edges. All that changed a few years ago when Executive Chef Jason Jonilonis took the helm and steered this venerable dining room back into the mainstream of culinary hipness. Utilizing fresh, regionally available ingredients, Jonilonis has transformed the Gold Room menu into a New American paradise. On no other menu in town are you consistently going to find things like Willcox ostrich, buffalo and antelope, and Jonilonis' daring doesn't stop there. Backed now with the bounty of an on-site garden containing several native crops, he incorporates a wide variety of chiles, beans and squash into his dishes, all to excellent effect. Green chiles are likely to appear in the creamy mashed potatoes. Ancho-chile spiked dressings may dance around a plate of fresh greens. Tepary beans emerge as the ideal component of a tasty cassoulet. While he flirts with this new cuisine, Jonilonis hasn't for a moment forgotten that some of the resort's visitors may long for more traditional fare. In honor of other times, he frequently includes favorites such as rack of lamb, beef Wellington and shrimp scampi on his menu. Dining at the Gold Room offers the best of the past and the present. What's more, you've got a great view of the city from up there.
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