Traveling Table: Phoenix

Where to eat (and stay) when visiting the Valley of the Sun

Tarbell's Before buzzwords like locavore become common, there were guys like Mark Tarbell, who were already sourcing seasonal ingredients from local farms. Tarbell's vast, Italian-slanted menu includes pastas, flatbreads and seafood, as well as gigantic steaks, all prepared with little pomp or fuss. Tarbell makes frequent tweaks to his regular menu, but we especially love his whimsical three-course prix fixe ($35), which changes nightly. 3213 E. Camelback Rd.; 602-955-8100 or tarbells.com

Pizzeria Bianco Chris Bianco hasn't changed his act since being heralded as one of the country's best pizza makers by the New York Times: His hands still make every pie that comes out of the oven at his homey restaurant (pictured), where diners endure three-hour waits for perfect Neapolitan-style pizzas. There are six to choose from, but don't miss the Wiseguy, topped with wood-roasted onions, house-smoked mozzarella and large rounds of fennel sausage ($13). 623 E. Adams St.; 602-258-8300 or pizzeriabianco.com

True Food Kitchen Local restaurateur Sam Fox tapped an old friend, Dr. Andrew Weil, to help design a health-minded menu for this six-month-old restaurant. The resulting dishes are decadent even though they're prepared without butter, cream or other rich ingredients. Even vegan dishes–like the "TLT" ($9), made with strips of tempeh instead of bacon–are substantial enough to fuel the suits who lunch there on weekdays. 2502 E. Camelback Rd.; 602-774-3488 or foxrestaurantconcepts.com

Royal Palms Hotel Everything slows down the moment you hit the cobblestoned driveway at this 1929 estate, where an upper-crust crowd of honeymooners, spa junkies and CEOs traverse the tree-covered grounds. Reserve a table at T. Cook's, where chef Lee Hillson prepares a seasonally changing menu. 5200 E. Camelback Rd.; 800-672-6011 or royalpalmshotel.com