It had been several years since we had gone to the Gallery Restaurant in Dove Mountain for dinner, so we decided to try it for lunch to see if the quality was still there.
What a treat it was to drive up Dove Mountain Boulevard to see the magnificent saguaros and the many varieties of cacti! The restaurant and pro shop are in a spectacular setting, nestled in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains.
The attractive dining room has large windows that afford mountain, golf course, and some city views. Attention to detail is obvious. Huge native wood carvings are strategically placed in front of the building, as well as inside. The dining area is configured in such a way that the various sections allow for some privacy. The members’ dining room is charming with a huge fireplace and views of the patio.
The luncheon menu is simple and surprisingly not that expensive. There were two soup specials the day we were there, a Pureed Parsnip and a Ham and White Bean. These could be ordered alone or in combination with a half sandwich. Herb chose the bean soup with a BLAT, a sandwich with crisp bacon, tomato, and avocado for $8.50. KT, the very knowledgeable waitress, had highly recommended the Parsnip Soup. She had tried it and especially enjoyed the thinly sliced, crispy fried tomatoes that were used as a garnish. Bill had to taste that and ordered it with a half Pastrami Rueben. My choice was a half Meatloaf Sandwich on a French roll with a side of fries, also for $8.50. Bev preferred the soup and salad combo and ordered a Chopped Salad with her bean soup.
Per our request, KT served the soups first. Each was accompanied by a small bowl of oyster crackers. Both soups were pronounced “delicious.” The creaminess of the parsnip soup was a plus, and the flavor did not resemble any parsnip we had ever tasted. Herb and Bev pronounced the bean soup “excellent.” The sandwiches and the salad fared well, too. Herb enjoyed the addition of the avocado slices, and the pastrami was piled high on Bill’s sandwich. The dressing on the salad was light and refreshing and the meatloaf was tender and very lightly spiced.
KT more or less talked us into ordering dessert. Her descriptions were delightful. Bill and I shared a Pumpkin Spice Cake, drizzled with molasses and topped with vanilla ice cream and homemade peanut brittle. Herb and Bev chose a Chocolate Cake with liquor soaked raisins and requested some ice cream on that also. When KT brought the desserts, she explained that the ice cream with the chocolate cake was served in a separate dish because when the chef tried to warm the cake, it had fallen apart. So he gave them a different slice. He didn’t want to risk ruining that one by putting the ice cream on top. The cake tasted fine, but it was a little dry. The pumpkin cake, on the other hand, was warm and moist, and we finished every bite.
The Gallery’s atmosphere is conducive to a very pleasant experience--no rush, no noise. Attention to detail is obvious, down to the iron salt and pepper shakers and the iron covered bill holders. The service we had was excellent, and our iced tea and water glasses were kept full.
The restaurant is open daily for lunch, but for dinner only on the weekends. In the wintertime, a crackling fire in the fieldstone fireplace is especially comforting. To get to the Gallery Restaurant, continue on Dove Mountain Boulevard past Heritage Highlands and follow the well-placed signs. For dinner reservations, call 744-2555. Bon appetit!