Sedona Grill, Savory Southwestern Food at JW Marriott, Cancun

DSCN0058If eating my way around Italy last summer taught me anything, it’s that good food is about quality, not quantity. The Sedona Grill at the JW Marriott was right on par with my Italian philosophy. Tonight, I had one of the best hotel meals I’ve had in a long time (that includes beating anything I ate at Casa Marina in the Florida Keys). The Sedona Grill at the JW Marriott in Cancun opened last week, so Donna Hull from My Itchy Travel Feet and I were some of the first to sample the fine southwestern cuisine.

DSCN0056According to the Marriott marketing rep who took us to dinner, the Sedona Grill replaced the previous restaurant (called Simply Seafood) because guests wanted more Mexican food options, and seafood just wasn’t cutting it. So, in an attempt to be daring at dinner, (and favoring true Mexican flavor), I opted for a large chili pepper stuffed with spiced rice slathered in the Marriott Sedona’s signature spicy sauce, over black beans. It looked small on the plate at first, but after one rich bite–just one, I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish the whole thing. The dish never wavered in flavor, and finishing one pepper was just the right amount of food, for me.

DSCN0053We also tried a round of the Sedona’s signature margaritas, shaken with 1800 authentic Mexican tequila and a pinch of chili, and poured on the rocks. Even after the ice diluted the drink, the chili kept the flavor alive and added extra zest to the tequila. These margaritas are meant to be sipped…mine lasted me through dinner.

DSCN0061For dessert, I tried the fruit ice cream dish: four small scoops of mango, papaya, coconut and cactus fruit, all of which were laid over a bed of fresh fruit berries… blackberries, strawberries, raspberries. I also ordered a decaf espresso in honor of my Italian host father, who cooked such delectably flavored Tuscan dishes for me last summer.

Each dish was perfectly proportioned and beautifully presented. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the amount of food, but rather impressed, and extremely satiated, by the intense, unique blend of flavors. The chef came out to meet us, and it turns out he is actually from New Jersey. The menu was easy to read, and after making my chili pepper selection based on the recommendation of the restaurant manager, I sat back and dug in. Yum.

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