Fournos is located at 3000 Highway 89A in Sedona. For more information, call 928-282-3331.
Take a well-known chef, a menu that combines New American technique with a touch of grandma, surround it with the red rocks of Sedona, and you've got Fournos, Ivan Flowers' spectacular 24-seat bistro.
© Paul Markow
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By Maryal Miller
Sedona Five-star chef Ivan Flowers has earned his chops, and then some. He's overseen the kitchens of Sedona's L'Auberge and Phoenix's Different Pointe of View and T. Cooks, to name a few. But he's not resting on his laurels. The menu at Fournos, Flowers' latest venture, is just as seductive as his creations of yore.
"To me, cooking is driven by how delicious you can make your cuisine for your guests every time they enter that door," says Flowers, who serves as owner, prep cook and executive chef. "Lose this and you lose yourself as a chef."
Of his unassuming, 24-seat bistro-style eatery in West Sedona, he quips: "I think of it as a birth-control pill. Small, but highly effective."
It's not the kind of thing you'd expect to hear from a decorated chef, but Flowers is anything but stuffy. He's more of an epicurean rebel-with-a-cause. Case in point: On off-days, he trades his toque for a bandana, and loves riding his Harley with his wife, Tracy. But as his cooking reveals, his presence in the kitchen is perfectly polished and top-notch.
He's dubbed the cuisine at Fournos as "Declectic," a "delicious and eclectic French, Italian, Mediterranean and New American technique with a touch of grandma." That description, however, hardly does his cooking justice. Example: Flowers says that if you're only going to have one of his dishes, let it be the duck, three ways — a chocolate balsamic breast, a sweet-chili-glazed confit and a white-truffle duck pâté. (Don't worry leaf-eaters, if you're salivating like a hyena on the hunt as you read this, we won't tell anyone.)
The duck notwithstanding, Flowers' favorite dish is the creamy, mushroom-infused lobster bisque. Why? Because "it makes you want to smoke a cigarette after eating it," he says. He's so not priggish.
Whatever you order, pace yourself, because as Flowers has engineered it, the experience at Fournos is much more of a gradual descent into flavor ecstasy than a rapid free-fall that starts and stops with the main course. In fact, the warm, fresh bread with pesto, Parmesan and garlic dipping sauce that Tracy diligently delivers before every meal, paired with a recommendation from the carefully curated selection of boutique wines, might be reason enough to return.
You'll want to hang on for the entire ride, though. The roasted mushrooms with garlic appetizer — it's drizzled in brandy and sprinkled with rocca parmagiano — is a must, and the simple Caesar salad with creamy garlic limóncello dressing could be hailed an epic experience. And then there are the entrées, which change seasonally. These are Flowers' pièce de résistance, and they only tighten Fournos' stranglehold.
For the carnivorous crowd, if you're lucky enough to see the duck or slowly braised Kurabuto pork osso buco with cider-roasted apple-herb orzo on the menu, order immediately. For vegetarians, go for the fresh farfalle pasta with oven-roasted tomatoes and mushrooms in a tomato al fresco sauce. But you're not done yet. You can't leave without sampling one of Tracy's desserts, particularly the blissfully light, fluffy tiramisu. It's not necessarily declectic, but it's definitely a classic. Like everything else at Fournos.
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