Kelly Vaughn

Since it opened in 2015, Mariposa has consistently been lauded as one of Sedona’s — and Arizona’s — most romantic restaurants. And the accolades come with good reason. The massive five-star restaurant sits atop a bluff that rewards visitors with panoramic views of Red Rock Country, the menu is inspired by South American classics, and the service is, in a word, impeccable.

 Mariposa, which means “butterfly” in Spanish, is yet another brainchild of Sedona chef and restaurateur Lisa Dahl, who selected the name during a transformative moment in her career and life. 

“Before opening Mariposa, I was an Italian chef,” Dahl says. “The opportunity to be able to take on a new cuisine came at a very transitional time in my career. The symbology of the butterfly for healing, transformation and growth is a symbol that came to me, and I felt it matched the beauty of the surroundings. What I didn’t realize at the time was what a butterfly means to so many who are going through their own transformations.”

For Dahl, butterflies are clearly inspiring — another of her Sedona restaurants is called Butterfly Burger — and that’s a gift she extends to Mariposa patrons. The experience begins outside, where fire crackles in butterfly globes that flank the 13-foot-gates. The restaurant’s door, ensconced with stones and minerals from Africa, South America and Utah, weighs 1,000 pounds and opens to a broad view of the restaurant’s kitchen. 

There, Dahl’s impressive crew leans on Argentinian and Chilean culinary inspiration to turn out such dishes as handmade empanadas, pulpo a la parrilla — wood-fired Spanish octopus, served with garbanzo purée, fennel slaw and olive tapenade — and a “gaucho plate” that includes chorizo links, Spanish butter beans and pineapple criolla. 

And those are just the appetizers. Entrée highlights include the Pescado Paradiso, wild-caught Chilean sea bass sautéed in roasted tomatoes, citrus and wine; a Cubano skirt steak served with black beans, rosemary roasted potatoes, house chimichurri and pico de gallo; and the Chuleta de Cerdo, a 12-ounce Duroc dry-aged pork chop served with Brussels sprouts and butternut squash hash. 

An extensive wine list, innovative cocktail offerings and decadent desserts (try the flourless chocolate torte) round out the menu and play a pivotal role in the quixotic atmosphere Dahl has created here.

“Mariposa is a daily teacher,” she says. “It draws so many people who have such high expectations upon arrival. For me,
a chef and owner who never had a restaurant with a view — nor did I ever expect to — I find, every day, the challenge to bring the dining experience to the level of the view daunting.”

Business Information

700 State Route 89A
Sedona, AZ
United States