I’m a darn good cook, if I say so myself, and relish every opportunity to whip up a great meal for friends and family at the drop of a hat.  Yet I’m also a sucker for being served.  Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I’m putty in the hands of a competent wait staff in a top-notch restaurant.  This being the case, it doesn’t take much convincing to get me out of the kitchen.

My friends Pat and Chris from Denver were staying at the Westin Mission Hills last week, and after a day of spa treatments and shopping they invited me over to The Den for one of the bar’s infamous Rasberrytinis.  I hadn’t been there in a spell, and had forgotten what gorgeous views there are of the 18th hole of the Pete Dye Golf Course and beyond.  It was a bit toasty for my taste, so we sat inside and left the terrace to souls heartier than we.

As always, longtime servers Tamera, Gabriel, and Laurel took great care of us.  As hunger set in, we were masterfully slipped dinner menus.  During the off season, the full service restaurant—the beautifully designed Bella Vista—is closed on weekdays.  Thankfully, the bulk of that venue’s menu is available in The Den.  After splitting Easter Shore Crab Cakes, Shredded Pork Mini Tacos, and Braised Beef Short Rib Sliders, Chris and I had the delectable Fire Roasted Angus Beef Filet (with sweet corn and crimini mushrooms) while Pat indulged in the Ricotta-Spinach Ravioli.  Full, fat, and happy, we couldn’t resist one slice of Margo’s Chocolate Mousse Rum Pie.

So, depending on the day you visit, remember that you can dine casually in The Den or more formally in Bella Vista.  Either way, don’t forget to end with that sweet finish that makes the entire evening an event!

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