The Haunted Group – the intrepid team behind Verde Valley hot spots Haunted Hamburger and The Tavern Hotel – is once again making waves in the high-desert hospitality scene. This time with a unique, upscale hotel and restaurant in the heart of Jerome.
The versatile establishment is worth the two-hour trek from the Valley. Housed in the historical Clinkscale building, which was originally built in 1899, The Clinkscale boasts a bar and restaurant on the ground floor and six singular guest rooms upstairs, all featuring exposed brick, brown leather and steel accents that are at once traditional and trendy.
Ditto for the restaurant, which is anchored by a state-of-the-art bar adorned with Mediterranean-style ceramic tiles and illuminated by industrial pendant lights. Gargantuan mirrors girding one wall and wide windows on the other give the space a bright, airy quality. My partner and I cozied up in a comfortable, leather-studded booth, but you can also choose to take a seat at the bar – lined with leather-accented stools – to tuck into some of the best grub this side of the Verde River.
If you’re staying at the hotel, a great meal is just a stone’s throw away – simply stroll downstairs and take a seat. If you’re not, you’re still in luck – The Clinkscale is also within walking distance from other accommodations in Jerome. If you’re just stopping by for dinner, street parking across from the property is free after 4 p.m.
Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll immediately feel at home. The ambiance is warm and welcoming, and a smiling host will greet you at the door. It’s the kind of place that will make you instantly want to take off your coat and stay awhile.
And stay awhile we did. The first order of business, of course, was cocktails. I wanted to see what kind of top tier tipples they were whipping up at that exquisitely designed bar. If the bar itself is taking center stage like that, the drinks themselves surely have to be up to snuff. Turns out, my hypothesis was correct – the beverage menu at The Clinkscale is thoughtful and tempting. Though the cocktail menu itself isn’t overwhelmingly lofty – it features eight craft cocktails and three creative margaritas – I still had a hard time deciding which one to order. They all sounded so good! I finally settled on the Arizona mojito with fresh lime and prickly pear syrup. It was an excellent choice, sweet and citrusy but not overpowering. My teetotaling paramour tried the non-alcoholic Lagunitas IPA refresher, poured into a frosty glass. Local beer and eclectic wines are also available.
The bill of fare leans New American, with a few fusion-y twists like fish tacos and elote. It also features a few of my favorite things in the world: shrimp, macaroni and cheese, and beignets. We opted for the tort mac & cheese as a starter, plump cheese tortellini topped with a creamy aged cheddar mornay and microgreens, sided with grilled bread that was perfect for sopping up the velvety sauce.
The main-course was a no-brainer for me – grilled shrimp and parmesan grits, served on a handsome wooden plank dashed with Cajun spices. My carnivorous companion ordered the decadent filet mignon garnished with rosemary served in a miniature cast iron skillet, and buttery broccolini on the side. Both dishes were complemented by a karma orchid, making the plates both sumptuous and scrumptious.
For the last course, you can choose from peach cobbler bread pudding, flourless chocolate cake and pillowy beignets with chocolate ganache. What a conundrum to choose between such decadent desserts. So, what did we do? Got all three, of course! This wooden board came drizzled with a sweet berry glaze, fresh fruit and house-made vanilla gelato and garnered astonished queries from other guests. “What is that?” they gasped. Sometimes you just need to treat yourself, and The Clinkscale is the perfect place to do it.