LFA Member Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House Earns “Best Tabletop” in U.S.

Cart Tabletop Award Fantastic desert-to-table cuisine may be what Local First Arizona member Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House in Cave Creek, Arizona is famous for, but great food is not the only thing on the table that’s drawing national attention.

Food Service Equipment & Supplies magazine, a staple for any restaurateur, has tapped Cartwright’s for its top award, the coveted 2014 Performance in Tabletop Award. By using a combination of sustainable and local materials to their unique place settings and serving dishes, Cartwright’s not only impressed the judges, but the restaurant made the cover of the magazine, which is circulated to 41,000 restaurants and service and equipment providers worldwide.

The tabletop selection at Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House is part of a beautifully executed remodel completed at the restaurant in summer 2013. Among the features are repurposed railroad floor tables and reclaimed wooden chairs. Twisted branches of Arizona manzanita gently glow in evening light, evoking thoughts of campfire glow lighting the desert floor. Photographs of some of the historic ranch’s most notable family welcome guests with the hospitality of a familiar homestead, as do the friendly, plaid-clad staff. It’s the kind of place where fine suits and blue jeans are equally appropriate.

“The objective in choosing our tabletop arrangement is to consolidate the dining experience,” explains Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House co-owner Eric Flatt. “Not only do we serve a unique and scintillating variety of organic, locally sourced menu items, we also create a true Arizona experience for all who walk through our doors. From our décor to our desserts, every touch is carefully selected to reflect Cartwright’s heritage and distinction.”


Tabletop items include earthen colors that reflect the Cave Creek favorite’s natural Sonoran surroundings, unusual shapes that evoke a hand-made look, and a touch of eclectic whimsy throughout their compotes, farmhouse glassware and hammered silverware. Individual serving vessels made from stoneware, jars, honed wood and metals reminiscent of the ranch create a unique dining experience, but are also pragmatic, holding such delicious menu offerings as mason jar layered with warm canella-braised duck, mesquite wood-grilled pitas, Baja dorado fish tacos, freshly prepared condiments and salsas, and Cartwright’s signature breads. Miniature hot cast iron skillets hold proteins for salads, keeping greens from wilting and enhancing the flavor of the meats. Small galvanized buckets cradle crunchy hot fries fresh from the cauldron. No detail is overlooked.

FE&S described the winning tabletop as “warm and inviting, and it perfectly fits the restaurant’s theme and décor. The presentation and plate selection is good and it almost seems like the china was custom made for this restaurant. The food looks fantastic on this china and fits the plate perfectly. The colors fit in with the décor. It’s a rustic looking room and the tabletop supports that. Even the design of the chairs supports the theme.”

We love seeing our members being recognized for showcasing all that Arizona has to offer through their businesses! Cartwright's is a true example of excellence in localism, as they think of sourcing from their local community in every aspect of their business. Congratulations to Cartwright's, we look forward to experiencing your warm and inviting (and truly Arizona) dining experience sometime soon!