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ronnie_suburban

Postino Winecafe' (Phoenix)

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I bypass the BK kiosk at the Las Vegas airport, even though it's the only food available. It's 8:30 am and I'm not quite ready for a burger -- especially a BK burger. And for whatever reason, breakfast, to which I would have succomb, is not being offered here. The flight offers way too much drama and most of it occurs before we even take off. First, everyone in the cabin is suddenly thrown forward when the pilot brakes hard in order to avoid another aircraft, no more than 20 yards from us on the tarmac. Once in-line for take-off, we're delayed again due to a light aircraft, on a photo shoot, meandering around the airport and refusing to vacate. Our flight crew was so green, they could barely read the scripted, pre-flight safety instructions or pour the drinks and our landing in Phoenix was more of a 'bounce' off the runway than an actual landing. Nothing like some good airport drama to work up the old appetite.

A friend told me that there was a great, food-intensive strip mall at 40th Street and Campbell (only one shop here is not food-related, iirc), which used to be a post office. Now it housed, among other businesses (more on these later), a great wine bar/sandwich shop called Postino. It was Saturday afternoon in the desert. The sun was shining. It was 78 degrees F and Postino was comfortably full with an ecclectic looking group of folks ranging from their 20's to their 60's. The large doors which formed the main outside wall had been pulled open so that the indoor and outdoor seating areas blended together into one. Music was playing and it once again felt great to be on vacation.

The food menu at Postino is very simple: a few aptly-themed starters like olives and cheeses, a handful of thoughtful salads and a couple of categories of bread-based selections -- bruschetta and panini -- offered with a fairly wide variety of toppings and fillings. Panini were offered on a choice of either focaccia or ciabatta. A few desserts round out the menu.

The beverage program at Postino is well-conceived and distinctive. About 30 wines are offered by-the-glass at prices between $8 and $13 per. Within each wine category several varieties are offered: 3 sparklings, a dozen or so whites, a few more reds than whites and 3 dessert wines. The white and red wines are listed first by grape, then origin and vintage. I don't believe any grape was represented by more than one wine on the menu and that made the selection a unique and diverse one. The beer menu at Postino was also compelling. It lists nearly 2 dozen well-chosen brews; a diverse roster which covered a wide variety of styles and origins. All of these offerings are served on tap and priced between $4-$8 per mug.

We each ordered a panini and a beverage. I had the 'Autostrada' (sopresatta, prosciutto, cappicola, mortadella, and provolone dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil) on ciabatta and a glass of LGO "Loosen" Reisling. My wife had the 'Prosciutto with Brie' (prosciutto with triple-cream brie, figs and arugula dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil) on ciabatta and a glass of Man Vinters Chenin Blanc. The little man had the 'Ham and Cheese' (Applewood-smoked ham with provolone and mozzarella cheese topped with tomatoes and dressed with Sierra Nevada mustard) and a Sprite. Wife and I also split an extremely tasty and well-conceived 'Mixed Greens' salad which was comprised of seasonal greens, dried cranberries, candied pecans, figs, gorgonzola cheese -- and served with Postino’s berry vinaigrette.

The ciabatta on which the panini were served was excellent, noteworthy. It was hearty and crusty and dusty with flour. The crumb was moist, slightly sour and boasted a gorgeous network of unevenly-sized air pockets which revealed the craftsmanship with which it had been produced. It is baked at MJ Bread, which is a commercial bakery, just a few doors down from Postino, in this same strip mall. The 'fillings' on the sandwiches were also top-notch but the bread was the star of the show, by far.

It was a very satisfying breakfast/lunch/snack and even though I was pretty full (and hadn't finished my gigantic panini), I still felt compelled to check out the well-regarded Arlecchino Gelateria, which is in the same building; located just around the corner from Postino. We'd heard and read such great things about it, there was no way we were going to skip it.

=R=

Postino Winecafe'

3939 East Campbell Ave

Phoenix, AZ

602-852-3939


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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RS,

This is a solid choice for bruschettas, paninis and salads with a nice wine selection. The ambiance is great as the space was formerly a post office and on a nice day when all the windows / doors are open, that is hard to beat!

Glad You Enjoyed,

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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RS,

      This is a solid choice for bruschettas, paninis and salads with a nice wine selection. The ambiance is great as the space was formerly a post office and on a nice day when all the windows / doors are open, that is hard to beat!

Glad You Enjoyed,

Molto E

Well, thanks again for the tip. This entire mall is great, food-wise. The sandwiches at Postino -- and the bread on which they were served -- were both incredible. And Arlecchino . . . well, what can I say? There's a lot of good stuff going on at this corner.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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