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ahurwich

Binkley's & Cafe Bink (Phoenix)

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Kevin Binkley is a 1995 graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. After working in the kitchens of Thomas Keller's French Laundry, Patrick O'Connell's Inn at Little Washington,(as executive sous chef), as well as other restaurants, he and his wife Amy opened Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek, Arizona in 2004.

Amy, also a chef, is the maitre d' and manages the restaurant.

The menu changes daily and features unique pairings of ingredients that are imaginative and complementary. Each dining experience I have had at Binkley's is better than the last.

This is a recent meal at Binkley's

Butter Lettuce Salad, blue cheese, dried cherries, candied pecans, sherry vinaigrette

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Shaved Pickled Beef Tongue, frisee, German potato salad, garlic whistles, Banyuls vinaigrette

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Marinated White Anchovies, purple potato, fennel, olives, artichoke chip, oven dried tomatoes

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Crispy Seared Fois Gras, pineapple water, carbonated pineapple, balsamic, challah toast

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Frog's Legs, confit garlic, parsley, garlic cream

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Opah, coscous, radish, melon, edamame, coconut, cilantro

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Seared Duck Breast, tapioca, huckleberries, gooseberries, sugar snap peas

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Lamb Loin, baby squash, creamy orzo, red onion marmalade, tyme, lamb au jus

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Grand Marnier Frozen Souffle', candied mint, orange peal

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Blueberry Brown Butter Tart, creme fraiche ice cream, blueberry sauce

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Some more info I read earlier this evening on Binkley's Restaurant.

I wonder if he was promoted to executive sous chef after David Shannon left the Inn?

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/f...foodie0817.html

Robert,

You worked at the Inn at Little Washington in the mid 90's, so you would know the kitchen of Chef Patrick O'Connell. As you know from being in the business people come and go all the time and the next great Chef steps in. Chef Binkley is a great talent and Chef O'Connell recognized that. Have you eaten at Binkley's? It is great!

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Some more info I read earlier this evening on Binkley's Restaurant.

I wonder if he was promoted to executive sous chef after David Shannon left the Inn?

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/f...foodie0817.html

Robert,

You worked at the Inn at Little Washington in the mid 90's, so you would know the kitchen of Chef Patrick O'Connell. As you know from being in the business people come and go all the time and the next great Chef steps in. Chef Binkley is a great talent and Chef O'Connell recognized that. Have you eaten at Binkley's? It is great!

No, I have not been to Binkley's as I am on the east coast but would love to visit if possible some day.

Yes, The Inn had major turn over and I was trying to put a face to the name but believe I may have been there before Chef Binkley.


Robert R

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I've passed this place a few times on some Cave Creek shopping expeditions and have been curious. Thanks for posting the pics...will definitely have to give this a try. How is the atmosphere? Is it Cave Creek/laid back or more upscale?


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Less than a week later and I was back at Binkley's. I needed a fix to hold me over while the restaurant is closed from 8/21- mid-September.

A little research showed some pretty impressive accolades for Binkley's.

Bon Appetit magazine Hot 50 restaurants March 2005

James Beard Foundation nominated to be a finalist for best new restaurant.

Arizona Republic best new restaurant.

Phoenix Magazine best new restaurant 2004 and 2005. So good they had to praise them again.

Many other local reviews of distinction.

Ribeye Cap, roasted salsify, pearl onions, morel mushrooms, demi-glace

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Creamy Corn Soup(A), truffle scented English peas, sunchokes, celery, corn

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Creamy Corn Soup(B)

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Pork Bellly "BLT", tomato tartare, melba toast, sweet onion, braised butter lettuce, remouladegallery_35305_1628_83654.jpg

Key Lime Creme Brulee, white chocolate cranberry lime cookies

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I've passed this place a few times on some Cave Creek shopping expeditions and have been curious.  Thanks for posting the pics...will definitely have to give this a try.  How is the atmosphere?  Is it Cave Creek/laid back or more upscale?

Viva

I would say that Binkley's is more Scottsdale laid back.

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Although this is a little out of my way :) I'd like to try it sometime. Ahurwich, do the photos represent a tasting menu for one or did you put together a 4/5 course meal for two? The article says the price is about $60/ea for a la cart, what are prices for tastings versus a la cart menu? Additionally, do you know how far in advance they book? I'm thinking either October or January for a visit.

Thanks!

Genny

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Although this is a little out of my way :) I'd like to try it sometime.  Ahurwich, do the photos represent a tasting menu for one or did you put together a 4/5 course meal for two?  The article says the price is about $60/ea for a la cart, what are prices for tastings versus a la cart menu?  Additionally, do you know how far in advance they book?  I'm thinking either October or January for a visit.

Thanks!

Genny

Genny

Binkley's is worth the drive. There were 4 people at this meal and some duplication of dishes so the pictures don't ad up to a 4 course tasting menu for 4 people.

For more information on the menu options and pricing go to www.binkleysrestaurant.com.

The restaurant can accomadate a limited number of diners at one time, seats about 50 I think, and during the season it can be difficult to get a last minute reservation at prime time. However, if you call ahead you shouldn't have a problem.

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Binkley's Restaurant reopens thursday september 15 after a short summer break. Everything is right in the world again.

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Chef Binkley cooked another masterpiece for me last night. I have had some of the best meals of my life at Binkley's and I believe Kevin is one of the finest chefs that I have had the opportunity to try.

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Chef Kevin Binkley-Hey Chef I am hungry!!!

I took a peek in the kitchen to see what Kevin and the crew were cooking tonight as the menu changes daily at Binkley's

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Some Amuses being plated

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Chef plating the scallop dish, I think I will have to order that as my fish course

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I ate at Binkley's a year ago and was completely blown away and at that point I knew that I had to open a place with Kevin and sometime in 2006-Cafe Binkley, my project with the Binkley's will open. In the middle of the picture is Kevin's Sous-Chef Brendan Gauthier, who will be the Chef de Cuisine at Cafe Binkley.

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First Amuse-Sherry scented duck consumme

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Second Amuse-Golden smoked trout topped by extra virgin olive oil, chervil, apple and horseradish

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Third Amuse- Lamb jerky over lemon creme fraiche

The lamb jerky was great and the lemon creme fraiche was divine

First Course:

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Ahi Tuna Tartare- painters palette of tropical fruit, wasabi caviar, lavosh

The tropical fruit consisted of mango puree, pineapple, banana, yellow kiwi, guava, coconut, passion fruit and the paint stroke is pomegranate. This was very good and I liked the various fruit flavors with the tuna on the lavosh

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Lamb Carpaccio- herb salad, shaved red onion, fried capers, pine nuts, black pepper vinaigrette

Loved it-delicious

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Second Course:

Slow Roasted Parsnip Soup- dates, candied lemon, confit garlic, truffle honey

All of Kevin's soups's are not to be missed-did someone say TRUFFLE HONEY

Third Course:

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Crispy Sweetbreads- sauce gribiche

Sweetbreads are a specialty of Kevin's-if the crispy sweetbreads in the blanquette sauce are on the menu get them

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Boudin Blanc- choucroute, horseradish

home made sausage-very good

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Crispy Seared Foie Gras- vanilla cardamom bread pudding, huckleberries, mache

Any of Kevin's Foie Gras preparations are out of this world and the portion size that Kevin serves of Foie are very nice

Fourth Course:

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American Red Snapper- baby bok choy, roasted pineapple, watermelon radish, water chestnuts

This dish looked and tasted amazing

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Blue Moki- edamame, Israeli couscous, pomegranate, passion fruit

This fish is a favorite of the Chef's

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Seared Sea Scallops- wild mushrooms, salsify, slow roasted shallot, truffle vinaigrette

The scallops were seared perfectly and the mushrooms with the truffle vinaigrette-wow

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The sorbets tonight were green apple and grapefruit-housemade of course

Fifth Course:

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Red Wine Braised Short Ribs- whipped potatoes, Chinese long beans, cipollini onions, carrots

very good short ribs fork tender and the whipped potatoes are creamylicious

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Lavender Scented Duck Breast- roasted baby beets, quinoa, kiwi, grapefruit

The duck was great with the skin crispy and the breast meat tender

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Australian Wagyu #9 Ribeye- sweet potato puree, brussels sprouts, pearl onions

I have never had an American Wagyu that I felt was worth the difference in price to American prime meat. The Australian Wagyu is so good that it should be illegal. Wagyu is rated from #1-#12 which is above prime and I can not say this with more certainty- this is the best steak that I have ever had. I am not a sweet potato person and I have NEVER been one, but the way that Kevin does them are amazing-maple syrup, butter, puree-delicious!!

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I could not decide which cheeses to get so why not get a bunch.

The following is the Cheese menu at Binkley's. I think Kevin may have a cheese fetish :wacko:

Cheese - 9

Firm

Aged Gouda (4 years), Black Diamond Extra Old Cheddar, Petite Basque,

Locatelli Pecorino Romano, Parinigiano-Reggiano, Double Gloucester,

Raomano Pradera .

Semi-Firm

Formage Giotta Pecorino, Gouda, Truffle Gouda, Tete de Moines,

Ossau-katy, Morbier, Marzolino, TaIeggio, Footina,

Le Tonneau, Double Cream Gooda

Creme

Chaource Lincet, Camembert, Epoisses de Bourgogne, Pave D' Affinois,

Montbriac, Rocastin, Edel de Cleron, Explorateur

Goat

French Cheve, Humbalt Fog, Pico, Bermuda Triangle,

Crottin de Cbampool, Balarioa

Blue

Point Reyes Blue, Papillion Roquefort, Valdeon, Maytag, Casbel,

Stilton, Tarago River Shadows of Blue, Cabrales

Your choice ofthr,e cheeses, red wine poached pear,

candied pecans, fruit cake, and toasted baguette.

Dessert Amuse:

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Orange creamsicle

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Caramel- caramel risotto, caramel corn, popcorn ice cream, creme caramel

the caramel risotto was incredible and the popcorn ice cream was very good

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Pecan- cheesecake, pie, sweet potato creme anglaise, butter pecan ice cream

My friend would not share a bite with me so it must have been good

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Custard- vanilla pot au creme, butterscotch creme brulee, coffee bread pudding

very good

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Just when I was sure that I was full, somehow a Valhrona truffle found its way to my mouth and it became apparent that I had room for another one- macaroons and pate de feuille make up the rest of the tray.

Binkley's Restaurant is a very special place, if you have not made it there yet then you have not eaten at one of the best restaurants in town.

My list for Phoenix would be:

Binkleys

Sea Saw (post soon to follow),

Cyclo- http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=74197

Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken- http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=72127

Pizzeria Bianco

Zinc Bistro

Good Eating,

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Stellar photos as always, Molto. Of course, the subject matter helps make them that way too :wink: The food looks fabulous, esp. the foie, although it is difficult to single anything out.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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This is the time of year to reflect and give thanks and number one on my the list is Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek. I thought that I would have a light meal the night before Thanksgiving.

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The meal started with an Amuse Bouche of Butternut Squash soup

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The second Amuse was Citrus Cured Salmon rolled around lemon scented fromage blanc

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First courses:

Boudin Blanc- choucroute, juniper-white wine emulsion

The choucroute was absolutely delicious

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Menage a Foie Gras- Flan, mousse, drops, balsamic reduction, quince marmalade, melba toast, bread and butter parsnip pickles

Foie, Foie and more Foie

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Second course:

Truffles-white truffle biscuits and gravy, sunny side up quail egg, black truffle cream filled doughnut holes

I licked the plate clean

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Entree:

Veal Squared- red wine braised cheeks, crispy sweetbreads, baby carrots, baby turnips, smashed yukon potato

I never miss a shot at Chef's crispy sweetbreads

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Kobe Flat Iron Steak- scalloped potatoes, confit garlic, haricots verts, crispy bone marrow, red wine demi-glace

This is the best steak that I have ever had as they say like BUTTER. This is Wagyu from Australia and so goooood.

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Dessert:

Snack Foods- Twinkie, cup cake, fig newton and smore

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Chocolate- a trio of chocolate delights

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Although this is a little out of my way :) I'd like to try it sometime.  Ahurwich, do the photos represent a tasting menu for one or did you put together a 4/5 course meal for two?  The article says the price is about $60/ea for a la cart, what are prices for tastings versus a la cart menu?  Additionally, do you know how far in advance they book?  I'm thinking either October or January for a visit.

Thanks!

Genny

Here is what I wrote about Binkley's in 2004. I think the structure of the menu is probably the same - but I suspect the prices have gone up. Robyn

...That said - we stayed at the Four Seasons in the north Scottsdale area. It's a great property (our second stay here) - and it's relatively close to where my brother lives in Cave Creek (relatively close in this case being about 12 miles away). The first night we were here - we dined at Binkley's in Cave Creek. It was the most surprising and best meal of our trip. If anyone had told me 5 years ago that there would be a restaurant in Cave Creek that served an amuse bouche - I would have laughed at him. But now there's Binkley's. Although it only opened earlier this year - it's not exactly undiscovered - and has received great local reviews. And they're entirely justified.

There's both an a la carte menu (which changes almost every night) - and several tasting menu variations - which consist of various numbers of courses from the a la carte menu. I had the 4 course tasting menu for $45 (there's also 5 for $50 and 6 for $60). My cold appetizer was slow roasted baby beets with blue cheese cheesecake, arugula and red onion chips. Hot appetizer was bacon wrapped quail with butternut squash puree, crispy mustard greens and maple gastric. Main was a choice of fish or meat - and I had the venison loin - rare - with parsnips, blackberries and and acorn squash. Last was the cheese course. Had a choice of 6! - and I had the pecorino romano, epoisses, cabrales and point reyes blue with appropriate sides like fruit and bread. I'm not much of a wine drinker - but enjoyed champagne throughout the meal.

Everything (food and service) was excellent. This isn't only a great restaurant for Cave Creek - or Phoenix. I'd put it head to head against restaurants in much more food oriented cities like New York. Probably 2-3 stars on the NYT scale. And the people are nice to boot. The airline lost my luggage on the way here - so I didn't have appropriate clothes to wear. Called before dinner - and the restaurant said - not to worry - and made me feel entirely at home.

Only warning is once you get out of dense near downtown Phoenix traffic - and into this part of town - it is relatively empty desert and very dark. Encountering large critters like deer and javelinas on the road is common. We took a cab there - and my brother drove us back to the hotel. I recommend similar driving arrangements if you plan to do more than a touch of drinking and/or don't like driving in the wide open spaces one frequently encounters in the southwest... Robyn

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What is your perfect meal? Is it in a 3 star restaurant, at a neighborhood bistro, or at home with friends or family? Is there such a thing? What if I told you my perfect meal is in a restaurant in Cave Creek, Arizona (where...30 minutes north of Scottsdale)? A few years ago, I read a couple rave reviews of Binkley's restaurant and that the chef, Kevin Binkley, had worked at the Inn at Little Washington and the French Laundry. It was obvious to me that this chef must have some chops. Every time that I dialed the number listed in one of the reviews, it was always busy. I thought maybe I was not alone in my thoughts and that it was possibly the toughest reservation in (or actually slightly outside) of town. As it turns out, the number given in the review was wrong. Fortunately for me, a friend had the correct number and made a reservation for us otherwise I may not have made it out to Binkley's. After sampling a couple courses of Chef Binkley's cuisine, I recognized his talent was special and by the end of the meal, I was pleading for a lesson (or two as I just can’t help myself) by the maestro. Chef Binkley is not a chef to rest on his laurels as his style has continued to evolve and based on my last few meals there, Binkley's has never been better.

Kevin attended the Scottsdale Culinary Institute on the advice of a childhood friend that at the time was studying at the Culinary Institute of America. While he was attending SCI, Kevin worked at a few local spots; Black Angus, Continental Catering and helped open Tarbell's. He heard great things about the Inn at Little Washington and desired to seek employment there following his graduation from culinary school. He was fortunate to receive a tryout at the Inn and was offered an extern position. He started at the low end of the totem pole, morning prep, learning the basics. He advanced up the kitchen ladder and ended up learning every station in the kitchen. During his ascent through the ranks, Kevin's talent was recognized by legendary Chef Patrick O'Connell. Chef O’Connell chose Kevin to travel with him across the country to participate in cooking seminars and events as Kevin could adroitly perform all tasks required in the kitchen.

"The most influential thing when we would travel to do all these events would be going to eat with Patrick. After doing a big event he would take me to dine with him that evening where ever he was going. One of the most impactful dining experiences of my life was the first time I went to New York with him for an event, and following the event, Patrick took me to Daniel Boulud's restaurant. At the time, Daniel only had one restaurant and it was small, it was just unbelievable...he was there and came out and served us Eue de Vie that he had brought back from France from his Dad's plum tree in his backyard...just unbelievable...then later to Jean George, Charlie Trotter's, Tru, Chez Panisse, Aqua, some spots in Hawaii and Boca Raton."

In a short time at the Inn, Kevin was promoted to Sous Chef and then finally Executive Sous Chef, where he basically ran the entire kitchen. Kevin credits Chef O'Connell with teaching him everything,"how to cook, attention to detail, reading the guests, realizing it is just not about the food, quality of ingredients, being maticulous, organization." After working at the Inn for 5 years, Kevin applied to work at the French Laundry, and with the help of Chef O'Connell, he was given a tryout. With the hope of working at the French Laundry, Kevin packed up his life and drove to Napa.

Kevin's tryout at the French Laundry took place after the restaurant's hiatus in 2000. The experience left him totally amazed at the level of refinement and intensity that Chef Thomas Keller practices. "The attention to detail with the food in particular, absolutely nothing missed, not a beat, so refined, so intense, so many cooks, everything had to be absolutely perfect...just absolutely breathtaking food."

He was offered the position of butcher while the butcher was on leave. Kevin performed the butchering duties for the restaurant for a month and when the butcher returned, he became commis for first course and then chef de partie for first course working alongside some notable chefs that ran the kitchen including Eric Ziebold, Grant Achatz, Greg Short and Thomas Keller himself.

To round out his overall dining education and expertise, Kevin decided he should gain some Front of the House experience at perhaps the finest culinary establishment in the country, and became a food runner. Following his time at the French Laundry, Kevin embarked on a more eclectic dining journey to further hone his skills. He served as a baker at Palisades Market to enhance his pastry skills, spent some time at Raymond Tan's Mariposa in Sonoma, and then moved to Phoenix to become Executive Chef of Cru in El Pedregal before opening Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek.

Kevin opened Binkley's in May of 2004 and armed with 3 cooks to showcase his Contemporary American style, he was immediately lauded by the press. After receiving rave reviews from Nikki Buchanon of Phoenix Magazine and Howard Seftel of the Arizona Republic, tables became very hard to come by. Bon Appetit magazine placed Binkley's on their "Hot List" and the restaurant started to be recognized on a national level. The evolution continues for the restaurant as Kevin now leads a cadre of up to 12 chefs. He has now also incorporated some modern technical cooking into his whimsical Contemporary American Style. I consider Binkley's to be one of the best values in fine dining in the country as his 7 course tasting is “only” $77. In other restaurants of this caliber, a meal like that would be double or triple the price. Kevin recently has made some changes in the Front of the House as he has brought in Joe Memmel as his General Manager, Dan Parrot as Sommelier to revamp the wine program and installed his sister Jessica as the Hostess. He also will be opening his first offshoot “Cafe Bink” in July that will feature more everyday delicious food. If you have not had the chance to sample Chef Binkley's fare then you are missing one of the memorable dining experiences in the greater Phoenix area, if not the country.

As I look back at older pictures on the thread and see the evolution of Chef Binkley's cuisine it is really quite impressive. I look forward to what the future will bring...

I was seated at the Bar in Seat 1 right in front of the pass, which is a great place to catch the action of the kitchen and the photos are of the tasting served to my guest and me. Seats 1 and 2 are hard to reserve as this is the spot to watch a generally mild mannered chef “flip his lid” in the event that dishes do not come out to his liking :shock::angry::wacko: . I think if I was a chef in Binkley's kitchen, I would consider burning my finger prints off so I would be less likely to leave a mark.

Beware of these addictive treats while at the bar so your dinner is not compromised...

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Sweet, Peruvian, Yukon and Idaho potato chips

the parade of amuses

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sweet potato soup

I always enjoy Chef B's soups

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tuna jerky, chili caviar, wasabi vinaigrette, clementine

very tasty bite, great flavor with the jerky accentuated with the chili caviar and wasabi vinaigrette and then the sweetness of the clementine

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pommes frites with sauce vert, tonka bean bbq, honey mustard and spicy ketchup

the pommes frites are triple cooked a la Heston Blumenthal, which makes them crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside...all the sauces are house-made and I am very fond of the honey mustard...who does not love great pommes frites

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cherry froth duck confit, bing cherry

great bite...the combo of the crispy confit and the cherry meshed well

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la ratte truffle potato foam and chives

That is a La Ratte fingerling potato, the picture makes it look bigger. That type of fingerling is lauded by Chef Joel Robuchon as the potato of potatoes, when you make puree or something of the like. Great...

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parmesan crisps

the photos are of the same amuse that is placed on a lighted coaster that projects different colors...baked potato shot - flash frozen creme fraiche, bacon powder, green onion caviar, grated smoked cheddar, baked potato consomme

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this amuse is a head turner, those that do not order the chef's tasting do not get this one and wonder what it is...fun dish, using modern technique to make something new and fun from something we are all comfortable with the baked potato.

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carrot raisin salad toasted almonds curry creme fraiche, dipping dot carrot and raisin

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duck powder apple cider drop, balsamic glaze

I was instructed to tilt the spoon in my mouth and let the contents roll in...I got excited and ate the spoon by accident :unsure: ...Chef B uses the amuses to play with some of the modern elements so the diner can get a taste of them instead of featuring them throughout the whole meal

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carbonated blue cheese creme, spiced port reduction, belgian endive, spiced pecan

Loved this amuse, the endive is swept thru the cream in order to eat it. Very Cool...

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foie gras dipping dots with vanilla banyuls syrup

I wish the dipping dots machine at the movie theater had foie gras flavor...as the dots melt in your mouth, the foie gras flavor comes thru and it is perfectly foiled with the vanilla banyuls syrup

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carbonated green apple water, honey caviar, peanut butter powder

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citrus cured steelhead trout, cucumber, radich, candied dill, crispy shiitakes, horseradish vin, citrus powder

great mixture of flavors and textures

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slow roasted baby beets - blue cheese panna cotta, red onion glaze, hazelnuts, pancetta, watercress, cabernet vinaigrette

The beets are from McClendon Farms and were as sweet as sugar. The silky blue cheese panna cotta tempered the salty, sharpness of the blue cheese into a luscious savory custard that was accented by a crunchy pancetta chip.

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beef jerky, horseradish creme fraiche&powder evoo

Chef B threw a bite in between courses of house-made beef jerky that while eaten with a dollop of the horseradish creme fraiche made a great combination.

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Marinated Lamb Loin - mint mousse, roasted eggplant, quinoa tabbouleh, red pepper paint

The lamb loin was "slow cooked" so the lamb was perfectly cooked and almost fork tender. The various toppings lent their own nuance to the lamb.

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Sopressata date relish, sunchoke chip

another bite in-between courses

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Butternut Squash Agnolotti - spiced walnuts, menegi onions, zucchini

McClendon Farms butternut squash...nicely made

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White Truffle Risotto - sauteed black trumpet mushrooms and powder, parmesan froth

This risotto had a few layers of flavor that were unearthed as you dug into the bowl thru the parmesan air, past the sauteed mushrooms, into the creamy risotto. The $22 dollar addition to the tasting menu is very reasonable for a healthy shave of truffles. (this meal was eaten during white truffle season)

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La Ratte Whipped Potato White Truffle Creamed Chipped Beef

Chef Binkley never ceases to prove to me that he has the Midas touch, whatever he cooks turns to gold. He made the chipped beef with center-cut New York strip that was cured, dried, smoked, shredded then cooked in a béchamel that was finished with truffles then placed over La Ratte whipped potatoes with white truffles shaved over the top. While I was eating this dish, I was in the zone. I heard nothing and everything seemed to be in slow-motion like Scooby-Doo after eating a Scooby Snack. If I only had one word to describe that dish, it would be heaven.

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Spearfish - roasted pineapple, baby bok choy, guava & passion fruit bubble tea shot, coconut

Very compelling set up

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Blackened Monkfish - wild mushroom ragout, leeks, wild rice

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kiwi sorbet

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Roasted Ribeye Cap - roasted root vegetables, miso emulsion

The cap of the ribeye is Chef Binkley's favorite cut...very tender and flavorful.

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Calves Brains - heirloom potatoes, parlsey, capers, beurre noir

Crispy brains served on top of the soft heirloom potatoes dressed in the beurre noir made a great combination.

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Veal x2 - medallion, cheek, oyster mushrooms, rapini, sunchokes, bearnaise

meltingly soft cheek, great course

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Cheese Course with cranberry yuzu puree, fruit cake, crimson gold apples. crostini

On this particular night, there were 57 different cheese selections to choose from...WOW

Now the next thing that came my way was a perk of sitting right in front of the pass...there was a timing issue with another table and rather than waste it...

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Crispy Seared Foie Gras - gingerbread, blackberries, lemon curd

(note- the editing softward makes the foie appear much darker than it was)

Kevin is a master with foie gras in what ever preperation that he features. I was getting full at this point of the meal but for whatever reason the gingerbread with the foie went into the dessert portion of my stomach that was not full yet...VERY GOOD...then I heard Kevin say, "I can't believe you just ate all of that" :blush:

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pre-dessert - lychee soda

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pre-dessert - eggnog milkshake

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pre-dessert - wild rice krispy treat, popping raspberries

The wild rice krispy treats are good and the popping raspberries can be a bit of a surprise.

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Flash Frozen Banana Split - chocolate dipped strawberry, maraschino cherry, banana

House-made dipping dot ice cream sundae

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Temperatures of Chocolate - hot chocolate brulee, flash frozen foam, chocolate sorbet

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Parfait - chocolate mousse, pistachio, white chocolate powder, raspberries

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mignardises - white chocolate cherry fudge, apricot pate fuille, ginger snaps

The Binkley's experience is like no other in Phoenix, let alone the state! Chef Binkley is a rising star that will continue to shine and receive more national acclaim. The only other restaurant that I have dined at recently with as many amuses and "tricks up the sleeve" has been Chef David Kinch's Manresa. As I have stated, I put Binkley's in the top level of restaurants in the country...Bravo!!!!

Phoenix Best Bets:

Sea Saw

Binkley's Restaurant

Zinc Bistro

Cyclo

Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken and Waffles

Kohnies-Coffee, Breakfast and Best Scones

Pizzeria Bianco

Pane Bianco - Chris Bianco's sandwich shop

Matt's Big Breakfast

Arlecchino Gelateria

The Pork Shop


Edited by molto e (log)

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Elliot, you continue to astound me. After recently having had the opportunity to dine on Chef Binkley's cuisine, I concur that he is one of the outstanding chefs in the country. His talents for combining, cooking and plating great food are truly laudable. Posting on our dinner at Binkley's is on my list of things to do along with the rest of my southwestern adventure!


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Fantastic pics, Eliot! Having just recently been to Binkley's for the first time, I have to say that I wish I lived a bit closer to it. It's the closest thing to Alinea that I've ever experienced and yet, Kevin has such a decidedly different aesthetic than Grant.

The food at Binkley's is beautiful, thoughtful, whimsical, unique and -- most importantly -- delicious. I love the emotional element of the food chef Binkley is putting out but if it wasn't absolutely delicious, that element would be completely wasted anyway. In that regard I l believe that he and chef Achatz have a lot in common. As for the specific X's and O's of their work, they are traveling 2 different paths through the same forest (or desert, as it were).

I'll be back to post about some of details from our meal tremendous meal at Binkley's asap.

=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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The following menu was served to a party of 12 in the Private Dining Room at Binkley's:

Caviar & Johnny Cakes - frozen cucumber, creme fraiche, red onions, chives

Nice opener...ever since last year on the Soprano's, Johnny Cakes have a bit of a different meaning to me :raz:

Shrimp Ceviche - daikon, kumquat, pomegranate, kiwi, avocado, lotus root chips

This was not one of those blast your palate tomato based ceviches, this was one of light crisp citrus flavors...very good.

Vanilla Black Truffle Potato Salad - heirloom potatoes, Serrano ham, celery, charred red onion, cabernet, vinaigrette

A WOW or Umami moment that was felt by the whole group as quiet took the room while eating this.

Nantucket Bay Scallops - spiced popcorn, roasted chestnuts brandy gelee, rapini, butternut squash puree, mustard

I thought the roasted chestnuts with the butternut squash puree were a nice complement to the scallops

Whole Roasted Foie Gras - lemon poppy cake, gooseberries, sunflower sprouts, blackberry, jam

The whole lobes of foie gras were presented tableside, which always is such a pretty sight. The lemon poppycake was not too sweet so I enjoyed the interplay with the foie gras.

Roasted Ribeye Cap - porcini mushroom tortellini, sugar snap peas

unctuous cap of the ribeye...earthy porcini mushrooom tortelini...nice

Cheese - fruit cake, crimson gold apples, apricot-Banyuls puree, toasted baguette

Parade of Desserts

Tremendous experience...some of the party were in town from Japan and between the amuses (not listed) and this style of cuisine, they were in unfamiliar territory and they loved it


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Last night, Chef Binkley was inducted into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame...Binkley's was also featured in the May 2007 issue of Food and Wine Magazine's "Go List"!

"Let's imagine you are making a debut visit to a magnificent restaurant and the first dish is placed in front of you. Before you've even picked up the fork and knife, you've had a chance to study the ingredients. You know this is going to be interesting. As you eat, you start to get an insight into the chef, his technical abilities and artistic talents, his passion for food, the world he has come from. The dish is inspired, of course, but maybe you too feel inspired. Inspired because you have just enjoyed delicious food and feel happier about life in general. Or maybe you feel inspired because you have started to think about your own cooking abilites and can't wait to try to recreate the dish at home." (taken from White Slave by Marco Pierre White with James Steen.

The journey that a talented chef can take you on brings more than nourishment, it brings a complete sensory satisfaction that takes you to a higher plane. An experience in a restaurant can be like theater with the chef directing the perfomance...

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Dining Options at Binkley's...I suggest putting yourself in Chef Binkley's hands when opting for the tasting menu.

Parade of Amuses

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Butternut Squash soup, maple creme fraiche

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red wine braised octopus, balsamic froth, curried salsify, curried oil powder

I did not love the texture of the octopus but the overall flavor profile was good.

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Swedish Meatball - sour huckleberry

Kevin's whims can take you by surprise...I doubt that I would have expected to see Swedish meatballs at Binkley's.

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Pork on a Fork, sous vide pork, white wine poached pear, mustard pesto

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Foie Gras Powder - lemongrass bomb, balsamic glaze

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pommes souffle with russet and purple peruvian, sauce vert, honey mustard, spicy ketchup, tonka bean bbq

I had never seen pommes souffle done with purple peruvian potatoes...this course was great fun.

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duck rillete, sweet potato cannelloni, maple froth

A modern interpretation of the duck rillete...very good.

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la ratte truffle potato foam and chives

what a world it would be if this was how good all potato skins could be

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pear consomme lava lamp, port caviar, passionfruit caviar, watercress caviar proscuitto powder and crispy proscuitto

The evolution of this course started a couple years ago with a tomato water gazpacho...and it has taken many forms.

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Scallop Mousse - wasabi crepe, radish, pomegranate, ruby grapefruit granita, edamame, lotus root chips

I enjoyed the scallop mousse, but I am not sure what the granita brought to the course.

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Slow Roasted Baby Beets - navel orange, avocado, beet marshmallow, jalapeno, watercress

People can not get enough of those McClendon farms beets...

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dueling salads...waldorf and caprese

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half peel ruby grape walnut crumbs, flash frozen celery juice, flash frozen sweet red wine cream, flash frozen watercress, flash frozen golden raisin

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flash frozen romalino tomato juice, balsamic vin, basil puree, buffalo mozz, evoo

An amuse slipped in-between courses...fun.

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Hearts of Palm - mache, prosciutto, roasted lady apple, tangelo, cashews, balsamic glaze

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Vanilla Black Truffle Potato Salad - heirloom potatoes, Serrano ham, celery, charred red onion, cabernet, vinaigrette

DIVINE

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Frog Legs - parmesan, white beans, confit garlic, parsley

Frog legs is a dish that has become a favorite among the regulars no matter what permutation they come in.

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Black Cod - toasted Israeli couscous, baby zucchini, baby carrots, clam shell mushrooms, saffron broth

This was a great dish...

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Wild Striped Bass - acorn squash, iitoi onions, braised tsai tsai, hazelnuts, brown sugar horseradish

nice crispy skin...great dish

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Crispy Seared Foie Gras - date & Szechwan pepper charlotte, sunflower sprouts, gooseberries

I have said this many times but I will say it again...Binkley does foie VERY well and he is not the kind of chef to skimp on the serving size.

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Pheasant Breast - butternut squash, pineapple, sugar snap peas, braised macadamia nuts, lemongrass broth

Pheasant breast is one Binkley's favorite pieces and fowl and this was a nice dish.

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Poppy Seed Crusted Sweetbread Sandwich - tomato tartare, arugula, garlic aioli, speck

tasty...salty, crunchy

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Roasted Ribeye Cap - blood orange, baby fennel, olive quinoa

good

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Coriander Crusted Pork Tenderloin - melted cabbage, mustard spatzle, pearl onions, apricot mustard

The coriander added a nuance to the pork, but the standouts of this dish were two things that normally would get me...melted cabbage and spatzle.

pre-desserts

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exploding cinnamon scented baked meringe

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wild rice crispy treat

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green apple soda, blood orange creamsickle soda

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dissolving kalamonsu lime

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meyer lemon soup, meringe mushrooms, pomegranate, blueberry candied mint oil, chocolate biscotti ,whipped vanilla creme fraiche pistachio cookie leaves

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meyer lemon soup being poured

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liquid nitrogen

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mocha pot au creme espresso cream pine nut brittle pine nut cream filled doughnuts

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chocolate caramel, blackberry pate de fuille, pistachio madeleines

Another great meal enjoyed by the whole table!!!


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Stunning stuff - even more so considering the relatively compact kitchen. It is amazing that Chef Binkley doesn't get more press than he does on a national and international level. He is creative, but his creations work at the elemental level of taste as well as whimsy. Thanks once again, molto e, for your fine documentation of his work. What Yellow Truffle is to Grant Achatz you are to Kevin Binkley!

...and congratulations to Chef Binkley for his induction!


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Thanks once again, molto e, for your fine documentation of his work. What Yellow Truffle is to Grant Achatz you are to Kevin Binkley!

...and congratulations to Chef Binkley for his induction!

Thanks Doc...I wish, that Truffle character's got me a a country mile or at least a few hundred courses at Alinea....Chef Barber should be sending you a thank you card as well. As far as the National Press, in due time I feel he will receive his due. The restaurant is located a bit north of Scottsdale so it definitely is a destination restaurant, but the bottom line is it is worth it! If one is in the State of Arizona there are very few restaurants that can deliver this kind of experience and as I have said I put him in the upper eschelon of chefs in the nation. The press in town is very aware of his skills and to get a table at his place is not easy.


Edited by molto e (log)

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Thanks once again, molto e, for your fine documentation of his work. What Yellow Truffle is to Grant Achatz you are to Kevin Binkley!

...and congratulations to Chef Binkley for his induction!

Thanks Doc...I wish, that Truffle character's got me a a country mile or at least a few hundred courses at Alinea....Chef Barber should be sending you a thank you card as well

Thanks, Molto. Clearly the quality of your photography is outstanding as is YT's. But you have really done a great job of documenting Chef Binkley's work over time as YT has done with Chef Achatz at Alinea and Philadining with Chef Olunloyo of Studio Kitchen. Unfortunately, I can't claim such continuity though I have my own photos of my experiences with the work of each.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Thanks, Molto. Clearly the quality of your photography is outstanding as is YT's. But you have really done a great job of documenting Chef Binkley's work over time as YT has done with Chef Achatz at Alinea and Philadining with Chef Olunloyo of Studio Kitchen. Unfortunately, I can't claim such continuity though I have my own photos of my experiences with the work of each.

Thank you Doc, I appreciate it and we both know that you are a bigger shutterbug than I am. I don't even have any photos of Cuy :shock: .


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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