5th and wine
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5th and Wine
December, 2010, Page 149
Photos by David Moore
This friendly Old Town joint does fans of straightforward, simple fare a major solid.
Comfort food is the name of the game in today’s recession-plagued culinary scene, and everyone’s looking for deals. So it’s no wonder 5th and Wine in downtown Scottsdale is doing brisk business. It concentrates on standard dishes done superbly along with a tidy by-the-glass list of workhorse wines at sane prices (most hover around $6 to $8).
Rich Sullivan, one of the original investors in Humble Pie and a creator of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, opened it with his wife, Dr. Julie Chandler, in December 2009 in the former Fine’s Cellar. Space-hogging retail wine racks are gone, and it’s now part lounge, part dining room with a sleek patio in the back courtyard.
At first glance, the menu looks like a yawner, but the kitchen’s expert execution makes meals classics rather than clunkers. Salads – chopped, veggie, and strawberry with gorgonzola (all $6.95) – were fresh and lively, thanks to quality ingredients like house-roasted turkey and terrific vinaigrettes that were light and well balanced.
If you aren’t counting calories, start with crunchy fried pickles ($4.95). For entrées, daily specials are the way to go. Beef Bourguignon ($15.95) with plump mushrooms, pearl onions, thick-cut bacon and a pronounced wine flavor was ultra-rich. Moist meatloaf ($14.95) comes with a kicky red wine ketchup glaze, beautifully buttered and perfectly cooked French green beans, and fluffy mashed potatoes. Chicken and dumplings ($14.95) sit in an irresistible stew – not salty or gummy. The dumplings were a bit dense; otherwise, it was a delight.
5th and Wine burger with French fries
The 5th and Wine burger ($11.95) with caramelized onions and organic arugula on a golden, buttery bun rivals the best in town. So do crispy French fries ($7.95) dolled up with pecorino, chile flakes, parsley, garlic and lemon zest, served with garlic aioli. A simple-sounding egg sandwich ($10.95) with coppa ham and frisée was a circus of textures and tastes. And a chewy house-made Ghirardelli brownie ($6.95) with ice cream was an ideal ending.
Nothing was bad, per se, but some things I wouldn’t order again. Pomodoro pasta ($13.95) with Schreiner’s sausage for $3 extra was nice but not “wow.” Same for bourbon-glazed salmon ($19.95). Toppings were skimpy on bruschetta (two for $5.95).
Service on all visits was exceptional, with a sincere, friendly, high-quality staff. If you want gastronomic adventure, look elsewhere, but if you like consistency, value and comfort, set your GPS for 5th and Wine.
Ghirardelli brownie with ice cream
5th and Wine
: 7051 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale
: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday
Highlights: Fried pickles ($4.95), chopped salad ($6.95), 5th and Wine burger ($11.95), egg sandwich ($10.95), crispy French fries ($7.95), beef Bourguignon ($15.95), chicken and dumplings ($14.95), meatloaf ($14.95), brownie ($6.95)
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