Photo by Angelina Aragon.

Flights of Fancy

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Three Bites Issue: October 2017
Group Free

Tasting-menu-style food samplers let restaurants put on a real variety show.

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Four Valley locations
For those who have a hard time deciding what to order from an ambitious menu, help is on the way. A growing number of Valley restaurants are dishing up “flights” – mini tasting menus that afford indecisive diners some breathing room. Snooze offers a pancake flight ($9.75, pictured) with a choice of three spectacular flapjacks. Don’t miss the achingly sweet pineapple-upside-down cake with caramelized pineapple bits topped with vanilla crème Anglaise, or the buttermilk sweet potato pancake drizzled with rich caramel sauce and festooned with ginger butter, crunchy candied pecans and powdered sugar. To round out your flight, choose from a list of light and airy pancakes, including blueberry Danish, peanut butter cup or the chef-driven pancake of the day. Snooze will also make any pancake gluten-free. 

Oink Café
Two Valley locations
Oink Café’s tagline is “Breakfast. Lunch. Bacon.” and as the name suggests, bacon takes center stage. The restaurant rolls out a bacon flight ($10.99) with eight strips atop a pink, pig-shaped platter along with a table of contents so you can keep track of what you’ve tasted. Each rasher is smoke-infused, ridiculously tasty and would do any breakfast plate or BLT proud. In order as presented: applewood, honey-cured, jalapeño, peppered, sugar-cured, hickory, apple cider and pecan wood. Standouts include the heat-supplying jalapeño, with just the right amount of kick; and the pecan wood, a step up from the more common applewood in terms of smoke intensity and richness of flavor. If eight pieces induce bacon fatigue, no need to go hog wild. You can always order a half flight ($5.49).

Sorso Wine Room
15323 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
At Sorso Wine Room, the kitchen makes a grilled cheese flight ($8) with combinations that change monthly. Calling them “grilled cheese” is a bit of a stretch because the crunchy bites are made with oven-toasted Wildflower Bakery focaccia, which is baked until crisp rather than grilled. Still, that doesn’t take away from their cheesy, melty goodness. Combinations can include cheddar, mortadella and caramelized onions; mozzarella, soppressata and basil pesto; and sweeter options such as burrata, cantaloupe and arugula or seasonal peaches, honey and Taleggio, a semi-soft Italian cheese. The fancy grilled cheese sliders come four to an order and pair nicely with many of Sorso’s 150 wines or 14 craft beers.