3 Best Things We Ate This Week

Nikki BuchananNovember 5, 2021
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Photo by Nikki Buchanan

 

Caviar and Crème Fraîche Crêpe at Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion
Yep, it’s true. I have been to Christopher’s twice now. Lucky, lucky, lucky! And although much of the menu was the same as my first visit, we did find this lovely changeup: a dainty crêpe, adorned with flowering herbs and a glistening orb of Black River Oscietra caviar, positioned on its perch with a dab of house-made crème fraîche. When fork and crepe meet, the crepe’s interior gushes with more caviar and more crème fraîche (Christopher’s cultures cream from local Fond du Lac Farms to make the crème fraîche), an interplay of nutty salinity and tangy freshness abetted by two different but creamy textures that melt away on the tongue. The plate is lightly dusted with green phytoplankton (think of it as a micro sea vegetable) which adds its own subtle ocean notes. Sad to say, I could easily put away three or four of these.
Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion, 2501 E. Telawa Trail, Phoenix, 602-522-2344, wrigleymansion.com


Photo by Nikki Buchanan

 

Chocolate Soufflé at Zinc Bistro
I took my cousins to Zinc the other day because it’s one of my standbys for a leisurely lunch. And here’s the dessert I seldom fail to get: a chocolate soufflé with chocolate sauce because how could that ever be wrong? It’s a beautiful thing, served on a doily in a ramekin, its firm, almost crusty top dusted with powdered sugar. Our server gently pushes through the top with a spoon and in the crevice created, pours in a half a sauce boat of rich, dark chocolate sauce. Oof, this is so good! The first layer of the soufflé is light and airy, while the center becomes creamy and custardy. Could it have benefitted from another minute or two in the oven? Maybe. All I know is it was intensely chocolate-y and I was intensely satisfied.
Zinc Bistro, Kierland Commons, 15034 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-603-0922, zincbistro.com


Photo by Nikki Buchanan

 

18″ Market Pizza at Pizzeria Bianco
Naturally, I’d heard about Chris Bianco’s nostalgic NY pizzas, which he first introduced at Pane Bianco a year or so ago. Thing is, I’ve never been a NY pizza person — hate the flop, hate the grease, just don’t get it so sue me — and I wasn’t exactly rushing out to get one. How ridiculously wrong-headed could I be? I just had the best pizza I’ve had in years at the Pizzeria Bianco at Town & Country last night. It was the daily Market Pizza, a thin-crust 18-incher that pleased me on so many levels. For one thing, the topping combo was inspired: aged provolone, Montasio (a creamy alpine cheese like Gruyere or Emmental), Rovey Farms sheep cheese, slivers of russet potato, Sonoran i’itoi green onions, a few dabs of chimichurri and loads of spicy soppressata — dry-cured pork salami, shaved thin, its edges darkened and curled from the oven. I love white pizzas, and if you think you don’t, you’ve got to keep an eye out for this one because it’s 180° from mild and bland. If anything, it’s downright robust, bringing salt and heat, the tang of the sheep’s milk cheese and the richness of the Malvasia. All that plus a classic combo like potato, onion and cheese? Oh hell yeah. The pizza crust was every bit as remarkable: chewy texture, puffy, blistered edges and a bottom crust splotched with blackened places. Each thin, preternaturally crisp wedge defied gravity, remaining horizontal without a hint of droop. I never thought I’d say it, but this may be my new favorite, this NY pizza that’s 100 times better than NY pizza.
Pizzeria Bianco, Town & Country, 4743 N. 20th St., Phoenix, 602-368-3273, pizzeriabianco.com

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