Baratin, Bodega and AZ Wine Merchants – A threesome to write home about!
Never content to do anything on a small scale, Pavle Milic and Charleen Badman, the talents behind Old Town favorite FnB have recently opened up not one, but three new ventures. And we couldn’t be happier! A long time fan of FnB’s contribution to the Old Town Farmer’s market, now I don’t have to wake up early on Saturday morning to get my fix. Located in the Kiva Center on 5th Avenue, this threesome offers up my favorites, donuts (with holes), Meyers Lemonade and tasty sandwiches, whenever I want them!
This European style wine bar and eatery offers a simple 5 item menu which has all the tastiness that FnB is known for, at a scaled down price (current prices were all around $5-$10). The menu, which changes frequently to reflect the whims of Charleen and what is currently in season, is bold in its simplicity. Never overwhelmed, guests can focus instead on the specialties of the chef. The five item menu features a sandwich plate, a cheese plate, pate, a veggie plate and of course a sweet. When we stopped by for lunch, we were delighted to see that the featured sandwich was the Jidori Chicken Sandwich, roasted Jidori chicken, tomato, grilled onion, arugula and manchego served with a selection of delicious veggies on the side. Now if you have never been to the Old Town Farmer’s Market and tasted FnB’s Meyer’s Lemonade, do yourself a favor and try it with your meal, you can thank us later!
Also on the menu was a Carrot and Couscous Veggie Plate topped with Limequat Salsa Verde. Our only regret was that we were too full to try the sweet, a bowl of Butterscotch Pudding.
Charleen and Pavle were both bustling around Baratin, so don’t be too surprised to run into them, literally. Baratin is open Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m and serves an impressive wine selection (not just from AZ) They also offer wines by the half bottle.
Can we just say that Bodega won our heart from the moment we first stepped foot inside (maybe it was the rack of donuts and holes just inside the door!). Foodies will love this place, now you can purchase the ingredients that make FnB so fabulous. Some of what you can find on the shelves are bread, salsas, sauces, fresh produce, chickens and steaks, and local cheeses. Don’t forget to stock up on Charleen’s delectable donuts and some fresh squeezed lemonade. Need Olive Oil? Just bring your own jar and you can fill it up with Queen Creek Olive Oil for .50¢/oz. Looking for homemade pasta, salsa or the fixin’s for a great dinner, stop on by and dazzle your friends and family with new-found culinary greatness, or at least impress them a bit!
AZ Wine Merchants
The real hidden gem of the trio is AZ Wine Merchants. Pavle has been a long-time supporter of Arizona Wineries and now you can sample his personal choices for yourself. Skeptical of AZ wines? Yeah we were too but I after being educated on the virtues of Arizona for wine growing and sampling a few selections, I have to admit to being a convert.
Baratin, 7125 E. 5th Avenue, #31, Scottsdale (open Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.), Tel. 480-425-9463
Bodega, 7121 E. 5th Avenue, #16a, Scottsdale (open Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Tel. 480-284-4777
AZ Wine Merchants, 7125 E. 5th Avenue, #29, Scottsdale (open Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Tel. 480-588-7489