“Drinking Wine at Lunch…Is Not a Crime” Postino Wine Cafe

The Place: Postino Wine café
Suggested (summer) Wine: Rose- Tijra 2014, California
The food: not-your-average bruschetta, raspberry chicken salad, homemade chicken noodle soup, prosciutto and brie sandwich and vanilla bean crème brulee for dessert.
The Location:  5144 N. CENTRAL AVE

By: Brittany Johnson

“Drinking wine at lunch is not a crime” That is what a bumper sticker read on the gorgeous silver BMW I was stuck behind in I-17 traffic one afternoon. The sticker was funny but I didn’t think much of it that day and continued on my (very slow) drive home. However, as months passed I started to see the sticker more and more on the bumpers of cars across the city. Being too curious for my own good I just I had do see where the sticker came from, what they were about and ultimately how I could get one for my car. With some quick research (thanks Google) I discovered the source: Postino Wine Café.

For some reason I wasn’t expecting a café, a winery or wine company perhaps, but not a cafe. I was seriously intrigued; anything that involves wine or a café, I’m bound to fall in love with. I couldn’t wait to take my husband and try it out for our date night. Postino’s quickly became our favorite restaurant and my husband and I visit as often as we can for a little escape from reality. No matter what the occasion; date night, lunch with friends, a business meeting or even a spot to relax solo, Postino Wine Cafe is a perfect place to unwind while enjoying some amazingly delicious food and wine…

With four locations to choose from (Arcadia, Gilbert, Phoenix and Tempe) Postino’s is a growing local favorite! I am partial to the central Phoenix location because, for one, it’s the closest location to me and because I absolutely love the downtown vibe. The Phoenix location has an ultra-cool urban design. It’s a little cold, plain and industrial looking on the exterior and if you’re a first time visitor you might even drive right by it! However, the back side and interior of the restaurant is open and romantically decorated creating a super cozy atmosphere. The bar is very large with tons of seating and it separates the patio from the interior dining area. The patio is a favorite place to sit and can be enjoyed in all kinds of Arizona weather. In the scorching summer heat a misting system keeps customers cool while in the winter there are heaters and a gorgeous fireplace to keep you a relaxing lunch break from the office. It’s even pet friendly! But while the ambiance is wonderful it’s the food at Postino’s that keeps me coming back.

Last night we visited Postino’s for the 100th time and the food was just as good and the service just as wonderful as the first time I visited. Postino’s has a very light menu, which I really appreciate; Beer/wine, appetizers, salads, panini’s and 4 desserts… simple, perfect. It’s a café so there are no “full-sized dinner entrees” here but trust me when I say, you will be full and satisfied when you leave.

When you visit you absolutely have to start off with the bruschetta. It’s not common that people rave about an appetizer but this one gets special attention. If you look around Postino’s you will see a beautiful wooden cutting board with a variety of bruschetta’s at almost every table. The bread is thick and crusty (a gluten-free option too) and there are so many different toppings to choose from! Luckily, you get to choose four. I try to switch it up every time but my favorites are: Brie apples and fig spread, Fresh mozzarella tomato and basil, Prosciutto with figs and mascarpone and roasted red pepper with goat cheese. There is also an incredible deal Mondays and Tuesdays (after 8pm); $20.00 gets you a bruschetta and a house bottle of wine, ideal for a weekday date.

The Panini’s and salads are to die for and I could write and entire article about each one but the favorites (according to my little survey) are the raspberry chicken salad and the Prosciutto and Brie Panini. The chicken salad is the most refreshing, flavorful salad I’ve ever had; it’s a mix of fresh greens and organic chicken beautifully decorated with pecans, apples, gorgonzola and lightly dressed with raspberry vinaigrette. Its light, refreshing and the perfect mix of flavors in all seasons. The prosciutto and brie panini is an obvious winner… how could you go wrong with that combo? The panini is always toasty and warm with oozing melted brie. A lightly sweet fig jam and fresh arugula complete the sandwich and then the panini is drizzled lightly with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. If your not too stuffed you have to get dessert. While they have four decadent deserts to choose from I suggest the vanilla bean cream brulee. It’s always perfectly done and maybe I’m just a sucker for the crunchy candy topping but I have tried cream brulee all over this city and I still say Postino’s has the best.

So if your needing a great place to hang out with friends for dinner, an intimate late night date or a relaxing lunch break from the office you have to try Postino Wine Café… and for the record, I could not agree more; drinking wine at lunch, is not a crime.


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Erik Merkow
Founder and CEO at Az Food & Wine
Erik: a father, writer, son, photographer, corporate guy, friend, brother, and foodie wine guy

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