Italian for "your wine," Su Vino doesn't only curate a lineup of award-winning varietals, it also crafts custom wines to suit even the most discerning palates. Inside an eye-catching tasting room, Su Vino Winery pairs glasses and bottles of its vintages with a menu of light appetizers and sensuous desserts. Red wines such as the jam-flavored cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend and peppery zinfandel pour crimson into tasting glasses, whereas white wines—including the tongue-twisting gewürztraminer—immerse taste buds in crisp, off-dry tones. They also open their bottle-lined space to guests interested in hosting a birthday party, bridal shower, or scared-straight event for delinquent grapes.
Va Bene brings the rustic flavors of Old World cooking to a New World setting. The chefs hand-make gnocchi and craft marinara and pesto sauces from scratch, giving homespun character to rigatoni bolognese and veal marsala. But the staff also showcases a bit of elegance with entrées such as roasted pork tenderloin, stuffed with prosciutto and plated with a cranberry and port wine reduction. Dishes both classic and contemporary are complemented by a thoughtfully curated wine list, which includes more than 90 different bottles from vineyards and wine-spewing geysers across the world.
The restaurant's tasteful cuisine is mirrored by its decor. Rich red drapes accent the main dining room's windows and open doorways, echoing the hues found in the plush banquettes and faux-textured ceiling. In the adjoining bar, a four-sided, granite-topped bar houses a wide array of wines, spirits, and beers. Both rooms fill with the sounds of live musical performances on Friday and Saturday evenings, ensuring diners' ears are as satisfied as their stomachs.
Versed in vintages from around the globe and down the block, Vino 100's aficionados personally curate the shop’s collection of more than 150 wines. Blond wood shelves display bottles stacked into tidy pyramids and sporting labels from wineries such as Oberon, Coppola, and Toad Hollow. In addition to gracing home wine cabinets with new vintages, the shop rewards oenophiles with membership to the grapenutz Wine Club, which unlocks perks including discounts and complimentary bottles. In addition to special events such as live music, wine-pairing dinners, and Bartles and Jaymes look-alike contests, Vino 100 invites patrons to informative wine classes covering topics ranging from tasting tips to wine-production secrets. In the spirit of Dionysian goodwill, the shop helps support a roster of community partners such as schools and animal rescues.
Once a week at Urban Beans, the sounds of a jazz band fill the room. As they listen, customers perch on mismatched chairs that give the space the kind of quirky charm that's usually attributed to a baby wearing a crossing-guard uniform. A look around the room yields visions of guests sipping coffee and munching on fresh pastries as they chatter or work, or ordering beer or wine to go with sandwiches and salads.
It’s hard to imagine now, but once upon a time, people actually had to go to the photo lab and wait days to see how their pictures turned out. One such lab sat at the corner of 32nd Street and Shea Boulevard in Phoenix, but with the dawn of digital photography, its days were numbered. The lab finally closed down in the early '90s, and city culture soon took over—it first became a coffee house and neighborhood hangout, and later a hip urban café and espresso bar. This latest incarnation is called 32 Shea, and some of its defining characteristics are as old-school as monochrome photography. Take the coffee, for example: the beans are roasted locally and the flavor syrups are homemade with seasonal ingredients. When night falls and the café transforms into a trendy restaurant, flickering candles lend an air of timeless romance to meals of creative bruschetta, toasted-ciabatta sandwiches, and crispy lavash pizzas. Of course, there are plenty of ultra-modern touches designed to attract Phoenix’s hipster set. Among the most notable are a sleek bar made from 100-year-old reclaimed wood and a drive-through window that lets car-bound diners can take the café's gourmet cuisine to go.
The term “local” barely begins to describe the on-tap beers at O.H.S.O. Eatery + nanoBrewery. Four suds, including OHSO Orange Pail Ale and OHSO Tart, brew right in-house. And of the beers that don’t originate in the on-site fermentation rooms most still come from nearby––about half of O.H.S.O.’s drafts hail from Arizona-based breweries such as Four Peaks. On weekends, imbibing kicks off early at beer brunch, where entrées such as biscuits with white-sausage beer gravy come with a 10-ounce pour of any Arizonian brew. During dinner––which lasts until midnight every night of the week––, the menu emphasizes quality pub grub, such as small plates, burgers, and flatbread pizzas. Dig in on the front porch or the bike-friendly––and sometimes dog-friendly––patio with a pint of beer, glass of wine, or cocktail. Or, drop by for the weekly Sunday afternoon backyard barbecue where guests are allotted second and third helpings of barbecue chicken, brisket, and ribs, and all the wetnaps they can eat.