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Aug 21, 2006 11:25 PM

Tapino Kitchen & Wine Bar - Scottsdale

Had my first experience at Tapino last night and it was a winner in every aspect - food, wine, service, ambiance and price. Am surprised there aren't more postings on this board regarding it - and also at the small crowd in attendance. Sunday night syndrone? The location (restaurant complex at 70th & Shea)? Whatever. It was completely deightful, and I look forward to another visit. We each ordered a flight - mine was four Pinot Noirs - forget what Doug had, but we were both pleased with the selections. We ordered and asked the server and the kitchen to bring them out in the order they thought best. I kept a copy of the menu and here is what we had:

Eggplant cannelloni with spinach, ricotta & tomato sage sauce $6; crispy goat cheese with toasted pistachios, lavender honey and sweet balsamic $7; the cheese experience- spanish manchego, danish blue, french brie & serrano ham $15 (we did request this to be the last item as neither one of us wanted desserts); crispy pancetta wrapped gorgonzola stuffed medjoul dates $6 (this actually would have made a fine dessert imho) licorice root skewered lamb chops with garlic, lemon, smoked paprika & olive oil $10; sweet & sour kurobuto pork belly with crispy wonton & sesame seed cabbage slaw $7; sonoma duck leg confit relleno with char grilled salsa fresca & shaved manchego $8; crispy shrimp with spicy orange horseradish marmalade $8; petite lobster corndogs with fancy ballpark dipping sauces (especially loved these - would order double order next time) $9; seared bay scallops with coconut thai curry, sour apple relish & crispy lotus root $8; and southern fried okra with cornmeal $5 (these were very good but could have used some of that fancy ballpark dipping sauce). We thoroughly enjoyed every dish, and felt the portions were more than adequate to share.

When I asked our waiter how long the restaurant had been open, he said just two years now, but confessed he had been there only two weeks. Surprise that - he was quite accomplished, professional and knew the menu and wine list extremely well.

If you haven't been yet - do yourself a favor and GO.

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  1. I am pleased to read your enthusiastic report of Tapino's.

    I was there a little over a year ago and was very impressed. We went with our adult children and had an especially good time comparing wines and enjoying the different flavors and fun presentations.

    I'm planning to return soon and happy to know it's still an excellent place.

    1. This is one of my favorite places in Phoenix. It's been consistently good since my first visit, the first week it opened. It's a big place and is often not full... but, I've seen it full on the weekend. Vince Vaughn was eating there a few visits ago. I think that's my only Phoenix celebrity restaurant citing outside David Spade at Delux. Anyway, back to the food...

      The items from the small plates portion of the menu are great but don't ignore the vegetable sides, we often order these as "small plates" as well. They took yucca off the menu for a while, it looks to be back on but as a different preparation. Unexpectedly that yucca dish sticks in mind over many other dishes here! It's easy to make yucca terrible so I guess their execution was impressive.

      I think my only disappointment here was a "paella" which, from their website, looks to no longer be on the menu. It was pretty blah. In any case we usually stick with the small plates.

      The menu changes often, I go every few months and it's always different. I don't think I recognize hardly anything on the menu currently on their website... guess I need to revisit soon!

      Wine list is excellent and I do like desert here. A very nice champagne sorbet comes to mind,..