56 East (PHX)
I met a girlfriend at 56 East last night for happy hour. I have to say I've never been enamoured by the food at either 56 East or 98 South...but the happy hour IS a good deal. The $5 glasses of wine, a decent cheese plate that's less than $10 during happy hour and the patio at 56 East is nice to sit on. I wouldn't make an effort to eat dinner at either location however.
Well, I should have listened to the advice on the board (which was to order the flank steak) back in April when we went - my mom and I ordered the cheese plate and the crab cake, which might have been THE WORST crab cake I've had in my life (and I've had alot); all I could taste was lemon. The chef came over and apologized that we disliked it and he explained that it was made with preserved lemon. Maybe it's just not my style of crab cake, but I don't know why you'd want to taste lemon more than crab. The cheese plate was pretty good; I've had better, I've had worse. The most positive thing about our visit was the price - $5 glasses of wine and a deal on appetizers (can't remember the specifics) was a steal. We had four glasses of wine and the cheese plate (the crab cake was comp'd) which brought our total to $29. We will be back for happy hour.
I was there just a few weeks ago. The wine list was kind of funny. Not in a bad way. Just missing some things I think of as "staples." I think there was no red wine available from France. The only Italian wine was the prosecco. But the list was fun for just trying something different; they had a lot of things on their list I'd never tried. (I refer to the wines by the glass, only.)
I ordered the fresh fish special, which was excellent, and somehow my server tricked me into ordering a piece of chocolate cake for dessert, which was also very good.
They do a skirt steak appetizer that is just wonderful. Please do try that. Also a warm brie plate with red pears and red pepper hummus on the side. I can never remember if it's 56E or 98S that does the Effen Cherry martini, but that and their mango mojito are pretty damn good. I like most of the menu, the only disappointment I'd ever had was a rock shrimp linguine -- the shrimp were both old and overdone, which was crushing to me. I love rock shrimp.