Javinos Wine Bar Restaurant, Scottsdale
We stopped by this new spot in north Scottsdale this weekend. They just opened on Friday, so we were there for day two. It's located in the Gold's Gym center on Northsight just north of Raintree. It's a brand new, free standing building, and very nice inside. Lots of natural stone.
They call it a wine bar restaurant, and I guess that's a good description. When you walk in there is a small hostess stand. The curved bar is straight ahead, and there are lots of tall tables and a few booths on the bar side. The restaurant side is separated a half wall and plants. That side has regular tables and a few booths. All of the tables are butcher block type wood.
The wine list was ok, but only a few different or interesting selections. There seemed to be at least 20 wines by the glass, and another large list of bottles. There is also a full service bar.
The menu includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, soups and pizzas from the brick oven. Then they have entrees and even a kids menu. It's a pretty vast menu and kind of all over the place. I couldn't figure out if it's supposed to be a nice restaurant, a quick sandwich/salad place, or a wine bar.
Unfortunately, the menu is pretty pedestrian. The "first bites" include garlic knots ($6), tuna tartar ($11), fried calamari ($9) and hummus ($8). A few different items include a marinated olive dip (($7), butter poached shrimp ($11 for 2 shrimp), pistachio scallops ($11) and eggplant fries ($8).
We weren't very hungry at all, and only ordered the eggplant fries to share. The presentation looked like an onion blossom at Outback. The bowl was full of fried eggplant sticks with a very small metal bowl in the middle with a mild marinara. The fries were hot and crisp, but it tasted like well done fried zuccini you'd see at a sports bar. The serving was quite large, and the batter was crisp. It was ok, but not something I'd expect in a wine bar.
The salads look interesting with a copped aegean, as well as a bitter apple and goat cheese salad (both $11). Sandwiches and pizzas were standard sounding fare.
The entrees include chicken piccatta ($14), grilled salmon ($17), pistachio lamb chops ($20), filet ($25) and eggplant parmesan ($13). It does not appear the entrees include salad or vegetable. There's also a very short kids menu.
The facility itself is very nice, and obviously some thought went into design. Unfortunately, the menu is pretty basic and almost looks like a chain. I was surprised not to find more offerings befitting a wine bar, so maybe my expectations clouded my opinion. Also, I'd like to give them some time to settle in before really reaching a conclusion about the place. The staff was very friendly, and service was great. I'm hoping the decide what they want to be, or maybe just make the bar side a wine bar, and the restaurant side a family place matching the menu.
Javinos Wine Bar Restaurant
14795 Northsight Blvd
I stopped in on Saturday to grab a menu. They do list a "You Choose Lunch Special" for $7.95 where you pick 2 of 3 items: choose either soup, caesar salad, mixed green salad, or a personal size pizza. The two pizzas I'd try would be the fig & prosciutto and the shrimp serrano. Report back if you give it a try!
We didn't try much of the food, but I'm guessing it would at minimum be ok. I'd certainly give it a try if you're in the area for lunch. The facility is great, and the service was friendly. The one thing we ate was fine.
Across the street, we sometimes like Apple Cafe for a quick lunch, although I don't think it's quite as good lately.
I tried it for lunch today. Why, based on mediocre reviews, I'm not sure! We each had the lunch special - personal sized pizza and a side (soup or salad) for $7.95. It was mediocre, at best. The ceasar salad was lacking flavor and was basically some romaine lettuce with a very weak dressing, and the pizza (shrimp and serrano chile) had a really funky flavor...and I don't mean funky in a good way! A wood-fire oven is of no use if the stuff you're cooking in it isn't good!
Also, the service was terrible. They seemed very short-staffed and we had to virtually beg for refills on our iced teas and, even then, still had to wait a bit. Our salads sat there for 10 mins before we got them (we had to ask for them to be brought to us), our pizzas came out shortly thereafter, and no one ever bothered to ask how our food was. All in all a so-so experience but what do you really expect for $7.95?