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Pizzeria Bianco Tips (Phoenix)

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I'm looking to hit P. Bianco in Phoenix - but don't want to waste an hour or two in line. Does anyone have a tip about when to arrive, what to say, etc. to help avoid the wait, and have a great experience?

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  1. If there was a secret to getting in, it couldn't be posted here, and remain a secret. If you're dining solo, you might get lucky, and pick up an odd seat at the bar. Otherwise, put together a party of 6-10 and get reservations.

    1. it's a wait, unless you get a reservation for 6 or more...and i'd say thats optimistic to hope for an hour ;) having gone 3x so far this year *once with a party of 6*, an hour and 45 mins was the shortest wait. make a friend - you won't be the only one waiting ;)

      if you were jerry seinfeld or martha stewart he might open on sunday for you ;)

      the waits not that bad - bar bianco's next door, or you could go for a walk and scope out all the new construction around downtown.

      1. If you're in line as they open at 5, you can either get first seating or second, generally. That means, show up around 4:30 if it's a weekday or the weather's crummy, earlier on the weekend. I am an early eater so I've never waited more than an hour at the wine bar, or been seated immediately at the bar. Doesn't bother me, I like having a cocktail hour before a nice dinner.

        6 Replies
        1. re: themis

          Call me crazy, but the wait was part of the fun since we met so many friendly foodies in line. Bar Bianco next door opens at 4:00 and you can bring out wine or beer to lubricate the proceedings and order appetizers (provided you have someone to hold your place in line or the people around you are willing to let you back in). After you put your name in when they open at 5:00 (if you're not on the first seating), you don't have to stay lined up and can sit down at a picnic table outside or over at Bar Bianco. Locals told us it's not as much of a wait during the week. We were there last month and lined up at 4:00 on a Saturday. We didn't make the first seating, but were seated at the bar around 7:00. When you're draining a bottle or three of good wine, eating heavenly prosciutto, and conversing with fellow chowhounds, the wait is but a blip in time.

          1. re: rlm

            I have found that delivery works best. I have never had to wait more than about 40 minutes and they always arrive piping hot.

            1. re: AzDumpling

              Since when does Bianco offer any kind of take-out?

              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                Never, unless you are Jerry Colangelo.

                1. re: azhotdish

                  That's what I thought. However, we do now have a solution to the OP's question. Just be Jerry Colangelo, and you won't have to wait for the pizza.

            2. re: rlm

              Absolutely agree! If there is any truth to great food bringing people together Chris Bianco has mastered it.
              The waiting was very much a part of the experience. Listening to those telling stories about past experiences at Bianco's was awesome.
              Great people, great wine and food, there was nothing not to love about this restaurant.

          2. Agreed. I think that the only valuable tip is to show up early. I went a few months back with a couple of people, left in time to get there by opening (ended up being about a half hour after opening with traffic) and was given a 3 hour wait. We just waited in the bar next door, hung out, and had some drinks and appetizers. The wait time was NOT a conservative estimate...3 hours later (around 9:00), we were in. If you can appreciate the wait time as some time to just relax in the bar (which has a nice atmosphere, good apps, etc.), it will be fun. If you're hungry, don't want to wait, just want a meal, you really need to show up early (as in, not on time with opening, but considerably earlier). It's a compromise of showing up before it opens and immediately getting in upon opening (if early enough) or after the first seating, and going a little bit later and being happy to wait in the bar.

            It's definitely more of an "event" than it is a quick meal.

            1. In the past I have gone down early apx 4:00 with a magazine, put my name on the list at 5:00, actually asked for the second seating and went next door, had a glass of wine or two, appetizer and had the rest of my group meet me at 5:00 for the wine & apps and got in at 6:30. On a nice day it made for a relaxing evening. Like other chowhounds have mentioned, I ended up talking to a family from CA who came to Pizzeria Bianco for the Dad's B-day for the entire hour. If we are not with our kids we always will take bar seating which does seam to shorten the wait by sometimes an hour. Last week we had reservations for six which was also great, but booked a couple weeks in advance.

              1. An hour or two waiting for that pizza is not a waste. There are literally millions of people out there who are willing to wait twice as long for a table at Cheesecake Factory. Two hours is not much. Get there an hour or so before you want to eat, relax in their very inviting bar, and rediscover the lost art of conversation. Bring a deck of cards, perchance. It's worked well for me in the past.

                Walking around downtown is an excellent option considering the weather, but if you do that make sure you let the hostesses know. They keep track of who sticks around and if they don't know you're going off the property for a while they may cross your name off the list, but are generally good about putting you back in. It's just easier to let them know you're going for a walk.

                1. Put your name down, then walk up the block and catch a movie at the AMC theater in the Arizona Center. Brings new meaning to "dinner and a movie".

                  1. I've been twice. The first time we said we would eat at the bar, and they came and got us in 45 minutes. That was probably around 6-6:30 pm in the winter.

                    The second time we got there right at 4, and there were a few people outside on the benches. They said it was sort of the honor system, we were the fourth party there, and one guy said you can go to the bar, we know your place in line. Sure enough we went to the bar next door (big mistake for me to drink wine for an hour on an empty stomach, but I digress) - came back out shortly before 5 and they let us right into our place in line.

                    A third time we tried to go but they said the wait was 3 hours so we didn't bother.

                    Another hint - we're from out of town, so we usually try to go there before our flight out the next morning. Both times we've stayed at the Marriott Springhill Suites which is very close to Bianco's, and then an easy shot to the airport the next day. The first time we took our car to Bianco's because we weren't sure where everything was, but the second time we walked back and forth from the hotel. It looks like not the best area but we were ok, especially in the summer when it stays light late. Very convenient.