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Scottsdale's Uncorked, Tapino, Armitage- which one to try?

hopegoode Nov 14, 2008 06:33 AM

Do any of these winebars offer well-prepared plates? Would like to give one a try only if better than average food quality!

  1. valleyvittles Dec 3, 2009 07:24 AM

    It would be a real kindness if someone would come along and put Uncorked, “the unpretentious wine bar” out of its misery. I think despondent would be a better word for it these days rather than unpretentious. It opened in the heyday of rising real estate values and hasn’t changed a bit since. The prices are still high and the furnishings - untouched - are hitting a new low. But what has really bottomed out is the kitchen.

    Four of us arrived for lunch at 12:30. The place was empty, and stayed so except for one other party of two. When we sat down, Ralph started to disappear under the table. The banquette had become unsprung. The laminate tabletop was peeling off in chunks. There was a sign on our table advertising summer specials. I’m wondering now why we stayed.

    Ken and Ralph ordered the soup of the day ($ 5), which our waitress said was chicken and corn chowder. I asked for a pulled pork sandwich ($10) and mac & cheese($9), which I was going to share with Ken. Ralph also wanted the pulled pork, and Sandy ordered a chicken salad sandwich ($9). The sandwiches are served with a side of 5 grapes?!?!. A bag of chips cost an extra dollar. A side salad is an additional $2.50.
    Sandy asked for a salad with a sesame dressing. The dressing that was served was an unidentifiable oil mixed with a touch of sesame oil - no vinegar or seasoning. It was awful. When she asked to exchange it for honey vinaigrette, she was served something orange flavored instead. The chowder contained no milk or cream. The bread on
    Sandy’s sandwich was inedibly stale. But the biggest gaffe of all was the pulled pork. Both sandwiches arrived at the table stone cold. Like just out of the refrigerator cold. The person in the kitchen, I wouldn’t call him chef, couldn’t even bring himself to put them in the microwave (which is a sin anyway). Ken, who is a bit of a conspiracy theorist, thinks that the kitchen staff is trying to sabotage the operation. Could be, except for letting a good mac & cheese slip out of the kitchen undetected, they’re certainly succeeding.

    16427 N Scottsdale Rd Ste 130, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

    16 Replies
    1. re: valleyvittles
      cabbageking Dec 3, 2009 09:56 AM

      Tapino closed months ago. FYI.

      1. re: cabbageking
        laredo Dec 6, 2009 03:02 PM

        I'm sorry to hear this. My family had a wonderful night there a couple of years ago.

        Was it because of any reason other than the usual declining business?

        1. re: laredo
          cabbageking Dec 7, 2009 12:33 PM

          Big Space. Big Lease. Big recession. Small wonder.

          1. re: laredo
            Rubee Dec 7, 2009 12:54 PM

            Tapino's chef James Porter has also opened a new, smaller place - A French bistro called "La Petite Maison". Haven't been yet, but friends who have gone love it.


            1. re: Rubee
              ziggylu Dec 7, 2009 02:00 PM

              We finally made it a couple weeks ago. We enjoyed our meal a great deal and look forward to returning! I love how small it is!

              1. re: Rubee
                silverbear Dec 7, 2009 02:06 PM

                Had lunch there today. It was quite impressive, but also quite different from Tapino. Instead of small plates and a winebar feel, it's classic French cooking in a cozy atmosphere. Very nice in its own distinct way.

                1. re: silverbear
                  Mattoclock Dec 7, 2009 08:02 PM

                  Pity the website doesn't have the menu online yet. Would like to check it out.

                  1. re: Mattoclock
                    azhotdish Dec 7, 2009 08:06 PM

                    email info (at) petitemaisonaz.com for the menu. when i requested it i got one back in about 20 mins.

                    1. re: azhotdish
                      Mattoclock Dec 7, 2009 08:35 PM

                      Maybe I should email them to get the menu online for a free appetizer, I'm a web developer :-)

                    2. re: Mattoclock
                      silverbear Dec 8, 2009 03:44 AM

                      Here's a scanned PDF of the dinner menu. You'll need to squint to read it, though.


                      1. re: silverbear
                        Mattoclock Dec 8, 2009 07:51 AM

                        Thanks. I'm totally torn between trying this place and FnB this Friday. Looks like it may come down to a coin toss.

                        1. re: Mattoclock
                          azhotdish Dec 8, 2009 08:40 AM

                          If you like dining outside, the patio is awesome at Petite Maison, complete with fireplace. Don't miss the escargot.

                          1. re: azhotdish
                            hohokam Dec 8, 2009 12:14 PM


                            1. re: hohokam
                              Mattoclock Dec 11, 2009 10:14 PM

                              We went to Petite Maison in the end tonight. I decided to sit inside as although the patio and fireplace is damn pretty it was pretty cold tonight.

                              Lovely experience. Great food. Love that its some weird kinda building that just got given love and transported into something totally different.

                              Great place :)

                              1. re: Mattoclock
                                azhotdish Dec 12, 2009 12:42 PM

                                was that you with wife and daughter sitting inside? i was there too. :)

                                1. re: azhotdish
                                  Mattoclock Dec 12, 2009 08:19 PM

                                  No we were on the back wall just the two of us.

                                  Older couples either side, was perfect as they seated earlier than us so we got some good ideas looking at their food arriving.

          2. d
            danieli10 Nov 14, 2008 08:19 AM

            Tapino is a different type of restaurant than Armitage (I've never eaten at Uncorked). Tapino is spanish/med influenced. Very good and a nice wine list. I recommend it. However, if you are looking for a more relaxed, cheaper wine bar, then Armitage is excellent. The food is really good and the wine list is solid with lots of good deals, etc. Again, Tapino is more of the dining experience and Armitage more a laid back wine bar with good food scene. Both places have nice bars and excellent outside seating (cannot beat this weather!).

            1. ejs1492 Nov 14, 2008 07:38 AM

              In terms of food quality, I would strongly recommend Tapino. And their wine list is very eclectic and they have some very interesting wine flights. Tapino's food is leaps and bounds above the rest, and Chef James Porter is hands-on and will make sure your night is great.

              1. ajs228 Nov 14, 2008 07:23 AM

                I've onlt eaten at Tapino, but the food was very good. I get the impression from reviews and other posts here that Uncorked's menu is more like Postino: small plates designed to compliment the wine. Tapino is more like a restaurant, with a great wine list designed to compliment the food.

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