Speaking of salads, the French influence was evident in the excellent niçoise. I've always been a fan of the classic salade niçoise, and Cafepino's version made me — and my hungry dining companions — very happy. It was sharable, although it would've definitely worked as a filling entree. Served in a frilly heap, the salad combined organic greens, tender potatoes, olives, capers, wedges of hard-boiled egg, green beans, tomatoes, and chunks of moist tuna, all tossed in a mouthwatering dressing tinged with Dijon mustard.

There was no separate list of entrees, just free-range rotisserie chicken and a few pastas. I went for the chicken, which was garlicky, covered in herbs, and notably juicy. It was also enough meat for two — a ton of food, really, since it also came with fries and a salad.

Like everything else, the sweets were best tackled by a hungry group. My friends and I had dessert on our minds from the time we walked in the door, since a case full of pastries was the first thing we saw beyond the hostess station.

Jackie Mercandetti

Location Info

Map

Cafepino

7000 E. Mayo Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85054

Category: Restaurant > Pizza

Region: North Phoenix

Details

Sicilian pizza: $10.95
French dip: $12.95
Tiramisu: $6.95
580-513-PINO (7466), »web link.
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Cafepino, 7000 East Mayo Boulevard

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Cookies 'n' cream was a decadent sundae with a big, chewy chocolate chip-walnut cookie beneath scoops of ice cream and whipped cream. Crème brûlée, speckled with vanilla, was garnished with fresh strawberries and mint leaves. I liked the cocoa-dusted tiramisu, too — it was a fat, fluffy slice, with moist cakey layers of ladyfingers held together by smooth mascarpone.

There have been times when I ended up making a sad little meal out of popcorn and Twizzlers because it was too much trouble to hit up a nice restaurant before a movie. But thanks to Cafepino, I'm pretty sure I'll never be dining at the Cine Capri concession stand again.

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