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BEST NIÇOISE Phoenix 2005 - Carly's Bistro

Carly\'s Bistro

Carly's Bistro

128 E. Roosevelt St.

Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-262-2759

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One of the best salads ever created is the niçoise, made after the manner of cuisine from the French city of Nice, and containing such ingredients as tomatoes, black olives, garlic, tuna and anchovies. More often than not these days, you'll find this classic cold mixture as the innards of a niçoise sammy, but you can still find places that offer it as a salad, with Carly's Bistro on Roosevelt Street, just east of Central Avenue, being one. As prepared by co-owner Carla "Carly" Wade, there are no anchovies, black olives or hard-boiled egg on this niçoise. But her mix of albacore and capers over mixed greens with haricots verts and sliced tomatoes, bathed in a light, vinegary niçoise dressing, is most refreshing.

And with a bowl of gazpacho, a platter of hummus, and a glass of chilled white wine, doubly so. Because of its location and the links Wade and her partner, MadCaPs musician John Logan, have to the art community, Carly's is packed nearly every First Friday. But listen up to our little secret: Carly's isn't just for First Friday anymore. In fact, we like it best for a midweek lunch, when we can enjoy our niçoise in peace.

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