If you'd like to put on a helmet and launch yourself to the outer possibilities of eating in Phoenix, book a reservation at Binkley's. Entering Binkley's is like entering Rivendell. Your meal unfolds in a house on Osborn Road, the 20-plus courses and river of beer, wine, and sake steadily flowing into the night, mimicking the rhythm of a dinner party. From the first bite, all your personal troubles (and those of the wider world) begin to feel remote. Everything stills, and you're in the gentle palm of a master: Kevin Binkley, who's handily one of the very best chefs in Phoenix. The playfulness, technique, seasonality, ingenuity, and ultimately the flavor of his food says this loudly and clearly to all those who take a seat on the patio, nibbling those first bits of Hokkaido scallop cooked for 38 seconds, those fermented cucumbers with polenta chips. After the first five or so courses, diners move to the house's pub room for riffs on bar food: wagyu roast beef slider, kabob with octopus and lamb loin. Tunes flow. Drinks bubble, fizz, and — thanks to the skill of Amy Binkley — entwine harmonically with the food. Next, the meal moves into the dining room for a long, rich, mesmerizing finish. At that point, if you want, you can wander into the kitchen and watch Binkley cook and create, a maestro of meals that feel as brilliant and considered as a sculpture or painting. New Normal: Reservations are required and can be made via the Binkley's website.
- Price: $$$$
- Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 6:30-10 p.m.
- Outdoor seating: Open-air patio
- Alcohol: Full bar
- Reservations: Required