Chow Bella

Fine's Cellar Closes Over the Weekend

Just got the word tonight from chef Cullen Campbell that Fine's Cellar is no more.

To some, who'd seen the Old Town Scottsdale eatery not nearly busy enough in recent months, that might not come as a surprise, but to the many who'd become fans of wine guru Mike Fine's vino-retail-slash-bistro, it will no doubt be a huge disappointment as well.

I devoted a whole column to Fine's a little over a year ago, and even felt inspired to dub it "Best Place to Take a Wine Geek" in last year's Best Of issue. On a recent visit, I fell in love with the luscious "pigs in a blanket" -- maple-braised pork belly and caramelized onions wrapped in a crepe. Too bad I'm already hungry for it again!

And now I'm left to wonder why such a cool little restaurant is closed. Is it the economy? Probably. But that location -- on 5th Avenue, too far out of the orbit of Scottsdale Road and Stetson Drive -- surely had a lot to do with it, too. What a shame.

Chef Campbell's hoping to open up his own place in the not-too-distant future. Before Fine's, he worked at such places as Camus, House of Tricks, and Atlas Bistro, so I'll be interested in seeing where his career goes from here. Stay tuned for more details . . .