Chow Bella

64: Marianne Belardi

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One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... Restaurant FnB. Team Charleen feeds your face, Team Pavle fills your glass, and everyone "fusses all over you." Arizona wines and local ingredients with stellar pedigrees are fantastic in their own rights, but FnB operates with a level of integrity, detail, and caring that takes the term "labor of love" to new heights. You see and taste it on the plate, in the glass; but you feel it in your soul. And that my friends, makes all the difference. FnB dazzles, and does Arizona mighty proud.

One menu item this town could do without is... attitude. No surprise, one of my all-time favorite books/movies is Laura Esquivel's Like Water For Chocolate. Kitchen glitches, tableside faux pas? I'm patient and forgiving to the max. But try serving me your apathy, negativity, or hostility along with my meal, and I will not return for seconds. All too often, service with a snarl is not only tolerated but rewarded, with appropriate, or even generous tipping. I bristle when someone says service is the least important part of the dining equation. It's an insult to those who choose to make a career in hospitality, who provide it genuinely, and find themselves "all charmed out" at the end of a busy evening, from having anticipated guests' desires, and gone above and beyond to thrill. Rant over. But if you'd like more, with a side of nostalgia, I waxed poetic about service in my TEDx salon presentation last December.

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