Second story patio dining in Phoenix is as rare as rain. Lucky for us, a bit of it fell this month in Arcadia thanks to the opening of Cave & Ive's Portico Grill at Indian School Road and 44th Street.
A new concept from the folks at Sacks Art of Sandwicherie, Cave & Ives, open for dinner, resides on the second floor of a recently-built orange building while its sister Sacks (which recently moved from its strip mall digs down the street) gets the bottom bunk for the lunch crowd.
Cave & Ive's is a come-as-you-are, friendly place in a part of Arcadia desperately needing an alternative to the hour wait at La Grande Orange. Stairs leading up to the second floor reveal a surprisingly warm and intimate indoor scene that continues to the patio. If you've come for a relaxing dinner of tasty Italian and Mediterranean fare, you're in the right place.
Make a selection from the solid wine list or a local brew from the likes of San Tan Brewery, Four Peaks Brewery, and Papago Brewing, then order up an appetizer of the Cave & Ive's caprese or white braise de clams steaming in an aromatic broth of garlic, onions, fresh tomatoes, lemons, and herbs in a buttery white wine sauce. (Extra crusty artisan bread for soppin'? Of course.)
The menu includes a selection of Italian and Mediterranean entrees such as piadinas, (flat breads), featuring lamb kefta, -- a char-grilled Lebanese spiced lamb topped with fresh vegetables, herbs, and feta sauce -- pizzas with light and crispy crusts (The Tuscan Pie, a creation of smoked proscuitto ham and crunchy apple slices was a salty meets sweet sensation.), and pastas like the Pasta Ragu, a flavorful bowl of bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, basil, red wine tomato sauce, and slow roasted Italian beef topped with Parmesan cheese.
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Seasonal tartlets, chocolate pecan pie, and cheese cake with fruit topping make the dessert list, but if you've come hungry or with a friend, two sweet crêpes of bananas foster bursting with cream anglaise and pecans and drizzled with caramel sauce is a good excuse to sit a while longer.
The prices are fair, the food is tasty, and the service is fabulous. I'm looking forward to another visit to Cave & Ive's, and their second-story patio, before the evening heat drives me indoors to dine.
Cave & Ive's
4247 E. Indian School Road
Open Monday - Thursday 4 - 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 -11 p.m. Closed Sunday.