It's been a fun three-year run, but Charleen Badman and Pavle Milic are pulling up stakes on Stetson Drive. They're moving the tiny restaurant that's won countless local awards, a nod for their dreamy leeks dish in Food & Wine and the undying loyalty of veggie lovers everywhere -- a couple of streets over to Craftsman Court. That's right.The soul of their first wildly successful restaurant and Baratin (the little wine bar no one knows how to pronounce) will soon collide.
Why the move? Cheaper rent and a chance to have all the businesses (AZ Wine Merchants, Bodega, Baratin and the new incarnation of the former FnB) under the same roof, which cuts down considerably on schlepping.
It's likely you've already heard about the Grey Lady's utterly brutal review of Guy Fieri's latest concept restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar, planted deep in the beating heart of Time Square. Pete Wells' review delivers a burn so hard it could put astronauts into orbit around Mars. Out of a possible 4 stars, Wells rated Fieri's effort with no stars and an additional notation of "poor."
Well, Fieri couldn't let the New York Times flame broil his latest creation on the national stage, so he red-eyed it out to New York in time for Thursday's Today show. He and his signature hair tried their best to explain away the four consecutive horrible experiences endured by the New York Times reviewer.
Kevin Binkley, chef owner of Binkley's Restaurant and Café Bink, has been planning to open an in-town restaurant for some time now. He'd found what he thought was the perfect location last summer, only to have the deal fall through. Now he's found another one -- in Central Phoenix -- that he's very excited about.
The deal isn't signed yet, and when I talked to him, he promised to tell me more when he could. He recently called to let me know that Howard Seftel at the Arizona Republic had gotten wind of it and called for details, which Binkley gave him. His new restaurant -- if it all shakes out -- will be housed in the space currently occupied by Sophie's Bistro.
Binkley will be open some time in February (by Valentine's Day, let's hope!).