First Taste

Mark Tarbell's The Tavern: The Biltmore 'Hood Gets Caviar, Lobster Rolls, and Lamb Burgers

Page 2 of 2

See also: The Perch Delivers Lots of Birds and Lots of Beer to Downtown Chandler

The Tavern's website explains the menu as a collection of dishes inspired by the chef's memories of European wine bars, but points out that it also serves a full menu of "foods that he like to eat."

There's a full page of sharable plates and starters that range from the Farmers Market Veggie Plate ($14) to Sterling royal caviar ($125). There's also a seafood bar (think oysters, crab, and lobster) in addition to six salads ranging in price from $9 to $13.

We chose to start with two of the menu's four bikinis, a unique dish that comes from Catalonia and Spain. The miniature sandwiches, similar to a French croque monsieur or American grilled cheese, come on wonderfully soft, barely sweet challah bread that gets delicately toasted just on the outside.

The truffle bikini ($4) features Spanish Manchego cheese dressed with a light drizzle of truffle and chive oils, resulting in an aromatic and indulgent dish. The jamón serrano and Manchego bikini ($4) was also a nice way to start the meal, with dry-cured Spanish ham and more Manchego.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria