Timo: New Sunnyslope Wine Bar Kicks Out Crazy-Good, Wood-Fired Fare

When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions. Share a few photos, some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Restaurant: Timo Location: 8801 North Central Avenue Open For: One month. Eats: Spanish-style tapas, wood-fired pizzas, flatbreads, and sandwiches. Price Point: $10-$30

Last month, when I talked with Heinrich Stasiuk, owner of Brick, the gourmet pizzeria that opened last year in the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix, he was so excited about Timo, his new wine bar in Sunnyslope, I couldn't wait to visit myself.

I'm so glad I did.

Along with a stellar selection of wine and beer, the food at Timo, which means thyme in Italian, comes courtesy of chef and co-owner Mercer Mohr, who also oversees Brick and was previously with Ken's Creekside in Sedona and the Four Seasons restaurant in San Francisco. The lunch and dinner menus include Spanish-style tapas, and wood-fired pizzas, flatbreads, bruschetta, and sandwiches. There's also a weekend mimosa brunch and a late night menu from 10 p.m. until midnight.

I started off with fresh baked bread from the only means of cooking Timo has: its wood-fired oven. Served up round, warm and wonderful, it had a slightly salty flavor I couldn't get enough of.

Next came a tasty tapas plate of warm figs stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in prosciutto, making for a unique sweet, salty, and cheesy flavor combination that fared better than the lamb chops, which were unfortunately over-cooked. The woodsy and fragrant truffle soup was another winner, but a little goes a long way, so either really like truffle soup or plan on sharing with a friend.

My server, as friendly as she was helpful, suggested for a main course I order up a few of Timo's popular bruschettas or her favorite wood-fired sandwich: the prosciutto, copa, and triple cream brie. I took her up on the sandwich and was not disappointed. Stacked high with layers of the signature ingredients along with lettuce, tomatoes, and tapenade, this two-handed hoagie was not only hungry man (or woman) ready, at $9.75 it had to be one of the best values on the menu -- to go box, please!

Timo's casual, cool interior features retractable doors that open to Central Avenue along with the joy of watching food come in and out of the wood-fired oven behind the bar. In the back, a sprawling patio is as equally welcoming with comfortable seating and mature trees. I'm anxious to get back for an outside experience as well as to try some additional dishes.

What say you, fans of the wine and the wood-fired fare? Have you been to Timo in Sunnyslope yet? What did you think?

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