Bianco's Italian Restaurant: Great Lunch, Great Back-Story

Italian Resto--peach arugula salad.jpg
Nikki Buchanan
Peach, arugula and goat cheese salad at Italian Restaurant
A friend and I met for lunch at Chris Bianco's Italian Restaurant the other day and I was so pleased to find an independent serving lunch (in the summer no less!), especially when it's a restaurant wedded to local and seasonal ingredients.

Flooded with natural light and hung with a unique collection of art (courtesy of Bianco's dad), the room has a homey quality, the food is terrific and -- What! Ho! -- the natives are friendly. I can't wait to go back.

For starters, we were greeted warmly when we walked in, so the snooty attitude that was an issue with some customers in the past seems to have been 86'd.

And while it's true our server wasn't well versed about the wine (she got a bit mixed up and brought a red instead of the white my buddy requested), she was otherwise personable, efficient and low-key. I love low-key. Low-key is in short supply these days.

The lunch menu takes a page from Pane Bianco, featuring a daily pizza and four sandwiches as well as two antipasti and four pastas.

And of course, the house-made bread, baked by Chris' brother Marco Bianco, is simply off the charts -- its heavy, super-crunchy crust giving way to a moist interior with a lovely pull to it. It's now complimentary.

Italian Resto pasta fagiole.jpg
Nikki Buchanan
Pasta e fagiole di contorno with orecchiette
Rustic pasta e fagiole di controne with house-made orecchiette (pasta and bean soup) tastes like grandma food. If the orecchiette hadn't been slightly under-cooked, it would've been perfect ($8).

Chef Robbie Tutlewski has put the last of Schnepf Farm's peaches into an arugula salad with Crow's Dairy goat cheese and candied pecans ($9.50). Fresh tasting and seasonal, it's a dish with "Chris Bianco" written all over it.

Location Info

Trattoria Bianco

4743 N. 20th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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