Bink's Midtown Is a Must (Especially When It Comes to Veggies)
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, and dish about 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).
Photos by Laura Hahnefeld Roasted cauliflower with dried currants, almonds, and yellow curry
To understand Bink's Midtown, the new restaurant owned by James Beard Award-nominated chef Kevin Binkley, you should consider the vegetables.
Served cold, served hot, in salads, in soups, and always with Binkley's expert touch, locally sourced and in-season veggies are what set Bink's Midtown apart from the chef's other two restaurants: the upscale Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek and the more contemporary-minded Cafe Bink in Carefree.
You could almost make a meal out of the vegetables at Bink's Midtown. But then, how would you enjoy the barbecued octopus?
Bink's nearly 20 vegetable dishes have their own menu, which, when you consider just how good two of them are, may have you planning your round-two picks after the first bite. There's also a listing of wines that could stand more glass and/or carafe options and very good specialty cocktails like the Farmer's Market -- a refreshing mix of margarita tequila, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeño.
Baby beets with jalapeño, cilantro, cashews, wild rice, and hibiscus-lime dressing.
An artful arrangement of baby beets, jalapeños, cashews, wild rice, and cilantro in a hibiscus lime dressing ($8) makes for a lively dish with a delicate crunch. And you couldn't be blamed for thinking that the heady roasted cauliflower with sweet dried currants, almonds, and yellow curry heaped into an iron skillet ($6) may be the only way you'll ever eat it again.
A listing of eclectic appetizers is nearly as difficult to select from as the veggie menu, but you could do worse than the barbecued octopus ($12). Expertly prepared, the moist and slightly sweet meat in a delicate barbecue sauce comes nestled in a bowl with black-eyed peas, onion, and bacon for something akin to a Western cookout by way of the ocean.