Oven+Vine Brings Housemade Bread and Oven-Baked Pasta to Midtown Phoenix
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).
Lauren Saria A mushroom and sausage flatbread from Oven+Vine in Phoenix.
Lauren Saria Inside Oven+Vine
Location: 14 West Vernon Ave
Open: About two months
Eats: Brick oven fare
Price: $15-20 per person
When it comes to comfort food, our go-to is carbs. Nothing that can turn a bad day around like a bowl of pasta or a side of toasted bread dipped in olive oil or butter.
For both of these things, Oven+Vine delivers.
The restaurant comes courtesy of Michelle and Dylan Bethge, who owned Portland's until the restaurant and wine bar closed earlier this year. They told us in February that their new spot would be a "cozy neighborhood place" with brick oven-focused food.
You'll find the restaurant on the back side of the 1940s brick building that also houses Shine Coffee's Living Room. The space, though slightly hidden from the street, is bright, airy, and clean with a few touches from the building's past. There's a brick fireplace in the center of the dining room and tall windows looking out to a small grassy area with games. A small bar at the front of the restaurant offers 14 beers on tap as well as a selection of red and white wines by the glass and bottle.
The menu (which states, "Food critics are welcome but loyal customers are king") includes starters, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, pastas, and a handful of specialty entrees. Not everything sees in the inside of the restaurant's brick oven, but it's clearly the focus of the restaurant's cuisine.
You have the option to order an appetizer of freshly baked bread with olive oil and balsamic ($2), but on our visit the crusty bread came with nearly everything we ordered. Not that we're complaining. The housemade bread is soft, almost sweet on the inside with a crisp but giving crust. When toasted and drizzled with olive oil and parsley, it's just about impossible to resist. We didn't even try.
About four slices of it came with our order of burrata. The fresh cheese curds are light and clean and for $6, makes an affordable way to start the meal. In fact, we were impressed that all of the restaurant's starters fell at or below the $6 price mark.
Lauren Saria Burrata with Oven+Vine's housemade bread.