Whenever I travel, I prefer to dine in restaurants favored by the locals than the white hot, brand name restaurants that are buzzing in the media.
In the Valley of Sunshine, the first restaurant I dined was Postino Wine Cafe, a comfortable, rustic and bustling eatery that boasts unique and approachable wines with simple, delicious and locally grown fare.
Whether you live in the Phoenix area or you’re traveling there for a respite from the harsh winter weather in other areas of the country (cough…Chicago….cough) then Postino is about to be your new go-to for dinners out.
Postino East, housed inside the Grainbelt building in the heart of downtown Gilbert’s historic Heritage District, opened in 2012 just steps from the famed Gilbert water tower.
The restaurant is comprised of a mix of indoor/outdoor dining, iconic yellow garage doors and an outdoor green-space for the kids. On a Tuesday night, every seat was full and the decor is warm and welcoming.
Being from Chicago where the outdoor dining season is, well, limited, the outdoor area was by far my favorite part of the ambiance.
More importantly, however, is the food.
The best way to start your meal is by ordering family style from a playful array of starters, including olives, a an artisan cheese board and warm artichoke dip and white bean hummus.
The bruschetta menu is always a crowd pleaser and a great app option for the large party you might bring here.
You can pick and choose from pretty much every bruschetta combination you can imagine, my favorites being Brie & Apples with Fig Spread, Prosciutto with Figs & Mascarpone, Burrata, Bacon, Arugula & Tomato and Ricotta with Dates & Pistachios.
A platter of four is $14 and they’ll come sliced into pieces for easy sharing.
We love that they have so many options, even when the standard soup, salad and panini selection makes it difficult to land on a decision.
Tuscan Tuna, Prosciutto with Brie and Chicken and Mozzarella sandwiches, served Italian-style, are made with the freshest ingredients and don’t miss the pecorino and the salamette; they’re out favorites.
The burrata saladis perfection, but make sure to ask for the toasted baguette slices to slather it on. And you can never go wrong with tagliatelle alla Bolognese; a feel-good Italian dish with flavor bursting off the plate.
The portions are fittingly generous for this kind of classic comfort food that you shouldn’t miss when you’re in the Phoenix area, even among the plethora of dining options in charming Gilbert.
Price Point: $$
Location: Historic, Charming and Hip…all at once!
Reservations: Recommended (on weekends, especially for large groups)
Dietary Needs: Gluten-free menu available, plenty of vegetarian options
Address: Postino East 302 North Gilbert Road #102 Gilbert, AZ 85234