/ The Phoenix Traveler
Phoenix — By Heather Wright Schlichting on April 27, 2010 at 6:18 am
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Café Bink, An Heir to a Valley Gem

Looking for a simple, yet delicious meal for a lazy afternoon lunch or a hearty meal for dinner?  Consider a day trip north of Phoenix to soak up the desert landscape and the wide open spaces at Café Bink in the heart of Carefree.

The “little sister” of Binkley’s, the 5 star powerhouse in Cave Creek, Café Bink (map) is equally as fabulous and reminiscent of a French bistro with an outdoor patio overlooking exquisite views of Black Mountain.

Known for obsessive attention to detail, Kevin Binkley’s Café Bink deserves just as many accolades as its older sibling.  It’s an unpretentious American bistro, but with a determined French slant.  A perfect spot for a tasty lunch or a satisfying dinner, it’s foodie-friendly, but not over the top.

As if I were on a French picnic, I devour all the wonderful treats that I shouldn’t really have like their Country pate ($13), French onion soup ($9) and their French fries ($8) with truffle ketchup, aioli and sauce vert.  Arguably the most amazing fries in the Valley they can be eaten all by themselves or accompany sandwiches such as the Salmon BLT ($12) on a brioche, (which is French for a buttery, fattening roll that I adore), the Roast Beef on a baguette ($12) with horse radish and gruyere or my favorite the Steak Frites ($26) which is a New York Strip steak with red wine demi-glace.

The bar at Cafe Bink in Carefree.

Open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am – 9pm, Café Bink serves a lunch, midday and dinner menus.  The midday menu is just an abbreviated version of lunch.

For dinner, you might want to sit indoors in their long, narrow space that is very stylish and very French.  Described as gauchely cozy, tables are so close together that you might be privy to your neighbor’s conversation.  But you won’t notice how little elbowroom you have when you start your meal with the bacon wrapped dates ($12) with Maytag blue cheese, pecan and port and a Caesar salad ($11) with a white anchovy.  For your entrée consider the Trout Meuniere ($20) served with haricots verts, toasted almonds and lemon brown butter, Beef Stew ($24) made of red wine braised short ribs, pearl onions, fingerling potatoes, carrots and turnips or Diver Scallops ($29) with a bit of spice from chorizo and bacon vinaigrette.

For dessert, I never leave a French bistro without tasting the Profiteroles ($8), a cream puff filled with ice cream and chocolate sauce drizzled over the top.  Café Bink does not disappoint with their version using roasted banana ice cream.  Other desserts like Eggnog Crème Brulee ($8) and Chocolate Mousse ($8) look equally as decadent.

Bacon wrapped dates with Maytag blue cheese, pecan and port.

If you haven’t had the privilege of eating at Binkley’s, then I highly suggest you try Café Bink. The food is wonderful with their light sauces and hints of spice, but are more robust and satisfying then the more refined dishes of Binkley’s.  To compare is somewhat unfair, but put it this way you won’t feel the desire to order a pizza after your meal at Café Bink.  It’s all you need.

Café Bink
36889 North Tom Darlington Drive
Carefree, AZ 85377
(480) 488-9796

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