Phoenix-based restaurant Postino WineCafe will officially open their Tucson location at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 2 at 2500 E. Grant Rd., in the same building as Snooze and across the street from Culinary Dropout.
"We loved the proximity, that it had to so many things so it was close to the university, but it was nestled in this really cool neighborhood," said Lauren Bailey, co-founder and CEO of Upward Projects, the restaurant group behind Postino. "[..] it gets kind of a big part of a lot of different neighborhoods and energy."
During the daytime, the interior is flooded with natural light with three of the restaurant's four sides comprised of windows, many of which open wide for an airy experience. Seating comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from cozy hightop booths to lounge sofas and patio fireplace seating.
Other decor standouts include vintage pendant lamps, a bookshelf over the bar, and letter art wall with a tongue-in-cheek "wish you were here" neon sign with the last "e" intentionally flickering in and out.
On Friday, the Tucson Foodie team swung by during the soft opening to have lunch. The staff was noticeably friendly and attentive.
"The people that we have put together on this team are really special and when you come in here, we always want you to leave feeling better," Bailey said. "So if you come in here and you're kind of like a six on the scale of 10, you we want you to leave feeling like a 9.5, 9.9, maybe a 10 or an 11."
We ordered a melange of shareable items: Crispy Cauliflower ($10), Olives, ($6.75), Meatballs & Goat Cheese ($11), Tuna Tartare ($13), NYC Grilled Cheese ($8.50), Skewers ($12), The Carpaccio ($14), Bruschetta ($15), Brussels Sprouts Salad ($11), Chocolate Bouchon ($8.50), and Salted Caramel Sundae ($8.50).
The Bruschetta board is the star as you can mix and match four different types from a selection of 12. Out of the four we had, our favorite was the Sweet 'n Spicy Pepper Jam & Goat Cheese.
Another favorite dish was the Brussels Sprouts Salad with kale, Brussels sprouts, manchego cheese, spicy Marcona almond, bacon, lemon Manchego dressing, and dried cherry. The leaves clung onto the dressing and variety of textures easily, preventing pooling at the bottom of the bowl.
Operating hours are 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - midnight Friday, and 9 a.m. - midnight Saturday. Brunch hours are 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sunday.
One last note: every day until 5 p.m., all glasses of wine and pitchers of beer are $5. Mondays and Tuesdays after 8 p.m., a bottle of wine and bruschetta board are $25.
Postino WineCafe is located at 2500 E. Grant Rd. For more information visit postinowinecafe.com.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran's Fats. Although he...