I’ve noticed some folks have been searching for Cafe Bink in STL….sorry folks…it’s in Carefree AZ. If you ever travel to Scottsdale…it’s just a 30 minute drive north….don’t miss it.
But I digress: Lunch at Cafe Bink was delicious….albeit on the spendy side. We knew that going into it though. I’m just not accustomed to dropping $75 on a mid-day meal….but it was worth it.
Upon our arrival, Simon was very skeptical. There was a young mother and her two toddler children in the cafe and (as silly as it may seem) Simon dreads eating out with children around….unless they are well behaved. Mean, I know…but it’s a pet peeve of his….and I must say I have to agree with him at times. There is nothing worse than trying to enjoy a great meal with a toddler running around screaming at it’s mother for chicken fingers. But….that is a topic for another day…..
We were greeted at Cafe Bink with house-made foccacia. Wow. It was really good. Had the lovely crust on the outside and was warm and chewy on the inside. Flecks of Fleur de sel were strewn across the top and gave a salty little kick here and there. It was served with a sweet, fruity extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar plate….simple but pleasing.
Of course we ordered the famous fries. Now, you have to understand something…..I am not a big potato fan. I like them two ways, whipped with cream and butter or deep fried to a golden brown. I don’t like new potatoes, potato gratin or scalloped….just whipped or in fry form…I know…I know….but it’s who I am. Before leaving St. Louis, we fell in love with the Shaved Duck’s fries….uber shoestring potatoes fried in duck fat. Now….I have said this from the beginning and the boys at the Duck know all about it…..I just wanted the fried thicker cut….I don’t mind shoestring but these were SUPER shoestring and they were tricky to eat….although delicious….I always managed to get them down. The fries at at Cafe Bink (not fried in duck fat mind you) were thicker and friend to PERFECTION! Jesus H Christ…..they were the best pomme frites I have EVER put in my mouth. They arrived in the traditional Parisian fashion (wrapped in newspaper and stuck in the little metal cone)….and were accompanied by 3 different dipping sauces: 1) truffled catsup 2) herbed mayo 3) traditional aoili. Each sauce was beautiful. Don’t need to say much about the truffled catsup…it was simply that…house-made catsup with a hint of truffle. I almost died and went to heaven. (I am a big catsup eater….and truffle lover). The herbed mayo was jam packed with herbs…a bright green concoction with a heavy dill flavor….would go great with fish….and the aoili was light and garlicy…..not heavy or oily…perfect.
Next Si had the french onion soup….nothing very fancy but it was executed properly. The gruyere was strong and flavorful….so many times they top french onion soup with chinzy swiss cheese and it has no flavor….not at Cafe Bink….the cheese was great. The soup was rich and almost resembled an onion compote under the crouton. I had a mixed green salad with chevre, dried figs and pancetta. Simple and good. The one thing I must say is that they knew how to dress a salad properly. There wasn’t a pool of vinegarette at the bottom of my bowl…each leaf had a nice touch of dressing and that was it. Simon had a truffled grilled cheese…..talk about decadence. It was one of the best grilled cheeses I have ever had. Not greasy at all! The bread was crispy golden and the cheese was melted just right…..it came with house-made dill pickles and chips…both good as well.
We finished off the meal with a strawberry milkshake and some chocolate chip cookies……I must tell you that I am VERY picky about dessert and have been spoiled by one of St. Louis’ best pastry chef’s magical creations…..
while the shake and cookies were good…they couldn’t hold a flame to the work of Mathew Rice. Not even close. The presentation was cute but the shake lacked strawberry flavor and the cookies we not fresh…..what i wouldn’t give for a peachy keen shake from Veruca right now…….or a peppermint matty….ugh.,…
now…all Binkley’s needs is a little jonny style stage action……but alas, the man himself is in NYC……playing with the cool kids….