Fernanda Borletti has spent years trying to find the right place for her restaurant concept. So it was serendipitous when this cozy spot at the Biltmore Fashion Park (where Forge Pizza inside The Union once resided) opened up, with a wood-fired oven and open-air patio, too. Fernanda was involved with the design of this space, down to the graffiti-like artwork that decorates the walls and industrial flooring. Above all, she wanted to make dining at Wink 24 feel like home. And two steps in the door, you will be greeted by her and her staff and it makes you feel just that—like a guest in her home.
I had the pleasure of attending a media dinner at Wink 24 that showcased several food items and cocktails from their menu. Frankly, I did not leave disappointed, but rather full yet still wanting more! We sipped on refreshing signature summer cocktails that makes you yearn to be at a cabana poolside somewhere. The crispy Cucumber Basil Martini is perfect for those who enjoy a less sweet and more herbal twist to their drinks, while the Frutti Di Bosco Bellini is a sparkling wine topped with a scoop of fresh raspberry sorbetto and could very well be my drink of choice for the rest of summer.
At this family-style dinner, Fernanda started us off with three fabulous small plates. But I applaud her for doing the impossible: getting me to eat and LOVE beets! The Barbabietola consisted of perfectly fire-roasted beets served over a bed of arugula and a spicy yogurt sauce. The beets were tender and aromatic of the wood-fired oven with paired well with the peppery arugula and the tang of the yogurt. I had no shame in claiming the last bite at my table.
Our next course introduced us to two of Wink 24’s most popular salads. The Roasted Parsnip and Pecorino Salad was a hands-down favorite at our table. Sprinkled with shaved pecorino, crispy bacon and green apples, the salad is tossed in a warm Vidalia onion vinaigrette that brings the right balance its savory profile. And the Greca is their Greek-style salad with chunks of imported Greek feta, Campari tomatoes and hot house cucumbers dressed in simple red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. A classic and a bright transition to the main course.
Wink 24 puts their wood-fired oven to great use with their pizzas. Inspired by Fernanda’s husband’s Italian heritage, their pizzas are made with a traditional Neapolitan-crust recipe. On the menu, pizzas are topped with quality cheeses and a variety of cured meats. Such as with the Formaggi that a four-cheese pie is topped with ricotta, fontina, parmigiano reggiano, and mozzarella finished with truffle oil. However, the most impressive accompaniment is jar of chile morita, a potent oil made with roasted morita chiles. The morita chiles hail from Mexico, where Fernanda is from. Aromatic and serving up some heat, the chile morita quickly replaced any need for crushed red peppers at our table and I absolutely suggest everyone request some with their meal.
Of course, Fernanda could not let us leave without ending our meal with some classic Italian tiramisu, a recipe passed down by her mother-in-law. And how could we pass that up? So creamy and with the perfect balance of coffee and cocoa flavors. It practically evaporated from the jar as soon as it was set in front of me.
“Con Amore, Per Favore” (Wink 24’s motto), I ask that you give Wink 24 a try! With paninis and pastas on their menu as well, I know I will be back for to try more. For more information on Wink 24’s hours, menu, and location, please visit their website: http://wink24.net
Wink 24 at the Biltmore Fashion Park
2502 East Camelback Road
Suite 138 A & B
Phoenix, AZ 85016