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Cafepino

by Nikki Buchanan

azfamily.com

Posted on September 11, 2009 at 7:41 PM

7000 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix
480-513-7466

Cafepino may be new to Scottsdale, but the concept -- originally called Pizzapino -- has been popular in Paris for 50 years. The back story goes like this: In 1958, two brothers (Max and André) emigrated from North Africa to Paris, where they opened a wood-fired pizza operation which was an instant hit. Over the years, they opened branch locations all over the city. In the 90s, Max's son Gerard took the concept to Malaga, Spain and just this year, Gerard's cousin Paco Belassen opened his own version of the store here in the Valley. Multi-windowed, high-ceilinged and spacious, it sits next to the Harkins Cine Capri, which makes it perfect for dinner and a movie. And not just any hurry-up-and-eat-we've-got-a-movie-to-catch kind of meal, but an upscale yet reasonably inexpensive experience that can be paced according to your inclination. Belassen partnered with Valley restaurateur Guy Coscas, who brings a French touch to the operation by way of lovely pastries. But I'm getting ahead of myself. You'll want to start with antipasti -- the Mea Culpa for lots of meat and cheese, the Antipasto Pino for wonderful burrata, roasted peppers, grilled artichoke and marinated eggplant) -- then move on to wonderfully chewy pizza or good sandwiches, made with the same crusty, wood-fired dough. Entrees such as lasagna and rotisserie chicken satisfy heartier appetites. Save room for lovely tiramisu, crème brûlée or lemon curd tart. Lunch and dinner daily. $-$$

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