Tuck Shop

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2245 N. 12th Street, Phoenix

Owner and Renaissance man DJ Fernandes has a soft spot for the tuck shops of his youth (sweet shops found in boarding schools in England and here on the East Coast); so he named his winning new enterprise in the Coronado district after that childhood remembrance. The 50s era building, as well as the Mid-Century Modern decor within it, are simply gorgeous, and the simple, sophisticated menu -- which runs to appetizers, small plates and larger sharing plates -- is all about comfort. I love a starter of roasted baby beets stirred with mustard cream and Spanish patatas bravas, which translate to thick, paprika-dusted fries with house-made aioli. Meanwhile the panini, a grilled sandwich of creamy, melting taleggio, grilled pear and arugula, drizzled with honey, is out of this world. Another winner: medjool dates, stuffed with Schreiner's chorizo and baked with Gruyere. And you won't want to miss a sharing plate of citrus-brined, ultra-crunchy fried chicken, served with white cheddar waffles and braised greens. This appealing place is such a gem. Lucky Coronado! Dinner Tu-Sa. $-$$$