It’s hard to get excited about new restaurants in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix. Each one seems to be a contrived spin on “comfort food.” I expected more of the same from Beckett’s Table when it opened in the late fall. It didn’t take long for the staff, menu and ambiance to prove me wrong.
First, I appreciated that it’s one of the few restaurants around that doesn’t coerce diners into using valet parking – a tactic for less creative restaurateurs in the area to scream “we’re fancy!” My car is my living room on wheels, and I don’t want just anyone in there. So Beckett’s made a good impression – which continued with the staff.
The hostesses were friendly and on the ball. They greeted me before the door closed behind me, and assured me that they’d have a table for two in moments. The server picked up where they left off, giving us some good information about the menu items. His advice helped us choose a pork osso buco confit and the fire roasted green chili pork stew. While we waited, we snacked on some fresh-baked rolls with what tasted like honey butter.
The osso buco came with spaetzle (a German egg noodle) and some roasted vegetables, while the stew had a few slices of cornbread. Picking a winner would be difficult, but I liked the osso buco because of the spaetzle (a favorite of mine growing up). The pork stew had a medium amount of heat, and a distinct smoky flavor imparted by being cooked in the wood-fired oven.
We again turned to the waiter for dessert suggestions: Would it be brioche bread pudding with maple bourbon vanilla creme, fig & pecan pie with homemade cream cheese and citrus zest ice cream or the chocolate-dipped bacon smores? Based on his advice, we went with the fig & pecan pie. Odd as the combination sounded, it worked perfectly.
The service, ambiance and food really left little I could suggest for improvement. I wouldn’t mind a more adventurous list of microbrewed beers – a top-quality India Pale Ale such as Oskar Blue Gubna would’ve gone nicely with my stew. As such, none of the brews offered were worth the extra calories, and I stuck with water.
That’s a minor and easily improved quibble. Otherwise, I’ll just give credit to Beckett’s Table for opening one of the most unpretentious and satisfying new restaurants around – and for a bill not much larger than a trip to a Cheesecake Factory.