Charleen Badman and Pavle Milic have created FnB into a magical little gin joint in Scottsdale that serves dishes so delectable that they have garnered national press and a crazed following. (Myself included.) One more than one occasion, I have found myself wishing that Charleen’s jidori chicken would just appear, or that leeks would stay in season forever so I can again order the braised leeks with mozzarella. Her butterscotch pudding, well, that speaks for itself. And you don’t even want to know what she is doing with brussels sprouts right now, because if you did you would have to go and have them, twice, like I have in recent weeks. (Here’s a hint, they are roasted with a balsamic and grapes.) But it is more than just what they are serving there that keeps me coming back, it is the whole atmosphere. They all just seem to love what they do. It doesn’t feel like they are waiting on customers, but more like they are trying to make sure all of their guests are having fun at the party. There is just something bewitching at FnB that will cast a spell that lasts long after your meal.
Apparently I am not the only one who feels that way, because since their opening Charleen and Pavle have received question after question begging to know where to buy a jidori chicken, or leeks, or her butterscotch pudding, for those nights when a reservation is not to be had. And, for that matter, where did Pavle find that wonderful local wine? And what about those freshly made donuts and honey lemonade they used to have at the Old Town Scottsdale Market? Since they opened their doors, there have been many wanting to know how and where to find some of the local goodness that FnB serves up. So, in their continuing manner of being the hosts with the most, Charleen and Pavle have opened not one, but THREE new places to help satiate their loyal fans.
Right around the corner from FnB, you can now take a short walk (four minutes by Charleen’s count) to their new ventures, Bodega, Baratin and AZ Wine Merchants. Just as you would expect from Charleen and Pavle, these three concepts are the perfect pairing to what FnB is serving. And just like FnB, they play so well together and have that same happy atmosphere that guarantees a good time. Both Charleen and Pavle pride themselves on sourcing as much as they possibly can from local sources. They don’t just buy locally, they want to know the farmer, producer, creator behind the products they are using at the restaurant. Charleen is at the farm frequently out communing among the Gilfeather Rutabaga (a crop she introduced to us) and the leeks (a crop she has helped make popular at the markets). And Pavle is not just a connoisseur of local Arizona wines, he is their champion, bringing well-deserved attention to Arizona wineries that are producing noteworthy vintages. And now with Bodega, Baratin and AZ Wine Merchants, you too have a source for the best local items Arizona is producing.
AZ Wine Merchants is Pavle’s personal wine selection that he has curated with local Arizona wines on one side, and imported half-bottle selections on the other. Pavle, and business partner Brian Reeder, have selected interesting wines that will change regularly. Pavle has a discerning palate and has found some wonderful local wineries that are creating serious wines right here in Arizona. I have developed a new appreciation for Arizona’s wine producers thanks to Pavle, and it is nice knowing where I can find them now too.
Connected to AZ Wine Merchants by a shared patio, is Baratin, the little sister to FnB. Baratin is a smaller, bistro-like version of FnB, with a limited menu with of nicely-priced items including some of those amazing sandwiches Charleen used to serve at the Old Town Scottsdale market, along with a killer cheese plate, fresh veggies, and some of her famous desserts that change regularly. It is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine before your FnB reservation, or to grab a bite with friends before a movie at the Camelview. It is a lovely, warm space that glows at night, and best of all, you can enjoy one of those lovely bottles of wine selected by Pavle, and then buy another one next door to take home.
And finally, next to Baratin is Bodega. Named in honor of the corner stores in New York that Charleen loved, she wanted her Bodega to have a little of everything that she uses at FnB. You can find local fresh eggs, an entire meat case with, of course, some jidori chicken, Crow’s Dairy products, Sweet Republic ice cream, Super Chunk popcorn, Rainbow Valley butter, MJ Breads, jars of Charleen’s wonderful preserved lemons, Queen Creek Olive Oil, and…
a whole case of fresh veggies from our farm. You don’t even have to wait for a market day to find our produce, dates and beans. Charleen and Pavle never cease to amaze!
AZ Wine Merchants
7125 East 5th Avenue
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
7133 East Stetson Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85251