The Living Room Wine Cafe and Lounge is at La Encantada Mall below Blanco Tacos + Tequila. It was just the 3 of us for Sunday lunch: Ms. Karen; Ms. Rosemary; and me.
There are four other Living Room restaurants in the Phoenix area. The afternoon we were there they were moderately busy and the wait staff was handling everything pleasantly and efficiently, except when we wanted another glass of wine, Ms. Karen had to go to the bar to get service.
The afternoon was warm, but we asked to be seated on the patio. They had lots of misters and fans to keep the temperature pleasant. One of the positive things I can say about The Living Room is compared to so many local, “upscale” restaurants, the ambient noise is minimal. I hate having to shout over the table in order to have a conversation.
Unlike Blanco’s upstairs, The Living Room has only a view of the mall parking lot. Upstairs diners can see over the parking lot all the way to Downtown.
Rosemary ordered the Crispy Flatbread: chicken pesto with house-made mozzarella, oven roasted tomatoes, olive oil ($9.95). Plus a margarita ($10.50)
Karen ordered an interesting salad: strawberry & gorgonzola with field greens, honey glazed pecans, balsamic vinaigrette ($11.95).
I ordered the Prime Rib Sliders with gorgonzola crumbles, au jus, creamy horseradish served with French fries ($13.95).
Karen and I each enjoyed a Sauvignon Blanc from Mud House Marlborough, New Zealand ($7.50 ea.) So good that we shared a third glass. I should mention here that The Living Room has an extensive wine selection.
We did note that you can save a couple of dollars on just about everything during Happy Hour.
Rosemary commented that her flatbread concoction “pesto lacked much in flavor & not much pesto in fact. Also, the margarita was way overpriced.” Well, what can I say. One does not go to La Encantada expecting bargain prices.
Karen says her salad was “interesting”, “different”, and very good. Fresh, fresh, fresh!
As to my sliders, I would have happily enjoyed three more. The buns were fresh, the prime rib tender and flavorful, and the horseradish and au jus added perfection. The ladies shared my fries and we all agreed they were very good. Nice and crispy.
Neighborhood Happy Hour Specials: Drink specials 11-6, Food specials from 3-6 Monday through Friday. Brunch on Saturday and Sunday 10-2.
Good, but …
Now, here’s my problem. The Living Room food and service was good. The furnishings are pleasant enough. But there is no pleasant view or any ambiance worth mentioning. In truth, I doubt if we will ever go back. There was just nothing compelling about the place. To the contrary, we dine upstairs at Blanco’s 2-3 times a year although Ms. Rosemary does not prefer it either.
When we dine out, which is almost exclusively for the purpose of writing a dining review, we are looking for a memorable experience that we can share with friends and family. I can’t image Ms. Karen suggesting we take out-of-town visitors there. It just lacks something. I’m not saying you shouldn’t dine there. I’m just saying I can’t give you a really good reason to do so other than, perhaps, the Sliders.
Monday through Wednesday 11a-11p