To be completely fair, Local Breeze really isn’t open yet. Well, sorta. They’re officially open on Monday, but they opened the doors to us kind neighborhood folks last night in test run, and I must say, the results were surprisingly smooth. Yes, they have a liquor license. Yes, the food is just as good as the fare at Pischke’s. Yes, it still is the old Cavness House, just less cluttered and slightly more Bahamian. All of these things make this place good. Sure, they have a lot of kinks to work out, but they’re on the right track.
First things first: They seem to give a heavy pour on the liquor, but are quite stingy about their wines. Perhaps those that follow me should recommend a heavier hand on the vino. Second, the food is quality stuff. Think Pischke’s, but updated. I had the Olive Lavosh with fresh tomatoes, olives and Queen Creek Olive Oil. Their appetizer menu is chock full of the lavoshes, and they don’t disappoint. Then I followed it up with the Fire Island, a Pischke’s classic, and it is still at the top of its game. Get it with a poached egg on top to mix with the peppery chicken, creamy sauce and veggies. This one packs a good punch spicewise, so be aware.
Also be aware that those this is the old Cavness House, built in 1914, and we’re in downtown Phoenix, it kind of seems like Key West when you walk inside. Gone are the days of the cluttered antiques and strange pieces of junk that filled Palatte. The inside is airy, clean and very simplistic. They may have knocked down a wall or two… I can’t really tell. Thankfully, they left the bathrooms completely intact — the stall in the men’s room still looks like a rusted out side of a steam engine. Well done.
Things that weren’t so good: They service was understandably a bit lacking. But damn, they need to photocopy more than one “unofficial” wine list for the evening. Our waiter had to continually return to claim it, only to bring it back later with someone else’s grubby prints all over it. Most of the wait staff hadn’t tried half of the menu items, which is sort of ridiculous, but hopefully that will change quickly. I also feel like the outside patio area lost a bit of its flair from the Palatte days. It’s all stucco-y and less ancient. Perhaps it fits in with the loose island theme.
I’d definitely recommend everyone checks this place out, but give it a few weeks to work out the kinks. The outside area is still great for brunch and dinners after the sun sets. I’m hoping they really do integrate the live music thing that Palatte kind of hinted at. It’d be nice to use that courtyard effectively.
Local Breeze is located at 606 N 4th Ave, on the corner of 4th Ave and Fillmore (light rail station at Van Buren or Roosevelt).