Saturday, November 13, 2010

Southwest Sunsets and Sangria {Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine Bar}

Last night before dinner, we hiked a trail up a hill (that felt like a mountain) behind our hotel to watch the sunset with a few other people who are here in Tempe for the same wedding we are. It didn't look like much of a climb, but once we started up, we quickly realized that it was a bit more of a challenge that we expected. The view from the top was beautiful, though.

By the time we got back to the bottom, we were all ready for dinner. We ended up eating at La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine Bar. We'd walked by earlier in the day and thought it would be a good choice for dinner. By the time we sat down at the table, though, we realized we hadn't even looked at the menu before going inside. That's not something we typically do, so we were relieved to see a variety of salads, pizzas and sandwiches on the menu.
The atmosphere was pretty much what you'd expect for something dubbed an "urban pizzeria and wine bar." It was casual, but definitely trendy. The bar at the back of the restaurant (that was quite busy by the time we left) had a large video screen showing a looping set of old cartoons.

I opted not to harrass our dining companions with my camera, so I only took photos of what B and I ordered. We shared a plank of bruschetta with the table. It was actually very convenient since there were four of us and they have you select four types pieces of bruschetta. B had the pulled pork with housemade pesto and roasted red peppers and I had the smoked prosciutto, marscapone, fig and truffle oil. I didn't try B's, but he said it was fantastic. Mine was delicious. The salty and sweet combination worked perfectly. We also shared a carafe of white Sangria.

For dinner, I had a Caprese salad and B built his own pizza with mozzarella, smoked prosciutto, Sicilian sausage, bacon and truffle oil.

B's pizza was fantastic. He did a great job of selecting his flavor combinations. I didn't do such a great job ordering. My salad was ok, but way too heavy on the onion (that seems to be a trend in Tempe) and the tomatoes were extremely overripe and thin. The flavor was pretty decent, but it wasn't anything too special.

From there we headed over to Robbie Fox's Public House where the wedding party hosted a casual reception for their out of town guests after their rehearsal dinner. We really enjoyed ourselves, but that assessment is based largely on the company. B was happy to see lots of old friends and I had a great time as well. I can't really say much about Robbie Fox's itself because the place was packed. My only comments are that the staff was super friendly and attentive despite the massive crowd and they need bigger bathrooms.

In a couple of hours we'll be headed to the actual wedding followed by a reception at the Phoenix Zoo. It should be another great night!

La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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