Family-friendly and boldly designed. Delicious eats and passionate owners. Wink 24, now open at Biltmore Fashion Park in the space that once occupied UNION, brings with it all the makings a great dining spot. Upon first setting eyes on the restaurant, diners are immediately impressed with fun pops of bold colors, like magenta, green and orange, and eye-catching design touches, like a mirror wall and a patio decked in neon-green tables and chairs (which is sure to be packed once the temps dip down). The space is small and intimate, making it a comfortable and welcoming space.
After taking in Wink 24’s good looks, a warm welcome from owner Fernanda Borletti is sure to follow. This is her first restaurant, and you can immediately feel her passion for the food and for her desire for the diners to have a wonderful experience. (The name “Wink” refers to the connection and a moment between two people.) The menu features wood-fired pizzas, paninis, fresh salads, charcuterie, pasta, cheeses and much more that is inspired by Borletti’s Mexican roots and her husband Ruggero’s love of his native Italy. (The incredible tiramisu, served in an adorable single-serving mason jar, happens to be his mother’s recipe.)
To start, the entire family will want to dig into the zucchine fritte (pictured below), which is flash-fried slices of thin zucchini served with a yogurt dipping sauce. Each piece is paper thin and crispy, not greasy, and especially delicious when paired with the refreshing yogurt sauce. The Barbabietola (pictured above), which is Borletti’s favorite dish, comprises fire-roasted beets with arugula and spicy yogurt sauce–just the light dish you hope to enjoy on a hot summer night.
For fantastic flavors in a cooling, light dish, the Greca salad, which is a classic Greek salad, consists of campari tomatoes, hot house cucumbers, red peppers, sliced red onions and chunks of imported Greek feta. To top it off, the salad is lightly dressed with red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. This is the perfect precursor to a spread of pizzas.
Though it is hard to go wrong with any of Wink 24’s Neapolitan-crust pizzas, the formaggi was a personal favorite. The white pizza was decked in ooey gooey cheeses of ricotta, fontina, parmigiano reggiano and mozzarella, drizzled with truffle oil and topped with caramelized red onions. What sends this slice over the top is a drizzle of chile morita sauce with adds a touch of spice and whole lot of smokiness. According to Borletti, Wink 24 is the only pizza spot in the Valley with such a sauce.
Wink 24 is open daily for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. and dinner from 6 to 10 p.m.
Photos by Joanie Simon.