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Fine dining Italian eatery named best small-town restaurant in Arizona

(Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — Old County Inn in the town of Pine by the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park was recently ranked as the best small-town restaurant in Arizona.

According to Thrillist, the quaint Italian spot in small-town Pine, population of 1,963, features a wood-fired pizza oven and fully stocked tap room.

Owner Michael Dahling studied at the Culinary Institute of America and was a corporate chef for most of his working life. He opened the fine dining watering hole to explore his creativity as a chef and it has since taken off.

The condensed menu features only six appetizers, three salads, 10 pizzas, four deserts and various drinks and cocktails but allows Dahling to put extra focus and detail into every plate.

Pizza dough is handmade and all pork is prepared and cured in-house while greens and kale for the salads are purchased from farms in the town of Pine.

Only a two hour drive from Phoenix, most of the customers are tourists who are looking for a relaxing Italian meal after exploring the previous mentioned Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.

The restaurant only seats 20 patrons inside but has a patio with 50 available seats in the summer.

They typically feature live music and a schedule can be found on the restaurants Facebook page.

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