Restaurant Reviews
Arizona restaurants and beyond


Restaurant Reviews

in greater

Tucson Arizona

and beyond

Restaurant Reviews, Tucson Arizona Restaurants and beyond

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Arizona Inn Restaurant in Tucson
located near Grant and Campbell on Elm Street
Tucson, Arizona

located across the street

Cuisine: American

Arizona Inn is located off the main drag of traffic in an old style hotel that looked like it needed a few touches of attention.

We ordered:
Their menu was pricey! Main entrees were $44. We decided it would be much more frugal to order their 3 course dinner menu at $50 each ... we would get two more courses for an additional $6.
We were presented with an amuse bouche of dried out pilaf mixed with basil according to our waiter, it was actually cilantro pesto, topped with a scant piece of dried out tasteless chicken and garnished with a tiny tomato grape slice and little dots of a cranberry reduction on the plate. We could have done without this entree, the pilaf was ridiculous, we couldn't eat it. We expected better from them.We were each given a small roll, very sweet, probably popovers.

First Course:
Romaine spinach and frisee salad greens with marinated Roma tomatoes and mozzarella rounds with toasted pine nuts, parsley-parmesan crostini roasted garlic Asiago vinaigrette. It sounded better than it tasted. The mozzarella was sliced too thick for the portion of tomatoes we received and the tomatoes were wilted. It made more sense to slice the tomatoes fresh without marinating and use a fruity olive oil instead.

Second Course:
Alaskan halibut with a lemon-thyme glaze, shiitake mushrooms, herbed rice pilaf, spinach-red onion sauté basil cream sauce. I questioned the waiter if this was actually halibut we were served, it did not look or taste or smell like halibut. Here again the description sounded good but it was lacking in taste and presentation. Our other entree was lamb loin rosemary marinated black olive mashed potatoes caramelized shallots ratatouille roasted red pepper demi glace for our main entree. Both portions for the fish and lamb were extremely small, no need for doggy bags at the Arizona Inn, you might want to stop at a fast food place on the way home. The lamb was presented beautifully, no problem there and the taste was good.

Third Course:
Cappuccino ice cream, delicious! with ginger pieces. Good thing we knew ahead of time what the strange solid invisible pieces were in the ice cream (ginger), it was a strange feeling in the mouth like something fell into the ice cream that did not belong there.

Overall Review:
We were looking forward to dining at the Arizona Inn restaurant in Tucson from all the press we heard but no way we'll be back. Arizona Inn restaurant in my opinion is way over-priced, way over-rated and way under-whelming.

Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches
11015 North Oracle Road
Tucson, Arizona 85737

P (520) 547-2839

Cuisine: sandwich shop

We ordered: Breast of turkey club sandwich called "Baggin's Club". What we received for $10 per sandwich was 3 slices white "Wonder Bread" with mayonnaise, 2 slices pressed turkey meat not fresh turkey, 2 small pieces partially cooked bacon smaller than the bread slices, 2 small half slices red tomato and a sprinkle of julienne lettuce. They included with our order a small plastic container of potato salad, a cookie and a small slice of carrot cake. These items were the best tasting and yet we did not order salad or dessert, what we wanted was a turkey club sandwich with Italian bread. The menu said we would receive with our sandwich sliced red onion, this was omitted. The sandwich was supposed to be made with Italian bread, they served us "Wonder Bread".

Overall Review:
Disgusting! We ordered a club sandwich not salad or dessert. Aren't club sandwiches supposed to be toasted? Our "Wonder Bread" was not toasted. We were very disappointed and expected better from a highly acclaimed sandwich shop in Tucson.

2nd experience:
We gave them another try, this time ordering beef hoping it would be better than the pressed turkey we had before. The sandwich was not bad but still not that good. I ordered the "Prime Baggin's" of prime beef, mayo, cream cheese, horseradish, sweet onion, tomato and lettuce on a sub roll. With all these ingredients you would think the sandwich would be flavorful and moist. Unfortunately this was not the case, it was bland, on the dry side and uninteresting; salt helped it along. It was accompanied by a small container of Chinese Sesame Salad soaked with soy sauce and sesame oil which I did not order, nor did I eat it, I specifically asked for Potato Salad. It also came with a small piece of carrot cake and a chocolate chip cookie. Both of them were better than the sandwich.

Overall Review:
Here we go again, I would not bother trying another Baggin's sandwich. In my opinion they should delete the word "Gourmet" from their title and maybe focus on desserts rather than sandwiches and salads.

Bellissimo Ristorante
located within Casino Del Sol, an enterprise of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe

5655 W. Valencia Rd.
Tucson, Arizona 85757

1-19, Exit Valencia West

Cuisine: Continental, Tuscan-style

Parking: Yes, but difficult to find a spot because the area is shared by patrons of Casino Del Sol

It is a long tedious slow drive from our home north of Tucson to Bellissimo restaurant. We didn’t have reservations, an oversight on our part, it was an hour wait for us on a Sunday night. When we were finally seated we wondered why the long delay, were we being punished because we did not make reservations? There were more empty tables than full in the dining area and it remained that way all evening. After another long wait to be recognized by our waiter, we made our selection from their menu. A few minutes later he came back to tell us they were out of Prime Rib. We made a second choice and sat and waited for what seemed an eternity wondering what the problem was as the place was about empty! They must have spent their time butchering a cow and taking a fishing trip for the seafood. We were not happy with their service.

We ordered:
4 oz. Petit Filet Mignon with Ancho Chili Butter - $22
Macadamia Orange Roughy with lemon herb butter - $21
Tournedos Coronado with artichoke and béarnaise. $32

All the entrees were to our liking just as we ordered them, well seasoned and very tasty. Were they worth the wait? No!

Overall Review: The food at Bellissimo restaurant in Tucson is very good though not worth waiting 2 hours to taste from all the unnecessary delays. The staff would do well to better organize their time and duties, the service lacked a lot. We will be back but only because our occasional house guests enjoy the gambling followed by a nice dinner; we will be sure to make reservations on our next visit but will definitely walk out if the waiting time is ridiculous.

Cafe Bastille
248 S. E. 1st
Miami, Florida 33131


Cuisine: French

Sidewalk Cafe, they also cater. Open 7 days a week 8am-10pm Monday thru Saturday and 8am-3pm Sunday. Delivery available. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

I can't say enough good things for this delightful cafe, the food is absolutely superb. We stayed at a hotel in Miami Florida awaiting to board our cruise ship and wanted a nice place to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. We asked the hotel concierge for their recommendation, we felt we hit the jackpot with this quaint French sidewalk cafe, it was even within walking distance from our hotel. Most everyone spoke with a French accent, the service was superb, all the staff was very friendly, all foods were prepared by an excellent chef, he knew what he was doing. There were some tables outside and others inside with crisp fresh white linens, their prices were so very reasonable, every thing we ordered was wonderfully delicious.

We ordered:
Salmon fillet baked in phyllo dough with baby lentils and basil sauce; Sauteed shrimp, sun-dried tomato in a white wine garlic sauce, arugula and red pepper flakes; white chocolate bread pudding New Orleans classic drizzled with chocolate sauce; Foie gras maison homemade duck foie gras, onion jam and toasted brioche. Everything we ordered was sooooooo good!

Overall Review: Excellent in every way! I wish they were in my home town I would dine there over and over again. Next time I am in Miami I will most definitely make arrangements to dine here.... I highly recommend Cafe Bastille!!!

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store & Restaurant
1007 N. Dobson Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85201-7574

Cuisine: American

Parking: Ample

When we walked into the building, at first all I saw were shelves of retail tourist items for sale, then looked up and saw a "restaurant" sign at the back of the store. The restaurant area had several booths with a country flair and very busy with several patrons. We were seated and ordered a rather large dinner salad from their menu.

We ordered:
Homemade Chicken Salad with freshly diced apples and halved grapes tossed with Greek yogurt garlic powder dressing served over a medley of very fresh salad greens, alongside fresh apple wedges and thinly sliced Colby cheese then finished with a sprinkle of dried cranberries and chopped almonds with Ranch dressing on the side. $8.49.

Overall Review: I was thrilled to have chosen a most tasty entree and it is low in calories, I am still thinking about this delicious salad and highly recommend anyone to try this. We will definitely go several times to this restaurant. The only thing I would not recommend is their tap water, I ordered a bottle of spring water.

The Dish Bistro in Tucson Arizona
3131 E. First Street
Tucson, A
rizona 85716P 520-326-1714, reservations not accepted

Cuisine: Bistro-Bar

Parking: Ample.

We ordered:
Herb Crusted Rock Lobster Tail pan seared with melted Brie, lemon chive Beurre Blanc and fresh tomato concassis - $13.75. We were served two 2-3 ounce lobster tails, a generous portion for the price. Their sauce was excellent, the presentation was good.

Pan seared jumbo shrimp with Serrano ham, green olive and manchego pesto, roasted red pepper and paprika coulis with a refreshingly crisp jicama slaw - $ll. My husband thought the presentation was excellent, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I thought the plate was over sauced. His shrimp was wrapped in Serrano ham which was overpoweringly salty taking away any flavor of shrimp.
Very reasonable prices.

Overall Review: The Dish restaurant in Tucson was recommended to us with the distinction of being the best restaurant in Tucson. We discovered The Dish is not a restaurant but a small in-house bistro/bar located within The Rumrunner Wine Shop. If you are new to Tucson, you will have a hard time finding The Dish. There are two streets named "First Street". We were told directions from The Dish restaurant that they are located on the corner of Speedway and Country Club. Wrong! We cruised the area 20 minutes trying to find the place. We did not realize another street named First Street runs parallel to Speedway. The bistro is located one block south of Speedway. By this time we almost said 'forget it'. It was getting dark but we managed to read a faint sign 'The Dish' on a dark building. We walked into an extensive well stocked wine shop/deli and found The Dish back in the corner. They have a small bar and small square wooden tables crammed into a very tiny area seating approximately 20 or so people. Somewhere along the way I read or heard this is a 'high casual' restaurant. Wrong! I must have it confused with another place. This is a bistro-bar, everyone, including the waiters wear jeans and sandals, if you wear Dockers you will be overdressed.

We found a table set with cloth napkins and were given a menu. We wondered if we were in the right place as there was no title name of the restaurant on the menu. The choices are few but good. They served complimentary sliced bread with a delicious herbed butter. I asked two different waiters and got two different answers of what was in the butter. In any event, it was good. They just recently moved to this new location and told us they will be expanding; we wondered expanding where? There didn't seem anywhere to go! The floor was still cement with paint smudges. The ceiling was extremely low, the noise level was terrible, it was hard to have a conversation. Our waiter apologized for the lack of acoustics to absorb the sound, he said they are still under construction. The night we were there every table was full. This is a fun place to go for the younger set.

Dragon Village Restaurant in Tucson Arizona

12152 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd. #180
Oro Valley, Arizona 85737

P 520-229-0388

Cuisine: Chinese, dine in or take out

Parking: no problem, it is a busy place

We ordered:
Cashew Chicken with mushrooms, water chestnuts, zucchini, carrots and cashew nuts. The portions are generous with lots of chicken. $7. They offer white or brown rice to accompany this dinner and of course fortune cookies. The dish is very tasty.

Overall Review: We recommend the Dragon Village restaurant in Tucson Arizona and plan to return many times, the prices are reasonable too.

2nd Visit:
A local Tucson Arizona magazine write up of Dragon Village Restaurant revealed they were recently voted as one of the nation's top 100 Chinese eateries in just 5 years of operation mainly for their award winning signature Sesame Chicken dish. We were anxious to try it. We discovered it contained chicken only... nothing else. It was very tasty and generous portions, however, we were disappointed not realizing we should have ordered an accompanying entree with vegetables. This is still our favorite 'Chinese Takeout' restaurant, next time we will order a well rounded meal.

Family Dinner Review:
Our group of eight opted for their 'Family Dinner' at $9 to $10 per person. It was delivered consisting of different choices which we left up to our host to decide. The dinner was okay but nothing to write home about.

El Charro Cafe
7725 N. Oracle
Tucson, Arizona

P 520-229-1922

Several locations are available in Tucson Arizona

Cuisine: traditional Sonoran cultural style and innovative Tucson style Mexican Food

Parking: large lot

We ordered:
Carlotta's Choice, a large vegetarian dinner salad served in a salad bowl consisting of fresh mango, dried cranberries and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) sprinkled with queso Casero cheese dressed with a balsamic dressing. If I order this entree again, I will ask the dressing be served on the side. It was over dressed and wilted with a bothersome bitter taste. ($8.95) Their food portions are most generous, no doubt you may ask for a doggy bag.

Overall Review:
This is a busy and popular eating place in Tucson, if you like Mexican food, this is the place too go. Most all the tables inside and outside were filled. One good reason for this, they feature a Happy Hour Monday thru Friday 3 pm to 6 pm; margaritas, house wines, draft beers, well drinks and all appetizers are half-price... what a deal!

Elle Wine Bistro
2970 N Campbell Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719

P 520-327-0500

Cuisine: contemporary American

Parking: plentiful public parking

The bistro was set back from the main street, hard to see making it easy to miss by driving past. We drove down a narrow alley way parking in front of the bistro. We looked around, we were the only ones there, it made us wonder how bad the food was. Soon another car parked next to ours. We walked up to the dark and dimly lit entrance and was immediately greeted by a gentleman inside, possibly the owner/manager, telling us 'the truck' did not come and they were out of most everything. I felt sorry for him but later learned this is a common occurrence that happens over and over and over again with Elle. Their management skills leave a lot to be desired. The tables and overall decor was typical for a bistro, somewhat contemporary, neat and clean, nothing spectacular. There was one table occupied, the whole place was vacant, it made us feel silly we made reservations. Since we had traveled some distance we decided to stay and chose from the limited entrees available on the menu.

We ordered:
We ordered wine, the only outstanding thing impressive to me was the fact they had 2008 ZD Chardonnay from Napa Valley California. They boast of having over 50 wines to chose from. Their website had a picture of full racks of wine in the dining area, most of the racks were empty when we were there, they may of had some stored in the back or maybe their 'truck' did not come.

We ordered a crispy fried calamari appetizer to share. It was somewhat dry and overcooked staying too long in the deep fryer, it was accompanied by a Caesar dressing and cocktail sauce that helped improve the appetizer. We also ordered fried Brie... we received tiny little breaded balls of overcooked dried out stale cheese. I wondered if they reheated them from the night before. They were served with roasted garlic cloves and a disgusting unpalatable spiced green apple chutney. It would have been helpful if the chef/cook tasted this before serving. For our main entree the 12 ounce grilled New York strip was our best selection from what they had in the kitchen. The steak was riddled somewhat with grizzle, mine was overcooked, one was undercooked and sent back, it took forever to get another properly prepared steak. They were topped with crispy fried burnt onions. The menu said they were red onions, it was too hard to tell since they were charred. On the plate also was a spicy oaxacan barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes that were very good and an al dente vegetable. The portions were most generous.

Overall Review:
For a bistro I felt this was a cut above but their prices were also a cut above, too high in my opinion. There were a few flaws in the preparation of the food that could be overlooked but there is no excuse for an unstocked kitchen that happens again and again and again. I will not return.

Feast, in Tucson, Arizona
4122 E. Speedway
Tucson, Arizona

P 520-326-9363

Cuisine: American; seated or take out

Parking: off street parking between two buildings

We ordered:
To go: Prime Rib of Beef with Gorgonzola scalloped potatoes, green and white waxed beans with melted cheese on top and au jus(??) I think this is what it was supposed to be. The $17.50 price per person was reasonable.

Overall Review:
What a joke this food was! Was their cook an 8 year old kid? We had high hopes for some excellent food from what we had heard about this place. Forget it! Possibly the entree we ordered was the only one not acceptable, maybe their other choices were great. However our food order was terrible and this is my honest review of what we received and experienced.

When we walked in we were the only patrons, maybe this should have told us something! They have a large impressive wall of wines at one end of their room; most of them are from outside the United States, very few cabernets, chardonnays, etc.

Let me start with the prime rib. We ordered it rare; duh! Isn't that typical of a prime rib order. We received it well done! In fact, the waitress told us after waiting a long time our order would be delayed because one of the cuts of meat was overcooked. What is their definition of overcooked? Both our orders were way over done, they were like a piece of pot roast. When we got home, my husband and I each removed a large vein of fat running down the middle of our cuts of prime rib meat leaving two very small pieces of well done pot roast.... hence the low price? We tasted an occasional bacon flavor on the crust which overpowered the supposedly unique prime rib beef flavor that was missing; here again, it tasted like pot roast; I think they did a switcheroo. Our big mistake was ordering "take out"; if we had stayed there, it would definitely have been returned!Next comes the scalloped potatoes. They served a generous portion; only problem they should have been called "scalloped cheese". The cheese was over whelming that's all we tasted; they were dry like they were baked hours before and reheated.Let's talk about the green and white waxed beans, they were the worst of the lot; we left them on the plate! I like veggies cooked al dente; these veggies were not cooked, they were so tough and stringy we couldn't chew them; have you ever tried to eat cardboard? I think they were just poor specimens of beans; no matter now much they would have been cooked, they would still be unfit to eat. My husband told me when he lived on a farm these would have been fed to the livestock.Finally comes the au jus. They cannot honestly call their small container of liquid... "au jus". What was it? Whatever it was, it was terrible! I tasted it separately with a spoon; it reminded me of a weird liquid concoction made by my sorority sisters I had to ingest as being a part of my initiation into a social club. There was no way we wanted to dip our overdone meat into this liquid; who knows what was in it, I couldn't identify any specific flavors other than a faint hint of tomato paste mixed with other weird tastes.

After this most miserable meal we both had indigestion. It seemed like the ingredients we ordered were not available to the cook and he scrounged around trying to come up with something that resembled our order. We will never ever order from them again, ever!

Firebird's Rocky Mountain Grill Restaurant
2985 E. Skyline Drive
Tucson, Arizona 85747

P 520-577-0747

Cuisine: American

Parking: Firebird restaurant is located within a shopping complex, there is plenty of off street parking.

We ordered:  
Pepper crusted sirloin center-cut, Certified Angus beef sirloin with cracked black peppercorns. $19.

Overall Review:
We were seated immediately; the dining area was full even though we arrived early which speaks well of Firebird's. They gave us freshly baked sliced French bread hot from the oven. We were served very generous steaks cooked to perfection, they couldn't have been better. We had our choice of potato and opted for baked which came encrusted with salt, it was freshly baked and delicious. The only criticism I have, there were no vegetables on the plate, just steak and potato. We recommend Firebird's restaurant especially to palates that crave a great steak,
we will return again.

Second visit, we ordered:
A ribeye steak offered for their 'Steak Night' special during Happy Hour. It was filled with sinew and rather a sub-standard thin cut of meat, I wasn't impressed.

French Twist Restaurant
10110 N. Oracle Road Suite 180
Oro Valley, Arizona 85704

P 520-797-1127

Cuisine:  Small casual
French themed gourmet cafe serving breakfast and lunches; bakery and catering company.  Dinner served Friday and Saturday; Brunch served Sundays

Parking: no problem

We ordered:
Cordon Bleu sandwich - chicken breasts, sliced smoked ham, sliced tomatoes, fresh green leaf lettuce, sliced provolone on baguette bread slathered with herbed mayonnaise; served with a cornichon spear and a generous portion of pasta salad. $8.

Baguette sandwich filled with a generous slice of pate, sliced fresh red onion, fresh green leaf lettuce, served with a cornichon spear and a corkscrew pasta salad in a small bowl. Our orders were served in wooden baskets lined with paper. $10.

Overall Review:
A tiny little cafe with a great sounding menu for breakfast and lunch entrees. When we arrived, all inside tables were occupied, we sat outside at one of the shaded tables and was greeted immediately by a friendly waitress who told us when a table becomes available we could move inside to air-conditioning. It would have been tolerable outside under a fan or misting system in the middle of August but instead we dealt with numerous flies and pesky gnats. We eventually moved inside and was met by another overly friendly fly who insisted on visiting each table. The tables were few in number small square granite tops along with wooden chairs completely filling the tiny cafe. We watched the waitress bus a table but did not bother to wipe it :(

I was intrigued with their menu choice of a baguette pate sandwich; my husband said it was not as flavorful as his Cordon Bleu baguette sandwich, he especially liked the smoked ham, nevertheless I thought my sandwich was tasty.

French Twist boasts of having freshly baked bread. We wondered what day our bread was baked as we both had a very hard time biting into our sandwiches, the bread was beautiful but extremely tough and hard like it had been baked then refreshed in a microwave oven which makes it tough. They have no wine or beer; we were told we could take our order next door to a Mexican restaurant and order drinks. As we were leaving we noticed the pesky fly on the inside glass door waiting to go out.

We were not overly enthused with French Twist, however I would like to return to try their salad combinations and maybe a different unique sandwich choice. Hopefully we won't have to share our table with a fly.
04/12/2008... I just learned the French Twist closed sometime in September 2007. Down Home Delights now occupies the building.

The Gallery Restaurant Golf Club at Dove Mountain
14000 N Dove Mountain Blvd. 
Marana, Arizona

P 520 744-7490

Parking: plentiful

We ordered: They offered a seasonal 3 course special for $39.95 a couple. I ordered
a Caesar salad, crispy duck 
and chocolate mousse with coconut mousse.

Overall Review: the Caesar salad was boring and uninteresting served with 3 small thin slices of toasted garlic bread 
which was outstanding. I ordered their crispy duck. Big mistake!  Would not do that again. I was expecting duck breast
instead I got 3 pieces of tough overcooked leg and another cut I did not recognize. Each bite had a thick layer of fat
underneath the skin I could not tolerate. It was pretty bad and served with quinoa that had a bitter taste. The dessert
was best of all and beautifully presented, it was a chocolate mousse overlaid with coconut mousse. I totally recommend;
this, it was wonderful. Obviously they have a great pastry chef. A 20% tip was automatically applied. We were charged
an additional 20% tip because our party asked for separate checks. I do not plan to return except for the dessert.

Giorgio's Restaurant
1131 N. W. Hoyt
Portland, Oregon

Cuisine: Northern Italian

Parking: Street parking, if you're lucky, otherwise there is a metered parking lot across the street.

We were served a tasty coarse textured Italian country bread with Calamata olives after a flavorful amuse bouche of smoked swordfish tartare laced with lemon oil on a round puffy interesting cracker.

We Ordered:
Lettuces with Heirloom radishes, carrots and Meyer lemon dressing.  Good presentation; carrots were not fresh, had a bothersome moldy aroma; the dressing was overpowering with lemon. $9

Caramelized onion crepes with bouquerones and nicoise olive oil. Crepes were crunchy, onions were sweet, anchovies were salty which gave a good balance of flavors. $12

Celery root soup with whole grain mustard mousse.  Creamy, smooth textured with a good flavored contrast. $9

Yellow and red beet salad with ruby red grapefruit, ricotta salata dressed with a citrus vinaigrette. The portion was huge, more so than their other appetizers; beets were excellent. $13

Comice pear salad with Rosini, leaf lettuce and Marcona almonds. Refreshing with good flavors of both sweet and salty. $14

Petite lasagna with duck confit, sweetbreads and arugula béchamel sauce. A beautiful presentation, buttery pate flavor, textured contrast; however it lacked in flavor, flat, too heavy, dense.. small portions. $16

Risotto with wild mushrooms and truffle oil.  Textured rice was not as creamy as it should have been, somewhat salty, small portions.

Main Entrees:
Roasted swordfish with mussels, bens, Piquillo peppers and faffron brodo. Swordfish was fresh, not frozen, mussels were the star being perfect, much better than the swordfish, the beans were hard, not a good accompaniment, a big "No". They should have been eliminated.

Citrus-honey glazed New Zealand venison loin with braised endive and huckleberries.  The venison was tender and flavorful as was the sauce which went very well with the meat but there wasn't enough of it. The braised endive was not good being bitter almost like burnt toffee. $32.

Medium rare Skirt steak, cippoli onions, caramelized potatoes with spinach, apple and bacon. Good presentation, flavors were okay, nothing special, the meat had a good rub, served more on the rare side, couldn't taste any apple, it was basically good.
Meyer Lemon Cake with hazelnut Frangipone and lemon thyme sorbet.  The lemony flavors were excellent as well as the hazelnuts, a beautiful presentation./
Soft warm chocolate cake with homemade caramel.  Chocolate was of good bittersweet quality, the cake was hot and inviting, the ice cream was like a souffle, good presentation, the molten chocolate caramelized ice cream was a good match.

Semolina bread pudding with pineapple coulis and coconut sorbet. It tasted somewhat like French toast. No one tasted the pineapple, the sorbet was sweet and good, rich.

Selection of artisanal cheeses with seasoned fruit.  There was not enough cheese, mostly fruit, rather disappointing. Small portions and was unimpressive.

Overall Review:  Disappointing, overpriced and small portions for the amount charged.  I had not visited Giorgio's Restaurant for almost 3 years but remembered fondly the many times we enjoyed their excellent food and presentations. When we planned our trip to Portland, Giorgio's restaurant was at the top of the list.  We asked that our large group be seated at a round table to make conversation more interesting. To our surprise when we arrived they told us they have no round tables; they should have told us this at the time we made reservations, we would have gone elsewhere.

Either they changed chefs and/or their method of preparing food because the excellent quality of what it used to be wasn't there.  Every chef has an off night, maybe this was the case.  The food was just okay, nothing special or memorable to where we would want to dine there again.  I don't mind paying top prices for good food, in fact I expect this.  However for what we paid we did not receive in return, the food in my opinion did not match the dollar amount. 
I could not believe they charged us a $25 corking fee per bottle when their menu specifically stated "$20 corking fee per bottle"...  are they that desperate for the dollar?  Our total bill was $666..   hmmmm....    the number 666 carries a bad connotation.  I expected the best from Giorgio's or I would not have gone there, what they gave us in return for our dollar was mediocre and not worth it. We ordered appetizers, a main entree and dessert, most all portions were small.  As I understand it, the present chef worked for Thomas Keller at Per Se in New York at the canapé station.  This might explain his concept of food portions.  We will not return. 

Guiseppe's Restaurant
6060 N. Oracle Rd
Tucson, Arizona  85704

P 520 505 4187

Cuisine:  Italian

Parking:  off street parking shared by other business establishments

We ordered:  Fettuccine Alfredo with parmesan cheese and garlic cream sauce. 7.50

Overall Review:  The food was excellent as well as the service.  I will return to enjoy more of their entrees.  We were told they opened in March 2010 at this location.

Harvest Restaurant 
10355 N. La Canada
Oro Valley, Arizona 

P 520-731-1100

Cuisine:  Family Style, American comfort food 

Parking:  no problem, the restaurant is in a small shopping center with plenty of parking

A friend told me how great this restaurant is with fabulous fresh food, so we tried it.  Everyone has different tastes and concepts of what is good.  When we dine out we are used too and expect fine dining cuisine and are willing to pay for top quality tasting foods presented beautifully. Our opinion of Harvest restaurant was in the category of family oriented comfort food. It reminded us of the Olive Garden or Macaroni Grille, i.e. good food but not exceptional. We made reservations and dined early on a Friday night.  We noticed most all tables were full with plenty of busy conversations throughout in the restaurant.  About an hour later, most tables had cleared. We assumed this was a place for families, although we did not see any children, mostly older people. They offered crispy baked baguette bread that was wonderful with softened butter mixed with small dices of apples and syrup. My husband loved it; I would have preferred something more savory, it was too sweet for my taste.

We ordered:  Their appetizer plate of warmed Brie cheese came with a short stack of wonderful toasted baguette bread slices, a small bowl filled with different fresh grapes, a spoonful of chutney made of different chopped fruit and raisins and half a roasted garlic head, $12.  For an appetizer, it was rather overwhelming in quantity.  The Brie and baguette was excellent as well as the grapes, however, the garlic was not baked long enough, it was still firm and incapable of being extracted from their skins.  The manager was very accommodating to bring another baked garlic half to our table, however, it was also under baked and unedible. 
We ordered a soup course of Roasted apple and chestnuts laced with cinnamon, it was lukewarm and disappointing, $8.
For the main entree we ordered Wild Halibut on their menu, they did not have any and suggested substituting Maui Maui with swiss chard sauted in a wonderful vinegar sauce, it tasted great but looked horrible.  It was served with large square slices of squash and pumpkin.  The entree was not impressive on taste or presentation in our opinion, it was the same price as the halibut.. $24.
We also ordered pan seared beef tenderloin steak, $26, the chef forgot to remove the string.  I kept sawing with my sharp knife then finally realized the problem and removed the string.  This entree was served with fingerling potatoes, the menu told us it included turnips and radishes but that was omitted.  We were not impressed.

Overall Review:  It is a nice restaurant for early dining if you want comfort food.  We sat for quite a while waiting for each course but realized they had a room full of diners and were doing the best they could.  We noticed they had many waiters, they were all busy serving and doing a good job.  

The following day we received a call from the restaurant thanking us for dining at their restaurant and hope we will return.  We thought this was a nice thing for them too do.  However, based on our tastes for dining out we much prefer a gourmet setting and will not return.


Heathman Restaurant & Bar 
1001 SW Broadway
Portland, OR  

P 503-790-7752

Cuisine:  French, Executive Chef Philippe Boulot

Parking: typical, expected from a busy downtown area

I was really looking forward to a memorable dining experience based upon prior visits to the Heathman.  Sadly, I was very disappointed. Either Chef Boulot was on vacation or they changed chefs. Most all entrees were not up to my expectation on taste or presentation. I doubt I will return.

We ordered:
Soup Course: Soupe à l' Oignon, onion soup with Swiss cheese gratin - $7.95  The presentation was rustic but typical of this type of soup. Flavors were intense, powerful and thick; it reminded me of eating pot roast.

Appetizers: Smoked Salmon Napoleon, Belgium endive and horseradish crème fraiche - $8.75  The combination left something to be desired; the endive was too bitter, the horseradish was overpowering.

Appetizers: Roast Duck & Foie Gras en Papillotte, thinly sliced muscovy duck breast over mushrooms with duck foie gras steamed on a cabbage leaf - $12.95  The crispy duck skins and duck strips were excellent.  They forgot to include mushrooms in our order????? the cabbage only deterred from the entree, a bad combination choice..  I asked for another alternative, they said, "sorry, can't do that". Very disappointing.

Main Entree: Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb, asparagus flan, roasted root vegetables and roasted pepper sauce - $32.75  The lamb was overcooked!  Very disappointing! The vegetables were okay; the sauce was excellent.

Main Entree:  Pekin Duck à l' Orange, grilled breast and confit leg with orange sauce cardoncello mushrooms, sablé potatoes, green beans $27.95   All in all a good entree though the sauce was extremely sweet.

Main Entree:  Grilled 7 ounce Cascade Natural Filet Mignon, potato puree, white and green asparagus and sauce bordelaise - $34.00   The meat was not cooked to specification; we wondered if the sauce was from a package mix???  Their presentation could have been much better..  very disappointing.

Main Entree:  Grilled Certified Angus New York Steak, butter whipped potatoes, roasted shallots, broccolini, maitre d'hotel butter - $29.50  The butter was excellent, potatoes were creamy but meat was overcooked. It lacked presentation!  

Cheese Course:  Brillat Savarin Truffe:  Cow's milk cheese with a layer of perigord truffles - $5.75   Good.  Nice medley of flavors.

Desserts:  Chocolate Gourmandise, warm flourless chocolate cake with callebaut chocolate sauce vanilla gelato and cocoa noel nib nougatine - $8.50  Bittersweet; excellent flavors.

Desserts:  Tiramisu, espresso and rum soaked ladyfingers with marcaspone, rum anglaise and shaved chocolate - $7.50  Excellent; not too sweet, perfect in everyway; lingering flavors.

Our Wine:  
1990 Chateau Montelena cabernet sauvignon ; 1995 Eisele Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet sauvignon, Araujo Estate Wines...   2 magnums.  EXCELLENT!Overall Review:  Food was disappointing.  I expected the best and received mediocre. The presentations were not there, neither was the top quality flavors. Very disappointing.  Where were you Chef Boulot????

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, Oro Valley
12005 N Oracle Rd
Oro Valley, AZ  85737

P 520-219-9500

Cuisine:  American

Parking:  ample parking 

A large group of us have tried numerous times to avail ourselves of The Keg's Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4pm to 7pm but tables have always been full.  This particular day we made sure we arrived at 4pm sharp...  we were successful to get a table.  

I ordered: tempura snap peas and green beans (their menu said asparagus).  They were lightly battered and served with a soy dipping sauce... all for $4.  ... so simple and yet so good! and $6 glass of red wine (9-ounce pour), all available in the bar area only.  Their online menu showed 15 different choices, however each Keg location featured only a few.  At Oro Valley the choices were Brushetta, Tempura battered vegetables or Baked Goat Cheese.  I tried them all.

Overall Review:  I am not a fan of plain goat cheese without herbs or some type of seasoning for enhancement so did not like this particular hors d'oeuvre, nor did I like the brushetta (ciabatta with tomato basil salsa, bocconcini and Parmesan) ... sounds like Insalata Caprese, however there seemed to be too much of one thing and not enough of another to blend the flavors nicely.  In my opinion the deep fried veggies were the best.  The Keg is a nice place to go, a mixture of ages, lots of things going on...  the place was packed, at times we could not locate a server.    


La Capitale
508 State Street
Salem, Oregon 

Cuisine:  American

Parking:  On street parking, you may have to walk a couple blocks

We ordered: Braised lamb.  

Overall Review:  This was one of many street cafes on a fairly busy street in Salem, they presented a very poor offering of lamb. I am certain it was mutton and totally unpalatable, everything about it was gross, I will not return to La Capitale.


Le Rendez-vous Restaurant
3844 E. Fort Lowell Road
Tucson, Arizona 85716

P 520-323-7373

Cuisine: French

Parking:  a small parking area in the rear

Tucson restaurant review...  When we first moved to Tucson I was thrilled to find a restaurant like Le Rendez-vous with French cuisine.  They offered a 4 course dinner which sounded exquisite and exactly what we would like.  However, we were not pleased with Le Rendez vous and very disappointed.  Since a couple of years had gone by, we decided to give them another try.  What a mistake, they were even worse.  

We ordered:
According to their mailing card they offer a dinner for two in which we chose items for 4 courses or chose foods from their main menu for additional expense.  The choices on the mail out card was too small to read in the dimly lit room.  We asked for assistance.  The staff was not acquainted with what was on the card.  Three attendants later, we were given a quick run down  read to us by a seemingly impatient waiter.  We could see her agitation and were doing our best to remember what she was reading to make our 4 course choices.

We were served the most delicious crusty French bread, this was the best tasting food of the whole dinner, probably because they did not make it!!!
Our first course we opted for scallops in a cream cheese and herb sauce; this was excellent; and a very coarse textured duck and goose Maison patè with the most gross nasty tasting olives I have ever experienced, they literally made me gag, they were definitely flawed.  This was the most horrid entree!  It was served on a bed of fresh greens, no problem there, however the patè slice had a one-half inch thick strip of hard 'plastic' aspic; I have never ever seen aspic like this before, how much gelatin did they use to make this aspic?  No bread was served with it just heavily brined raw carrot coins and cauliflowerettes with a lingering nasty olive flavor, none of it was palatable, I left it on my plate.Our second course was their house salad with a tasty vinaigrette, the portions were very generous, the greens were varied and well chosen, however, they were way over-dressed making a limp salad by the time we received them.  They included one of their nasty flawed olives.  We should have asked for the dressing to be served on the side since they did not seem to have knowledge of how much dressing to put on a salad.Our main entree was Baby Rack of Lamb, boiled potatoes, shredded jicama slaw, baby arugula leaves and a baked herbed tomato half.  We asked that the lamb be prepared medium rare, it was served rare consisting of 80% fat, a very poor presentation of a quality meat.  The chef(?), cook(?), person in the kitchen(?) should have known the top flap of fat on lamb racks is always removed then served.  Our other entree was veal medallions served with an apple-raisin sauce, oven crisp sliced herbed potato chips and broccoli rabe.  The apple-raisin sauce was gross, an extremely poor choice of sauce to accompany veal, it was over poweringly disgustingly sweet, what a way to ruin the delicate veal flavors! How about serving veal with a savory cream sauce!  I could not eat this entree.Our last course, dessert, was good probably because they had a pastry chef prepare it.  They brought a tray of about 6 choices.  We opted for a slice of coconut cream cake, it was excellent; and a slice of chocolate mousse cake.  It had 3 layers, one of chocolate cake heavily soaked in liqueur, then a white layer, possibly mascarpone and another chocolate layer extremely rich, the portion was generous.  

Overall Review:  No way we will return, we visited two times.  There are better chefs(?) in Tucson.

Linn City Pub
19389 Willamette Drive
West Linn, Oregon

P 503-675-8833

Cuisine:  American

A conveniently located neighborhood pub with good food for a quick lunch we would not hesitate to recommend.  $33.65

Macayo's Del Norte Restaurant
7360 N. Oracle Rd
tucson, AZ  85704

P 520-742-2141

Cuisine:  Mexican

Parking:  no problem

I ordered:  Buffalo chicken wings.

Overall review: We ordered from their Happy Hour menu.  These were the best tasting wings with a honey sauce, I was very pleased and highly recommend them.

McGrath's Fish House
11050 SE Oak
Portland, Oregon

P 503-653-8254

Cuisine: American

Parking: no problem

I was pleasantly surprised regarding the quality of the restaurant as well as the food.

We Ordered:
Calamari Appetizer: It was excellent, couldn't have been any better. $8.49.
Shrimp Louie and bowl of chowder. $12.48
Bay Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. 8.99, the portions were huge!
Crab Louie. $12.99
2 orders of seared Ahi Salad and chowder. $26.96

Overall Review: A nice place with good food I would recommend to anyone.

Metropolitan Grille
7092 N. Oracle Rd.
Tucson, A
rizona  85704P 520-531-1212

Cuisine:  American, family style

Parking:  No problem, the restaurant is located off the main street in a large shopping center

We ordered:
Chicken Chardonnay - chicken breasts sautéed with artichoke hearts and grapes in a white wine butter sauce, served with fresh vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes. $16.38 per person... a banquet price!!! ($8.95 at the restaurant), A non-alcoholic beverage, tax and gratuity were included in this price.

Overall Review:
A Typical banquet meal, i.e. some items were overcooked, some were undercooked; the menu choices for this particular entree did not necessarily go together, specifically the sauce.  The chicken was dry and very overcooked.  I realize for such a large crowd it is difficult to cook this just right.  The sauce was pretty bad, the worse of the lot...  mainly blending brined artichoke hearts with sweet, sweet grapes.  The idea seems good for sweet and salty blends but the taste was terrible.  Possibly if this combination had time to marry, the sauce might have been okay.  This was served with a medley of vegetables with an occasional sautéed mushroom.  The menu said "fresh vegetables"..  carrots were a part of this medley that were fresh, not cooked, they briefly passed over a steaming pot of hot water then were served along with sautéed julienne zucchini which was fine.  Garlic mashed potatoes accompanied the chicken and vegetables; they were fine.  We waited approximately an hour and a half to be served, this could have been better organized. Each table was given fresh bread and softened piped butter; the bread was freely replenished as was our drinks.  The best part of this whole meal was the fresh bread. If you want a family style restaurant with reasonable prices you might like Metropolitan Grille and hopefully you won't have too wait as long as we did.


Michelangelo Restaurant
420 W. Magee Road
Tucson, Arizona  85704

P (520) 297-5775

Cuisine:  American - Italian Style

Parking:  they have their own lot

We ordered: Stuffed Cannelloni Fiorentina crepes, ricotta, sausage, spinach, cream sauce with mozzarella cheese.  

Overall Review: 
We dined here for lunch, obviously I ordered the wrong entree because this was really bad.  It was extremely dry with no visible cream sauce to make it palatable, the most significant taste was dried out ricotta.  If there was spinach, sausage and mozzarella cheese as part of this dish, I didn't taste it or even see it.  The crepes did not add anything in fact they were just as dry.  Several people in our party ordered the same thing, we all agreed we would not be back.

Olive Garden Restaurant
Oracle Road,
Tucson, Arizona  85737

Cuisine:  American, family style

Parking:  in a shopping center, no problem

We ordered:
From their lunch menu, clam chowder with a creamy base, which included their famous garlic-cheese breadsticks.

Overall Review:
How can you go wrong with Olive Garden food, all of it is delicious.  The food and service were top notch, we will return again.

Raz Restaurant
just East of Campbell and on the North side of the street

1929 E. Grant Rd.
Tucson, Arizona  85719

P 520-327-2223
F 520-327-2658   

Cuisine: Modern Riveria cuisine  

Parking: Yes, but limited, we parked in an unpaved area hoping we didn’t run over broken glass or other debris. Raz restaurant is fairly new to Tucson with a contemporary setting .  We have been there many times and have never been disappointed. On this particular trip we invited three guests.  The five of us were seated on a platform area in the corner at an “L” shaped table. All of us were facing the same way overlooking the restaurant instead of facing each other. If we are ever offered this seating arrangement again we will decline. There was no way we could talk and converse with our friends without leaning forward and looking down the long table to find each other.  

We ordered
Spiced Duck, pan seared duck breast with fresh pears, purple and white marbled potatoes finished with port wine and pine nut veal jus. - $19
Rack of Lamb, succulent citrus and herbs marinated grilled rack of Lamb accompanied with roasted tomatoes, sautéed haricot verts and RAZ restaurant potatoes. - $25 This particular night the lamb was overly greasy.

Rib eye Delmonico, grilled certified Angus rib eye accompanied with Portabella mushroom and sun dried tomatoes served with Peruvian Potatoes and savory herb jus.- $21

Overall Review: The food is wonderful, well thought out and served in an inventive and interesting style.  Their presentations are excellent. They have a nice selection of items on their menu, something for everyone. The entire staff is very attentive, friendly and most concerned their customers be well taken care of giving very nice service.

Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Dove Mountain, Caytons Restaurant
Marana, Arizona

Happy Hour:  We split an order of Catalina crab cake appetizers accompanied with a mango papaya slaw and Lime Aioli.  It was excellent.

Overall Review: I highly recommend this appetizer.  We decided to be seated outside on their beautiful patio to enjoy the view of the mountains and golf course, however, we were constantly bothered by flies.  Evidently foods were spilled and allowed to dry without cleaning or washing them away on the patio floor as well as all around our chairs and table making it unbearable.  We were also met with numerous tiny ants scurrying around beneath our shoes where we sat, it was not pleasant.  We moved inside and had a very nice time.  I liked the food and will return but not seated on the patio unless it is cleaned.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill
2265 W. Ina Rd. - near N. La Cholla
Tucson, Arizona

P 520-544-4655

Cuisine: Pizza, Pasta  

Parking:  No problem finding a space fairly close by even though the restaurant was crowded.  

We ordered:
Fettuccine Alfredo pasta with a homemade sauce of cream, butter and Parmesan cheese and an option of adding chicken or shrimp to the entree. - $10   

Overall Review: a family style restaurant reminding me of The Olive Garden with many menu selections of tasty food for casual dining. We will return again when in the area.

Sasso's Pizza
12153 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd.
Oro Valley, Arizona

Cuisine:  Pizza

Parking:  Plenty of spaces available in front of the establishment

We ordered:
A 14" Pepperoni pizza with cheese.  Service was okay, prices were okay, amount of cheese on the pizza was okay. - $14.40.

Overall Review:  everything was acceptable, the pizza was well endowed with cheese but lacked seasoning; next time we'll bring a bottle of dried thyme!  We will probably return.  

Second Visit:
Tucson Restaurant Review....  What happened?  This was by far the worse pizza we have ever had.  We ordered a take-out 24" pizza with pepperoni and Italian Sausage.  What we received was a piece of bread burnt on the bottom with tomato sauce spread on top except for a 2-1/2 inch border that received no sauce...  nothing!  They somehow managed to put a few pepperoni slices every 4-inches apart along with a few dabs of Italian sausage the size of small olives every 5" apart on the pizza.  What a big fat rip off!  This miserable piece of bread (I can't call it a pizza) cost $28, evidently we helped make their rent payment with one order.  We will never ever return there ever again, ever!

Sauce Tucson Oracle

located just South of Ina Road on Oracle Road

7117 North Oracle Road
Tucson, Arizona 85704

Cuisine: Pizza, fresh Salads, Pasta, Panini and two Desserts

Parking: Yes, but difficult to find a spot because the area is shared by many other business establishments

This is basically a place for lunch although it can be enjoyed as a light dinner. Our neighbors Jack and Jan introduced us to Sauce Tucson Oracle. We have been back many times and have never been disappointed. If you like super thin crusted pizza this is the place for you. One pizza order per person is not too much, it is a nice size to satisfy your hunger. Sauce is like a fast food restaurant, i.e. the menu is posted on the wall as we enter. Once we make our selection and place our order over the counter and pay for our purchase, we are given a number and the staff delivers our order to us at a table (if you can find one). It is always difficult to locate a table. They have seating available outside with few tables out of the hot sun. They have shades but we have never seen them used, I think most everyone would rather have a view than look at the inside of a shade. For those cold days and nights, heaters are available outside. Their pizzas are freshly made, wood-fired in brick ovens.

We ordered
Wild mushrooms sprinkled with Truffle Oil topped with fresh baby arugula and large shavings of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano
cheese.  This was the favorite! - $8.
Pepperoni and Crimini mushrooms - $9. Excellent.
Rosemary potato slices, fresh spinach, Feta cheese and olive tapenade. $9. A different pizza with unique flavors. 

Overall Review: The food is excellent, always fresh. The staff is friendly and accommodating. I highly recommend Sauce and plan to be back many times to try other selections available on their menu, I love their thin crispy pizza crusts.

Sullivan's Steak House of Tucson Restaurant
1785 E. River Road
Tucson, Arizona  85718

P 520-299-4275

Cuisine:  American

Parking:  a fairly large community shared lot with valet parking available 

We ordered:
First Course - chilled white asparagus bisque, garnished nicely with swirls of green asparagus coulis.  It was rather bland.
A mixed green salad, freshly dressed with a tasty dressing.  Both entrees were generously portioned.
Main Entree - sautéed shrimp sitting on a round of breadcrumb enhanced fresh crab, it was very tasty.  We had our choice of  
sides which consisted of fresh green beans, they were steamed al dente, very nice, mashed potatoes laced with horseradish, and
marinated and sautéed tiny mushroom caps that were very nice.  All was very delicious.
Dessert - was a small wedge of Key Lime pie.  It was extremely rich and sickening sweet with a bothersome pudding-like consistency.  Evidently they made it with sweetened condensed milk which is not my favorite way to make this unique tasting pie, the colors were yellowish, not an acceptable ending to a nice dinner.  

Overall Review:  The service was outstanding, all the attendants went out of their way to be most friendly; the atmosphere was very nice, prices were okay, we opted for their 3 course $69 for two special.  It was a nice place.  The food was very good, all courses were overly generous, we couldn't finish all our food and took home much of it (except for the dessert).      


Sun City Vistoso Cafe
1555 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd.
Oro Valley, Arizona  85755

P 520-825-3277

Cuisine:  American

Parking:  yes

We ordered:
Prime Rib of Beef and Baked Salmon; included with both entrees were baked potato with sour cream, rolls, broccoli and carrots vegetable.  A mesclun salad with a tasty cranberry dressing.  Dessert was a delicious generous piece of carrot cake. Each entree was $22.  A cash bar was available with chips and salsa.

Overall Review: They did a nice job with the prime rib, it was rare to medium rare; the salmon was nice also but a tad overcooked, it was well seasoned.  The vegetables were too soft and mushy.  There were approximately 60 to 70 people with the same order.  In lieu of this the chef did an okay job.

Second visit, we ordered:
French dip sandwich with a choice of french fries, chips or coleslaw.  I chose coleslaw.

Overall Review: 
I hope I never go to this miserable place again.  Everything was terrible.  The service was a joke, we arrived for lunch before any other patrons...  most all the tables soon filled up...  we were served last!!!  
The buns they presented to us for the french dip were sub-quality to say the least, I have never seen anything like them, they were doughy bleached out crumbly buns turning soggy very quickly sitting on our plate filled with overcooked reheated shreds of beef previously soaked in water.  They must have searched their kitchen to come up with these buns. The coleslaw was the worst of the lot, I could hardly wait to get home and take two Gaviscon tablets for indigestion.  Serving someone old soupy coleslaw obviously made a week ahead is inexcusable.    

Tavolino Italian Restaurant
located just South of Ina Road off of Oracle Road in a small shopping center

7090 N. Oracle Road #148
Tucson, A
rizona 85704

P 520-531-1913

Cuisine:  Italian

Parking:  Yes, there is a large lot available for parking shared with many other business establishments

Tucson Restaurant Review ... This was our first time to Tavolino, we went with two of our neighbors and were very pleasantly surprised how nice Tavolino is inside.  Since it is located among many different types of retail stores within a small shopping complex with a very small store front, we were expecting a mediocre booth-type restaurant.  To our surprise, Tavolino was upscale with crisp white linens, dimly lit with a staff eager to greet us asking if we had reservations, which by the way, is a must!  They only have about 12 tables inside but also have a small seating area outside in front of a deli next door to the east side.  All of their pasta is homemade.  We had our choice of sparkling water with a wedge of lime or just plain water.  We opted for the sparkling water. 

We ordered:
Ravioli di Zucca, a homemade butternut squash filled pasta with sage, brown butter and parmesan. $12.75
Tajarin con Gamberetti e Pomodoro Fresco, a homemade angel hair pasta with shrimp, fresh tomatoes and garlic.  $13.75

Overall Review:  The ravioli was bland lacking seasoning.  Salt helped carry it to a higher level but the serving portion was way too small.  This will fill you up but only if you order an appetizer and a dessert.  Among the other orders presented at our table, this one was by far lacking in quantity!  In fact, one in our party asked for a doggy bag for their order of a different pasta entree that had very generous portions.

My husband loves angel hair pasta and zeroed in on this entree, however, he was disappointed in the way it was served.  Since angel hair is one of the most delicate pastas, it should always be added to other ingredients at the very last minute just before serving.  Unfortunately the angel hair came to our table in a paste-y lump!  The taste was good, no problem there, but it would have been a top winner if tossed with the sauce at the last minute.  

The prices were reasonable and we will probably return but with a more educated opinion on what to order the next time.

2nd Visit:

We ordered:
Salmone alla Griglia fillet of salmon, grilled medium rare, served with seasonal vegetables.  $16.95
Bistesca alla Florentina artifice angus rib eye steak, grilled and served with Tuscan white beans and
sautéed spinach.  $19.75

Overall Review:  The salmon was grilled to perfection but could have used a spoonful of sauce beneath to help it along.  The vegetables were flavorful and went well with the salmon but the potatoes were too dry.  The rib eye steak was grilled also to perfection, they did a good job, even the white beans were seasoned well and made a unique accompaniment, the chef did a good job grilling.  The food was average, nothing outstanding.

We had a fiasco with our bill.  When we ordered we specifically told the waitress "two separate checks" for us and our dining companions.  After the meal when the bill came, she put our tallies all on one ticket with "circles" around each total.  We asked which one belonged to whom and would she please put them on separate tickets.  We were told, "No, that is the way they will have to be."  We each gave the waitress our credit cards.  Again there was a mix up, she switched cards, as a result our companions ended up paying more than they should have.  We made things right with them and laughed it off.  

It was a very busy Monday night, all the tables were full, people were standing by the door waiting to be seated.  I doubt we will return, not because of the "bill" problem, but we want to try other restaurants.

Ventana Room at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort Restaurant
7000 N Resort Dr
Tucson, Arizona 85750

(520) 299-2020

Mediterranean, French contemporary cuisine 

Parking:  no problem, a short walk

We ordered:
We opted for their Desert Tasting Menu which included several courses, the chefs recommendations.  I made reservations online at, also informing them of food allergies, etc.  When we arrived at our scheduled time, Ventana had a pre-printed menu with our party surname, they thought of everything..  talk about service and ambience, we were pampered every step of the way.  

We ordered:
Tucson Restaurant review ...  We were seated and immediately presented with the most delicious and wonderfully prepared paper thin deep fried potato slices laced with salt and pepper...  they were so unique and so deliciously light, we could have ordered more and just had a meal of them alone.  I can truly say every course we had was so beautifully presented, it was like dining at the French Laundry in Yountville California.  There were probably more attendants and servants than patrons, they were the best.  

Overall Review:
We look forward to our next visit; though it was a few miles farther than we like to travel, it was definitely worth the 5 star dining experience. We would like to order three courses and see what happens, I will remember to take my camera and record their artistic work, they are pictures to behold!


Westward Look Resort  Bar & Grill
245 E. Ina Rd.
Tucson, Arizona  85704

P 520-297-0134 - no reservations

Cuisine: casual sports bar restaurant

Parking:  no problem

We ordered:
An appetizer of 5 deep fried coconut coated shrimp over a bed of shredded Iceberg lettuce served with a spicy pineapple curry sauce. $7. We were hoping this would be the same absolutely delicious appetizer we had at the Gold Room but it was not.  The coconut flavor was very prominent.

Our main course was grilled ahi tuna with lemon aioli, a delicious sauce, with garlic mashed potatoes and a medley of fresh vegetables (red and yellow bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli, shredded carrots). $15.

Grilled 8 ounce N.Y. steak with shallot butter, French fried potatoes cut into large wedges dusted with paprika(?) and a medley of fresh vegetables. $16.

Both entrees were prepared to specifications and very good.  The vegetables were all al dente, perfectly prepared especially since they were all different in texture and size.  Our meal included an uninteresting dinner roll with small pieces of vegetables baked in the dough which tasted like ordinary assembly line grocery store buns.   

The bar and grill is a casual sports bar with lower prices than the Gold Room but equally as good in taste.  We will visit again.


Westward Look Resort Gold Room Restaurant
245 E. Ina Rd. 
Tucson, Arizona  85704

P 520-297-0134

Cuisine: contemporary with Southwestern accents

Parking: No problem, lots of spaces within close walking distance.

A friend from our Couples Gourmet Club recommended Westward Look because of the top quality food and presentation.  We were not disappointed!  They offer a seasonal 3 course Sunday Brunch from 11 am to 1:30 pm...   for a mere $25.  We were very pleased and can not say enough good things about the executive Chef Jamie West.  Their complimentary menu also offers a 'Wednesday Create Your Own Menu ...  i.e. Create Your Own 3-Course Dinner'  for $29.  We are looking forward to trying this also.

We ordered:
Tucson Restaurant Review ....   Everyone has their choice of sparkling water or mimosa, each were served with a fresh strawberry sitting on the rim of a champagne flute.

First course:  Wild Mushroom Bisque, a creamy earthy flavored soup garnished with baby celery sprouts.  The portion was very generous.  My husband ordered Coconut Fried Shrimp served over baby greens with a fabulous dipping sauce of orange marmalade laced with horseradish sauce.  This was absolutely marvelous!  I want to try and recreate it in my kitchen for special guests.

Second course:  For the main entree we both ordered grilled medallions of Beef Tenderloin served over gorgonzola mashed potatoes with a mushroom Madeira sauce.  The plate was garnished with baby carrots and broccolini steamed al dente and baby celery sprouts.  We were each served two generous beef tenderloin medallions grilled to perfection, the portions were most generous and delicious.

Third course:  The dessert course, my husband opted for the Strawberry Amaretto Torte, it was presented beautifully with a red berry sauce in a circle pattern on a white plate accompanied by fresh fruit, he said it was very good.  I ordered Chocolate Mousse Cake, it was extremely rich with about four different chocolate textures.  The portion was overly generous I could not finish it; the mousse was more of a fudge consistency and could have been improved upon in my opinion by folding in beaten egg whites and/or whipped cream to lighten the texture as well as improve on the presentation.

Overall Review:  Excellent!!!!  We loved it!  We moved from the Portland Oregon area 2 years ago and were told Tucson Arizona has great restaurants.  We have tried many and have been very disappointed, they are not as good as Portland until we experienced Westward Look's Gold Room.  We plan many return visits and inquired if they change their menu's....   they do and quite frequently...  this is one big objection I have with Vivace.   

2nd Visit - Sunday 3 course Brunch, $27 per person:
Starter:  Champagne flute of sparkling wine with a whole strawberry sitting on the rim...  very impressive.  They generously offered refills.  This was served with a basket array of warm breakfast pastries and raspberry infused butter.

We ordered:
Tucson restaurant review...  The 3 course brunch of appetizers, main entree and dessert had several choices to choose from.  

For our appetizers, I ordered Portobello Mushroom Ravioli with mini narrow strips of fresh tomato sitting on a garlic, basil, butter and parmesan cheese sauce... a beautiful presentation, the taste was very nice.  My husband ordered their Warm Walnut Crusted Goat Cheese with tomato confit, baby arugula and balsamic vinaigrette.  The arugula was terrible.  Why they chose to serve it is beyond us.  All the leaves were limp, yellow, brown and dried up, it should have never left their kitchen.  

Second course, the main entree, I ordered Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with wild rice, pecans and dried cherries sitting on a blackberry beurre blanc sauce, and fresh broccolini.  The Mahi Mahi was overcooked and dry, the broccoli was limp and overcooked as well.  If the dish had been served immediately it would have had a better presentation because the wild rice took on the color of the cherries and blackberries making it unappealing.  My husband ordered Medallions of Beef Tenderloin with broccolini, rice and herb butter, it was very good.

For our dessert course we left our seats to view their large selection of different desserts from their buffet table.  We each chose a small scoop of vanilla ice cream presented in a small glass container.  They had several impressive sauces; we opted for heated fresh pineapple and strawberries mixed with brandy which they prepared in front of us, it was delicious.

Overall Review: We still think Westward Look is one of the best places to dine and we plan to return again.

Lunch Review -

We ordered:
Shrimp suspended on the lip of a martini glass with cocktail sauce; Portobello mushroom ravioli in a chardonnay herbed butter sauce; Caesar salad romaine hearts with a curved sesame seed crouton; chicken salad with fresh fruit and banana bread; turkey and brie cheese croissant sandwich; chicken sandwich and salad greens with prickly pear aioli.

The shrimp cocktail was good but nothing to write home about; the ravioli was excellent, well worth trying; the Caesar salad was good but nothing out of the ordinary; the chicken salad was okay, nothing special, the presentation on the plate was excellent and very generous; the turkey sandwich was not that good, they served it with pressed meat.. not good..  the brie portion was very small and came with the rind still attached.. not good, it was accompanied with a beautiful pillar of fresh fruit that was well presented; the chicken sandwich was on an onion bun, very tasty especially with the bacon slices, the salad greens were fresh and went very well with the prickly pear aioli.

Overall Review:  It was a good lunch, we were glad we tried their new offerings.

3rd Visit - new menu offerings
Tucson restaurant review... Appetizers - Dungeness Crab Tower with Haas avocado, blood orange and Tobiko caviar; Portobello Mushroom Ravioli, chardonnay butter sauce and smoked tomatoes.  Their presentations are usually always good as well as their food, these entrees were no exception.

Salad course - Hearts of Romaine with aged Stilton, strawberry vinaigrette, spiced pecans and thin slice toasted French bread.  Here again their presentation was excellent, they served a beautiful wedge slice of the heart of a romaine and drizzled the dark contrasting dressing across in a pleasing patter then leaned the thin toasted French bread slice against the romaine..  it was beautiful.

Main entree - Beef striploin with a Pinot Noir jus sauce with a blue cheese bread pudding; Molasses cured pork tenderloin served with cider braised cabbage/Granny Smith apple slaw and caraway spaetzle; Volcano Lamb Shank with sundried bing cherry jus and porcini mushroom risotto.The beef was excellent, cooked to perfection with the slices laying on and surrounding the blue cheese bread pudding that was baked in a muffin tin, this was rather bland and could have been improved on in my opinion, but the presentation was excellent. The pork tenderloin was good, not especially enthused about the cabbage and apple slaw or the spaetzle. The lamb shank was eye catching... it was huge standing erect in the middle of the plate, about a foot high sitting on a cherry reduction sauce surrounded by a mushroom risotto which was rather sticky and not that good The lamb went home in a doggy bag for almost two more meals.

Overall Review: 
We can never go wrong with most all the foods served at Westward Look Gold Room, they do an excellent job.

Wildflower Restaurant
located just South of Ina Road on Oracle Road

7037 North Oracle Road
Tucson, Arizona 85704

P 520-219-4230

Cuisine: New American contemporary cuisine

Parking: Yes, but difficult to find a spot because the area is shared by many other business establishments

Tucson restaurant review... We have been to Wildflower many times, the food has always been very good. The most memorable for me was enjoying their halibut entree. Unfortunately this is seasonal and not always available. We were met at their door by a young man who asked if we wanted seating inside or outside. During the summer months they have an industrial misting system to keep us cool. During the chilly evenings they have tall gas heaters to keep us warm. We always choose to be seated outside. After taking our order we received a small offering of sliced crusty French bread with herbed garlic butter which lacked salt. not a long wait at all, our order was served promptly and the food was hot. The staff was most accommodating and quick to give good service.

We ordered:
Sautéed salmon, roasted beets and fingerling potatoes. $21
Peanut crusted prawns, stir fried Asian noodles, hot n' sour gastric. $22

Overall Review: The salmon sitting on a bed of freshly sautéed spinach had a very nice crispy crust but was slightly overcooked. There were approximately 5 beets on the plate cut into chunks along with the same amount of fingerling potatoes with about a teaspoon of some type of cream sauce under the salmon. The entree could have used more sauce, this would also have helped the dryness of the salmon and bland taste of the potatoes. It was presented well and served hot from the kitchen. The peanut crusted prawns were delicious with a unique flavor, they went well with the Asian noodles which had some 'heat' to them, this was accompanied by a vegetable medley of red peppers, carrots, sautéed fresh spinach and mushrooms with a shake of cayenne, they were cooked to an al dente stage. We will return again to Wildflower to try more of their entrees.

Happy Hour:
We were excited to enjoy Wildflower's half price appetizers at their happy hour offered to customers daily 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.  I checked out their website and read the choices available as well as looked at the reviews, it all sounded wonderful.  
However, it must have been poor timing for us because some of the items previously offered were no longer available on their menu and replaced with something else.  We were all very disappointed and not impressed.  The manager reluctantly honored one of the appetizers to us because it had not yet been removed from their website.  Their three pieces of deep fried cod fish with two sauces, French fries and a side of coleslaw was very generous, it is understandable why they took this item off their happy hour menu, the portions were almost a full dinner.


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