7000 N. Resort Dr., Tucson
HOURS: Tues.–Thurs. 6–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 6–10 p.m.
COST: Most entrées more than $20
The tasting menu at this famous foothills restaurant, part of the world-renowned Loews Ventana Canyon Resort , is a masterpiece of locavore chic. For $85 per head you’re invited to a feast both ancient and completely new—creative New American cuisine with several dashes of Southwestern flavor, combined with a commitment to use fresh, local, and even historical ingredients.
This is true for all of the dishes at this AAA five-diamond, four-star restaurant that’s been serving locals and visitors from around the world for 25 years, but the tasting menu’s delights really sum up what’s going on here. Consider this series of dishes: slow-roasted Willcox tomato soup; New England diver scallops dusted with mesquite flour (mesquite trees, found all over the desert, produce beans from which natives have long made flour and more); and a saguaro syrup gastrique, all with paired wines and dessert.
I think it’s safe to assume that you won’t find this exact meal offered anywhere else in the world. It’s a Sonoran Desert original, just like the restaurant that serves it. Reservations are a must.