Fine Dining for Four

Fine Dining for Four

Photography by Thomas Veneklasen

Foodies, this contest is for you!

You and three guests of your choice can win a special dinner at on of the five top restaurants, and be treated to a fabulous selection of food and drink. Five winners (one for each restaurant) will be selected in a random drawing. Tucson Lifestyle asked several of our city’s top chef/owners to design mouth-watering menus and wine pairings. Peruse each menu below, then click the link at the bottom of this page to vote for your favorite.  You’ll be entered to win Fine Dining for Four, featuring the menu/restaurant that you select. Deadline for entries is April 2, 2012. Drawing will be held April 3, 2012. Winners must reserve their winning dinner by June 30, 2012.  Dinners are valued at $300 for four guests.  You will be responsible for tax and gratuity. Only one entry per person.



Tasting Flight Menu

Roasted fall vegetable strudel, straw baked celeriac purée
Domäne Wachau Federspiel “Terrassen” Gruner Veltliner (Wachau, Austria) ’10

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garlic-poached Guaymas prawn, creamy popcorn polenta, applewood bacon dust
Bonneau, “Catherine’s Vineyard” Chardonnay (Carneros, California) ’08

Grilled duck sausage with fall fig jam, Myles’ hand-cultivated peppercress
Wine Guerrilla, Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley, California) ’09

Pappadew-panko crusted Chilean sea bass, udon noodle, Patagonia sunflower shoots and sweet-soy beurre blanc
Paul Mathew Rosé of Pinot Noir (Russian River, California) ’10

Australian lamb loin sous vide, heritage carrot hash, crispy shallots, herbes de Provence butter
Bosco dei Cirmioli Montepulciano D’Abruzzo “Riserva” (Abruzzo, Italy) ’06

Pt. Reyes Farmstead blue-crusted medallion of beef, mascarpone-potato mousseline, roasted veal glace
Rock & Vine “Three Ranches” Cabernet Sauvignon (North Coast, California) ’08

Almond beignets, amaretto cream and spiced pepitas
Yalumba, Museum Reserve Muscat (Southeastern Australia) NV

Chocolate pots de crème
Poças Porto, Late Bottled Vintage Port 2000

Strawberry and pink peppercorn ice cream, aged balsamic crisp

Albert Hall has more than 30 years experience, holding chef positions at prestigious locations such as the Seelbach Hotel (Louisville, Kentucky), L’Auberge de Sedona on Oak Creek (Sedona), The Phoenician Hotel and Resort (Phoenix), CLS Air Catering in Toronto (Canada), and Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch (Tucson).
In November 2004, Albert and his wife Lila opened Acacia. Under the Acacia Skyline flag, Chef Hall also operates the Tohono Chul Tea Room at Tohono Chul Park, The Gardens Café at the Tucson Botanical Gardens and Acacia Catering. He currently serves as a trustee for the Chef’s Association of Southern Arizona and on the Executive board of directors for the Arizona Restaurant Association. Chef Hall is a 2011 inductee to the Arizona Restaurant Hall of Fame.

Acacia, a contemporary American restaurant, features local, all natural, pesticide- and herbicide-free products as well as certified organic ones. Hall has partnerships with Painted Cave Cattle Company, Southern Arizona Tomato, Sleeping Frog Farms, Sunizona Family Farm, the many University of Arizona programs and the micro farmers and ranchers of Southern Arizona.





Toasted brioche with baked golden apples, toasted walnuts, St. Andre cheese and smoked sea salt
NV Quadra Brut Franciacorta DOCG (Chardonnay/Pinot Bianco)

Tempura-peanut lobster tail with kumquat marmalade and dried pasilla chiles
2006 Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Artist Label Riesling Spätlese, Wehlen

Grilled duck breast with sticky rice, roasted sweet potatoes, fresh blackberries and keemun tea reduction
2007 Freestone Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Vanilla custard tart with tarragon-poached apricots
2000 Les Vins des Viennes “Cépées Caties” Condrieu (Viognier), Condrieu

Doug Levy led the kitchens at local favorites Boccata and The Dish before opening Feast in 2001 as a gourmet carryout restaurant. With a background in both sculpture and linguistics, Chef Levy worked his way through school in restaurants and ended up doing the thing he enjoyed the most: cooking. He has since expanded Feast twice into what is now a 120-seat midtown restaurant with a wine bar, a modest patio and a private dining room.

Feast offers a monthly changing menu with a broad spectrum of cultural influences, as well as monthly wine tastings and wine dinners, and full-service catering. It has been featured in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine magazine and Wine Spectator, as well as Arizona Highways, Tucson Lifestyle and Phoenix Home & Garden.



Butter poached lobster tail and smoked ham hock flan, lobster sauce and fennel coulis
Calera Chardonnay, Central Coast California, 2009

Tangerine honey and cinnamon lacquered duck breast, Madiera-scented mushrooms, Amareno cherry and almond spoonbread
Adelsheim Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2009

Colorado lamb four ways from the heart of Mexico, Double chop from the lamb rack with Native Seeds/SEARCH mole sauce, lamb chorizo chilaquiles, mini lamb birra tostada and lamb barbacoa broth
Cimecky “Trumps” Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia, 2008

Warm Chocolate Souffle Torte and Kahlúa Ice Cream, hazelnut chocolate ganache, wiskey crème Anglaise and toffee brittle
Yalumba Antique Tawny, South Australia, 2009

Janos Wilder began cooking as a teenager; after graduating from UC Berkley with a degree in political science, he worked at Colorado’s famed Gold Hill Inn before traveling to Bordeaux to work alongside chefs at several restaurants.
Janos returned to the states determined to cook French food. He relocated to Tucson and opened his first restaurant in 1983 in a landmark home on the grounds of the Tucson Museum of Art.  In 1998 he moved his restaurant onto the grounds of The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa. A year later, he opened J Bar within his eponymous restaurant as a less expensive alternative. In 2000, Chef Wilder was named Top Chef in the Southwest by The James Beard Foundation. He recently opened Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails.

Janos restaurant serves sophisticated cuisine that blends French cooking techniques with an emphasis on the use of local and heirloom ingredients in unique, elegant preparations. The restaurant looks to the culinary heritage of Southern Arizona and Mexico for much of its inspiration. Prior to opening his restaurant in 1983, Chef Wilder began developing a network of local growers to supply his kitchen with produce from the region.

The New Red Sky Inside Luna Bella


Roasted red pepper leek Gruyère bisque with lobster quenelles
2010 BR Cohn Chardonnay, “Silver” North Coast, California

Grilled Las Cruces chili spiced Sea of Cortez prawns, rock shrimp corn risotto, coat cheese, basil beurre blanc
2010 Shine Heinz Eifel Riesling, Germany

Mango, blue crab, avocado, baby spinach tower with a garlic-sundried tomato remoulade
2009 Carmel Road Monterey Pinot Noir, Monterey, California

Grilled filet mignon with baby portobellas, Oregon mushroom risotto, Zinfandel reduction
2010 Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel, California

Flourless chocolate torte with raspberry, blueberry and strawberry coulis
2005 Diznoko Tokaji Aszu “5 Puttonyos”

Chef Steven Schultz, a graduate of the famed Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne of Paris, has trained with the finest chefs from France, Switzerland and Austria. He has held Executive Sous Chef positions in resorts in Scottsdale, Carmel Valley and Tucson. His menus feature salads, pastas, grilled meats and fish, along with a tempting selection of desserts.

Two familiar restaurant names have joined to become The New Red Sky inside Luna Bella. Chef Steven Schultz brings diners an exciting mélange of California, Italian, French and Southwest cuisine in his restaurant on the corner of Swan and Fort Lowell.
Only the finest ingredients and organic products are used.



First Course
Brandade de Morue
Mesclun of young lettuces, pomegranate vinaigrette, sourdough melba
Laurenz, Gruner Veltliner, ’09, Austria

Second Course
Paupiette of Scottish Salmon
Potato latke, curry spinach, Chermoula
Garnet, Pinot Noir, ’09, Carneros

Dungeness crab, mussels, scallops, petrale, rich tomato broth, Parmesan crouton
Casa LaPostolle, Carmenere, ’09, Rapel Valley, Chile

Bento au chocolate
Lustau, “Pedro Ximenez,” Sherry

Jim Murphy began his professional career in Tucson at Jerome’s, then worked at La Paloma Country Club and traveled to cook in Westin hotels across the country. Eventually, he attended the Culinary Institute of America, and after graduation returned to Tucson to open Kingfisher Bar & Grill in 1993 and Bluefin Seafood Bistro in 2005.

Bluefin Seafood Bistro is the brainchild of Tim Ivankovich, Jeff Azersky and Jim Murphy, who also own Kingfisher Bar & Grill. The concept for Bluefin grew out of repeated requests by guests at Kingfisher to open something on the growing northwest side. In February of 2005, the restaurant opened to great reviews and three guys wondering whose idea it was to open another restaurant. Although its menu is similar in personal style to Kingfisher, the only items that really cross over are the smoked trout, both wild and farm-raised.
The dining rooms are run by Ivankovich, while the kitchen is a collaboration between Azersky and Murphy.


Click Here to vote for your favorite menu and enter the Fine Dining for Four Contest