Category: Story 5

September is the perfect month to enjoy viewing artworks while you dine at a Tucson eatery. Here are six places to experience culinary and visual creativity.

Sarah Burton

Gusto Osteria

On Tucson’s eastside, tucked into a shopping center at Tanque Verde and Sabino Canyon, sits a cozy Italian restaurant known for both hearty dishes and walls that display local artists’ work. Gusto’s décor is tastefully minimal (polished concrete floors, finished exposed ductwork, simple tables and banquet seating), which only further drives diners’ focus to the pops of color in the artwork.

For nearly 10 years now, Stacy Beste and her husband Gus Gerson (as well as son, Jack) have owned and operated Gusto. After working in several well-known Tucson kitchens, including Bobby McGee’s, Olson’s, Scordato’s and Giuseppe’s, and impressing many with his cooking style, he finally opened his own take on traditional Italian fare. Gusto offers the classic go-tos like manicotti, eggplant Parmesan, shrimp scampi, many salads, pizza and pasta dishes.

“The lead artist involved, Anita Pinkerton, is in charge of the gallery, which changes several times a year,” explains Beste. “We’re proud to display local artists and help in that way, and they sell their own pieces. We do not take any fee or commission.” To go even further, Gusto hosts live painting events a few times a week, where you can watch an artist work on something right there while you enjoy your veal Parmesan.

7153 E. Tanque Verde Road, 722-9487, GustoTucson.com

 

 

 

Feast

Artfully crafted fare deserves a thoughtful artistic environment, a point not lost on Feast’s Owner and Executive Chef Doug Levy. Since opening in 2001, Feast has championed a seasonal, rotating menu designed around the very best ingredients available based on the time of year. This careful planning spills over into the ambience of the place.

“The art at Feast is curated by David Adix, a talented and prolific local artist himself, who’s well connected with the art community in Tucson,” Levy points out. Adix, who also is responsible for the art displayed at Tucson eatery Pastiche, is well known for his sculptures made with salvaged and found materials. “I usually rotate the art every three months,” Adix shares. “I have local art and artists lined up six months in advance.”

You can come back each month to an entirely different menu (except, of course, Feast’s favorite that’s almost always in the mix, the seared Halloumi grilled cheese), and you can count on a consistent stream of local art to enjoy with your meal. Art, ingredients chosen and used at the peak of their season, an on-site herb garden, and a wine shop — Feast has all angles covered.

3719 E. Speedway Blvd., 326-9363, EatatFeast.com

 

Café 54

This downtown café is not only a charming and bright lunch spot, but also happens to be part of Coyote TaskForce, a unique training program for adults in mental-health recovery. Participants in the program receive on-the-job training as everything from cooks and pastry chefs to cashiers and dishwashers.

Since opening in 2004, Café 54 has served up lunch favorites, such as tuna melt, beef gyros, meatloaf, and campanelle pasta with pesto. Keep your eyes out for their specials board for a real treat. And although they do an impressive amount of takeout business and catering, those who dine in have the benefit of enjoying the parade of local art rotated throughout the restaurant.

“We only accept original pieces by adults who identify as individuals living with mental illness,” explains Coyote TaskForce Development Coordinator Joanna Keyl. Artists work with the art program coordinator and bring in several works, with a handful selected for display. “Artists determine the prices for their art, and all proceeds are directly reimbursed to them.”

54 E. Pennington St., 622-1907, Cafe54.org

 

Café à la C’Art

If the clever punctuation in its name doesn’t give it away, the location of Café à la C’Art affirms a strong connection to the arts. This picturesque café actually is located on the grounds of the Tucson Museum of Art in the historic Stevens House, an adobe built in 1865 by a local politician. To further punctuate the point, Food & Wine magazine even included it in a list of top 10 museum restaurants in the U.S. Stepping through the Monet-inspired garden patio into the restaurant sets the stage for a casual and charming dining experience.

“We’re fortunate to be a part of Tucson Museum of Art, so we are able to feature in our restaurant some of the area’s best artists and have it curated by Etherton Gallery,” explains Owner/Executive Chef Mark Jorbin. “Most of the

work is on display for a good length of time, and some of it is semi-permanent. New items come in as pieces are sold or replaced with something new.” When he first opened the spot in 1998, they were a small lunch spot and catering company, and have grown tremendously to offer breakfast, lunch and dinner — not to mention baked goods and artful indulgences made in-house by a fulltime pastry chef.

Enjoy a lemon poppy waffle with fresh ricotta and berry compote during the café’s weekend brunch, or dine on achiote citrus barbecue baby back ribs after a stroll through TMA. In either case, be sure to take a look around the four rooms of Café à la C’Art. “For quite some time we have had pieces by Gayle Orlen-Marcus in our main dining room and entryway. Her work is amazingly colorful and whimsical and a perfect fit for our restaurant,” Jorbin shares. “We also have paintings by Jim Waid in two of our smaller dining rooms — his work is part of the museum’s collection as well. Jim and his family actually lived here in the Stevens House many years ago, so it’s appropriate that his work is on display.”

150 N. Main Ave., 628-8533, CafeALaCartTucson.com

 

Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails

Location is everything when you boil down what makes Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails a well-balanced dining experience. Not only does the very name of the place celebrate its location in a century- old building at the heart of Tucson’s now-bustling downtown scene, but similarly, the menu is assembled around seasonally changing ingredients from a network of local farmers and gardeners.

Sense of place rules here, thanks to Janos Wilder, the celebrated James Beard Award-winning chef and owner in the culinary driver’s seat. And location chimes in again, when the restaurant can tap the talent of its renowned neighbor for direction when it comes to art. “We work with Etherton Gallery, which is upstairs, to curate our art,” Wilder shares. “Hannah Glasston selects the art from artists they represent, and we make the final decisions. We change it up about four times a year.”

Wilder’s menu serves up American dishes, woven with flavors and traditions brought to this country by those who have come from afar and made it their home. That plays out in dishes like pan-seared cabrilla with passion fruit and coconut milk sauce; fried plantain chips with Panamanian-style shrimp; or steak served with mole and street vendor-style corn.

135 S. 6th Ave., 623-7700, DowntownKitchen.com

 

Blue Willow

Since 1978, Blue Willow has offered a respite from the chaos of everyday life for its loyal customers.

Sitting along the Campbell Avenue corridor, the rooms of this 1940 adobe home make for several comfortable and cozy dining rooms complete with working fireplace. Add to that a large all-season, plant-lined enclosed patio and vibrant local art, and understand how they’ve become a Tucson favorite.

While digging into fresh fruit crepes or Sonoran carnitas for brunch, or an oversized blackened salmon Caesar or the Blue Willow club sandwich at lunch, make sure to peruse the work of local artists that flank the walls. “We choose art that represents Tucson and who we are,” explains Co-owner Rebecca Ramey. “We have a kind of garden and homey theme, we serve American comfort foods, so we like to use art that goes along with that feeling.”

For years, the only art that graced the Blue Willow’s walls were cactus oil paintings done by Ramey’s stepfather Mark Seidler, but the decision was made to incorporate other local artists. “We like things that are different and speak to us, but we’re really super picky to ensure we represent who we are,” Ramey notes. Some who have made the cut include the vibrant hanging ceramic heart sculptures by Lisa Agababian of Fuchsia Designs, and the colorful hand-glazed tile mural artwork of Carly Quinn.

Happy 244th Old Pueblo!

You won’t want to miss these official events that celebrate our city’s birthday.

 

Tucson Presidio Birthday

Celebrate the 244th anniversary of the founding of the Tucson Presidio at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum. Enjoy a mayoral proclamation, mariachi music, Chinese Lion Dance, an appearance by the Greater Southern Arizona Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers, and classic Mexican and American folk music by Ted Ramirez. Ramirez, a Tucson native, is a direct descendent of the region’s first Spanish families, and was Tucson’s official troubadour in 2001. After the event, stop by the railroad art exhibits next door in the Amtrak lobby, and don’t miss the menu at Maynards Market & Kitchen. Noon-4 pm. 623-2223 http://tucsonhistoricdepot.org.

             

 

 

Tucson’s Birthday Celebration

The Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum is a re-creation of the presidio built in 1775. See the archaeological remains of a pit house, walk along the original presidio wall and experience a 150-year-old classic Sonoran row house. During this event, the Presidio Museum will honor the Old Pueblo’s birthday with cake, a happy hour, taco bar and live performances at La Cocina (located in nearby Old Town Artisans). Ongoing free docent tours of the museum, as well as tours of the presidio district with Ken Scoville. 5 pm. 196 N. Court Ave. 837-8119. https://tucsonpresidio.com.

Historical re-creations and other activities will take place at the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson and nearby at La Cocina. Photos by James Patrick Photography.

       

Live help

Summer in Scottsdale

WITH SO MANY REASONS TO VISIT THE Scottsdale/Phoenix area this summer, it can be difficult to pin down an itinerary. We have a few suggestions for things to see and do in the Valley of the Sun.

From the Editors

Proper eyewear is a must in the desert! Protecting your vision from damaging rays is something you need to be vigilant about, and at the same time, you want to be stylish as well as safe. Framed Ewe Optical is like no other optical shop you may have been to. Their designer frames (for everything from non-prescription sunglasses, to readers, to prescription lenses), are curated and uncommon, and they’ll certainly set you apart from the crowd. Check out frames from Lindberg, Andy Wolf, KREWE and lots of other hip purveyors. Their Phoenix shop is at The Colony on North 7th Street.

You’ll also need an amazing ensemble or two to go with your new shades, and for that, head for the Lincoln Village (Scottsdale) location of My Sister’s Closet. This upscale resale shop has a large selection of gently used clothes from lines like Prada, Chanel, Givenchy and Dolce & Gabbana. When you first walk in, you’ll be met by displays of shoes and accessories from well-known labels such as Lacroix, Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik.

FELLOW OSTERIA.
Photo courtesy of MMPR Marketing,

You can trade, sell, buy, and leave the shop with the perfect wardrobe for your Valley vaycay. Well-heeled and hungry, a great dinner stop for you would be Fellow Osteria, a new Scottsdale restaurant that offers attentive and friendly service, inventive cocktails and sensational wines, and a satisfying menu of finely created, Italian-inspired dishes that are the perfect nosh. In Italy, an osteria offers small plates of simple food that are satisfying but not over-stuffing. Fellow delights your taste buds with pasta dishes such as cacio e pepe; pizzas with toppings like Crow’s Dairy goat cheese fonduta, radicchio, caramelized onion and balsamic honey; and irresistible cannolis that are made fresh in-house.

For your Valley stay, you’ll want a place that offers more than just a room, and there are many stellar options from which to pick. Newly renovated, The Scott Resort & Spa has adopted an old Havana vibe and has all the amenities you’d want, including two outdoor pools, La Vidorra Spa, and the Canal Club, a Caribbean-inspired restaurant.

In neighboring Paradise Valley sits Mountain Shadows, a tranquil oasis that melds mid-century modern design and 21st century service. The property features the award-winning Hearth ’61 restaurant, a workout facility, par-3/18-hole golf course, two pools and a hot tub, along with some of the most gorgeous vistas you’ll find in the Grand Canyon State. Be sure to check out not only the rotating contemporary artwork on display, but also the collection of vintage photos from the very first incarnation of the hotel (you’ll spot some famous faces in the mix).

HOTEL VALLEY HO, PUBLIC ART TOUR. Photo courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho.

The sister property, Hotel Valley Ho, is a short drive away, and redefines retro in its rooms, lobby and restaurant. You’ll feel a

little like you’re entering Disneyland in the early 1960s, and for sure, this place is E-ticket-ride fun. Drop in for lunch at the hotel’s ZuZu restaurant and turn back the clock with a patty melt, or try a vegetarian Impossible Burger, and in either case, be sure to order the onion rings!

About a 20-or-so-minute drive takes you to the Phoenix Art Museum, where the Ellman Fashion Design Gallery and Lewis Gallery are displaying the Flora through Aug. 18. Many top designers and fashion houses are part of this exhibit, which traces how flowers have influenced clothing design from the 18th century to the modern runway.

Phoenix: You Have To See This!

Phoenix: You Have To See This!

Heading up to the Valley of the Sun this month for the big game … or the big concert?

You won’t be alone. Many Tucsonans are driving or shuttling to attend some of the hottest events in the Phoenix area. The MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks will frequently command home field advantage in June, with games against the New York Mets (June 1 and 2); Los Angeles Dodgers (June 3-5 and June 24-26); Colorado Rockies (June 18-20); and San Francisco Giants (June 21-23).

A short stroll away, the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury will light up the “Purple Palace” (aka Talking Stick Resort Arena) with games against the Los Angeles Sparks (June 14 and June 23); and Indiana Fever (June 28). Both the Dbacks and the Mercury have won championships in past years and are followed by diehard fans from one end of the Grand Canyon State to the other.

Although the Musical Instrument Museum attracts numerous visitors just for its fascinating displays of unique, iconic and often rare music-making devices, the MIM also is well known as a great, intimate concert venue. Among the artists taking the stage this first month of summer are: Philly jazz multi-instrumentalist Joey DeFrancesco (June 5); sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar (June 15); and singersongwriter Rickie Lee Jones (June 26).

If visual art is more your scene, you won’t want to miss the exhibits at the Phoenix Art Museum. Ending June 9 is a collaboration with Tucson’s Center for Creative Photography titled, Mexican Photographers, Mexican Views, with more than 60 photos taken during the 20th century of a wide variety of subjects. Through Aug. 25, the show Early American Modernism: The Decade of the Armory Show will be on display. Artists represented include Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Bowen Davies, Stuart Davis, and others. While there, take the time to view the museum’s special installation Philip C. Curtis and the Landscapes of Arizona, up through Nov. 15, 2020. Curtis captured the beauty of our environment while casting it in a nearly mythological light.

Dogged Determination

2019 COVER DOG SEARCH

DOG PORTRAITS BY

Tom Spitz

THE WINNER

Gordon

“Gordon has webbed feet, and he loves to give hugs!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE RUNNER UP

Scout

“Scout has an affectionate personality, and tassels on her ears!”

The Event

All winners, no losers.

That’s who showed up at the annual Tucson Lifestyle Cover Dog Search, held Feb. 9 at La Encantada.

Every one of the 150 canines was with loving members of their human family, and all were excited for the chance to see and be seen by the celebrity judges, who included Heather Rowe (co-host of KGUN 9’s Tucson Morning Blend), Dan Gibson (Director of Communications for Visit Tucson), and Scott Barker (Tucson Lifestyle’s Editor in Chief). Along with the contest, people and dogs alike were able to meet with vendors who provide services or products for animal companions. Monies raised from entry fees benefited the many programs of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

As for the prize-winning pooch this year, that honor goes to Gordon, a Staffordshire terrier/French bulldog/ English bulldog mix. He was accompanied by his people, Christy and Matt Swinford. Christy explained to the judges, “Gordon and nine other dogs were rescued from abusive and neglectful conditions in Sierra Vista in late 2014. The dogs were all in poor condition, and Gordon was expected to lose his left eye, but luckily he didn’t. Smiling Dog Rescue housed the dogs for nine months until the criminal case was resolved, and we were fortunate to bring him into our family. He is the sweetest, snuggliest little potato, and we love him so much!”

The runner-up was Scout, a golden retriever/shepherd mix, brought to the competition by Lilly Tees, who noted that, “Scout was adopted in October 2016 from Lifeline Oro Valley Animal Rescue. She was born on the streets of South Tucson, one of five in her litter. Her rambunctious nature led to her original name, Anarchy, which we changed. When we brought her home at three months old, she was able to experience running on grass for the first time, and she hasn’t stopped since!”

About Us

Tucson Lifestyle Magazine is Tucson's only glossy, monthly city magazine, targeting Southern Arizona’s affluent residents. With over 35 years of publishing experience, Tucson Lifestyle is committed to showcasing the people, places, local flavors, and attractions that make our city unique.

General Information

Phone: 520-721-2929 x 102
Address: 7000 E Tanque Verde Rd # 11,
Tucson, AZ 85715

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