Sunday, May 27, 2012

deep-fried at the Ritz-Carlton...and tapas in Tucson

No shortage of food-blogs out there...and smart-phone-photography is making it easier than ever to post food-photos...So, a couple of snapseeded restaurant-shots from around Tucson recently:

No matter how posh, there's always a place for something deep-fried to go with cocktails, eh?

Tucked into its own private canyon on the far northwestern edge of Tucson, the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain resort is the epitome of understated desert chic... Each February, world champion golfers come to the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains to compete in the Accenture Match PlayChampionship, the spa has recently been ranked one of the best in the world, and it's been open for two and a half years now...So, curious, and since we live less than an hour's drive away, S. and I thought we'd spend an afternoon here...

...and on the patio of "Ignite" (the lobby lounge/café), we noshed on "Avocado FRIES!" With a three-chili aioli and an "Arizona Greyhound," (grapefruit and vodka), cactus wrens and cardinals darting about the blooming saguaros, the fried avocado wedges were an unexpected accompaniment to relaxing in the shade...

And now for a tapa: 
"Casa Vicente" is an institution in this desert city--Tucson's outpost for tapas a la española. Just south of the downtown core, this restaurant also features live music on different weeknights: classical guitar, flamenco, even tango lessons. This particular evening we tried "chipirones rellenos," a trio of baby calamari, skewered and stuffed with green tomatoes and spices. In a town more known for its tacos and burros (a.k.a. 'burritos' elsewhere), it's appropriate, if somewhat uncommon, to find Iberian fare--Tucson was founded in 1775 as an outpost of the Spanish empire, decades before it became Mexican, and then in the mid-19th century, finally part of a U.S. territory...And, by the way, the sangría here rocks. 

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