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Tucson help - where to take 16 - 18 for dinner

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barry May 9, 2007 01:40 PM

Hi Tucson folks. I'm coming down for a business conference in June, and I'm looking for a good place to bring 16 - 18 people for dinner one night. We already have Janos set for another night. I'm looking for a place with great food and a good atmosphere for a group. Nothing to quiet or formal, but nothing too casual either. We are staying at the Westin La Paloma, so something within 15 minutes of the hotel would be best. Thanks for your help!

Barry

  1. b
    bluedevil33 May 9, 2007 02:10 PM

    Barry,

    That is quite a number of people so I could imagine it being a bit difficult to find a reservation. There are two restaurants that are within a five minute drive from La Paloma. The first is Terra Cotta (http://www.dineterracotta.com). They deal mainly in Southwestern fare. I haven't been there in a long time for dinner but they are usually pretty good. They have two pretty large sized porches that they could probably accommodate your group on. Plus these porches have pretty great views of both the city and the Catalina Mtns. The other restaurant is Soleil (http://www.soleiltucson.com/). This is one of my favorite restaurants in Tucson. Their scallops are always amazing. Again the views of the city and the mountains are spectacular. On there website they say they can accommodate large groups. I have never had a bad meal here. It is hard to describe the food because I think it is wide ranging in style. They say it is contemporary French/Mediterranean, but I had a scallop dish there that was very Asian. I hope this helps.

    BTW-Dining is Tucson is always pretty casual. You can go to one of the fanciest restaurants in town and see someone wearing shorts. That is what I love about the Southwest, it is all pretty laid back!!!!

    1. m
      MidTexHorn May 9, 2007 06:12 PM

      Barry,
      I'll second the recommendation on Terra Cotta. We had a business conference in Tucson for 20 something attorneys and spouses and did Janos one night and Terra Cotta the next. It was great because they were close to each other (Terra Cotta is only a couple blocks from your hotel) but had different vibes. I think Terra Cotta fits the description you gave of what you are looking for perfectly. Call or email them and they'll send you their group menu options if you want to have a set menu. We originally had their east patio reserved but when it looked like rain they switched us to their upstairs room which had an outside deck. We had drinks and hors d' oeuvres out on the deck with a nice view of the mountains, the sunset and the city lights and then dinner inside. It was great. The outdoor patios looked like great places to eat too. I didn't check out their main dining room, but I imagine it is nice. If you have any questions, just ask.
      PS - the prawns with goat cheese and the New York Strip were popular with our group

      1. lawyerbriefs May 10, 2007 05:22 AM

        North is another possible option. It's close and we never have a bad meal there. It's got a hip vibe, very different from Janos. Terra Cotta is also a fine choice, but it's Southwestern food and Janos is, of a sort, also Southwestern. They're certainly not alike, but North will be decidedly different.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lawyerbriefs
          b
          barry May 10, 2007 10:44 AM

          Thanks for the suggestions. Is North part of Fox Restaurants like the places in Phoenix or a different restaurant with the same name? Thanks again all.

          Barry

          1. re: barry
            b
            Booklegger451 May 10, 2007 11:24 AM

            North is part of the Fox chain. On that note, you might also look at Bistro Zin (another Fox restaurant)... don't know for sure that they'll be able to seat your party, but if they can, it's some of the best food in town.

            Another nice place is Pastiche, which has a couple of private rooms that would handle your party perfectly.

            1. re: Booklegger451
              Jess321 May 12, 2007 01:14 AM

              WATCH OUT at Pastiche when you book a private room! They overcharged a friend of mine by a few hundred dollars, in addition to the few hundred dollars it cost to book the room, and they somehow split it up into everyone's checks (everyone had separate checks, which, granted isn't always the case), and the restaurant did nothing to fix it, and it was a huge mess. Just be careful! The mac and cheese there is also pretty good, in case you go.

        2. Bill Hunt May 11, 2007 07:23 PM

          We've done 12 in the wineroom at Janos, on the La Paloma property, several times. It was excellent on every occasion. I do not recall how many they max-out at, but think they could squeeze 16 in. I just did a dinner for 2, and they were hitting on all cylinders.

          I also think that you might be able to fit 16-18 at the Ventana Room, Lowe's Ventana Canyon, just a few miles from La Paloma. We recently did a board dinner there, but for far fewer folk, and it was excellent. My report for that night is: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/349873. (Interesting, CH's Search will not show it, but it's still up on Google!?!

          )

          A 'hound couple (she is a chef and has done several cookbooks, he's a confirmed wino), just did Anthony's At The Catalinas, and raved. I have not been there, so I have no idea of how many they could accommodate, but second-hand, sounds great, especially if I consider the source.

          Hunt

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bill Hunt
            lawyerbriefs May 17, 2007 05:42 PM

            I haven't eaten at Anthony's in years, but my wife threw a surprise 40th birthday party for me just about 10 years ago in the cellar there. Very cool! I think we had 16 people and it was very comfortable.

            P.S. The 50th is a bigger affair. it's not a surprise and my list is running between 70 and 100.

          2. n
            Numberz May 17, 2007 12:46 PM

            Barry,
            I would recommend Acacia at St Philips. The food is awesome and they have two private dining rooms. The Chef (owner) and his wife will go out of their way to make it a memorable evening! Good luck....

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