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Jul 12, 2007 04:35 PM

Tucson-50th Birthday dinner for 4

We wanted to celebrate our friend's 50th at The Dish, my favorite restaurant in Tucson.
But, they're on vacation the month of July. They suggested VinTabla.
I'm not sure about the concept of extensive sharing as a dining experience.
>Any feedback on VinTabla?
>Where else should we consider?

We've been to Hacienda and's OK.
Also, Poca Cosa and Barrio..can't get too excited.

Really, I prefer only The Dish.. for the quality of food, service and atmosphere..
Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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  1. Personally, I think Janos is the best special occasion restaurant in town. Lots of extra treats for dessert and a real effort to make the evning special have been my experiences for an anniversary and a birthday. Both were several years ago, and both did involve some advanced notice of the occasion, but everything was definitely done up right.

    For my 40th my wife and mother threw a surprise party in the wine cellar at Anthony's. The evening was lots of fun, but we were 16 and I'm not sure the room is available for much smaller groups.

    1. PS--I forgot about a friend who had her 40th at Vin Tabla. She loved it, but reported that it was a very high energy, bouncing from table to table kind of experience. If The Dish is your thing, I'd be surprised if you enjoyed Vin Tabla. I have not eaten at Vin Tabla, but did have a drink there; it seemed very different from The Dish (which I like very much.)

      9 Replies
      1. re: lawyerbriefs

        Thank you lawyerbriefs for your helpful response. Yes, my husband and I really like The Dish and its subdued ambience. But, the birthday woman loves to share and resides in Scottsdale.
        (And her husband is a lawyer like you?) So, maybe she'd dig the lively, hyper atmosphere..

        By the way, they're staying at The Omni. Anything else you can think of?
        What about The Gold Room at Westward Look?

        1. re: lawyerbriefs

          ...and what do you think about Primo, Wildflower, or Acaica (sp?) ?

          1. re: lawyerbriefs

            well, no need to discuss Primo, Wildflower and Acacia.
            We did not want to spend that much moola..

            So, perhaps, it will be Vin Tabla.

            1. re: Rockette

              Check the Vin Tabla menu and keep in mind how sharing small plates can add up to big bucks! I haven't been to Primo, but do know it is expensive. Acacia can get expensive, as well, and I thought it was OK. Wildflower, on the other hand, is not that expensive, with entrees in the high teens to mid-20s, as I recall. We never have a bad meal there, and are fans of all Fox Restaurants. For the money I think they provide a great meal and a pleasant evening. I went to an event not long ago where Sam Fox spoke at Montana Avenue and, then , Bob McMahon spoke at McMahons. Night and day, and no surprise, given the quality of the two mini-chains. BTW, Janos is very expensive!!!

              1. re: lawyerbriefs

                obsessing a bit here..ha!
                have gone on-line and done a bit of research.
                these are the three restaurants that i'm considering..
                *wildflower *montana ave. * barrio grill
                which one of htese has the best food review?


                1. re: lawyerbriefs

         more place.
                  gold room @ westward look. thoughts?
                  it never seems to come up on CH.

                  1. re: Rockette

                    I don't know the Gold Room, as I haven't eaten there in many, many years. As for its atmosphere, however, it's probably closest to a special occasion restaurant. The views are great, and it's my impression that service is hotel formal. I was at a Bar Mitzvah at the Westward Look a couple of years ago and the food was very mediocre; however, I suspect that may have been a budget/menu choice issue.

                    The other three restaurants--Montana Avenue, Barrio Grill and Wildflower--all get a mix of people, from folks out for a reason to people who are stopping in after an early movie or couples who didn't feel like cooking. The food is good at all three. My preference, among them, is Wildflower. I think it's a bit more special and the patio is nicer than the patio at Montana Avenue. I'm also not wild about the menu at Montana Avenue. I must confess, finally, that I haven't been to Barrio Grill in a few years. People I know who eat there think the food is very good, and it was always good when I did eat there. (My wife doesn't like downtown, and I don't work downtown, so I don't get there.)

                    Now, not to complicate your life: If you are thinking about Montana Avenue and Wildflower, my favorite Fox Restaurants venue in Tucson is North. It's in La Encantada--catty-corner from Vin Tabla--and has a great menu. Lots of variety and you can order traditional or make a dinner from smaller plates. It also has a lot more energy than either Montana Avenue or Wildflower.

                    No matter which place you choose--with my knowledge limitations noted--I think you'll do well. If price is an issue, I'd check The Gold Room; it has been very expensive at times!

                    1. re: lawyerbriefs

                      again, lawyerbriefs....a big thankee for your take on all the restaurants that i was considering. it was quite helpful.
                      ...and the winner is> Barrio Grill. Next choice would've been Wildflower.
                      The community at CH is very special and you're an excellent example!