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Oct 13, 2008 08:06 PM

Tucson C'hounds: Ventana, Anthony's, or Janos?

I want to take some dear friends to a special dinner and can't decide between those three. I enjoyed Janos last year, but have not been to the other two - would you care to weigh in with your opinions? Or is there any new resto I should know about? TIA!

BTW: Primo and McClintock's (what a setting!) are already on our list; McMahon's and AZ Inn are definitely OUT of the running after some disappointing meals.

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  1. I used to live in Tucson and have eaten at all three places you list. I think I would give the edge to Ventana. Beautiful view, elegant room and terrific food. Janos is also very good as is Anthony's, but I give the edge to Ventana (I haven't been there for 18 months, though, and a resto is only as good as its chefs and staff).

    1 Reply
    1. re: firecracker

      I've been to all three. For atmosphere Ventana wins easily. Food was also excellent when I last went several years ago, but I have no reason to believe it has slipped. I did attend an event at the hotel three weeks ago and the nibbles were from the Ventana Room. Very tasty, but fussy and contrived. And that's my memory of the Ventana Room. Overblown service and fussy plates.

      Anthony's is charming, but the food is not, in my memory, on a par with the other two. Also, for special occasion Janos really does it up well, with extra desserts, a birthday present, etc.

      The other place I'd consider is The Grill at Hacienda del Sol. Excellent food, easy, proper service, a beautiful (and recently redone) room and a great wine list. I prefer it to Janos because of the room and because the service is a bit more relaxed. Eight of us recently celebrated five birthdays at The Grill. Great dinner. In lieu of five desserts, the chef sent out a large tray full of cookies and small cakes. Perfect for passing and very creative.

    2. Janos is always good and if it's a special occasion you get the truffles and some extras. Ventana Room has Chef Mark Ehrler who won a James Beard award when he was in South Florida. I cannot remember if it's still 5 diamonds. Have never been to Anthony's. New restaurants include Jax Kitchen and Luna Bella (just opened). If you want Japanese tapas (the formal name escapes me) go to Kolb/Sunrise. I've eaten there three times and each time was a home run.