Another fan of Maynard's in Tucson
We went to Maynard's--downtown in the old train station, just across the street from the Hotel Congress--for the second time Friday night. It may be my favorite restaurant in Tucson now. They have a new chef--formerly at Jax Kitchen, and a new menu.
We started with the mussels in ale, Dijon mustard and spinach ($11). It was a generous portion, absolutely fresh and delicious. One of us had the wild mushroom pizza. The pizza crust here is chewy and tasty with the just the right amount of substance to complement the high-quality toppings. One had the fish of the day, which was three giant scallops cooked perfectly and seerved atop a bed of white beans and arugala. The wild salmon was a generous portion, again cooked perfectly, as was the half a Red Bird chicken (though my son thought it was a bit too salty). The beet salad and butter lettuce salad were both excellent, as were the french fries we ordered to accompany the mussels. Unless you get the special, everything is a la carte, but the prices are reasonable. The four of us had the mussels and fries, two salads, a pizza, three entrees, one side dish, one dessert, an espresso and a bottle of Argentinian Malbec and the bill before tip was about $130.
All in all, it was a great dining experience. The service was attentive and our waiter was knowledgeable. The owners have done a wonderful job of transforming the space. It is comfortable and sophisticated with a northern exposure looking out to the train tracks and the mountains. Outside is a huge, beautiful plaza dotted with trees and featuring an unobstructed view of the Catalina Mountains. We thought it was a bit too chilly to dine outside, but quite a few others were doing so. In a week or two when it warms up a little more, it will be one of the best outdoor dining venues in Tucson.
Unfortunately, we arrived too early for lunch yesterday and were too hungry to wait, so we went to the Cup Cafe for breakfast instead. In this economy (even Cup Cafe wasn't packed like it used to be), I'd encourage people to patronize Maynard's and help keep it afloat - it's a charming place with a very nice selection of international beers, wines, and condiments. It has a gorgeous communal table and very good coffee, and even though the young man at the cash register was a bit dour, we'll go back to try to the food sometime.