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Mar 24, 2009 02:49 PM

Tucson Italian?

Hubby is running a half marathon in Oro Valley on Sunday. Looking for good pasta the night before. Staying at the El Conquistador but willing to drive into the central part of town unless there's something really great out that area.

Also going to be down there on Sunday night. Anything within 15 minutes of the resort for an after race dinner that shouldn't be missed? Anything up to $50pp without wine would be fine.


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  1. Tavolino at Ina and Oracle--a few miles south of the hotel--has excellent pasta at very nice prices. Hubby may want two orders, however, as portions are not especially large.

    Vivace is another very nice choice. Campbell and River, probably 10 miles or so--more, probably--from the hotel. Excellent Italian food, although pastas are not what I think about when I got to Vivace.

    Hubby should get a reservation for either place.

    3 Replies
    1. re: lawyerbriefs

      Thanks. We're supposed to meet some friends for dinner on Sat who are also running. Tavolino sounds like a good option since it's right in that area(friends are staying at Westward Look so it's convenient for all of us).

      1. re: lawyerbriefs

        Thanks for the recommendation lawyerbriefs. We did end up at Tavolino Sat night and enjoyed it quite a bit. Extra points as they had burrata as an appetizer special. We were a couple of our friends and everyone enjoyed their dinner. I couldn't finish my angel hair with shrimp...maybe the portion sizes ahve changed?( admittedly the my share of the burrata probably filled me up too).

        Stuck around the hotel yesterday after the race so nothing of interest to report there and stopped by Beyond Bread for an almod croissant this AM before heading back up to Phx.

      2. Mamma Louisas "La Cantina", southern Italian fare well made. I would suggest you split a small sausage meat pizza, use the salad bar and have "Joes Special". This place has been there since 1956, that tells you something. It is usually crowded with folks from the tri state area, that also tells you something. Maybe not upscale for some, but a great place for alot of people.

        South Craycroft rd. south of 29th St. Just north of Davis Monthan AFB. Can't miss it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

          Heh. My husband actually loves that place. I think it's the cheap and cheerful factor that he loves...though he claims to love the homemade pastas. WE've never actually had a bad meal there and for the price it's pretty decent eats. That probably would have been his choice if we weren't supposed to meet some friends for dinner.

          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

            I've been eating there for 50 years- sometimes it's really good mom & pop style southern Italian, and sometimes the red sauce tastes like somebody poured a can of hot crushed tomatoes on your pasta. I keep going back because when it's good it's really good. The waitresses are always real professionals. It's not a fancy place, which I normally like.
            I used to love Caruso's, the last 2 times I ate there it was most disappointing. we waited for an hour for our food AND when it came it was damn near burnt. Buzz kill. Bigshot, what's your opinion of Caruso's? You've undoubtedly eaten there.

            1. re: EWSflash

              Great back in the '60's & '70's, went down there a couple of years ago and parked a couple blocks away and got hit up 5 times by smelly panhandlers before we even walked a block so just turned around and left. Maybe I'll try it again sometime.