Tucson Great Eats and Food Shopping
Visiting for two weeks and I haven't been here for almost 5 years but used to visit at least twice per year. Staying just north of Swan and Sunrise. I am looking for one fine dining option, possibly two, and several quasi-casual lunch and dinner spots. Additionally, will be cooking a few dinners in a very well stocked kitchen (every appliance, gadget, pot and pan plus a massive outdoor grill) and need access to high quality ingredients plus a few gourmet things like foie gras and possibly (I am not holding my breath) truffles. For a Mexican themed dinner we are making two moles. One to serve with grilled fish (halibut or grouper probably) and another to serve with lamb, beef or poultry. For the other dinner I really want to make a stab at the Eleven Madison Park Roasted Chicken. I had a version of it at a restaurant in Chicago currently run by a former sous chef at EMP and I was absolutely blown away by it.
As far as dinners my last dinner at Hacienda del Sol was underwhelming even if the setting was awesome. Is there a great fine dining alternative with a reasonably nice ambiance or view? Would also love some great tamales and some creative southwestern fare.
Any guidance is appreciated.
If you're into fish, I recommend a trip to any of the Mariscos Chihuahua restaurants in town for inexpensive ceviche, marlin tacos, and uniquely sauced shrimp and fish plates.
As others have said, you are close to the two best high-end grocery stores in Tucson - AJ's Fine Foods and the new-ish Whole Foods.
If you can make it into town for sushi, I definitely recommend Yamato at 1st and Grant.
Also, if you have the time, be sure to head down to downtown Tucson. A lot has changed in the last 5 years, and quite a few high-quality bars and restaurants have opened.
There is an AJ's pretty close to where you are staying (at La Encantada shopping center). They have always been very helpful when I've called to check for availability of specific ingredients.
AJ's Fine Foods
NW Corner of Skyline & Campbell
2805 E. Skyline Drive, 85718
If you're looking for something casual, and heading to La Encantada for shopping anyway, Blanco Tacos has a fun margarita/cocktail menu, good salsa, and great views from the patio. If you like Italian, I've heard good things about North since they revamped their menu, and it's located in the same shopping center.
Enjoy your visit!