Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Tucson restaurant news: Downtown dining-47 Scott, Empire Pizza, Janos

French baguette
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Tucson restaurant news: Downtown dining

47 Scott Street
Tonight, my friend and I met at 47 Scott Street which is my newest favorite restaurant. I love this little boite with its purple wall and minimalist design. The food sings. The food is fresh, creative, fun. The food reminds me a bit of Feast and maybe JaxKitchen yet Scott Street boasts menu items not found elsewhere.

The menu is brief – only a dozen items to order. I ate here a few weeks ago and so far so good or so very good.

This time we shared bread salad made with torn baguette, tomatoes, fresh herbs, olive oil, cubed house made mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar. The chef has taken a beautiful vegetable salad and upped the ante with good bread. Who could ever fault that? It just works. But what didn’t work was the fried egg ($1/extra) on top. The egg should’ve been over easy and runny to moosh into the salad. Regardless, every rustic forkful had us murmuring with appreciation ($8/large).

Roasted wild mushrooms…why shouldn’t mushrooms taste better roasted? OMG, I never thought about roasting them and certainly not in the summer but mixed with spinach, candied spiced pecans, and warm bacon vinaigrette, this salad did not disappoint ($8/large). Vegetarian bacon dressing is also available.

We also shared the crispy polenta cakes or wedges served with butter roasted summer vegetables. There goes the roasted again and this time with butter. The different flavors and textures on the plate made us both think – who needs meat? ($12)

If you’re a meat and potatoes man, fear not. You can have steak and frites ($16) or a burger and frites ($11). More protein choices include roast chicken ($14), seared Artic char ($19), spicy fish cake ($13).

We passed on dessert but I must mention the wine list where glasses of wine will cost from $5.50 to $7.50, reasonable. I am so over paying $10 for a glass of wine.  This is the second time I ordered Vinho Verde Rose (Portugal) for $5.50. On a hot summer night, the wine was light enough not to strangle me and had a slight sparkle without being overly sweet.

Maynards Market
The rain had stopped and the temperature turned a tad cooler with that fresh rain after-smell in the air so we decided to go for a walk. At Maynards Market, I bought a gift card to thank a neighbor for helping me with my car problems. The cool thing about the gift card is that he can use it at Maynards Market/Kitchen or the Cup Café.

New: Empire Pizza & Pub
My friend had not been downtown for awhile so we continued to walk down Congress. Next to the Screening Room, a big readable sign said Empire Pizza & Pub. Ah, people were inside so we went inside to check it out and gaze at the mouthwatering pies in the case. The menu reads, “the best of New York without the attitude.”  All you ex New Yorkers will perhaps lust the various specialty pies named after NY neighborhoods.

Coming: Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails
If you follow Janos J Bar on Facebook or his read his blog, he goes into painstaking details about his new downtown restaurant (hoping for a late September opening) from choosing the chairs to durable but stylish tabletops. It’s a fascinating read. I wonder how this talented man can multi-task with so much aplomb.

If you haven’t been to downtown Tucson yet, what are you waiting for?

Contact Karyn Zoldan: karynzoldan@yahoo.com

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