PHOTO FEATURE: New Executive Chef, New Menu at Lodge on the Desert

Last modified on July 13th, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Summer menu items at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Central Tucson’s low-key Lodge on the Desert is easy to drive by and overlook — the pink walls grab attention, but hides the culinary destination within.

Just a few weeks ago, David Solorzano joined the team as executive chef and completely revamped the menu. It still includes a combination of bar food and fine dining, but reflects Solorzano’s style with his background at Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort and his food truck Animal Farm.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of their new menu items.

Foie Gras “alla plancha” ($21)

Beautifully-seared foie gras is balanced with chewy honeycomb, sweet honey, smoked almonds, charred peaches, and tangy sorrel.

Foie Gras "alla plancha" at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Foie Gras “alla plancha” at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Grilled Octopus ($15)

Tender octopus is braised for one-and-a-half hours, then finished on a grill. It’s served on a bed of navy beans dressed with cured lemon and an herb purée.

Grilled Octopus at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Grilled Octopus at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Garden Salad ($9)

Pickled shallots, orange supremes, watermelon radish, and herb sherry vinaigrette dress the light bed of greens.

Garden Salad at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Garden Salad at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Beef Tartare Nicoise ($16)

A hybrid of two French classic dishes, the tartare at Lodge features chopped raw hanger steak, quail egg, olive, confit potato, tomato, and anchovy for savory depth.

Beef Tartare Nicoise at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Beef Tartare Nicoise at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Mornay Frites ($13)

Crispy house fries are topped with parmesan cream sauce, a fried farm egg, and chives. Add pancetta for $3.

Mornay Frites at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Mornay Frites at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Banh Mi ($13)

This is the banh mi that earned Solorzano a death threat when he took it off the Animal Farm menu. It features pork belly, Vietnamese nuoc cham, sriracha, hoisin, pickled cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, and garlic aioli on a light and crispy baguette from La Baguette Parisienne.

Banh Mi at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Banh Mi at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Veal Saltimbocca ($36)

Veal loin is wrapped with sage farce and prosciutto di Parma, heirloom carrot puree, asparagus, charred cippolini, Marsala jus. You can taste a hint of bourbon.

Veal Saltimbocca at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Veal Saltimbocca at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Duck Breast ($30)

Rich duck breast contrasts with pickled grapes, heirloom beets, heirloom carrots, purple cauliflower puree, and a sweet balsamic honey reduction.

Duck Breast at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Duck Breast at Lodge on the Desert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Lodge on the Desert is located at 306 N. Alvernon Way. For more information, call (520) 320-2000 or visit lodgeonthedesert.com.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He enjoys neon-lit dinners and long crab walks on the beach. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.