4 December, 2022, 05:12

11 New Spring & Summer Menus to Eat Your Way Through

Spring is here and summer is near. While it’s easy to lament over Tucson’s scorching heat, let’s take a moment to appreciate the bountiful fresh produce the season brings.

Local restaurants are finding creative ways to utilize the season’s highlights. Here are our picks for new spring and summer menus to check out in 2018.

Agustin Kitchen

100 S. Avenida del Convento #150
AZ Filet Mignon at Agustin Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

AZ Filet Mignon at Agustin Kitchen (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Don’t sleep on the Summer Spaghettini, as its range of umami, sweet, and acidic flavors meld marvelously.

The AZ Filet Mignon might be one of the most tender filets in town. The corn puree brings it all together with summer freshness and richness.

New Menu Highlights
  • Summer Spaghettini – goat cheese, beets, wild mushrooms, pomegranate, AZ honey, balsamic, arugula
  • Braised Australian Goat Arepas – hominy arepa, Swiss chard, pamplemousse, baby radish, candied grapefruit rind
  • AZ Filet Mignon – eight-ounce filet, fines herbes rub, glazed baby carrots, wilted greens & tomato, corn puree

For more information, call (520) 398-5382 or visit agustinkitchen.com.

Cafe a la C’Art

150 N. Main Ave.
Sonoran Spring Chicken at Cafe a la C'Art (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Sonoran Spring Chicken at Cafe a la C’Art (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The patio at Cafe a la C’Art is perfect for evening al fresco dining. To start off, order the addictive Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs.

For a hearty but not too heavy dish, order the  Sonoran Spring Chicken — it utilizes the bright flavors of citrus, mango, and tomatillo to brighten up the rich chicken leg.

New Menu Highlights
  • Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs – goat cheese, creole mustard, micro greens
  • Sonoran Spring Chicken – orange guajillo chili glazed leg and thigh, cilantro lime rice, grilled radicchio, mango-tomatillo salsa
  • Cafe Shrimp and Grits – blackened spiced shrimp, goat cheese polenta, collard greens, peppadew relish, pickled okra

For more information, call (520) 628-8533 or visit cafealacarttucson.com.

Commoner & Co.

6960 E. Sunrise Dr.

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We’re always excited for the seasonal updates at Commoner & Co. — with chef Kyle Nottingham now part of the team, Commoner’s changes will be the biggest yet. The details aren’t public yet, but expect another article once they’re available.

For more information, visit commonertucson.com.

The Coronet

402 E. 9th St.
Seared Duck Heart Flatbread at the Coronet (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Seared Duck Heart Flatbread at the Coronet (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Diners that avoid offal need to make an effort to try the Seared Duck Heart Flatbread. With a complex blend of spices, bright pickled veggies, and charred tangerine, each bite is an eye-opening burst of flavors. If duck hearts are too adventurous, feel free to substitute roasted beets.

Veggie lovers will fall in love with the Roast Cauliflower. The charred ends provide a nutty flavor that compliments the dish’s Mediterranean flavor profile.

New Menu Highlights
  • Seared Duck Heart Flatbread – North African black bean ‘pate’, pickled carrot, jalapeño, tangerine
  • Roast Cauliflower – roast half head of cauliflower, cashew freekeh, Roquefort, spinach, date molasses
  • Summer Chicken – 1/2 chicken, lime seared okra, goat cheese & white pepper polenta, citrus molasses, burnt tomato, arugula

For more information, call (520) 222-9889 or visit cafecoronet.com.

DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails

135 S. 6th Ave.
Grilled Minted Zucchini + Herbed Couscous at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Grilled Minted Zucchini + Herbed Couscous at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails (Credit: Jackie Tran)

This might be the springiest menu on the list based on the quantity of green vegetables alone. The Spaghetti Primavera highlights a cornucopia of spring vegetables with mushroom broth and pesto.

For a fun yet elegant desert, get the Mexican Lime Ice Cream + Sopapilla — don’t forget to snack on the sopapilla.

New Menu Highlights
  • Seared Salmon + Grean Pea Coulis ($28) – mascarpone cauliflower puree, golden raisins, Romanesco + pea salad
  • Spaghetti Primavera ($19) – shaved asparagus, zucchini, Romanesco, peas, slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, piquillo peppers, soft spring garlic in rich mushroom broth + Sonoran mushroom florets, basil pesto, Grana Padano
  • Mexican Lime Ice Cream + Sopapilla – chipotle honey, strawberries, corn cookie crumbles

For more information, call (520) 623-7700 or visit downtownkitchen.com.


2564 E. Grant Rd.
Triple Chocolate Layer Cake at Kingfisher (Photo courtesy of Kingfisher)

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake at Kingfisher (Photo courtesy of Kingfisher)

While Kingfisher has a reputation for their strong kitchen fundamentals and classic dishes, they know how to throw down with seasonal ingredients too.

The Roasted Chile Verde Soup features the bright green flavor of various fresh chiles, while the Grilled Sea Bass goes tropical with a pineapple barbecue glaze. And don’t forget about the new desserts.

New Menu Highlights
  • Fatoosh Salad – chopped romaine, white beans, tomatoes, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, fresh basil and mint, tahini lemon sauce, toasted za’atar pita bread
  • Roasted Chile Verde Soup – white beans, onions, poblano, Anaheim, jalapeño, tomatillo, vegetable stock
  • Grilled Sea Bass – smoked mussel relish, pineapple barbecue glaze, steamed jasmine rice, green beans

For more information, call (520) 323-7739 or visit kingfishertucson.com.

Mama Louisa’s

2041 S. Craycroft Rd.
Italian Ramen at Mama Louisa's (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Italian Ramen at Mama Louisa’s (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Yes, you can eat Joe’s Special every single visit, don’t miss out on the newer gems.

The Italian Ramen features house-made pasta with alkaline for the distinct ramen noodle chew. The flavor profile is entirely Italian however, with Italian herbs and a pork and veal stock.

New Menu Highlights
  • Italian Ramen – house-made alkaline pasta, softboiled egg, braised beef, pork & veal stock, shaved parsnips & radish, herb salad
  • House-Made Ricotta on Toast

For more information, call (520) 790-4702 or visit mamalouisas.com.

Maynards Market & Kitchen

400 N. Toole Ave.
AZ Red Risotto at Maynards Market & Kitchen (Photo courtesy of Maynards Market & Kitchen)

AZ Red Risotto at Maynards Market & Kitchen (Photo courtesy of Maynards Market & Kitchen)

Maynards’ seasonal risottos never let us down and the AZ Red Risotto is no exception.

For a satisfyingly savory course, order the Sonoran Mushroom Toast. The Barrio levain is topped with several umami components with a touch of bright acidity.

New Menu Highlights
  • Sonoran Mushroom Toast ($12) – local Barrio levain, braised wild mushrooms, leeks, bacon lardons, Madeira cream sauce, preserved lemon, goat cheese, chervil
  • Beer-Brined Chicken ($24) -Barrio Blonde brined chicken, creamy semolina, roasted Brussels sprouts, pickled mustard seeds, tamarind-lime glaze, baby greens
  • AZ Red Risotto ($21) – Maynards Arizona Red wine, risotto, caramelized root vegetables, pickled pearl onions, sage whipped goat cheese

For more information, call (520) 545-0577 or visit maynardstucson.com.

PY Steakhouse at Casino Del Sol

5655 W. Valencia Rd.

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Don’t be ashamed of ordering vegetables at a steakhouse.  The Roasted Baby Carrots features the umami of grass-fed beef heart “bottarga” to balance the sweetness of the carrots.

For a graceful pasta dish, order the Spring Lamb Cannelloni. The mint and spring vegetables help lift the tender lamb and silky ricotta.

New Menu Highlights
  • Little Gem Salad ($11) –  ‘nduja vinaigrette, crispy soft boiled egg, fresh + pickled farmers vegetables
  • Spring Lamb Cannelloni ($33) – whole smoked + braised lamb, silky ricotta, mint, chanterelles, peas + tendrils
  • Roasted Baby Carrots ($9) – harissa glaze, grass-fed beef heart “bottarga”

For more information, call (520) 324-9350 or visit casinodelsol.com.

Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink

101 E. Pennington St.

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While Reilly has a reputation for their pizza and cocktails, they deserve a following for their pasta too. The house-milled flour makes a noticeable difference in dishes such as the Goat Cheese Agnolotti.

The Charred Sugar Snap Peas are good enough to hoard in your pocket, while the Roasted Cauliflower boasts spectacular savory depth with bagna cauda.

New Menu Highlights
  • Charred Sugar Snap Peas – house made ricotta, basil
  • Roasted Cauliflower – bagna cauda, lemon, prosciutto bread crumbs
  • Goat Cheese Agnolotti – local oyster mushrooms, browned butter, grana

For more information, visit reillypizza.com.

Senae Thai Bistro

63 E. Congress St.
Kao Op Sapparod at Senae Thai Bistro (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Kao Op Sapparod at Senae Thai Bistro (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Senae’s new menu items aren’t available quite yet, but they’re worth getting excited over. The Gaeng Pá features a medley of seafood in a complex-yet-light red curry broth.

Kao Op Sapparod is a hybrid of Thai fried rice and paella in a fun pineapple presentation.

New Menu Highlights
  • Gaeng Pá (Thai-style bouillabaisse) – shrimp, calamari, scallops, cod, fresh PEI mussels (upon availability), Thai eggplant, long beans, and baby corn seasoned with red curry, fresh Thai basil, young peppercorn, chili, and garlic
  • Kao Op Sapparod (Thai-style Paella) – rice wok-fried with pineapple, pork, beef, chicken, shrimp, calamari, PEI mussels (upon availability), onions, garlic, and scallions seasoned with curry powder, served in a half pineapple shell

Honorable Mentions


222 E. 6th St.
Red cabbage special, Pizza Bianca, and Pizza Margherita at Anello (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Red cabbage special, Pizza Bianca, and Pizza Margherita at Anello (Credit: Jackie Tran)

While the tiny menu might not change any time soon, the seasonal veggies supplied from Pivot Produce vary on a regular basis. Anello takes a minimalist approach to highlight the produce beautifully — often a roast in the pizza oven with a light char, a drizzle of olive oil, and lemon or vinegar — sometimes some chopped nuts for texture or a kiss of garlic for a kick.

For more information, email hello@anello.space or visit anello.space.


3502 E. Grant Rd.
Chaoshou Dumplings at Noodleholics (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Chaoshou Dumplings at Noodleholics (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Considering how young this restaurant is, chances are you haven’t tasted your way through their menu yet. Don’t go in a rush, since it can take a while for your food to be ready. It’s worth the wait though.

If you can handle spice, absolutely do not miss out on the Chaoshou Dumplings or the Guilin Spicy & Sour with crispy roasted pork. Already a strong contender for new restaurant of the year along with the next restaurant on this list…

For more information, visit noodleholics.com.

Monsoon Chocolate

234 E. 22nd St.
Smoked Avocado Toast at Monsoon Chocolate (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Smoked Avocado Toast at Monsoon Chocolate (Credit: Jackie Tran)

While our expectations were already high for Monsoon Chocolate, they still managed to wow us in countless ways. The house hot chocolate is as spectacular as you would expect at a chocolate factory, and Monsoon also carries the hard-to-find cacao fruit juice (it’s surprisingly sweet and tastes like guava and lychee).

However, the house-baked Black Hill Bread in the Smoked Avocado Toast and sophisticated sandwiches will keep us coming back for breakfast and lunch.

Keep up with Monsoon Chocolate on Facebook.

Thunder Canyon Brewstillery

220 E. Broadway Blvd.
Burrata Toast at Thunder Canyon Brewstillery (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Burrata Toast at Thunder Canyon Brewstillery (Credit: Jackie Tran)

In case you missed the news, TCB went through a complete rebranding along with a new menu. The culinary team has gone through admirable lengths to improve the quality of ingredients and make everything from scratch. One of the dishes to best highlight this is the Burrata Toast with its house ciabatta and house-pulled mozzarella with sweet vermouth ricotta cream.

For a one-of-a-kind dish that will surprise you in the best way, order the Scallop Bread and don’t waste a drop of the leek whiskey cream sauce.

Pizza Luna

1101 N. Wilmot Rd.

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We don’t know why, but gourmet pizza places tend to have the best salads. Take advantage of radicchio season with Pizza Luna’s Radicchio Caesar, which was unexpected love at first bite with its zingy, garlicky dressing. While their pizza is excellent, we can’t wait to go back to try their other salads too.

For more information, call (520) 344-7637 or visit pizza-luna.com.

Have an addition for our spring and summer menus roundup? Let us know in the comments.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.