Las Vegas celebrity chefs, Antonio Nuñez and Scott Cummings have fallen head over heels for Tucson's incredible culinary scene (we don't blame 'em), and recently announced that they're moving a brand-new concept into the current Funk Monk location.
This means the downtown bar at 350 E. Congress oughta be closing soon, getting a makeover, and reopening as 350 Congress.
Chef Nuñez has been around the culinary block, so to speak, operating four highly-rated restaurants in London and Las Vegas. His business partner, Cummings, was the winner of "Hell’s Kitchen" (Season 12) and then ended up working for Gordon Ramsay. After some time, he became the executive chef at Ramsay’s Pub and Grill inside Caesars Palace and executive chef for Lake Las Vegas.
They're both familiar with working in the desert but there's something very enticing about the landscape located a little farther south — the Old Pueblo.
"Tucson offers everything I love," said Nuñez. "There are direct farmers and meat producers within a few hour's drive, if not shorter. Artisan cheese, tortillas, spices, and more. I love the feel of the downtown culinary scene and the uniqueness of those in the surrounding areas like American Eat Co., Nook, Prep & Pastry, Blue Front, the El Charro concepts, and I'm still a sucker for Hotel Congress.
The menu is still in the works but you can expect to see dishes like lobster ceviche and charred cactus with chili poblanos. The local food producers they're planning to team up with for the new concept are Barrio Bread, Desert Pearl Mushrooms, and Maiz Tucson, to name a few.
Also. I don’t want anyone to think this is a Guy Savoy, Eric Ripert-style venue," said Nuñez. "We are an upscale feel but at casual dining prices. We want this for all of Tucson."
Nuñez is also excited about living in Tucson and soaking up its culture.
"The homes and heritage — I love the adobe and old brick homes. Vegas is stucco hell. No character to them," said Nuñez. "The city (Tucson) has grown and kept its integrity intact and the surrounding areas area are something out of a painting. I love Vegas/Henderson but I am looking forward to my time in Tucson. I do have a bit of family and friends here so this will be a fun place to lay my head and learn more about the city."
There's no exact opening date just yet but we'll keep you in the loop when the time comes.
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