LUNATION: Immersive Dinner Celebration at Mission Garden

LUNATION: Immersive Dinner Experience at Mission Garden (MENU)

September 11, 2023
By Matt Sterner

The Erman brothers, Mark and Eric, owners of Ermanos Bar and Portal Cocktails on Fourth Avenue, have launched an immersive outdoor dinner series called LUNATION. The one-of-a-kind event will be the first effort of their newly formed non-profit, Golden Ratio Public Works, whose purpose is to create art and architectural works for community enjoyment in publicly accessible spaces.

a plate of food on a wooden table
Chili Pear Glazed Beef Short Rib (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

“The intention of LUNATION is to create a meaningful experience to gather and fully take in one of nature’s most reliable awe-inspiring phenomena,” said Mark. “The Harvest Moon rise is the centerpiece of the event, and everything is being built around it.”

The dining experience will occur at 6:35 p.m. on Friday, September 29 in the lush and historically monumental setting of Mission Garden, which is one of the longest-known areas of canal-irrigated agriculture in the U.S. This dates back to at least 3,500 years ago by the Hohokam and stewarded today by the Tohono O’odham and non-profit Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace.

The event is from 5 – 10 p.m. and features three geodesic domes which are being custom built and outfitted for three distinct experiences. One will be a pop-up Portal, the second, a somatic experiencing chamber, and the third, a “memory generator.” Kep Taiz, inventor of the Sensorium, a sensory chamber formerly housed at Miraval and in Sedona, is leading the geodesic dome effort.

The somatic chamber will also be facilitated by sound healing practitioners Emily Dukes and Ashley Celeste Leal.

Geodesic Dome

Architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller, who is credited with inventing the geodesic dome, wanted to build affordable and efficient housing with mass-produced components after WWII, and he was attracted to the spherical shape due to the space gained with minimal use of surface area. He believed in improving the mathematics behind the domes for the benefit of the collective so others could build them.

“If I build a bridge [for humanity], I don’t have to say anything about it. People will just use the bridge.”

– Buckminster Fuller

Collaborators involved in the event include Crooked Tooth Brewing Company and Sand-Reckoner Vineyards which will be curating beer and wine specific to the event and its four-course dinner made special by Ermanos Chef
Zaya Briggs.

The bar team from Portal Cocktails will also be onsite to offer several mixtures customized for the experience including non-alcoholic options. Julie and Benjamin Vernon, owners of Crooked Tooth Brewing will be pouring the Harvest Moon 2023 with Julie holding a short moonrise ceremony. Julie expressed that LUNATION hits a sweet spot for her.

a bowl of food on a plate
Roasted Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

“I’m so very excited to witness an offering of such great intention within our community,” she said. “I feel this event will be a joyous celebration of the seasons, one of deep connection, honoring of the cycles within us all through the awakening of our senses.”

Tickets to LUNATION are $181.81 per person and include the following menu.

LUNATION Dinner Menu

First Course
  • Sonoran Wheat Berry & Arugula Salad (vg) (gf) – cherry tomato, arugula, grilled and chilled zucchini, mesquite candied pepitas, blood orange segments, and pickled corn with tahini corn dressing
Second Course
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup  (vg) (gf) – gluten-free crouton slice, dehydrated heirloom tomato, pumpkin seeds, sumac powder,  fried sage, herb oil
Third Course
  • Chili Pear Glazed Beef Short Rib & Lobster Claw – wild garlic beet mole, salsa macha, caramelized chanterelles, and cipollini topped with toasted sesame seeds, Tajín, and chive
Fourth Course
  • Mesquite Smoked Prickly Pear Sorbet – mint cilantro granita, strawberry chamoy sauce, ancho ash
Golden Ratio Public Works

The Erman brothers like spending time in nature which is the main source of their inspiration, and they infuse the good feelings of cooking, making drinks, and hosting experiences for friends and family in wild settings into what they do in Tucson.

Their favorite places are Mt. Lemmon and the Dragoon Mountains. Several years ago, they experienced the spring equinox at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico where the sun dramatically aligns through windows of the great kiva, Casa Rinconada, constructed by the Puebloans over a thousand years ago. This was “a life-changing experience.”

“We have learned over the years and continue to practice hospitality. Genuine care and compassion for others is the key,” said Eric. “We never know what burdens our neighbors silently carry.”

The Ermans are working on building a permanent home that is a larger canvas for their vision which is in its planning phase. The project, called ALIGN, will be located on the Rillito along the award-winning Chuck Huckelberry Loop. The brothers have evolved as hosts and aspire to dive deeper into the creation of play-focused group flow environments at the intersection of nature and hospitality.

In the meantime, their focus is continuing to serve the community each day, including the upcoming LUNATION event at Mission Garden on Friday, September 29.

Mission Garden is located at 946 W. Mission Ln. For more information and to purchase your tickets, visit

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