Café á la C’Art lands on Food and Wine list

Café á la C’Art, that feisty little eatery tucked into the Tucson Museum of Art, is in fine company on Food and Wine’s list of the best museum restaurants in the country.

The list was released last week.

It’s one of those bragging-rights-only lists; it’s not like it will lead to a James Beard Award or some prestigious medal of culinary achievement.

But when you are a little restaurant in a museum so far removed from the museum-world centers of the universe like Chicago, LA and New York and you make a list alongside The Source by Wolfgang Puck at D.C.’s Newseum or Kevin Taylor’s Palettes at the Denver Art Museum, that’s kind of a big deal.

Food and Wine’s reasons for adding Café á la C’Art? “Café ownership and operation is a true family affair” in the hands of Tucson native Judith Michelet, and her son, chef Mark Jorbin. The magazine went on to praise the menu, which “includes hearty fare such as ancho chile–braised lamb shank and a citrusy achiote pork sandwich topped with avocado and pepper Jack cheese.”

We are especially fond of the desserts.

Café á la C’Art, 150 N. Main Ave., is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Dinner is served from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Gio Taco downtown opening Saturday

Brian Metzger (Jax Kitchen, The Abbey) will open Gio Taco on Saturday.

The restaurant, serving innovative takes on tacos, is tucked into The Cadence student housing complex, 350 E. Congress St.

Mexico in Season
open on south side

Tucson’s south side, home of some of the area’s finest and revered Mexican restaurants, welcomed a new addition: a vegan Mexican restaurant.

Mexico In Season, 3820 S. Palo Verde Road, at South Ajo Way, opened Tuesday, serving a menu of mostly vegan Mexican food including burritos, tortas, largas and aguas frescas.

It’s open from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Details: Call 889-5245  or visit

Lodge on the Desert Names executive chef

Lodge on the Desert has named Dutch-born chef Marcus van Winden as executive chef.

He replaces chef Ryan Clark, who left last month to open Agustín Kitchen at the Mercado San Agustín.

Van Winden brings 20 years of experience to the job, including working in Michelin star restaurants and aboard some of the world’s finest cruise lines, according to a press release.

Van Winden, who trained under European master chefs, has a philosophy of seasonality and locally sourced foods.

“I look forward to working with Arizona farms to seek out the finest in regional and local produce and having the opportunity to infuse the menu with my own style, while maintaining the level of excellence people have come to expect from Lodge on the Desert,” van Winden said in a written statement.

Van Winden will get his first time to shine when the Lodge on the Desert, 306 N. Alvernon Way, hosts brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m Christmas day. The Lodge will put on a Christmas Eve dinner from 4 to 11 p.m. Dec. 31.

For reservations and details, call 320-2014 or visit

Cathalena E. Burch

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.