New spots to grab a sandwich or to dine with white tablecloths. Where to sample (or swig) wine, beer or other spirits. And, of course, where to find good dining deals.
Tucson restaurants have robust plans simmering this summer. Be among the first try out the newest eateries and watering holes and to take advantage of hot specials. Check here each week to see what’s cooking.
New pub offers Euro beers, whiskies
Beer enthusiasts, especially those with a thing for European brews, have a new place to call home.
The Dusty Monk Pub opened its doors earlier this month on the southeast corner of the Old Town Artisans block, 201 N. Court Avenue, downtown.
The pub, an offshoot of the resident restaurant La Cocina, offers a large selection of sometimes hard-to-find European beers.
Some of its more unique menu items: Trappist beers, made at Trappist abbeys in Belgium, the Netherlands and other parts of Europe and a Duchesse de Bourgogne Flanders red ale-style beer, another Belgian creation named after the Duchess Mary of Burgundy.
“(The Duchesse) is this balsamic vinegar, plum raisin, crazy flavored beer that has a worldwide following,” said Churchill Brauninger, bar manager for both La Cocina and the Dusty Monk. “It is amazing.”
The Dusty Monk Pub is Brauninger’s baby. It was Brauninger who suggested to La Cocina owner Jo Schneider that they convert La Cocina’s extra dining space into a bar.
The San Francisco transplant thought the timing was right. “The beer awareness in town has gone through the roof,” he said. “Tucson has already started down the beer-geek rabbit hole with places like Tap & Bottle. I thought it would be fun to have a whole bar dedicated to these really esoteric labels.”
In addition to the beer, the pub also sports an extensive whiskey menu.
Brauninger said The Dusty Monk will focus on the European beers and whiskey while La Cocina’s cantina will feature the restaurant’s craft beer and tequila options.
“It is kind of like taking two bites from the same apple,” he said. “It’s doubling up on what we do on the same property.”
Follow the Dusty Monk Pub on Twitter at twitter.com/dustymonkpub or on its Facebook page.
Sierra Bonita opens Tucson tasting room
After months of anticipation, Sierra Bonita Vineyards of Graham County quietly opened its Tucson tasting room last weekend.
It’s open from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays in a 434-square-foot space at 6720 Camino Principal, adjacent to the law offices of father and son vineyard owners Gerald and John Smith. It is closed over Fourth of July weekend and it will hold its grand opening July 10.
Sierra Bonita, one of Southern Arizona’s farthest-flung boutique wineries, is located 20 miles outside of Willcox.
2nd Tucson Potbelly opening soon near UA
The “now hiring” sign is up at Potbelly’s second location at 1031 N. Park Ave., near the University of Arizona. The restaurant should be open by the time students start the school year on Aug. 25.
A third restaurant at North Oracle and West Roger roads is expected to open sometime before year’s end.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop introduced itself to Tucson with its first location at 5545 E. Broadway, which opened on June 3.
Summer dining deal
Spring into Summer at Tavolino Restaurant, 2890 E. Skyline Drive in Plaza Colonial, is a three-course meal — salad, choice of lasagna, spaghetti pomodoro or chicken cacciatori, followed by scoop of housemade gelato or sorbet — for $20.14. It’s good from 5 to 9 p.m. daily; 531-1913.