The bustling Joesler Village shopping center at River and Campbell has a new date spot specializing in gourmet Italian food.
Orenccios Ristorante Terrazza opened its doors in late January, bringing in wood-fired pizzas and a substantial seafood menu including dishes like lobster ravioli and Naples-style clam chowder. The Tucson restaurant owned by German Canez is actually the second Orenccios location; the first being in Nogales, Arizona.
The colors of the intimate dining room at 1765 E. River Road have been muted since its days as Om Modern Asian Kitchen, and the team has installed a wood-fired pizza oven behind a new bartop in the center of the restaurant. In the future, there will also be a 40-person patio with misters for the summer heat.
The menu leans toward upscale, with pasta dishes averaging about $14 and heartier meats and seafoods upwards of $20. Chefs specialties include several steaks like rib eye, filet mignon as well as veal osso buco plates for $36. All entrees come with a soup or salad.
Orenccios has a full bar with 16 wines by the glass and a basic cocktail list of classics like the Orange Negroni with Hendrick's Gin. The team also plans to roll out a 3 to 6 p.m. happy hour with food and drink specials. There's also live music Thursday through Saturday nights.
The restaurant is going in next door to R & R Family Restaurant, which opened in the former Contigo space in October. By the summer, Canez is also opening an Orenccio's Express lunch place in the recently-closed Falafel King at 1800 E. Fort Lowell Road #160. That location will serve quicker items like salads, pizzas and paninis.