2013-01-24T00:00:00Z Morsels Arizona Daily Star
January 24, 2013 12:00 am

Rio Cafe Closes its doors after six years

The owners of the Latin fusion restaurant Rio Cafe have called it quits.

Partners Richard Epling and Eduardo Huerta left a note on the door of the restaurant, 2526 E. Grant Road, thanking friends and loyal foodies for their patronage over the last six years.

"We have had great times and tremendous challenges, but the love you have shared has made it remarkable," the letter read.

Rio filled the void left behind by the Cajun restaurant Nonie.

Coming soon ....

Sam Witches and Such is opening in the building that long housed China Thai Cuisine at 6502 E. Tanque Verde Road, next to the Cow Pony bar.

It is expected to open Feb. 1, according to its website.

Noble Hops announces series of craft Beer Dinners

Noble Hops is launching a monthly series of craft beer dinners with Abita Brewery from Louisiana on Tuesday.

Each month, Chef Angel Fabian will pair four courses with four specialty beers from a different craft brewery. The cost is $40, excluding tax and tip.

Boulder Brewery is featured Feb. 26; Lagunitas Brewery on March 26; and Goose Island Brewery on April 23.

Seating is limited. Get your tickets in advance at Noble Hops, 1335 W. Lambert Lane in Oro Valley.

Kosher wines, traditional dinner at holiday Seder

The Women of Reform Judaism will celebrate the holiday of Tu B'Shevat with a wine-tasting Seder and dinner at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club Road.

The celebration includes songs, stories and a tasting of kosher wines and gourmet juices. The dinner will feature traditional family recipes.

A Shabbat service will be at 7:30 p.m. and feature the music of the Jewish composer, Rabbi and Cantor Baruch J. Cohon with Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, cantorial soloist Marjorie Hochberg and the Temple Emanu-El Adult Choir under the direction of Chris Tackett.

The music is free, but the Seder is $22. Child care will be available. Call 327-4501 to RSVP and make child-care reservations.

The Krazee Chef opens on East Sixth Street

The Krazee Chef, a restaurant specializing in fresh ingredients, has opened in the old home of the Parisian Cafe at 1012 E. Sixth St.

Sitting just south of the university, the eatery looks to cater to an eclectic college crowd, with a 10 percent discount for students and faculty and a diverse menu that offers salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, breakfast options and Mexican dishes.

"You can come back every day, have something different and not get bored," said Daniel Ortiz, a financial advisor who owns the restaurant with his sister Adriana Ortiz.

The Krazee Chef fulfills a lifelong dream for Daniel, 27. His father owned Taco Azteca in Tucson when he was a kid.

Ortiz said the big sellers so far have been the green chile Cheddar jalapeño burger, the breakfast pizza topped with beans, cheese, your choice of meat and eggs, and the salmon sandwich, which comes with a Chipotle lime cream cheese, cucumbers and red onions.

The Krazee Chef is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays.

Follow the restaurant at online.

Main Gate Square gets cocktail bar

Espresso Art Café has added handcrafted cocktails to its menu of coffees, teas and hookah.

But this isn't another party spot on the bar-heavy University Boulevard. This is more thinking-man's watering hole, where intellectuals converse about culture and academia over specialty cocktails while smooth jazz circa the 1920s prohibition era plays softly in the background.

"We are open to anyone who doesn't want to scream and be stupid," said Espresso Art owner Danny Mannheim, who dubbed the bar Castalian Spring. "We have a lot of students who like an intellectual discussion."

The idea for the tiny bar tucked into the back end of the nine-year-old cafe came several years ago from some University of Arizona classics professors. They said they would like a place near campus where they could drink and talk without being drowned out by TVs and loud music.

The idea swirled in Mannheim's brain for years before he finally opened Castalian Spring last week at Espresso Art, 942 E. University Blvd. in Main Gate Square.

The bar specializes in handcrafted cocktails created by mixologist Tyler Dunn. The menu includes classic cocktails like a hot toddy, Cosmopolitan, Old Fashioned and a Manhattan, alongside some creative twists including the Dark and Stormy/Moscow Mule that marries Gosling's dark rum with Stolichnaya vodka, lime and Gosling's ginger beer.

What you won't find on the menu is beer.

"It's not a sports bar. We don't serve Budweiser," Mannheim said. "The bar seats maybe 20, 25 at the most. We run low-volume, speakeasy music, old jazz. It's a relaxed atmosphere for conversation."

chocolate tasting for a good cause in Bisbee

Get ready for a road trip - The Copper Queen Library's "22nd Annual Chocolate Tasting" will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 9 in Bisbee.

There's a new location - Central School, at 43 Howell Ave.

Proceeds go toward buying children's books, sponsoring the children's summer reading program and the preschoolers' story hour, and to underwrite the Arizona Humanities Council and other special presentations for the library.

Tickets for six pieces of locally-baked chocolate are $10 and may be purchased at the door; in advance at the Copper Queen Library among other locations.

Where will you be watching Super Bowl XLVII?

Will you catch the big game at your favorite sports bar, at a party with friends or in the comfort of your own home? And which team will you be cheering for - 49ers or Ravens? Take our Super Bowl poll on Caliente's Facebook page at and let us know your big plans.

Staying home?

Check out Wednesday's food section for the lowdown on touchdown worthy buffalo wings that never see a fryer.

Gerald M. Gay Henry Barajas Gerald M. Gay Cathalena E. Burch Inger Sandal

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