Kingfisher maps out 2013 Summer Road Trip

We never look forward to triple-digit days, but this time of year does have a culinary payoff: the annual Kingfisher Summer Road Trip.

Our tastebuds get to take the trip beginning this weekend when the menu turns its attention to Southern fare. By early September, Kingfisher, 2564 E. Grant Road, will have trekked across the Great Plains and along the East Coast. There's also a Road Trip punchcard that's good for a free roadtrip entree after you've bought five.

Here's the lineup for Kingfisher's 19th annual Summer Road Trip: Down South, Friday through June 5; California/Hawaii, June 6 to 19; Pacific Northwest, June 20 to July 2; Great Plains/Midwest, July 17 to Aug. 1; Southwest, Aug. 2 to 15; Back East, Aug.16 to Sept. 1, which also marks Kingfisher's 20th birthday.

• Take note: Kingfisher is taking a vacation from July 3 to July 16 for annual maintenance and building repairs.

• Meanwhile, Kingfisher's seafood-inclined baby sister restaurant, Bluefin at 7053 N. Oracle Road, starts its annual "Summertime Lobsterfest" Friday. The deal, which continues through Sept. 1, includes a one-pound steamed Maine lobster and sides for $20.13.

Casino's DeFeo named state's best mixologist

Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Center mixologist Aaron DeFeo was crowned Master Mixologist at the inaugural Foodist Awards in Phoenix.

The May 6 competition at the Ritz Carlton-Phoenix pitted mixologists from throughout the state. The Foodist Awards were hosted by the Arizona Restaurant Association and AZ Business Magazine.

This is not the first time DeFeo has made a splash with his cocktailing skills. He's won a number of local competitions and was a finalist in the 2013 Bombay Sapphire Most Inspired Bartender competition in Las Vegas.

He and his cocktails have been featured nationally in Nightclub & Bar Magazine, Imbibe Magazine,, and numerous online publications, according to a press release.

DeFeo runs the drink program at the Forbes Four Star-Awarded PY Steakhouse at Casino Del Sol. He is president of the Tucson Chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild.

5 tucson eateries part of AZ Restaurant week

Tucson is sparsely represented in the 2013 Arizona Restaurant Week, which continues through Monday.

Diners can get a three-course prixe-fixe menu for $30 to $40 at Carrabas Italian Grill, 7635 N. Oracle Road in Oro Valley; Feast, 3719 E. Speedway; Social House, 446 N. Campbell Ave. at Sixth Street; The Grill at Hacienda del Sol, 5501 N. Hacienda del Sol Road; and Union Public House, 4340 N. Campbell Ave.

There are 113 restaurants in the Phoenix area participating.

Acacia Real Food & Cocktails, 3001 E. Skyline Drive, is not part of the statewide campaign to encourage Arizonans to eat out at locally owned restaurants. But the Foothills restaurant is hosting its own campaign dubbed "Acacia Week" that runs through June 2 offering a three-course meal for $30. For more information, call 232-0101 or

Sullivan's Steakhouse putting on Gatsby glitz

Sullivan's Steakhouse is hosting a "Gatsby Gala" Friday to celebrate the release of "The Great Gatsby" movie.

The event, inspired by the latest Hollywood interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Roaring Twenties novel, will include dancing, live entertainment, a costume contest.

The gala begins at 7 p.m. Friday at Sullivan's Steakhouse, 1785 E. River Road. Admission is free and themed cocktails are $6 apiece. Details and reservations: 299-4275,

RA's annual Nicky's Week is fundraising event

From Sunday through June 1, Ra Sushi will give 100 percent of the sales from a special menu to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The Nicky's Week menu includes edamame, tootsy maki, shrimp nigiri, pork gyoza, chicken yakitori, garlic citrus yellowtail tapas, plus a variety of select beverages.

Nicky's Week was launched nine years ago in memory of the young nephew of Ra's founder who died of brain cancer when he was 13. So far, the campaign has raised more than $1 million for St. Jude's.

Arizona-based Ra Sushi has 25 locations in Arizona, California,Texas and six other states. Its Tucson location is at 2905 E. Skyline Drive at La Encantada.

American Legion post serves grilled pork

The McCulloch-Wagner American Legion Post 109 is hosting a grilled pork dinner Friday at the post, 15921 S. Houghton Road.

The cost is $9 and proceeds benefit the community and Tucson veterans.

The dinner is from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. Details: Call 762-5652.

Loews Ventana chefs teach native food series

You can make a gourmet dinner by cruising your backyard.

OK, so maybe not your actual backyard, but in your proverbial backyard there's a wealth of ingredients to make an authentic regional dinner.

Chefs at Loews Ventana Canyon will show how to use ingredients like prickly pears to create everything from barbecue to cocktails.

The "Summer Desert Culinary Series" kicks off Friday with a class on the saguaro cactus fruit. A guest speaker from Tohono O'odham Community Action will give a tutorial on the saguaro and its fruit before Loews Executive Chef Ken Harvey takes the reins to show how to create dishes using saguaro syrup and saguaro seeds.

The class begins at 2 p.m. at Loews Ventana Canyon, 7000 N. Resort Drive. The cost is $25 per class, and reservations are required by calling 299-2020, Ext. 5107.

Classes start at 2 p.m. Other classes in the series:

• Barrel cactus fruit - June 21.

• Mesquite pods - July 5.

• Prickly pear fruit - Aug. 30.

La Mia Toscana prices lost in translation

The cost of an entree at Romina and Giancarlo Stefanutto's upscale Italian restaurant La Mia Toscana will run $8 to $15.

Giancarlo Stefanutto had said last week that the price would be $25 to $30, but he was talking about the total cost for a dinner - salad, entree and wine included.

The Stefanuttos are expected to open La Mia in mid-June in a 3,210-squarefoot space at 7332 N. Oracle Road at North Ina Road.

Cattleman's Cafe 2 opens in Oro Valley

Marana's Cattleman's Cafe opened its second location Monday at 10110 N. Oracle Road in Oro Valley.

It is one of several locations that owners Mike and Cindy McGee hope to open in the Tucson area over the next few years.

The cafe, north of East El Conquistador Way, boasts full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

Its hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 7 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sundays.

Call 395-1297 for more information.

Cathalena E. Burch Gerald M. Gay