Mexican food Coming
to St. Philip’s Plaza

Reforma Cocina y Cantina, a Mexican restaurant that will focus on the cuisine of Mexico City and Central Mexico, will take up residence in the St. Philip’s Plaza space that housed Vivace.

Reforma will be owned and operated by Steve Stratigouleas and Grant Kruegers, the duo that also created St. Philip’s Union Public House three years ago.

The 7,000-square-foot restaurant isn’t expected to open until mid-October, after a floor to ceiling renovation project that is humming along in the Foothills shopping center.

In addition to new flooring and a renovated kitchen, plans call for installing windows and French doors to take advantage of the plaza’s view, Stratigouleas said. The dining room will accommodate 250 diners.

In addition to an extensive selection of tequilas and distilled agave products, Reforma will be a scratch kitchen with housemade corn and flour tortillas.

Something sweet out, Just Desserts in

The clock is ticking on the Something Sweet Dessert Lounge.

The 11-year-old sweets shop and restaurant at 5319 E. Speedway is expected to close for good in the next handful of days, said General Manager Vera Sanderlin. No date has been set.

Meanwhile, in early August, Tucson will welcome a new dessert lounge in the plaza at 250 S. Craycroft Road. Just Desserts & Coffee House will slip in near the Tilted Kilt, a Celtic-themed sports pub that will open later this summer in the just-closed Risky Business space.

Sanderlin said Something Sweet’s owners, who’ve had the shop since May 2011, are negotiating a possible sale of the business, which could mean that it would move. If it’s not sold, it will close for good, she said.

Something Sweet is open from 3 to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays.

Corinne Angello hopes to wrap up an extensive build-out of the 3,000-square-foot space that will house her 60-seat Just Desserts. The space was most recently home to a sushi restaurant and will have to be completely retrofitted to accommodate her bakery, she said.

Angello plans to produce contemporary twists on some old-fashioned desserts including a dairy-free apple pie that substitutes hybrid apples for the more commonly used Granny Smiths.

“It tastes like your grandmother’s recipe but with a twist,” said Angello, a graduate of the pastry chef program at the Art Institute of Tucson.

The lounge will include pineapple upside down cake, eclairs, housemade ice cream, funnel cake and tableside s’mores, where diners can roast marshmallows at their tables. Angello said prices will be around $5 or $6 per dessert. They also will serve Old Bisbee Roasters coffee.

Diners will order from an interactive digital tablet built into the tabletop that also will let them play games and activities.

Love dessert but not good at making it?

Sam Fox’s Wildflower Restaurant will host monthly dessert demonstration classes this summer with longtime pastry chef Karen “Spike” Ames.

The lineup: Gluten Free Summer Fruit Tart on June 22; Sweet Corn Dessert on July 13; Peanut Butter Semifreddo on Aug. 27.

Classes begin at 2 p.m. and last about an hour at Wildflower, 7037 N. Oracle Road. The $30 cost includes a sample of the dessert of the night, tastings from Wildflower’s cheese boards and a glass of chilled Prosecco. You need a reservation because space is limited; call 219-4230. Details:

Sugar Sweet Bakery serving on Sundays

Good news for those of us with a sweet tooth that doesn’t take a break on the weekends: Sugar Sweet Bakery, 18 S. Eastbourne Ave., at the west side of Broadway Village, is open Sundays.

Co-owner Tina Owyoung said customers had been asking for Sunday hours. So, ta da.

In addition to its regular 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 10 a.m. -5 p.m. Saturdays shifts, the bakery is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. Sadly, you’ll still have to tough it out on Mondays when it’s closed.

Also, a new treat is part of its summer lineup: lemon cake with lemon curd. 

Summer dining deals
  • If only summer camp could be this tasty. Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar’s (6390 E. Grant Road and 1865 E. River Road) Camp Bo-Vine has $3 kids meals for those among us 12 and younger all summer long. The menu includes burgers, turkey sloppy joes, grilled cheese and chicken tenders, each served with a soft drink and choice of hand cut fries, sweet potato fries or salad. Kids can add a shake or float for dessert for $2.
    It’s available every day, all day through the summer and there’s no minimum purchase requirement involved. Details:
  • Agustin Kitchen Chef/Owner
  • Ryan Clark
  • has Sunday dinner planned out: an 8-ounce prime rib with a glass of red or white wine for $25. Throughout the summer, the restaurant at 100 S. Avenida del Convento in Mercado San Agustin, also is offering a bottle of wine from an ever-changing list for $20.14 a bottle.
  • Five bucks gets you dinner at El Charro Café this summer. The restaurant’s Cinco de Summer menu features prickly pear barbecue chicken tostada, a Sonoran hot dog with cerveza fries, vegetarian enchiladas and a slow-cooked carnitas dip with a green chile au jus.
    It’s available through Aug. 31 at all three El Charro locations: the original downtown at 311 N. Court Ave.; Ventana at 6910 E. Sunrise Drive; and Oro Valley at 7725 N. Oracle Road.

Cathalena E. Burch and Kristen Cook

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.