Half the drive from SB to downtown Tucson you’ll find the consistently good Wildflower, new American cuisine, at the Casas Adobes Plaza. Of course, “new” is relative for those like us who have enjoyed dining here for more than 10 years. With that kind of staying power, the Fox Restaurant Group must feel really great about their Tucson venue tucked into a well-traveled and convenient northwest side location.
And Wildflower has been here long enough to be completely re-furbished a few years back. Personally, the new decor (blue and white themed) is not my favorite. But the food and service are just as good as, if not better than, ever. Plus, the outdoor courtyard (just off the parking area) is surprisingly private, protected from our springtime breezes and surrounded by lush, natural greenery - our preferred spot for dining!
We enjoyed our time there on a mid-week evening and the whole place was humming. Within seconds of being seated, our waiter asked us for a drink order, highlighted the special entrée and presented the written menu items. He was available for assistance, answered questions, and made a recommendation or two all along the way without giving us the feeling of being rushed.
Wildflower updates its menu from time to time. Current entrees range from fish and chips or chicken pappardelle for $17 to braised beef short ribs for $26. We bypassed the salad options in favor of a generous bowl of steamed black mussels as a shared starter. They arrived in a light tomato, garlic broth accented with chorizo sausage. The shellfish were plump and tasty accompanied by a couple of slices of grilled toast for sopping up some of the savory broth. Definitely a meal in itself!
Our main dishes this time continued with the seafood theme. The steelhead salmon was prepared just right and seemed very fresh. It was a generous portion that came with an interesting side of scalloped potatoes. The paper-thin tuber slices were baked in a rich sauce that included a hint of horseradish – a nice touch. We also enjoyed a regular menu entree of Barramundi. This fillet was served crispy skin side up on a bed of couscous plated with a mild, fruity salsa and a tangy, mango vinaigrette smear adding complimentary color and flavor to the plate.
The wine menu is more than adequate, and beers are available on draft and in the bottle. The complete Wildflower menu offerings are available at www.foxrc.com. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekend nights. Lunch and dinner dining is offered every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
To sum it up, I call it a very pleasant dining experience. Wildflower is there to please and has achieved that for us each time we visit.
(This article first appeared in the Saddlebag Notes July 2018 print edition.)