Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Farm Carts, Rooftop Gardens and Pasture-Raised Meat: Pasco Kitchen and Lounge Is Gonna Rock Your Local-Food World

Posted By on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Chef Ramiro Scavo, one of the driving forces behind the yet-to-open Pasco Kitchen and Lounge, has some seriously ambitious plans for the UA-area eatery.

Scavo says he’s installing a rooftop garden at the restaurant, where he’ll grow some of the veggies and spices used in the kitchen below. He said the garden will be installed after the restaurant opens, but he’s considering putting a few tables up top so diners can eat in an urban garden that overlooks nearby University Boulevard.

Pasco will also operate differently than your average restaurant. Most restaurants write the menu and order what is needed to fulfill it. Scavo is having local farmers raise the meat and vegetables, and he will write the menus to reflect whatever happens to be in season.

“The lambs and pigs are being raised right now. They’re roaming and munching on alfalfa,” said Scavo, adding that he’s working with River Road Gardens at the Tucson Waldorf School and Walking J Farms in Arivaca to ensure the items come from as close to home as possible.

Scavo says he and his partners in the restaurant—mixologist Andrew Record from the Grill at Hacienda del Sol, Scavo’s fiancée Kelly Hadd, and Amber Araiza, the former bar manager at Harvest Restaurant—are planning to serve comfort foods made with local ingredients.

“We’re talking about comfortable food that we grew up eating, but we kind of flip it,” said Scavo. “We’re going to show people that eating local and organic doesn’t mean you need to be on a diet or go out of your comfort zone.”

A farm cart will also be added, where passers-by will be able to nab smoked sausages, rotisserie meats and other items.

Pasco Kitchen and Lounge is going in at the former Café Paraiso location at 820 E. University Blvd. It’s expected to open in February.

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