Wednesday, September 12, 2012
There's a new restaurant at Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Resort at 10000 N. Oracle Road called Epazote Kitchen & Cocktails. I found this description of the place on the hotel and resort's website:
Literally translated as “Mexican Tea,” Epazote is prominently used in Southwestern cuisine to add a spicy yet earthy flavor somewhat reminiscent of fennel. Inspired by this flavor and the traditions of the Southwest.
Guests will enjoy Southwestern dishes featuring locally sourced specialties such as Arizona grass fed beef, Southwest mountain trout, Colorado lamb, selected cheeses and Arizona grown produce. Along with their meal, guests will also take in some of the most spectacular views of Pusch Ridge on the outdoor patio.
Featuring a wide selection of tequilas, locally brewed beers and Arizona Wines. Those looking to sample the taste of the Southwest will be able to select from a bar menu of delectable options ideal for a shared dinner or snack.
Now, I'm not talking any smack, but if I were local chef, author and restaurateur Janos Wilder this new eatery would irritate me a bit. Wilder's downtown restaurant is called Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails - no resemblance there at all - and Wilder is widely known for using indigenous ingredients like epazote in his French-inspired cuisine.
I'm not saying he has any sort of corner on such things, but the similarities do sort of jump right out at you, so much so that I had to call up there to make sure Wilder wasn't involved (he isn't). Then again, it has been said that imitation is the greatest compliment, so there's that.
That aside, the food does sound very good, and a good way to give it a whirl will be the upcoming Arizona Restaurant Week, where you can try a multi-course dinner there for a cut-rate price. More information on that over here.