A Tasty Tussle
The Ultimate Food Fight
Voting through Sunday, Sept. 11; Wrappetizer Party at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13
17 W. Congress St.
Cap-reezy? Ca-prees? How do you pronounce that Italian salad again?
Chef Renee Kreager, of Renee's Organic Oven, wants to end the confusion while filling your tummy with "Capre-Say What," an exclusive appetizer featured in the Yelp.com Ultimate Food Fight.
"Everybody seems to say 'caprese' incorrectly," said Kreager. "When it's spelled like this, there's no way you can mess it up."
Renee's Organic Oven is one of 18 local restaurants featured in the competition. The best part: You are the judge! Participating restaurants are offering $5 appetizers for guests to rate. At the end of the week, the votes will be tallied, and the highest-ranking dish will be revealed.
Corey Dane, the Tucson community manager for Yelp.com, organized the competition. "It allows people to enjoy more than one place, especially if you've ever been afraid to try these restaurants," he said.
The contenders are 47 Scott, Contigo, Cup Café, Delectables Restaurant and Catering, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, J Bar, JaxKitchen, La Cocina, Lodge on the Desert, Maynards Market and Kitchen, Neo of Melaka, Om Modern Asian Kitchen, Onyx Room, Pasco Kitchen and Lounge, Renee's Organic Oven, Rio Café, Tavolino Ristorante Italiano and The Abbey. To view menus and read more, go to yelp.com/events.
"This is a way of celebrating what we do and getting people talking about it," Kreager said about the contest. "The ultimate goal is getting people to vote."
Voting takes place through Sunday, Sept. 11. Winners will be announced during the Wrappetizer Party at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Tuesday, Sept. 13. (To attend, you must RSVP.) Admission is free, but guests are encouraged to donate $10; all proceeds will go to the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation. —J.B.
Cocktails and Keys
Jazz Cocktail Hour With Jazz Telephone
5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 9
533 N. Fourth Ave.
Put away that vodka, because Kini Wadé is bringing back the martini—the real kind.
The Delectables bartender and social host will be serving traditional gin martinis every Friday during the new Jazz Cocktail Hour. But that's not all: From Irish-cream iced coffee to mimosas, Wadé is concocting drinks that will contribute to a loungy-jazz vibe.
"A martini is a more-relaxing drink. You want to sip while you're talking, listening and snapping your fingers to the beat," said Wadé.
This week, Jazz Telephone, featuring Jeff Grubic and Naïm Amor, will perform.
When asked to describe the event, general manager Chris Baldwin simply stated: "We're turning our patio and terrace into a cocktail garden, setting up a jazz band, listening to music and sipping martinis."
In addition to specials on drinks, guests can enjoy discounted appetizers, including the popular white bean hummus, seared sesame-encrusted ahi, and warm brie served with fresh fruit.
A tip from the bartender: Arrive early for a patio table. The courtyard, located in the heart of Fourth Avenue, has a rose garden, pomegranate trees, fig trees and an herb garden that the restaurant uses for cooking. Seats fill up fast.
Whether you're looking for finger food or ordering a full meal, according to Wadé, the event is really about showcasing the variety of drinks the restaurant offers.
"Delectables stands on its own as a restaurant," said Wadé. "We're trying to get the bar to be the focus—the fact that they have a bar."
Other musical performances this month include jazz pianist Scott Ramsey on Sept. 16 and 30, and The LP's String Trio on Sept. 23. —J.B.
In a Word, Poetry
Thomas Sayers Ellis discussion and reading
Discussion: 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13
Reading: 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 15
1508 E. Helen St.
Indulge in your literary senses this coming week with Thomas Sayers Ellis' poetry.
Ellis is an award-winning poet who is an assistant professor of writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and a faculty member at Lesley University's low-residency master's program.
The University of Arizona Poetry Center is hosting a discussion of Ellis' work on Tuesday as a preview to the in-person poetry reading and question-and-answer session on Thursday.
Tuesday's "Shop Talk" discussion is part of a series of informal, low-key discussions at the center designed to familiarize people with poets and their work, said Cybele Knowles, program coordinator at the center.
Then on Thursday, people will get the chance to see the poet read his own work.
"The Poetry Center invited Thomas Sayers Ellis to read, because we feel that his work contains much that our community can connect with," Knowles said. "His poetry is very much about identity in America and the experience of being American."
This experience is explored deeply in his latest book, published in 2010, Knowles said.
"Thomas Sayers Ellis' poems, especially the poems in his most recent collection, Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems, formally tackle the idea of what a poem 'should' be," Knowles said, adding that Ellis explores the relationship between language and experience.
"Ellis also dares us to rethink race and identity in America, challenges the canon, investigates history and pop culture, and defies monotony in every way," Knowles said.
The poetry reading is part of the Poetry Center's Reading Series, which began in 1962.
Both the discussion and reading are free. —K.M.
Baron Wolman lecture
1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10
Tucson Museum of Art
140 N. Main Ave.
Rockin' the Desert reception: 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10
135 S. Sixth Ave.
Hear prolific photographer Baron Wolman discuss an illustrious career of capturing images of some of rock 'n' roll's greatest.
Wolman, a photographer of rock legends—such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan, The Who and many others—captured the height of rock 'n' roll for Rolling Stone as the magazine's first photographer.
Wolman will discuss his work at this week's lecture, and will also be featured in the museum's upcoming exhibition, Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present, opening in October.
The exhibit will feature about 200 works from various artists, and "provides the opportunity to involve a wide range of arts and cultural organizations in the community in a thematic project," said Tucson Museum of Art executive director Robert Knight.
The talk will offer a sneak preview of what's to come in October, said Julie Sasse, chief curator at the Tucson Museum of Art.
"Baron Wolman has photographed rock 'n' roll bands and rock 'n' roll subjects for many years," Sasse said.
And that's not all that Wolman is bringing to Tucson: Later that evening, Etherton Gallery will open an exhibition featuring Wolman's work, called Rockin' the Desert: Photographs by Baron Wolman and Lynn Goldsmith.
The talk and the opening are held on the same day as part of a larger collaboration by Tucson's galleries and artists titled Tucson Rocks, running through January, Sasse said.
The lecture is free, but you have to pay for admission to the museum, which is $8 general admission; $6 for seniors; and $3 for students. The Etherton Gallery opening is free. —K.M.