Noshing Around

Ferranti's Fine Foods

Phil Ferranti, former owner of La Placita Café, has spent months opening his gourmet world market located at 6616 E. Grant Road. He brings a formidable international staff together, including a chef from the Mediterranean region, a French cheese-and-wine specialist, a French-trained baker and Natasha Gabarrot and Francois Dessalles, former managers of Le Rendez-Vous. For the Tucson ingredient, Arbuckle provides locally roasted coffee. The kitchen can handle catering from four to 1,000 people. Tables on two patios and indoors invite customers to eat in for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or drive away with a cornucopia of European fare. The New York Times calls the concept of part restaurant and part gourmet shop "resto-épiceries." The market is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 751-1900.

New Grill in Town

Carrabba's Italian Grill opened last week in Oro Valley, serving recipes that have been handed down through the generations. Founders Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola, hosts of the PBS cooking show Cucina Toscana, opened the first Carrabba's in Houston in 1986. Carrabba's uses mussels from the coast of Prince Edward Island and pasta imported from Pompeii. Carrabba's, a partner with Outback Steakhouse, is located at 7635 N. Oracle Road (next to Sprouts); 742-7442; open daily for dinner starting at 4 p.m.

Mom Appreciation

Most of the Tucson Originals restaurants will be whipping up something special for Mother's Day, from free mimosas at breakfast (Ghini's French Caffe) to prix-fixe brunches (Miguel's at La Posada), complimentary flowers (El Charro) to live jazz (Acacia at St. Philip's), plus many more options. Reservations are a must wherever you go, unless it's to the Tucson Botanical Gardens, where mom can mingle among the bromeliads and eat a casual lunch prepared by Feast.

Health-Care Workers Eat Free

Hospital employees and medical staffers need only show their I.D. to eat free at Chipotle on Mondays during the month of May. Enjoy free burritos, tacos and bols. Check the phone book for one of the locations nearest to you.

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