New: Ari's Downtown
Ahmed Alani, owner of Aladdin Restaurant, has opened the lunch-only Ari's. The dine-in and takeout menu features Mediterranean and Greek fare such as chicken pitas, gyros, vegetarian choices, salads, Arabic desserts, Turkish coffee, ice cream and smoothies, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 17 N. Stone Ave.; 622-0684. View the entire menu at www.arisdowntown.com
Redux: Café Paraiso Returns
Café Paraiso returned to its former address at 820 E. University Blvd., a few months ago, after an 18-month absence. It's a good thing, because Noshing had received requests about its whereabouts. With a focus on local, the café serves Gadsden coffee roasted in Arivaca, pastries, full breakfasts (like pancakes and omelets), salads, sandwiches and homemade soups. Café Paraiso is open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 624-1175.
Here's a clever premise for a specialty dinner: beer vs. wine. Beer is from Mars; Wine is from Venus. The Dogfish Head Brewery (Milton, Del.) challenges Sella and Mosca (Sardegna, Italy) at Pastiche Modern Eatery on Tuesday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m. The five-course dinner costs $55 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations required; 325-3333; 3025 N. Campbell Ave.
Leaving on a Jet Plane Java
Through a license agreement, locally owned Ike's Coffee has its name and products represented at Tucson International Airport. Before the end of September, airport passengers will see new coffee bars on both the east and west concourses, and coffee shops will open in the baggage-claim area by Thanksgiving.
Grapes Are Made for Stomping
Check out the Sonoita Vineyards (in Elgin) for Augustfest, where for a mere $10, you can taste wine and receive a souvenir glass, tour the winery and vineyards (the latter on tractor) and dance to live country-Western music. Crush a barrel of grapes with your bare feet while a rousing round of applause from the crowd chooses the winner. The event is Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5 and 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit the vineyard's Website
for a map or call (520) 455-5893.