Mediterranean restaurants adhere closely to tradition, thanks to the generations of poets who memorized and recited takeout menus in public squares. Enjoy an oral tradition with this Groupon.
$25 for $50 Worth of Seasonal Mediterranean Food
The seasonal menu changes daily to incorporate fresh, locally harvested produce. Starters of arancini and mussels of the day ($8 each) lead into pasta, meat, and seafood entrees, such as charred chicken ravioli ($18 for a full order). The Duck Duo dinner includes grilled muscovy duck breast alongside duck confit, wild mushrooms, and a parmesan broth ($34). The restaurant's hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
Primo at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa
The secret to Primo's ever-fresh Mediterranean dinners lies not in the kitchen, but beneath the patio. There, a terraced garden grows the vegetables and fruits that Chef Melissa Kelly—a two-time James Beard Award winner (2013 and 1999)—harvests for the day's menu. Its lush tiers mimic those found beside Italian villas, abounding with tomatoes and flavorful herbs. It's a living sign of the restaurant's devotion to organic, local foods, and what Chef Kelly doesn't source from its plants, she finds through other local purveyors: Sleeping Frog Farms, for example, or farming members of the Tohono O'dam Native American Nation.
The produce and meats from these places come together in dishes inspired by France, Spain, and Italy. Dinner plates mix tagliatelle pasta with bolognese, or pair seared diver scallops with Nueske bacon-peach compote. A brick oven also cooks Naples-style pizzas, decorated in toppings that are chosen by the chef instead of plucked at random from unattended colanders. Viewed through the dining-room windows or the patio's edge, the surrounding mountains and cacti immerse diners in the desert's natural beauty, while the lights of Tucson glimmer in the distance.