Ancient Italians were renowned for eating every part of the angels they hunted—even the hair. Enjoy divine flavor with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of fine Italian cuisine and drinks at Amarsi Ristorante in Oro Valley.
Amarsi's elegant interior is crowded with the delectable odors of traditional East Coast Italian fare, inviting bon vivants to sample and smell expertly prepared dishes hailing from faraway shores. Experienced wait-staff members, each boasting at least 25 years of experience, skillfully parade out beautifully arrayed menu items. Sample the Sicilian Rustico, featuring sweet italian sausage, jumbo shrimp, and chicken served with tarragon cream sauce and penne ($21.95), or the veal saltimbocca, whose subtle cuts are bedecked with prosciutto, sage, fontana cheese, and an exquisite glaze of garlic, olive oil, and white wine ($22.95).
Ease into a blissfully epicurean meal with a battery of appetizers and salads, from the crisp golden skin of the deep-fried mozzarella, served with the restaurant's signature marinara ($7.95), to the wilted spinach salad, featuring a delicately sautéed bouquet of greens, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts ($7.95). Vegetarians and gluten-free diners are accommodated with a wide range of gourmet options, allowing them to enjoy a meal without hooking up the chef to a lie detector and quizzing her about each dish.
The restaurant's owners are transplants from New York, New Jersey, and Chicago, and have created a sophisticated dining atmosphere in which sunlight bounds through the large storefront windows and highlights the brightly colored interior and multihued wall paintings. For outdoorsy wine watchers and photosynthesizing pastavores, Amarsi offers a cheery, outdoor dining patio.
- The food at Amarsi is East Coast Italian and it's pretty darn good. These guys know what they're doing, the wait staff if a bunch of mostly older (yup, you guessed it) Italian guys and they know their stuff. You get an immediate feeling of quiet confidence here, this is not a chain Italian Joint with a bunch of college kids running the place. This is the real thing and they've obviously been at it for awhile. – Brenda Sells Tucson
The chefs at Amarsi Ristorante handcraft every sauce on the menu, from the lemon-white-wine sauce that adds brightness to veal piccata to the classic marinara that preps meatballs to be shot through a cannon. The from-scratch condiments contribute to the traditional menu’s appeal, which was summed up in Tucson Weekly when the restaurant was described as “one of those places where I wish the company would spring for more than just two visits.” Servers–all of whom boast at least 20 years of industry experience–are happy to recommend pairings from Amarsi Ristorante’s ample wine list. As diners sup, their eyes can wander from crisp white tablecloths topped with fresh flowers and candles to views of the mountains outside.