READERS' PICK: Upscale dining often gets linked with inaccessibility--snobby waitstaff, menus in foreign languages, wines that no one has heard of. The Barrio has not only stripped high-class dining of all of its pretentiousness, but it has done so in such comfortable fashion that doesn't detract from the class and style afforded a restaurant of such stature. Essentially, they make you feel like royalty no matter who you are, no matter what you order, and they make you want to come back for more. Their dishes are packed with bold local flavor and nary a boring combination--stuffed poblano chiles with goat cheese, seafood in a sensuous chile-citrus-garlic broth, slippery sweet mango chicken pasta ... is there room to continue? Well, there should be room for a fine dessert, what some might consider the Barrio does best (see Best Desserts Over $5, page 108), but then again, they also won for best upscale bar, too (page 68).
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Anthony's In The Foothills, 6440 N. Campbell Ave. Everything about Anthony's In The Foothills is high end. The service is spectacular, the menu perhaps the very best in Tucson, the wine list is incredible. Even the location is at the high end of Campbell, affording diners a breathtaking view of the city below. Anthony's has become the place to go for that big date, that really special occasion or that dinner on the company expense account. While the menu is often adventurous, with continental and international offerings, most patrons stick to the basics. Seafood dishes are quite popular, as is the rack of lamb and Yankee Pot Roast. (Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.) We hear that the wine cellar has more than 1,000 bottles of wine. And one corkscrew. They were probably kidding about that.