New: Fire Restaurant and BarAlthough Fire opened in Marana on Feb. 17, with an abbreviated menu just in time for Accenture Match Play, Fire is slated to open for the rest of us on March 1, serving lunch and dinner. One of five partners, Jason Jonilonis--formerly of Hacienda del Sol and the Flying V Bar and Grill--is the executive chef. Billed as an Arizona bistro, Fire specializes in classic comfort foods with a sophisticated Southwestern regional twist at 12130 N. Dove Mountain Blvd.; 616-6023.
Sam Fox Gets James Beard NominationSam Fox, owner of Fox Restaurant Concepts (including NoRTH, Wildflower, Montana Avenue, Sauce, Zinburger and Blanco in Tucson; other restaurants operate in Scottsdale and Colorado) has received an Outstanding Restaurateur nomination from the James Beard Foundation. A working restaurateur must be actively involved in multiple restaurants and set high national standards as a creative force in the kitchen and/or in restaurant operations. Other nominees in this category include Joachim Splichal and Wolfgang Puck.
Best Chef Southwest NominationAnother Beard nomination in Tucson goes to Mark Ehrler, executive chef at the Ventana Room at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. Chefs must set new or consistent standards of excellence. Other Arizona nominations in the category went to Jack Strong, of Kai, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa, Gila River Indian Community in Chandler; and Kevin Binkley, of Binkley's in Cave Creek. The 2008 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala will take place in New York City on Sunday, June 8.
Wine Tasting at Ghini'sGhini's French Caffé offers a wine tasting on Tuesday, March 4, for $20. Taste a flight of three wines plus signature appetizers from 6 to 8 p.m. Reservations are required by calling 326-9095; 1803 E. Prince Road.