A friend and I tried out The Tasteful Kitchen for dinner and we were wowwed!!!. I have heard about this restaurant and after some personal confusion realized it is only open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday. So with reservations in hand we set off to find this little gem. The building is actually easy to find, as the street number is well lit and the building is a stand alone restaurant. There is a large, free parking lot next to the restaurant.
The building is inviting and welcoming and offers a wonderful haven on an unusually cold Tucson evening. There are about 15 tables lining the tastefully painted walls of the restaurant, some for 4 and some for 2. There is also a room next door for larger groups or private parties. The walls are filled with wonderful local artwork, that we were told changes seasonally. The tableclothes and linen napkins are not what you normally expect in a vegetarian restaurant, but why not. Just because we are eating veggies doesn't mean we don't deserve the niceties of fine dining. And this was definitely fine dining.
The hostess/server is one of the sister-owners who graciously settled us in and told us a little about the restaurant and the art adorning the walls She told us about the building, their catering business turned restaurant as well as cooking classes and other options for utiliing this wonderful space. You could tell this is a labor of love for her and her sister.
The menu had a great deal to offer. Vegetarian, vegan and raw options, as well as gluten free possibilities were all presented in the menu. Since there were too many things to choose from and I did not want to miss anything that looked good, my friend and I chose to share three dishes and just take home leftovers. This worked out great as we each found favorites among the 3 dishes. We also had enough left overs for lunch the next day.
The service was gently and relaxing, no rushing around forcing us to eat and leave to free up the table. This was truly a wonderful experience. The food is excellent, cooked to order, so brought out in the order that it was prepared. It was piping hot and delicious. We had a very leisurely meal marveling at everything we tasted. The restaurant was almost full, which might seem unusualy on a Wednesday evening. We were told that for Saturday and Sunday it is best to have a reservation. They do take reservations and I would suggest making one. I have been told on the weekends they can fill up quickly.
This is a great option for people wanting a meat free meal. The food is very good and can be hardy enough, that you won't miss the animal protein. The desert menu looked great, but we decided to skip the sweets this time around. Again with the desert menu there were options for vegan, gluten free and raw, so everyone could indulge and be happy.
I will definitely return, and hope to bring other friends who are open for a delightly vegetarian meal.
I have recently read the "yelp" reviews and was surprised that people had negative comments about the service. We found it to be very attentive, yet not overly annoying. My friend and I had a nice talk with one of the owners about the restaurant as well as about the catering business. She was very helpful with the choices and could not have been friendlier. So go know how some people react.
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