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Host a Cozy Holiday Party at Sassi

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During the holidays, the last thing we want to do is worry about planning a party after shopping and spending time with family. But Sassi will take care of everything for you in a warm, home-like atmosphere with the Italian venue, the simple décor and tableside service. Bernice Hertzfeldt from Sassi gave AFM the details on their customizable party options.

AFM: Why host a party at Sassi?

BH: What’s unique about Sassi is all the different rooms and variety that we offer for parties. So we’re doing intimate parties for 14 in our wine cellar or larger corporate events in our garden lawn and our private Sassi rooms. It’s not a typical plated event. It’s that sharing of the first course, like tableside pasta, the uniqueness of our food and service that makes it that warm and cozy, comfortable feel of having a holiday party. You’ll go in every room and you’ll see the holiday trees, lighting and the décor. It’s not overdone-it’s like you might have it in your home.

AFM: How customizable are the offerings?  

BH: Chef Chris has tailored our menu to a little bit more of the holiday fare. So what we’ve done with not only holiday parties but also our weddings, is to find out what our clients are looking for and what the purpose of their event is. We go one step above and beyond and really customize it a little bit more. For instance, we are having a party of 150. Food was very important to them [and] the experience. So in our Sassi room where the two fireplaces are, we’re going to be able to have a dance floor to bring more of that fun element back into it. I’ve seen more of that this year.

AFM: What’s on the menu?

BH: It’s not your typical sit down menu. It might be sharing the courses, starting off with an antipasti course for the table to share. Our second course is a pasta course, which a lot of people don’t know about. We put a warm pasta bowl down (tableside service) and our clients choose two specialty pastas in advance. Our entrees can be a nice duo entrée. We do a variety of desserts. We are doing ricotta fritters dusted with powdered sugar, honey and chocolate and raspberry and dipping sauces. We usually display a dessert for the holidays, like a cannoli station.

AFM: What’s the venue like?

BH: We can do groups of 14 to 50 in our restaurant area and [in] our larger space we have a beautiful garden lawn with white twinkle lights and an outside area. And our private space holds up to 150. We’re even known to go out of the box for our corporate clients. You can rent out all of Sassi. We’ve done amazing events for up to 220 people where they’re basically utilizing a beautiful romantic Italian villa. It’s almost like having it in a residence. It’s not a typical venue. It’s a unique, complete experience.


Thanksgiving Dining in Tucson

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Be thankful that someone else will spend hours over the hot stove so you can still enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. Feast your eyes upon these delicious meals at various Tucson restaurants.

The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa has not one but two Thanksgiving dinner options for travelers and guests this year. Both offering a southwestern flare, the Thanksgiving buffet in the Grand Ballroom will feature all your favorites in a casual setting. For a more traditional feast, AZul Restaurant is serving a three-course dinner overlooking the Santa Catalina Mountains. Kids will receive a smaller meal from an a la carte menu.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain invites the public for a Thanksgiving brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and/or dinner experience from 5-9 p.m. CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar is hosting both the Brunch Celebration and three-course Holiday Dinner, which will include champagne, oysters, pecan stuffing, and various meats and vegetarian options. If you are still a fan of celebrating Turkey Day at home, Ritz-Carlton is offering a take-home turkey that is already prepared, packaged and ready to be enjoyed by six to eight people.

If you’re looking for a turkey to-go this year, Loews Ventana Canyon ResortLoews Ventana Canyon Resort is donating a turkey to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona for every turkey purchased through them. You can also visit Canyon Café at the resort for a Thanksgiving Day Brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For a later dinner option, Flying V Bar & Grill will be hosting a unique twist on Thanksgiving dinner from 5-9 p.m.

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Maynard’s Market & Kitchen is offering a family-style menu featuring herb-crusted turkey, prime rib and more delectable treats.

Feast: Tasteful Takeout wants you to relax on Turkey Day, while they do the work preparing a turkey breast and legs, mashed potatoes, gravy, sage and celery or fennel and sausage stuffing, dinner rolls, pies, and much more. All of these to-go items are available to order by Nov. 23 and must be picked up by Nov. 26.

For an organic and natural Thanksgiving feast, head to Acacia promptly at noon. You will get to choose from a range of food options, like a butternut squash bisque for starters, a fresh salmon or lamb for the main course, and warm gingerbread for dessert. 

If you like to be nontraditional on Turkey Day, then you’ll want to place an order for a “Tur-Duck-Hen,” a turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken stuffed with sausage corn bread stuffing, at Brushfire BBQ. If you’d rather feast, Brushfire will be offering for purchase a meal complete with buttered sweet potatoes, rosemary stuffing, cranberry relish and more. All orders must be placed by Nov. 23 and picked up by Nov. 26.

Taking a cue from its traditional menu,Cup Cafe at The Hotel Congress is creating a specialized Thanksgiving feast complete with smoked whitefish benedict, shepard’s pie, slow-roasted turkey with confit leg, and more. Cup Cafe will be open all Thanksgiving Day, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

While you sit at home watching football on the couch, Dakota Catering Company will come straight to your door to deliver a choice of two Thanksgiving meals. The first feast is more traditional and includes a butter lettuce salad, whole roast turkey, cornbread stuffing, green beans, and pie. The second option has a southwestern spice with chorizo stuffing, chipotle-maple sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts with bacon, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Dinners must be ordered by Nov. 21.

Choose from NY strip steak, organic salmon or oven-roasted turkey entrees at the Lodge on the Desert’s Thanksgiving Day buffet from noon to 5 p.m. Cost ranges from $42 to $46 for adults; kids 10 and under costs $17; kids five and under eat free.

Pastiche Modern Eatery’s Thanksgiving dinner offers a unique menu with updated holiday dishes. The a la carte menu features sweet potato and butternut squash soup, pumpkin ravioli, classic oven roasted turkey, salads and classic crème brulee.

If you’d rather stay home for dinner, Tucson Tamalehas you covered. The Thanksgiving Sampler is available until December and includes eight savory tamales (roasted turkey, cranberry, celery, carrot, onion and sage masa) and six pumpkin tamales for $38.

Dine in or take a turkey dinner home withThe Hungry Fox. The dine-in Thanksgiving meal is $11.95 per person, and the take home meal feeds eight for around $75.

AJ’s Fine Foods is your go-to catering service. Elegant dinners include turkey, prime rib and lamb. The Thanksgiving dinner costs $149.99.







Prado: A Delicious Oasis

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prado paella

One of the most adored places to sneak away in Phoenix is the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia. Nestled near Camelback Mountain, this Spanish-inspired gem takes “staycation” to a luxurious level with Joya Spa, breathtaking views, and a delicious dining gem, known as Prado. 


Food Lover’s Oasis in Central Arizona

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elements full

If food and drink are on your brain every second of every day, look no further than central Arizona for a foodie-themed escape. Fine-dining establishments and eclectic eateries can be found all over greater Phoenix, boasting local purveyors and family recipes passed down through generations.

Head to one of these three destinations for memorable dining experiences this summer:

Greater Phoenix. Grab a bite and a cultural experience at one of Arizona’s fascinating museums – the Heard Museum’s Courtyard Café is open daily and offers locally grown ingredients and the Café at MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) provides a variety of regional dishes, including vegetarian and vegan options. If it’s a table with a view you’re seeking, visit one of the Valley’s many swanky resorts, like Elements at the Sanctuary on Camelback, and see the city in a whole new way. Urbanites can also head to Kierland Commons for an assortment of restaurants offering everything from casual happy hour spots to upscale steakhouses.


Jerome. Literally built onto the side of Cleopatra Hill, Jerome is one of the most unique cities you’ll ever encounter. The rolling green hills are occupied by a community of artists, musicians and winemakers making it a popular destination for travelers seeking shopping, live music and fine dining. Be sure to stop by the Mile High Inn & Grille, which has been serving up delicious dishes since 1899.


Cottonwood. It might be hard to imagine rolling vineyards but wine country in Arizona exists, and it’s only a short drive away. Located in the heart of Verde Valley, Cottonwood produces some of the most flavorful wines in the country. Check out any of the award-winning wineries like Alcantara Vineyards, Page Springs Cellars, Oak Creek Vineyards and Javelina Leap Vineyards, or six local tasting rooms to experience the varietals. Cottonwood is also a growing culinary hotspot, offering visitors outstanding restaurants like 15 Quince Grill & Cantina and Pizzeria Bocce, set to a backdrop of charming, historic surroundings.

Visit summerinaz.com for more ideas on planning the perfect foodie getaway this summer.  

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