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“Great Expectations”

Arizona Inn - The Main Dining Room
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Ranked #39 of 2,003 Restaurants in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $42
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Families with children, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Elm Street and Campbell
Description: The Arizona Inn is an historic resort spread over 14 tranquil acres of gardens, flowers and lawns in the heart of mid-town Tucson. The Inn offers AAA Four Diamond Award winning dining in our Main Dining Room with cathedral-ceiling and fireplace as well as our more intimate Catlin Room with views of the gardens. The Dining Room provides legendary service in an elegant yet comfortable setting for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Chef Allison combines classic cuisine with seasonal ingredients and innovative techniques. The menus change with the seasons to feature the freshest ingredients. Wine Spectator has recognized the wine list with an Award of Excellence. The Audubon Bar, with live piano music nightly and patio seating, provides a perfect setting for enjoying a classic cocktail.
Tucson, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Great Expectations”
Reviewed August 27, 2013

My wife and I celebrated our anniversary with dinner at The Arizona Inn main dining room. I guess that we must fall into the category of Tusconans that Chef John P. doesn't think much of. We had a very enjoyable experience. The meal was all that we could have hoped for. The wait staff was very attentive without being smothering. The atmosphere was elegant.
The only negative that we encountered was something that could not be controlled. We dined on a Sunday evening and we were the only ones present. We felt as if we were on display. The positive aspect was that we had terrific service. The negative was that it was just too quiet. We were told by our waiter that the place was quite crowded just about a week ago during University of Arizona move in times.

The menu is pricey, but this is a fine special occasion place to dine.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MartyG60950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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284 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Basel, Switzerland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel disappointing restaurant”
Reviewed August 23, 2013

Although this restaurant is in a hotel we adore the food in the restaurant is the weakest link. It is ok but not outstanding.

Visited August 2013
Thank Mary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oro Valley, Arizona, United States
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Downward spiral from a once great place”
Reviewed August 20, 2013

The professional services rave about the dining room. Zagat hasn't reviewed it for about 3 years and the same for Frommers (both list restaurants that are out of business!).
it was once good. No more.
It's is one of the loveliest dining rooms in the state, that's true. And they did have a good chef, once upon a time. But things change. In this case for the worse.
We've been going to this place for years and have recommended it to friends, until recently. They have been on an unfortunate downward spiral for sometime. Now, they even use canola oil... yuck. Oh, they hide it in a mix of olive oil to make it seem acceptable. It's not. The stuff makes me sick. Here's what Dr. Andrew Weil says:
The ambiance is lovely and the wait staff is attentive, more than the head cook who seems to be blundering around with ingredients to save a few dollars.
Hopefully the food director and wake up and return the restaurant to one of high quality. It's not now.
Who am I? Well I used to own a restaurant many years ago in Seattle and the one thing I know is you only buy the finest ingredients if you want to produce fine cuisine. Here's my personal website:
(We are not taking new members.)
I seldom review anything here for Tucson is unfortunately the land of dining mediocrity. Nothing will change that for the people here don't care about food... just golfing. So what's the point of dashing home and writing a review which only says, "I survived."

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Chef John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“May be time for a change”
Reviewed August 1, 2013

This was our fourth stay at the Inn. Breakfast in the main dining room is always lovely but it seems as though the menu hasn't changed in over eight years. We did have dinner and it was most disappointing. My duck breast was overcooked and my DH's lamb chops were on the small side and very greasy. According to Tucson friends the room was redone this year. The ceiling color was darker but looked almost the same to us. It is a very comfortable room plus you can hear what your guests are saying. A huge plus.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Dallas_Tx_gal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Navojoa, Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Tradition never goes out of style.”
Reviewed August 1, 2013

I am happy to see that, in this ever changing world where nothing seems to last, that tradition, quality, and elegance seem permanent. This was evident when we visited and ate at the Main Dining Room in the Arizona Inn.

I cousin invited my family and I to eat there to celebrate the birth our daughter. The food was delicious, well presented, the service was flawless and the ambieance historical. The place looks almost as it did when it was opened in the early 1930's. We went in the summer, so there was only another table occupied. In the winter time, it is almost impossible to find a table, I was said. For an original and refreshing beverage, I recommend the prickley pear lemonade.

I recommend it highly to anyone who appreciates good food, ambieance and tradition.

Visited July 2013
Thank Wagnerad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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