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Restaurant Reviews - Dec 2005

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NoRTH                                                                                             

We found ourselves up North the other night, up in Northern Tucson that is, and decided that it might be as good a time as any to give one of the newer restaurants in the La Encantada shopping center a try. We were starving first of all, since our actual plan had been to go out to lunch but we never got around to it, so when signs begin to roll in that evening was nigh, we were more than ready to dine. We hoped the fact that it was early on what would likely be a busy Saturday night, would work in our favor since we didn't have reservations anywhere and pulled in to La Encantada and parked figuring we'd simply walk around and see what looked good. We found numerous places to choose from right off the bat with Sushi, Big Game, Seafood, and Italian all clustered together facing a circle drive and looking equally as appetizing. We stood frozen for a moment scratching our heads and rubbing our stomachs trying to decide which direction to turn. Inertia quickly gave way to action however when one of us remembered reading somewhere about almost comically bad service at Bluepoint the Fish place and we realized that we had just had sushi two days ago and were scheduled to have big game the next day. When another of us pointed out that NoRTH was owned by the same folks behind Wildflower which has long been a staff favorite, that was all it took and in we went.

The reason we were out and about in the first place, it so happened, was that we were entertaining and showing the sights to a visiting dignitary and potential new staffer going by the appellate of Miss Krittenden. Miss Krittenden was in from St. Louis and toying with the idea of accepting some of the editorial responsibilities here at the Goliard on the culinary side of things. We had brief social encounters with her in the past and flew her in for an interview and a get further acquainted weekend. Miss Krittenden had dabbled in restauranteering in the past not to mention worked in wineries and hotels throughout the Midwest so she seemed like perfect company to share a new restaurant experience with. And while she assured us that St. Louis does have eating establishments not owned by sports figures, we thought it might be nice to show her some of the diversified cuisine Tucson has to offer. And NoRTH, even though it serves Italian food which St Louis is actually known for, seemed like it might be a good place to start.

Things got off on the right foot at NoRTH when we were greeted by a friendly hostess who looked more like Anna Kournakova than Anna herself probably does these days. Anna didn't bat an eye when we said we had not reserved anything and asked us if we'd like to sit outside or in. The sun was just setting at that point and the outside seating looked interesting in that they seemed to have comfortable couches to lounge about on and we stood there hemming and hawing until Miss Krittenden stepped forward and explained that it would be a tad nippy for her liking once evening proper set in and she would prefer an indoor table. She had a point and we followed Anna to a comfortable four top. Just as we were being seated, the sun made it's final dip behind Gate's Pass and the automated blinds quietly rose revealing a pleasant view of the city lights.

Our waiter arrived promptly and seemed like a pleasant enough chap who said his name was Justin and inquired as to our needs drinkwise. While the one of us currently breast feeding made the usual inquiries about decaffeinated iced tea (nobody seems to carry that anymore and she settled for water) another staffer scanned the wine list and found it fairly extensive and pricey which is not atypical and ordered the cheapest Chianti. Miss Krittenden then announced she'd have a Grey Goose martini dry as the hills with several extra olives. Now we never drink vodka and aren't about to start but somehow her drink looked much more appetizing, appropriate and sophisticated than ours did when the waiter appeared with a mini carafe and portioned out the wine. This would begin a trend that would last throughout the evening with Miss Krittenden waiting until we had ordered and then requesting something that sounded, looked and ended up being better than whatever we got.

But we hadn't figured this out yet when we ordered a small pizza that was dissatisfying only to sit by as Miss Krittenden luxuriated in a large plate of better food. We can't remember the details but North can be a fine place to dine if you have class and are experienced in the finer things and a humbling experience otherwise. Miss Krittenden pronounced everything fine and to her liking so there you go.

NoRTH - Tucson
2995 East Skyline Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718
P: 520.299.1600
F: 520.299.1621

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