I mentioned a few weeks back, before the consuming but joyous holidays, that I had many new ideas for The Dreamery come the new year. Well, one is taking my love of food and discovering new restaurants seriously. Between my roommate, Katie, and other girlfriends, we have a passion for not only good food but consider ourselves adventurous eaters, always looking for new places to fancy our taste buds. This post marks the first of many in my Dining Out series, where I will share with you all the delicious eateries on our food loving journey.
I had first seen Wildflower, a New American Cuisine restaurant, in Casas Adobes Plaza amongst Frogs Organic Bakery and Frost Gelato, always curious to discover what was cooking on those stoves. Well, during a Sunday full of holiday shopping, all we wanted was to end the week with a delicious meal.
I instantly fell in love with the decor…the French garden inspired outside patio seating, rich blue velvety floral chairs that I need in my apartment, to the mixture of modern golden finishes and rustic farm style tables. I fancy a restaurant with a large open kitchen, I feel it’s a chef’s way of showing us that they are proud of the food they make and how they put it all together just for our culinary satisfaction.
Now, onto the food. With so many mouth-watering dishes we opted to choose a selection of five appetizers. It’s definitely a great way to not only try a variety of food, but see how well a restaurant’s menu works together. First on the table was the Chef’s Board with a delightful spread of high quality blue and manchego cheeses, grilled asparagus with a distinct mesquite wood flavor from their wood burning stove and hearty toasted slices of buttered bread which we devoured with the addicting mixture of their blackberry garlic butter and apricot jam.
As you can tell, we were too excited to eat our Grilled Artichoke with Roasted Shallot Aioli, infused with a rich smokiness that we didn’t even take pictures of the beautifully plated meals that were eagerly placed in front of us.
Our second course consisted of Crisp Calamari that were tossed with Mizuna Greens in a Yuzu Emulsion topped with Sesame Seeds. The combination of wilted bitter greens became rich and creamy in the yuzu, I could eat a bowlful of just the Mizuna and would have been satisfied. That was until I had the explosion of flavor in my mouth, that absolutely made me love Wildflower. These delicate and equally beautiful Edamame Dumplings and Enoki Mushrooms tossed with thinly sliced radishes in an out of this world delicious soy chili caramel sauce left me speechless! I kid you not, the second I put one of these lovelies into my mouth, I wanted to say so much yet couldn’t find the right words to describe the depth of flavor this dish contained!
Our last appetizer were the Steamed Black Mussels with Spanish Chorizo tossed with chunky tomatoes and leeks. I put my vegetarian restrictions aside and choose to eat the mussels that had not touched the chorizo, and agreed that if the chorizo wasn’t present in this dish, the sweetness of the mussels would not be as prominent. A meal very reminiscent of those from my family in Portugal.
The most rewarding part of our experience at Wildflower was having two of their managers, as well as a sous chef, come to our table and speak with us. Mostly at how they were impressed with the amount and selection of food two girls like us ordered. We had a new-found appreciation for the restaurant, not only because their quality of food, but in their service as well.
How do you end such a perfect dining experience? Well with a generous complimentary dessert on the house. Chef Spike’s choice was a Chocolate Espresso Afogato. This dense coffee infused chocolate cake topped with a light espresso mousse, vanilla ice cream and drowned in bitter espresso would send anyone chocolate lover into a chocolate euphoria only after three bites. The ultimate indulgence without having to over do it.
Wildflower has instantly become one of my favorite restaurants, and a worthy recommendation to anyone who is in Tucson!