Blog post

The Best of 2022: Tasting Menus

January 9, 2023

Tasting menus have become one of my favorite things to experience in recent years because it grants you the opportunity to partake in a culinary journey that exhibits the talent and artistry of the chef and their team.

Across the several excellent tasting menus I experienced this year, both Michelin and non-Michelin, I created a top 10 selection for “The Best of 2022: Tasting Menus.” Aside from geographically categorizing the restaurants from Tucson, there is no ranking in this post.


PY Steakhouse

Casino del Sol, an enterprise of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, is home to several onsite eateries, including PY Steakhouse for fine dining options. Truthfully, I wasn’t aware of the chef’s “trust me” tasting menu options until this year. But, my curiosity grew as I noticed the elevated works of art on Instagram by executive sous chef Roderick LeDesma. Another aspect that impressed me is how the culinary program incorporates 30 local purveyors, some of which includes: Whiskey del Bac, E&R Pork and Hayden Mills.

For Alex’s birthday, I brought him here to experience the chef’s “trust me” eight-course tasting menu at PY Steakhouse. I also opted for the $35 wine pairing because of their expansive wine list that’s been recognized by Wine Spectator. Each course and wine pairing were well-executed and left me eager for the next! As fine food fanatics, we are delighted to experience full-on fine dining without leaving Tucson. From the upscale decor to the colorful plating, PY Steakhouse is something that we look forward to visiting again.


  • Tasting Menu: $150pp (8-course menu) and $95pp (5-course menu) + Tax & Gratuity
  • Wine Pairings: $35pp (8-course menu) and $25pp (5-course menu)
  • Courses: Five and eight-course tasting menus are available
  • Included Extras: Amuse bouche, mignardise, parting gift (with advanced reservation)
  • Allergy Accommodations: PY Steakhouse will accommodate allergies. Make note of any allergies during your reservation and confirm allergies upon arrival.
  • Parking: Valet, street and garage parking are available. If going directly to the restaurant, I recommend parking in the back garage.

PY Steakhouse | 520-324-9350 | 5655 W Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ 85757


BATA, Tucson’s most-exciting restaurant right now, opened in March 2022. Led under the direction of Tyler and Courtney Fenton, the concept is the first of its kind in Tucson. The vegetable-driven restaurant is recognized for its live-fire cooking that borrows techniques from the Japanese style of grilling, robata. On the ever-changing menu, almost every plate is prepared over the hearth’s flame. And while the cuisine is vegetable forward, there are still meat and seafood offerings. On an ambiance level, the elevated space is industrial-meets-minimalist. The Fentons maintained the integrity of the original warehouse space, and added their own touches, such as a shou sugi ban soffit consisting of charred wood.

After exploring several menu items, I was ready to experience the chef’s counter. So, my foodie friend Megan and I setup a reservation for the chef’s counter and it did not disappoint! This tasting menu is also unique in the sense that it stays on brand to its sharable concept. From the seven courses that we indulged in, two of them were shared family style: the malawach with accompanying sauces and dips, the best cabbage of my life, and potatoes. Each plate was beautiful and left us filled before we reached the end of the dinner.


  • Tasting Menu: $100pp + Tax & Gratuity
  • Wine Pairings: $50pp
  • Courses: Courses will vary from 5-7 courses, depending on the amount of dishes per course.
  • Allergy Accommodations: BATA will accommodate allergies. Make note of any allergies during your reservation and confirm allergies upon arrival.
  • Parking: Valet, street and garage parking are available.

BATA | 520-367-4718 | 35 E Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701


In collaboration with Tucson Foodie and OBON, this was one of the coolest experiences in Tucson because guests witnessed a full breakdown of a sustainable blue fin tuna. Prior to this, I had only seen such a spectacle at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan. The entire fish was broken down in the restaurant, then served as multiple courses, with sake pairings. I personally love raw fish so I was in heaven with the nigiri, sashimi and temaki. The two cooked plates of tuna were also excellent, but personally I could have eaten all raw courses.

Tucson Foodie Presents is a new event series executed by the Tucson Foodie team. I cannot wait to see what other pop-up dinners they plan to do in 2023! I’ve been told that OBON also plans to host another live demo in Tucson. But in the meantime, you can experience a similar event at their sister restaurant in Phoenix.


  • Tasting Menu: $200pp + Tax & Gratuity for any extra drinks
  • Sake Pairings: Included in cost.
  • Courses: Six
  • Included Extras: Welcome cocktail, passed hors d’oeuvres
  • Allergy Accommodations: No, this is a set menu.
  • Upcoming Events: You can experience this dinner in Phoenix’s at Obon’s sister restaurant, BISUTORO, on Thursday, Feb. 9. Tickets go on sale at 6am on Jan. 23. Learn more about Tucson Foodie and Tucson Foodie Presents events by visiting their website.
  • Parking: Valet, street and garage parking are available for Tucson’s OBON.

OBON | 520-485-3590 | 350 E Congress St, Tucson, AZ 85701


This pop-up, Bouchon Revel, was a wine dinner honoring the culinary and wine traditions of Lyon, France. The intimate 14-seat event included an educational component with the five-course food and wine dinner. Rather than simply pouring the wine and passing out the courses, each course wine had their own moment and explanation. The ambiance made me nostalgic of my European adventures in France and Italy. I love REVEL in general, but I especially loved this pop-up dinner series and hope they will bring it back in 2023.


  • Tasting Menu: $90pp + Tax & Gratuity
  • Wine Pairings: Included in cost.
  • Courses: Five
  • Allergy Accommodations: No, this is a set menu.
  • Upcoming Events: This is a sporadic dinner series, follow REVEL on Instagram for updates on future dinners.
  • Parking: Street and garage parking are available.

REVEL | 520-329-2123 | 416 East 9th Street, Tucson, AZ 85705

GUT Dinners

For the past few years, the Gastronomic Union of Tucson (GUT) has combined their talented efforts to present a multi-course dinner that is prepared by several chefs and food professionals in Tucson. This is one of my favorite dining experiences because at each dinner, the chefs breakout into teams to create an imaginative menu that correlates to the evening’s theme. On the dinner I attended, the theme “Right Here, Right Now– Hyperlocal and Seasonal Cuisine” featured an extensive list of local purveyors. Everything was farmed, foraged, fished, gleaned, and raised in the Sonoran Desert. This was a unique moment to see everyone collaborating together in one spot, for one dinner.


  • Tasting Menu: $105pp, but each dinner varies
  • Wine Pairings: Included in cost.
  • Courses: Five
  • Included Extras: Welcome cocktail, some dinners include passed hors d’oeuvres
  • Allergy Accommodations: No, this is a set menu.
  • Upcoming Events: The GUT dinner series starts in the summer and runs through the fall. Follow GUT on Instagram for the most current dinner events.

The Gastronomic Union of Tucson | Event Location Varies


Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion

Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion offers an immersive culinary experience through an eight-course tasting menu that is bookended with amuse bouches and mignardises. Christopher Gross, co-owner and James Beard Award winning-chef, immediately sets the tone throughout his cobalt blue-accented restaurant: there’s carefully curated fine art, some which includes Yves Klein’s Leap into the Void; a retractable glass roof; and 180-views of Phoenix. Simultaneously eccentric, modern and posh, Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion captivated Alex and I the entire night! It was the perfect spot for me to take Alex out for our 15-year dating anniversary / 4-year wedding anniversary.


  • Tasting Menu: $275pp + Tax & Gratuity
  • Wine Pairings: $230pp
  • Courses: Eight
  • Included Extras: Welcome cocktail, Amuse Bouche, Mignardises, Parting Gift
  • Allergy Accommodations: Mild allergies can be accommodated, but severe allergies cannot be guaranteed.
  • Parking: Complimentary valet parking is available at the top of the hill, in front of the Wrigley Mansion.

Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion | 602-522-2344 | 2501 E Telawa Trail, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Tamales y Tacos Puebla

As part of the Desert Botanical Garden’s “Taste of Día de Muertos,” this was a four-course dinner prepared by Mexican chef Ricardo Aguirre of Tamales y Tacos Puebla and Mexican food designer and artist Victoria Molina. The meal transported guests through a neo-ritual of Día de Muertos, creating new interactions and symbolisms around the table. What stood out to me the creativeness and artistry in the menu. The horchata “candle” and candle butter with the cauliflower “marigold” were some of my favorite aspects. I also loved the backdrop of the Desert Botanical Garden.


  • Tasting Menu: $175pp
  • Wine Pairing: Included in cost.
  • Courses: Four
  • Included Extras: Welcome cocktail, mezcal, parting gift
  • Upcoming Events: Follow Desert Botanical Garden and Tamales y Tacos Puebla on Instagram for more culinary events.

The Desert Botanical Garden | Tamales y Tacos Puebla



Mélisse is my largest dining experience to-date, where I savored a total of 24 different bites and plates! Holding two Michelin stars, Mélisse is a Santa Monica staple and owned by Santa Monica-native Josh Citrin. This culinary institution has held the test of time by adapting over the years. Currently, Mélisse is an open-kitchen concept in a 14-seat dining room that presents guests with a front-row show to the orchestration of an 8-course tasting menu that is bookended by canapés, amuse-bouches and mignardises.

Collaborating with California farmers from San Diego to Napa Valley, Chef and Owner Josiah Citrin and Chef de Cuisine Ian Scaramuzza showcase global flavors using both modern and classic techniques. I loved taking Alex here because it was our first “modern” Michelin restaurant that had a more relaxed vibe. From the vibrant doorbell entrance to the music being synced with each course, there’s much thought that goes into making Mélisse an exceptional and elevated restaurant.


  • Tasting Menu: $325pp + Tax & Gratuity
  • Wine Pairing: $295pp
  • Courses: Eight
  • Included Extras: Welcome cocktail, canapés, amuse-bouches, mignardises, coffee and tea service, parting gift
  • Allergy Accommodations: Depends–as posted on their reservation page, “Limited changes and modifications to the menu can be accommodated. For example, we are able to accommodate pescatarian and no shellfish requests. If you have any specific questions, please reach out to us prior to completing your reservation.”
  • Parking: Valet parking is available for $15, there is also street parking. We took an Uber from our hotel.

Mélisse | 310-395-0881 | 1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401



Kochi, a one Michelin star restaurant, was Chef Sungchul Shim’s first solo project. He is accredited with working in the highly-acclaimed, three Michelin star restaurants Per Se and Le Bernardin, and now, he operates two restaurants of his own that each received a Michelin star. Kochi, meaning skewer in Korean, combines the accessibility of street food with the depth of traditional Korean flavors. A portion of the courses were served on skewers and meant to be eaten with your hands, as you would with street food. At the same time, elegance and opulence co-exist since the menu draws inspiration from Korean royal court cuisine, a multi-course style meal eaten during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). And while the ambiance is more of a boisterous and energetic mood, no corners are cut when it comes to the culinary technique.


  • Tasting Menu: $135pp + Tax & Gratuity
  • Sool Pairing: $95pp (wine, beer and soju)
  • Courses: Nine
  • Allergy Accommodations: Depends, as posted on their reservation page, “Please note, we are not able to accommodate vegan, celiac diets as well as any allergies or aversions to allium or sesame seeds. We are able to accommodate vegetarians with at least a day of notice in advance. Aversions to red meat, shellfish, seafood, dairy, nut or gluten (if soy sauce is consumable) can be accommodated as well.”

Kochi | 646-478-7308 | 652 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036


Awarded four stars by the New York Times and two Michelin stars, Jean-Georges is the flagship restaurant to Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s empire. Chef de Cuisine, Joseph Rhee, and Chef Jean-Georges work closely together with local farmer’s markets to maintain a seasonal and ever-changing menu that elegantly blends French cuisine and Asian influences. In addition to show-stopping service and tableside preparations, the dining room is stunning. The space was redesigned by Thomas Juul-Hansen and the lighting was executed by L’Observatoire. If you choose to book a reservation earlier in the evening, then you’re rewarded with views of Central Park and Columbus Circle from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Thank you to my husband, Alex, for taking me here for my birthday!


  • Tasting Menu: $338pp (10-course omnivore menu), $268pp (6-course omnivore), and $198pp (6-course vegetarian) + Tax & Gratuity
  • Courses: Ten and six
  • Included Extras: Welcome cocktail, some dinners include passed hors d’oeuvres
  • Allergy Accommodations: Please call to confirm.

Jean-Georges | 212-299-3900 | 1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

There were several other incredible tasting menus that I enjoyed but I did want to limit the list to 10. 2023 will be another year filled with a delightful tasting menu journey, especially since Alex and I will travel abroad again, and we will even experience our first three Michelin star restaurant!

Please feel free to send me a DM on Instagram for any questions on these experiences. I’m happy to help you embark on your own tasting menu adventures!



    September 4, 2023 at 6:01 am

    Kangtoto Thanks for sharing, I’ll check it out for a future project!!
    That is a great idea for a post, look for a follow up next week on this topic of good looking

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