At Proper—located in the historic Rialto building in downtown Tucson—“farm to table” is more than just a buzzword. It’s a way of life, a state of being, the very essence that makes up this southern Arizona culinary gem. Under the direction of Chef Kris Vrolijk —whose commitment to sourcing ingredients from local purveyors is truly palpable—the restaurant has become a favorite among local epicureans. The cuisine is described as “elevated seasonal American with global accents” and features a delicious collection of smaller plates designed for sharing, as well as entrees inspired by ingredients from around the world (think curried lamb stew and a charcuterie board with rabbit terrine).
For flavors closer to home, Vrolijk is proud to showcase ingredients from Arizona purveyors. There’s beef from Diablo Trust Ranches in Flagstaff, chicken from Ridge View Farms in Paulden and turkey from Valley View Farm in Prescott. And in further support of local purveyors, Vrolijk introduced Monday Market Dinners, an improvisational seasonal dinner crafted entirely with local farmers market finds handpicked by the chef himself.
“There are really no rules, other than responsibly supplying and showcasing the very best ingredients month after month,” says Vrolijk. “We just want to create something that encourages sitting and enjoying Arizona’s homegrown flavors with friends, neighbors and family.”
Held the first Monday of the month, the three-course dining experience benefits the Arizona-based Farm Education Research Network.
Round out your visit to Proper with a sip at the open-air bar, where it’s all about seasonal cocktails made with fresh-pressed juices and fresh herbs. Local libations reign supreme, as well, thanks to its selection of small-batch spirits, craft brews and wines—all distilled, brewed, fermented and bottled right here in Arizona.
Like much of the city of Tucson, Proper presents a certain swagger, but not without paying homage to the history and funkiness of the city itself.
300 E. Congress St., Tucson