Eats and Arts, a new promotion for Culture and Dining in Downtown Mesa.

The Mesa Arts Center, the Arizona Museum of Natural History and the Arizona Museum for Youth i.d.e.a. Museum are working with participating Downtown Mesa restaurants offering special deals for YOU, their patrons. With a ticket, a ticket stub or an admissions receipt at these Mesa eateries (click here) you will receive a special discount or offer just for visiting one of our cultural venues.


Recently my husband and I had date night in Downtown Mesa. With concert tickets in hand for the Mesa Arts Center, we headed for dinner at Il Vinaio located at 270 W. Main St. The restaurant, locally owned and operated by Cameron and Cindy Selogie, is decorated in a Tuscan-style with stained glass windows and cathedral ceilings but still manages to give you a casual, comfortable feeling. Unlike a lot of proprietors, you will find Cameron and Cindy working alongside their staff to assure you get quality service each and every time.

The menu offers breakfast, lunch and dinner which includes gluten-free options. After looking over the menu and the Happy Hour specials we decided to share a few starters including  the pork sliders, BBQ chicken flat bread and the house-cut garlic fries.

The wine list is extensive, diverse and includes both domestic and imported specialty wines. After taste testing a couple of suggestions, I decided on the white blend of MARYHILL Winemaker's  from Columbia Valley, WA. It had a floral bouquet with a touch of fruit and a hint of sweetness. I must say the first glass went down easy so I opted for another. My husband not being a wine drinker chose one of the specialty micro beers on tap. His choice was a beer made just for Il Vinaio by Sleepy Dog Brewery located right here in Arizona called Nectar of the Dogs. Not wanting me to drink alone he too ordered another. In case you would like to broaden your taste buds, you can always order the Half-Pound Free Range Nilgai Antelope Burger. With full bellies and happy hearts, we headed to the Mesa Arts Center just down the street for our show! The convenience of walking to a performance is an added bonus.

Earth, Wind and Fire’s GUIDING LIGHTS TOUR 2012 at the Mesa Arts Center was held at the Ikeda Theater, one of the most beautiful venues in the state. WOW! What an amazing concert, fans of all ages filled every seat in the house; including one very prominent E W F fan - our own Mesa Mayor Scott Smith. He even tweeted from the concert that “If listening to Philip Bailey and EWF sing a love ballad doesn't move you; well, your life is one big constipated mess” and I agree. Listening to the iconic sounds of a band that has stayed true to their roots for the past 42 years should move you, to get up off that chair and groove. And I did. Music that covers funk, jazz, soul, gospel, pop, rock & roll, psychedelia, blues, folk, and even a dip into disco filled the air along with vocals that can be recognized for their absolute uniqueness. Our seats were amazing and located in the middle of the orchestra section, just a few rows from the stage. However, I can tell you that there are no bad seats in the Ikeda.

Date night was a success, and so was Downtown Mesa’s “Eats and Arts”. Come on out to Downtown Mesa and enjoy what we have to offer. So, I wonder what the next great concert is?

(Author: Terrie Gardner, Visit Mesa Sales Assistant)