The 2009 Art in Oro Valley Competition & Exhibition runs through April 30 at Ventana Medical Systems, 1910 E. Innovation Park Drive, with viewing hours from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.
The exhibit features work from more than 80 local artists in three competition themes: Water, Oro Valley and High School Open Subject. If you hurry, you can still check out the exhibit with your favorite starving-artist friend, then treat her/him to a big meal at one of these five nearby eateries. Or just skip the exhibit and go straight for the food.
12152 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd., Suite 170, 742-9595, 11 a.m.-midnight Sundays -Thursdays, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays (late night menu after 10 p.m.)
Features a nice variety of 27 upscale tapas and award-winning artisan pizza.
CIBARIA CUCINA ITALIANA
12985 N. Oracle Road, 825-2900, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays
Try the Polenta Capponata, sautéed Italian sausage, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red onions and mushrooms in a marinara sauce served over creamy polenta.
DRAGON VILLAGE RESTAURANT
12152 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd., Suite 180, 229-0388, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, noon-9 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays
Specialties to try include Westlake Shrimp & Beef Soup, Bacon Shrimp Roll and House Lettuce Cups, with shrimp, chicken, beef, onions and peppers in a spicy sauce.
10355 N. La Cañada Drive, 731-1000, 3-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursday, 3-10 p.m. Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays
Handmade Gnocchi is a great way to start the meal at this newbie, which emphasizes organic and locally sourced food
10325 N. La Cañada Drive, 297-3777, 5-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays
Linguine Allo Scoglio features a generous collection of well-prepared shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams, and the calamari starter is excellent.