It was December 30, and I was heading to Albuquerque next morning. Where to spend New Year’s Eve dinner? My host at the Bottger Mansion in Old Town bed-and-breakfast had emailed me a list of places that would be open, and I called the one at the top of the list (X). Imagine my surprise when X (which had no room for another person on New Year’s Eve) recommended Seasons, which was also at the top of my host’s list! (Seriously folks, how many other restaurants would give a sincere and candid recommendation for a competitor? Hats off to that restaurant — and I’ll be there next time I’m in ALB.) Ian at Seasons answered my call and took my reservation. He was calm and unruffled and seemed genuinely pleased to chat with me about my upcoming visit.
Although Seasons is within walking distance of my B&B, I drove the few blocks to the free (pleasant shock!) parking garage next to the restaurant (uncrowded, too, and apparently safe/secure since I saw a police/security vehicle drive through around 10:30pm-ish). I was a bit early, but Rachel at the hostess desk kindly managed some magical re-arrangement of tables, and I was seated almost immediately. Ivy was my server, and she managed me skillfully and attentively through the set menu for New Year’s Eve. I chose the Black Buck Chop (antelope), smashed potatoes, rapini (a green vegetable with many spiked leaves surrounding clusters of green buds that resemble small heads of broccoli). The nutty, pungent (slightly bitter) flavor of rapini was a perfect accompaniment to the rich potatoes and the succulent and moist antelope. I placed myself in Ivy capable wine-pairing hands, and she chose a lovely dark, rich merlot to complement the bold flavors of the antelope and rapini. Ahhhhhh, what a way to end the year! For dessert was a chocolate torte topped with crème brulee. Heaven. Utter heaven.
Unusual food expertly prepared, great wine, and great service. Combine that with a large, open (maybe a tiny bit noisy with the hum of conversation and bark of laughter), casually elegant dining room decorated in comfy, warm earth tones, natural wood, and artistic light fixtures. A New Year’s Eve to remember, for sure.
As I was leaving, Ian came up to introduce himself as the one who had taken my reservation. He explained a bit more about Seasons’ philosophy, and we had a nice discussion about what goes in to making an enjoyable and memorable dining experience.
Hope you enjoy your experience there as much as I did mine!
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