Okay, huh? This place is at the far end of the earth, in the middle of nowhere, located inside of the visitor's center of a housing development. It's the size of a postage stamp. How then, is it conceivable, that this place showcases an awesome menu with some of the best executed food I've had since moving to the Albuquerque area.
Seriously, if this place seats 40 people I'd be surprised. The appetizer's are plentiful, but run of the mill. Still, the red chile hummus is slightly sweet and very tasty. My only complaint would be the insufficient amount of toast points that accompanied it. There are a few salads to choose from, though nothing that stood out as overly interesting. The dinner entrees on the other hand, were very interesting. There are a couple of fish dishes, the found everywhere salmon and a more interesting trout dish. There are a couple of Mexican based dishes including a Carne Adovada and Fajitas that sounded delicious. Then there are the less often found offerings including a pork chop, duck confit, pork belly and a seafood sofrito. My husband had the duck, which included 2 full thighs and legs over mashed potatoes with carrot peels. The duck, while slightly dry had a delectable crispy skin and an outstanding port reduction. I went for the pork belly. Delicious, unctuous, smoky pork with a orange marmalade/green chile "laquer" which added a lovely sweetness to the smoky and salty pork. Though I will say that the green chile could have been a bit more prevalent. The dish could have benefited from a slight bit of heat. The pork belly was served over pureed butternut squash and wilted spring greens that added a nice bitterness to the sweetness of the squash. Portions are also substantial, definitely getting your money's worth.
For dessert there were only 2 offerings. A poached pear served with vanilla ice cream and a panna cotta with raspberry sauce. The pear was good, but lacked flavor (hint: try poaching it in that port reduction you used with the duck). The panna cotta was delicious, slightly sweet and creamy with a slight bite from the raspberry sauce.
Service was good, but a little slow. Actually, I think it was the kitchen that was a little slow as opposed to any fault of the servers. In their defense however, I will say that several tables seemed to come in around the same time so I'm betting the kitchen was slightly overwhelmed. By the time we were finishing dinner around 8:00PM, the place was packed, and several tables had turned over since we arrived.
What I'm really not clear on is what this place is doing in the location they are in. Had it not been for a Living Social coupon that my husband purchased (failing to check the location first), we never would have found this place. The chef clearly has some chops and I wonder how long he/she will last at this out of the way location. Regardless, I will willingly make the trip to eat there again.
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