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“Great lunch” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Curious Kumquat - CLOSED

Curious Kumquat
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $40
Cuisines: American, International, Contemporary, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: James Beard nominated eclectic restaurant featuring fast, fresh and affordable lunches, and modernist foraged tasting dinners.
Level Contributor
69 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great lunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2014 via mobile

After reading such wonderful dinner reviews, we were hoping they would be open for lunch and we were in luck. Thai duck soup, duck confit salad and chicken mole sandwich were all great. Only downside was that the napkins were very cheap - which if you are going with paper something above the bottom grade would be a far better presentation. The food however, outstanding.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Maureen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gfron1, Owner at Curious Kumquat, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to share your review. There's a bit of history behind those cheap napkins. When we opened the restaurant 6 years ago we only offered lunch (of course, now our reputation is based on the dinners), and our goal was fast, fresh and affordable foods in a town where prices were rising fast for processed food meals. So that meant balancing the expense of making everything from scratch (including curing our own meats, etc) and buying much of our ingredients locally which are more expensive BUT counteracting that with a very small staff and pinching pennies where we could - like the napkins. Over the years I've looked at upgrading the napkins but other things keep taking priority like getting rid of our cheap tables and having a local artisan make our sorghum grass table tops. We'll get there eventually as we have with dinners where we use cloth, but I still want lunch to be affordable for everyone in our community. So be patient and know that I've heard your comments and agree...just a matter of time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

278 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    218
    39
    12
    6
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
31 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Test Your Foodie-Q”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

The Curious Kumquat is well named. For starters, you have to be curious to find your way to Silver City. Secondly, you have to be a miner of dining gems, willing to cross the Kalahari for the most arcane taste experiences. And finally, the Curious Kumquat is indeed a curious dining experience. Located in a rather small, nondescript building in a town with some remarkable 19th century western architecture, the Curious Kumquat is a 2014 James Beard Semi-Finalist and all that, so you go there with some trepidations and expectations. It's a bit of an odd menu: for $39-$44 you have a choice of a "main dish" preceded by three of Chef Rob Connoley's tasting inspirations of the day, plus dessert. Or you can just have the 'main' dish for $12-$15. But the options are in tiny print and you have to ask the waiter for an explanation.The CK calls itself a Restaurant, Beer and Wine Garden, with probably the most extensive, exotic selection of wines and beers south of Santa Fe. However, our first two wine selections were out of stock so we settled for a third choice. I ordered the 4H Lamb as a main course with the full tasting array, and my companion ordered the Thai Duck entree. Without going into the immense fine details of the food preparation, let me suggest that you will likely be experiencing for your first and possibly only time such ethereal exotica as "winter forest dew" a combination of herbs that the chef personally "foraged" for you this morning and turned into a foam that sits atop a combination of "birch, turnip, chickpea, salt cured beets, orange oil." In subsequent selections you might experience "inside-out poached yolk with mushroom broth," "elderflower and corn pebble," and "acorn financier and sesame oil powder." My single lamb chop entree was delicious, the local lamb cooked to perfection. However, the portions were all very small. It's all about the tastes, of course, not about eating, per se. The waiter that evening was very nice and able to recite all the ingredients perfectly, but was otherwise inexperienced in the restaurant world. The Curious Kumquat is a great conversation piece for Silver City and adds to the town's tight selection of decent to very good dining options, but unless you crave rarified, overwrought, over-handled fare, let your curiosity carry you elsewhere.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank PeterG343
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gfron1, Owner at Curious Kumquat, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Thanks for the post - it looks like you had a lot of fun crafting the words to convey your experience! As I often say in my responses, we are not for everyone (and that's meant in a purely practical way). Our portions are tasting menu size but in the end almost all diners find the food sufficient but not bloating. Our service is also small town friendly - efficient and dutiful but not pompous and overbearing - this is extremely important to us. Based on your other reviews I would like to suggest that you try The Buckhorn - since you liked the PA Cabins, its right down the street and they have big portions...but more importantly really good food. If you head back our way, just send a message back to the kitchen and I'll happily up your portions. Cheers, Rob
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, RI
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A revelation!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2014

I've been trying to figure out how to put into words what our meal at Curious Kumquat was like- I am nearly speechless.

Before I talk food, though, I want to mention something that I haven't seen much about here on TA: the cost. The tasting menu was around $45 per person, and included all of the courses (typically 4-5 including dessert.) They have a great wine list, but we don't drink. We were offered Italian and French ciders, which sounded nice, but we opted not to indulge, as they were nearly $20 a bottle! We were served filtered water in a beautiful bottle, which was replaced when necessary. My husband is the kind who has to be talked into a 'once-in-a-while' "$50 dinner," so this took a little extra finessing on my part to get him to agree to this. He was glad I did; it was absolutely worth it.

We had the tasting menu, and were astounded. This brilliant chef finds wonderfully inventive ways to present not only traditional ingredients but stuff we'd never thought of as well. He is extremely thoughtful about every aspect of his work- even going to far as to plan dishes in which one flavor lingers, and another is fleeting, using different 'mouthfeels' to orchestrate taste and sensation according to his design. He was accommodating with regard to dietary restrictions, and the server was quite knowledgeable as well. At the end of the evening, the chef came out and chatted with us and the other guests; we left feeling like we'd been treated to a special dinner at the home of a lovely friend. Thank you, CK, we will be back!

Here is a tip: if you're coming in from out of town, reserve for a Saturday night- apparently Silver City locals use that night to go out of town themselves, so it's easier to get a reservation.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank filmaker111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silver City, New Mexico, United States
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best Lamb in town”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2014

I go this restaurant every now and then. The lamb, when it is on the menu, is amazing. Chef Rob is excellent in the kitchen. The apple ice wine and tawny port are good wines. The chocolate mousse is to die for!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Justin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salida, Colorado
Level Contributor
55 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Great little restaurant in Silver City”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2014

What a great local restaurant for a lunch while traveling. My wife had the duck and vegetable soup and I had the chicken sandwich. Everything was served promptly, the food was flavorful and hot. Very prompt attention from our server and reasonable prices for our lunch. We will recommend this to our friends and stop here on our next trip.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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