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“LOVE LOVE LOVE the Kumquat. My new favorite restaurant.”
Review of Curious Kumquat - CLOSED

Curious Kumquat
Price range: $5 - $40
Cuisines: Contemporary, International, Gastropub, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Takeout
Description: James Beard nominated eclectic restaurant featuring fast, fresh and affordable lunches, and modernist foraged tasting dinners.
Reviewed October 24, 2010

You are in for a huge surprise. The food is delicious, locally sourced and beautiful! The staff and chef are funny, smart and fun! The space itself adds to the uniqueness with a maze of little rooms, funky colors and great art. For lunch, the sandwiches are divine, especially with the house made ciabatta. By far, some of the best sandwiches I have EVER had (and I have travelled far and wide). For dinner, you will be transported to some unworldly destination with so many surprises. Be prepared to be blown away! Extra extra kudos for the great beer list and having multiple vegetarian options. The Kumquat is worth a trip to Silver City alone. I know I'll be back again and again and again.

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2  Thank chatsnoirs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (278)
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271 - 275 of 278 reviews

Reviewed October 15, 2010

First, be aware that lunch and dinner are quite different experiences. We heard excellent comments about the sandwiches and outside dining for lunch. Dinner is served three nights a week - Thursday-Saturday. We had dinner.

We have eaten all over the world, from campfires to fine restaurants in European and Asian capitals. Our dinner last night at Kumquat was one of the top meals of our lives.

The dinner menu has four entrees. They offer a tempting "express" dinner - an entree and a salad for $15. We watched a young couple with an infant take advantage of that option, eating at an outside table while their child played in the grass. Tempting - but we are so glad we went with the full prix fix meal experience - about $30 pp.

Dining at the Kumquat is easy. Pick one of the entrees and decide what you want to drink. (The wine list is good and reasonably priced and there is an extensive beer list.)

Then put yourself in the hands of the chef and servers. The staff are an important part of the Kumquat experience. If you prefer to eat in relative solitude, they will simply check on you regularly. If you are interested in communicating, they will inform and entertain. Our servers were Anne and Sean - we had a great time and enjoyed each other's company. We observered other diners having the same experience.

The chef is ambitious and attempting a lot in this little space. He wants to provide good food, locally-sourced and well-prepared. He also wants to delight and amaze and entertain. In our case, he achieved all three.

It is hard to describe the number of courses... some of the food was little bits, other items were substantial courses. From start to finish - and we were there for 2 1/2 hours - we would marvel over what we were presented... then joyfully anticipate the next surprise.

We aren't professional critics or foodies, so we don't have precise notes and descriptions. Here's a rough list of what we enjoyed:
* a starter "shooter" made with green apple, celery juice, citrus, and a touch of white chocolate
* a cold "soup" , probably leek based?, with a floating nut and a little floating "boat" of apple filled with balsamic vinegar
* freshly baked bread - sourdough and an orange brioche - both superb
* soups - one was a spicy squash, the other a creamy base that hinted at coconut but wasn't
* a little bit... a little curry granola cookie inside a clear rosewater-paper edible wrap
* entrees - we had the very savory oxtail with puff pastry and the "Herd" a 1/3 pound ground meat patty served on slices of brioche with a side salad. The other two choices were goat spiced in the Puerto-Rican mofango style, and vegetarian raviolis.
* an "intermezzo" - a little bit of some sort of spice cake... a little dab of some kind of extraordinary cheese that starts with G... and a couple Armanac-soaked prunes.
* desserts - a chocolate "Parisian flan" that was excellent (and gluten-free... the chef concocted it because one of his diners has Celiac disease and he modified as necessary... she seemed delighted with the results) and a little chocolate covered bomb with a piece of silver leaf (edible) on top,concealing a most amazing cake and cream filling reminiscent of tiramisu without the coffee, or maybe a little of the Hungarian chestnut puree confection one might enjoy while people-watching in Budapest... not sure how to describe it as we picked up our forks and then it was gone...

At each stage, one or both of the servers would engage us, letting us experience each new surprise, then helping us identify the more mysterious flavors. The chef came out and spoke with each party and there were lots of smiles all around.

We saw one party that didn't seem as delighted. They seemed put off that diners reused our spoons rather than replacing the silverware with each course. They found a spot on a glass. They clearly have experienced fine dining and found the Kumquat a little less refined than they may have liked. They probably rated their meal "adequate."

It is true... this isn't "elegant" dining... this is elegant food in a casual dining setting. We didn't just have dinner - we had fun!

During diner we asked the servers and chef about a source for mild green chilis for a dish we wanted to prepare. Though this area of New Mexico is famous for the Hatch chilis, the season is over and we couldn't find them in the stores. As we payed our bill, we were surprised with a small loaf of the exceptional sourdough bread to take home... and a large tub of mild green chilis from the chef's stock.

What a great place! Throw out pretentions and go and have a good time!

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1  Thank idiotsabroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2010

You cannot go wrong here. The food is amazing, the staff is awesome, the chef is creative and smart with his food. Lunch is simple, and tasty and fresh. Dinner is a total unexpected experience with fun surprises left and right. By far one of the best meals I have had to date. This place is truly amazing. If you find yourself anywhere near Silver City, do yourself a favor and eat here! It you are no where near Silver City, make a trip, go there on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday and treat yourself to a truly amazing dinner experience.

1  Thank eemur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2010

My wife and 10 year old stumbled upon this place after 5+ hours on the road. Truly amazing.
Mrs. had vegetarian balsamic cashew raviolis. I had goat in Puerto Rican 12 hour spice/sauce. ALL the courses before hand were outstanding. Like unbelievably outstanding. We eat out a lot all over. Very personable wait staff. Very kid friendly . Chef was personable and thoughtful. Dont be scared. Its very worth it. Going back to have chef special Oxtail dish.

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1  Thank milani3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2010

The best restaurant in Silver City. Great food and outstanding list of beers. If you want to enjoy a dinner prepared with care and quality ingredients this is the place for you. The staff is nice and friendly.

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1  Thank CarlaLuca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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