Dining out, I feel, is an act of compulsion. Some thought, memory or taste recollection interrupts our day, lodges itself in our little brain forcing our body to respond by heading off to a restaurant to re-live that lovely, edible reminiscence. If we haven’t visited the establishment before, perhaps a friend raved about the food there, or we saw an ad that featured a gorgeous food shot, or we read about it here in Local Flavor and thought, “Gee that sounds interesting and yummy.” Off we go to check out the menu. And it all starts with a thought.
Often when I am writing, as I reflect on a dish, I suddenly realize my mouth is watering. Literally, my taste buds kick into action as that delicious dish scampers across my mind. (Talk about Pavlov’s theory….) As the year draws to a close, I thought I would call on those scrumptious reveries and share them with you. Here are my top ten favorite dishes of 2010. They are by no means in order of importance or preference. The list could have been a thousand strong, because I am sure you all agree–we truly live in the City Deliciously Different. Continue reading
When I first tasted Mark Connell’s cooking at a special invitational sampling just prior to the relaunch of Max’s, the cozy downtown eatery in the Guadalupe district, I couldn’t believe my taste buds. I was already a fan of prior chef Brian Rood’s simple, ingredient-driven menu, most of which came from the Farmers’ Market. Connell had recently become working chef/partner with proprietor Maria Renteria and Rood had temporarily left the restaurant (Rood now acts as Connell’s sous chef). Word on the street was that Max’s was closing, and then suddenly a new chef and direction appeared, and a buzz slowly started to build.
The dinner that night was perplexing. I had heard that young Connell had worked briefly for Thomas Keller and had incorporated the sous vide cooking technique into a few of the dishes at Max’s. I wasn’t yet sold on the notion that cooking food in a plastic bag in a temperature-controlled water bath did anything to improve its flavor or enjoyment factor, so I was surprised by the results. Continue reading
Think the cold weather has put the kibosh on the Rail Yards Market? Think again! December 13, join the Downtown Growers’ Market and the Rail Yards Market at the grand 2nd annual Albuquerque holiday gathering at the historic Blacksmith Shop of the Rail Yards. Both markets are committed to building a resilient, sustainable local economy that we all love to work and play in. The Holiday Market is a fantastic celebration of our local culture, presenting an opportunity for our vast diversity of farmers, chefs and artisans to share their talents, and a time for us to come together in the spirit of giving to support and nourish those in need with food, gifts and supplies from nearly 100 vendors. Visit railyardsmarket.org for more.
The buzz about The Shop Breakfast and Lunch in Nob Hill has been non-stop since it opened. Now you can get your late-night eats there, too. William Hartig is the chef and owner of Late Night, an “Asian fusion from scratch” concept that takes over The Shop from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and offers delivery. We hear the fried wonton pork belly nachos are amazing! Get your feed on by watching their Facebook page for nightly specials.
In other Nob Hill restaurant news, Loving Vegan has closed, and Downtown’s Soul and Vine has moved into the same spot on Central between Tulane and Amherst. That’s no coincidence, either, as both restaurants are owned by the same folks, Kathy and Tony Punya. Both restaurants’ Facebook pages announced the changes, with promises to incorporate a few of Loving Vegan’s more popular dishes into the more eclectic, upscale fare of Soul and Vine.
Get in the holiday spirit with the inaugural concerts of a new chorus. Coro Lux, conducted by retired professor of music and director of Choral Activities at UNM, Bradley Ellingboe, means “choir of light” in Latin and consists of 65 adult community singers. The program, December 4 and 5, at the Kimo Theater consists of the ever-popular Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten, as well as the Gospel Magnificat by Robert Ray. The Britten is accompanied by harp and the Ray by a small combo (piano, bass, drums). For those of you who like to sing along, there will be familiar Christmas carols, too. Tickets at kimotickets.com, with special rates for seniors and students.
December is all about the music, so join Friends of Cathedral Music at the Cathedral of St. John, 318 Silver Avenue SW for Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico, as it celebrates women in music on December 13. This program of music for women’s voices by female composers, includes a poetry reading with Pulitzer Prize nominee, Valerie Martínez. The ensemble was founded in 2006 by Dr. Maxine Thévenot, who conducts the performance. Polyphony’s singers present a range of music from the Medieval period to modern day. College, high school and children under 12 are free, but get your tickets now at polyphonynm.com. Continue reading