According to Women’s Health magazine, Albuquerque is one of the country’s “up-and-coming” food scenes. To which we shout a resounding, duh! According to the magazine’s formula of searching for highly rated eateries, three Duke City restaurants were highlighted, all featuring creative Latin cuisine: Pollito Con Papas, Guava Tree Cafe and Pasión Latin Fusion. Kudos all around!
And speaking of creative Latin cuisine, MÁS Tapas y Vino at Hotel Andaluz offers an exclusive chef’s table dining option beginning October 9. Just 16 people per evening can get an intimate look into the artistry and craft behind award-winning Chef James Campbell Caruso’s twist on traditional Spanish cuisine. The five -course tasting is filled with an eccentric collection of modern tapas in an ever-changing menu, spanning unique flavor combinations among the likes of pan-seared squab with rosemary-smoked chocolate, braised oxtail croquetas, pork cheeks in carrot date caramel, diver scallop tartare with preserved lemons and piment d’espelette and oyster pancetta empanadas with Pernod saffron cream. Each tapas serving will also come with a side of culinary musings from Chef Caruso himself. The chef’s table is by reservation only, Thursdays and Fridays. Contact 505.923.9080.
The location is a secret, but if you’re lucky enough to be on the invite list, October 9 is Albuquerque’s first Diner en Blanc. The pop-up dinner party has taken other major cities in a storm of white dresses, tablecloths and napkins. Albuquerque organizers Micaela Brown and Taylor Trodden expect 500 people to this outdoor gathering for foodies who dress up in white formal attire and enjoy food and entertainment at a location kept secret until just before the event. For info and to sign up for next year, visit albuquerque.dinerenblanc.info.
In beer news, Bosque Brewing Company announced that it will open a second location in Nob Hill. By the end of the year, the former Hollywood Video at the corner of Girard and Central will be transformed, and will include a patio. Until then, try one of Bosque’s 12 brews on top at the original location at 8900 San Mateo Blvd. NE, which is expanding its brewing operations. To check in on the progress, visit the Bosque blog: bosquebrewing.com/blog.
Opera Southwest opens its 42nd season October 26 with the new world premiere of the lost opera Amleto (Hamlet)by Franco Faccio, libretto by Verdi’s librettist Arrigo Boito. Amleto premiered in 1865 in Genoa to unanimous acclaim and was revived in 1871 at La Scala to disastrous reception. The faded, torn score in the composer’s own hand was found in 2003 in the archives of Casa Ricordi, Milan, by composer Anthony Barrese, now artistic director and principal conductor of Opera Southwest. Leading the cast of this premiere will be New Mexico tenor Alex Richardson as Hamlet and soprano Abla Hamza, who recently appeared as Angelica in OSW’s 2012 production of Suor Angelica, as Ophelia. Mezzo-soprano Caroline Worra of New York City Opera and baritone Shannon DeVine make their company debuts as Queen Gertrude and King Claudius; bass Jeffrey Beruan also debuts in the role of Lo Spettro, the ghost, and bass Michael Gallup returns to Albuquerque as Polonius. Tickets for the October 26 through November 2 run at 505.243.0591 or operasouthwest.org.
If you like your music in an alternative venue (The Kosmos at Factory on Fifth), check out Chatter’s Sunday concert series in October, featuring Breaking Brass, Russian masters, ZOFO piano duo and Felix’s Birthday Cello Celebration. October 5 is New Mexico’s premier brass ensemble, the Breaking Brass Quintet, with spoken word by Don McIver. On October 12,cellist David Schepps and pianist Alexander Schwartzkopf present a powerful program featuring the music of two great Russian masters, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, with slam/performance poet Christina Perez. On October 19, ZOFO comes to Albuquerque to present a dynamic program featuring works by Gershwin, Debussy, Urmas Sisask and Holst performed by Grammy-nominated, award-winning pianists Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi, with award-winning poet (and Santa Fean) Lauren Camp. For October 26 info, and tickets to all performances, head to chatterabq.org.
In theater news, the Vortex has a new, easily-accessible, larger, more comfortable space at Candelaria and Carlisle (the old Langell’s Art Supply). New Mexico’s oldest continuously producing black box theater, the Vortex raised money for the move, renovation and a new sign. With plenty of parking now, the theater company christened the new space in September with “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” and October sees a season-appropriate “Mystery of Irma Vep” (an anagram for vampire)runningOctober 10 through 31. For info and tickets, visit vortexabq.org.
Founding Chef Kim Müller, who helped create the unique, delicious and award-winning cuisine at Izanami at Ten Thousand Waves, is stepping down from her position to spend more time with family. Welcome to the new executive chef, David Padberg, who launches his omakasa (chef’s choice) selection on October 1, International Sake Day. The five- or eight-course tasting menu is paired with sake. We don’t know how this James Beard-nominated restaurant could get any better, but we’re willing to sacrifice to find out! Head up for a soak, massage, facial and treat yourself to a 20 percent New Mexico resident discount through October for your entire party, every day after 5 p.m. Visit tenthousandwaves.com.
In long-anticipated restaurant news, Tecolote Café will re-open its doors in November! Owners Katie and Matt Adkins say that they are moving into the former Yummy Café space at 1616-A St. Michael’s Drive. In the 34 years since it opened, Tecolote has been a favorite of locals and visitors alike, and the Adkins promise little change in the food and service (yeah bakery basket!). Certainly, the restaurant will look a little different, but again, the owners plan to incorporate touches of the original décor into the new space. As always, Tecolote will be a breakfast and lunch spot, Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., when they open. For updates and an opening date, visit tecolotecafe.com or visit their Facebook page.
More expansion news for Santa Fe Spirits. Their downtown tasting room at 308 Read Street has officially opened an outdoor patio, adding 12 seats and an outdoor space to the popular tasting room. And a big welcome to new head distiller John Jeffery, who joined in September. He has designed and produced spirits for more than 15 start-up spirits companies, including whiskies (white and aged), gins, vodka, liqueurs, rums, agave-based spirits and others. Kudos to owner Colin Keegan, tasting room manager Molly Norton and the team for their success in bringing artisanal spirits and hand-crafted cocktails to the community. We lift a glass of your Apple Brandy in a toast! Or maybe Colkegan or Silver Coyote Whiskey? Oh, the tyranny of choice!
Driven by the old O Eating House in Pojoaque lately? The past few months have seen it transformed into the new incarnation of a nostalgic favorite, La Mesita Eatery. Owner Sean Ewy says this third generation restaurant will serve modern American cuisine: sandwiches, salads, soups and steak, and will have a full service bar with a private dining room. The restaurant’s silhouette logo is a depiction of the three people who ran the original: Charles “Smokey” Stover, Barbara Stover and Sheila Stover Ewy. Check lamesitaeatery.com or their Facebook page for an official opening date (late September or early October), or call 505.455.7004.
Congratulations to the 2014 Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown winners!The judges anointedSecond Street Brewery’s Alien Burger the king of the competition for its blue corn chile relleno, bacon, fried onions and three types of cheeses. The people chose the Mad Chile Burger, a half-pound of Black Angus chuck and fried green chile with aged cheddar and chipotle dijonnaise on a brioche bun from Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid as supreme. All the proceeds from the wildly popular event benefited the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute.
Do good while eating well on October 18, when three local chefs cook for the community to benefit St. Elizabeth Shelter. The 2014 Hungry Mouth Festival features Andrew Cooper of Terra, Josh Gerwin of Dr. Field Goods Kitchen and Joseph Wrede of Joseph’s of Santa Fe. You be the judge in an amazing cook off at the Farmers’ Market Pavilion, featuring music of The BUSY McCarroll Band. Tickets, which include food and cocktails, at steshelter.org/hungry-mouth-festival.
The New Mexico Restaurant Association’s annual Hospitality Industry Awards last month feted back of house excellence award winner Fernando Flores of Jinja Bistro, while front of house awards went to Danielle Dotson and Andrew Roy of Il Piatto. Congrats to the folks who keep our bellies full of delicious food and our psyches happy with great service.
The fans have spoken and New Mexico’s own designer Patricia Michaels is headed back to TV’s Project Runway for the Project Runway: All Stars edition, premiering October 30. You may recall that Michaels came in second during her season with her Native American inspired designs (she’s originally from Taos Pueblo). She will again face Michelle Lesniak, who won season 11, as well as other fan favorites from the past few seasons. Check your Lifetime listings for times.
Attention birders! The inaugural Upper Pecos River Valley BirdFest is October 2 through 5 in Pecos. The festival features two and a half days of birding with guide Roger Clark. See why northern New Mexico is becoming a top birding destination. The tour includes guided tours, most meals and loads of ornithological knowledge. Call Kimberly Allen at 505.757.8752 for details and to register.
So many reasons to love Taos, including Taos and the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway once again a National Geographictop pick for Best Fall Trips in 2014. The article notes, “For those beginning and ending the drive in Taos (basically circling the state’s highest point, 13,162-foot Wheeler Peak), the 83-mile loop offers spectacular natural features: golden-hued aspens, thick evergreen forests and abundant wildlife, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.” If you’re looking for a spectacular natural palette of red, orange and gold hues, you can’t beat this easy day trip through Northern New Mexico.
While you’re in Taos, head to Moby Dickens Bookstore for two author events. On October 4, renowned Native American potter and poet Max Early gracefully details both the everyday and the extraordinary moments of family and community life, work and art, sadness and celebration at the Laguna Pueblo. The book, “Ears of Corn: Listen,” beckons the reader to accompany Early on the journey between ancient and modern times. Including an historical preface by the author, an introduction by Simon J. Ortiz, and photographs of Early’s family and award-winning art, this debut poetry book is profound in its welcome and teachings. Then, on October 18, award-winning poet Janet Eigner reads from “What Lasts Is the Breath/Illuminations,” her book of poetry and a winner of a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. Visit mobydickens.com for details.
Artful Saturday, October 18, features Palette Contemporary Art & Craft hostingthe latest wax paintings from Encaustic Art Institute founder Douglas Mehrens. The show is titled The Big Rip, and Mehrens will be in the gallery from 3 to 6 p.m. to explain the pieces that chronologically represent the past, present and future of the universe from the Big Bang to the Big Rip! Visit palettecontemporary.com.
The same day, Weyrich Gallery opens Homage: Porcelain Works. UNM Assistant Professor Kathryne Cyman and invited students of the Arita, Japan, porcelain process created new works in green and white inspired by the porcelain art of Sensei Manji Inoue, National Living Treasure of Japan. These porcelain vessels take on the challenges of carving and dual glaze applications, featuring local celadons and clear glazes, reflecting the respect and result of many creative struggles along with the love these porcelain ceramists have for the practice of this porcelain art. Go to weyrichgallery.com.
The University of New Mexico Art Museum is a treasure trove of local and regional art. Through December, head to Beautiful Disintegrating Obstinate Horror Drawings and Other Recent Acquisitions and Selections from the UNM Art Museum’s Permanent Collection. Featuring highlights from the UNM Art Museum’s significant collection of over 30,000 works of art, the largest public art collection in New Mexico, this exhibit presents works by many noted artists, including Clinton Adams, Dawoud Bey, Richard Diebenkorn, Margaret Evangeline, Damien Hirst, Robert Hudson, Raymond Jonson, Georgia O’Keeffe, Hung Liu, Beatrice Mandelman, Liliana Porter, Louis Ribak, Andy Warhol and Jean Xceron, among others. Among the recent additions are the collection’s first ancient sculptural work, large-scale Andy Warhol prints from the 1980s and contemporary photographic works by Bey and Evangeline. The exhibition also inaugurates the museum’s Jonson Gallery as a permanent collection gallery. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., admission is free. Go to unmartmuseum.org.
SITE Santa Fe hosts Kim Kanatani, Deputy Director and Gail Engelberg Director of Education for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, as she discusses Shared Authority in the Art Museum: Precedents, Process and Propositions. The lecture at Armory for the Arts Theater, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, explores the concept of “shared authority” that has gained new currency as contemporary art institutions seek to evolve new and more inclusive platforms for collaborative museum work and interconnectivity on a local and global level. How are these shifts towards more democratic processes in museological and artistic practices manifesting in institutions like the Guggenheim Museum? What new synergies and frameworks are evolving? Is the work of a museum changing? What new propositions for engagement are on the horizon and how do we measure their success? For reservations call 505.989.1199.
As part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, INSIDE OUT, an exhibition of work created by Santa Fe artists being treated for mental illness, kicks off with a fundraiser preview on October 10 at the James Kelly Contemporary Gallery. On October 11, the one day only show opens to the public. One hundred percent of all art sales go directly to the artists. The exhibition includes watercolors, paintings and a series of work that combines photography and text called PhotoVoice. All the artists are creating their work at residences and drop-in centers in Santa Fe (Casa Milagro, Casa Cerrillos, LifeLink Clubhouse), that support those with mental illness. For info, go to insideoutsantafe.blogspot.com.
Hie thee hence until October 25 to see Origami in the Garden, the large-scale outdoor sculpture exhibition created by Cerrillos artist Kevin Box at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden on Museum Hill. The exhibition features 15 origami sculptures created in the lost wax casting and fabrication method. All creations feature Box’s own compositions as well as collaborations with internationally respected origami masters, such as Dr. Robert J. Lang. If you fall in love with the colorful origami ponies, smaller tabletop sized versions are available for purchase in the admissions kiosk, all made in the same method as the large-scale sculptures, involving 35 steps over 12 weeks. Visit santafebotanicalgarden.org for details, times, etc.
Taught by professional watercolor artist Lynn McLain, a fall watercolor workshop October 8 through 11 takes place at the lodge at Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort. What a great way to spend a few days in Northern New Mexico’s beautiful mountains, exploring your own creativity under the tutelage of a master painter. Call 575.587.1625 for more details on the classes, lodging and more.
Story by Kelly Koepke