Still hungry? Yes, indeed! Twenty years old, and here we are, still savoring the flavor of Norther New Mexico. After all these years, Local Flavor’s readers, writers, featured chefs, artists and locals of all trades still savor the flavors of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos and beyond. In honor of the celebration of our 20th Anniversary, we’re featuring three of our favorite Albuquerque restaurants, all which were a part of our very first issue…and beyond! Each restaurant is a local classic in its own right, and we are honored to feature a few signature recipes in the April issue. We hope you enjoy these dishes as much as we do—after all, one’s never too old, never too young, to enjoy the flavors of our Northern New Mexico treasures. Here’s to many more!
Seasons Rotisserie & Grill
On the north side of Old Town Plaza, Seasons Rotisserie & Grill has enjoyed steady popularity since opening in 1996. Started by the venerable Roessler family, this locally-owned-and-operated restaurant has a gracious main dining room famed for its power lunch crowd and a spacious rooftop patio that has long been the place to see and be seen. Working in the open-exhibition kitchen, Executive Chef Myles Lucero has been expanding and modernizing the restaurant’s menu for nearly 10 years. While previous chefs have stayed true to the restaurant’s centerpiece theme of wood-burning grill and rotisserie-style main courses—roasted prime rib, grilled center-cut beef sirloin and oak-fired jumbo sea scallops—today Lucero brings a more progressive spin to his selections, adding healthier options.
What really makes this place special are the people who work here. Managing partner, Keith Roessler, notes, “We still have several opening team employees from 1995, including chef couple Maria and Chon Murillo that run our lunch program and our creative (and demanding) florist by day and seasoned server at night Fabian Rodriguez to name just a few.”
Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breast
from Executive Chef Myles Lucero
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
½ pound butter, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
Splash of white wine
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Fresh herbs, chopped (any combination of rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage)
Splash of chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season each breast with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the breasts in the skillet on both sides until nicely browned and then transfer pan to the oven for an additional 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165° degrees.
Mix the butter, cheese and bread crumbs together until incorporated. Split into 4 portions, then press each into a thin wafer. Top each breast with a wafer and roast for another five minutes.
Transfer breasts to a warm platter to rest and make a pan sauce out of the skillet drippings. Deglaze with white wine, scraping up all the browned bits. Add mustard, minced garlic and chopped herbs and chicken stock to smooth. Spoon over chicken breasts and serve with your favorite chilled Pinot Gris.
Seasons Rotisserie & Grill is located at 2031 Mountain Road NW in Albuquerque. 505.766.5100. seasonsabq.com.
O’Niell’s was trending before Celtic became chic. When it opened in 1994, the pub was located a little west of where it sits now on Route 66. After enjoying significant growth, O’Niell’s moved down the road to a much larger facility, where patrons bring their dogs and appetites. Indeed, success is the Irish public house’s best recipe as it boasts two locations, one in Nob Hill and the second in the Heights.
O’Niell’s menu mixes old and new with a special flare, including options for veggie lovers and fitness freaks. All the Celtic favorites can be found—Guinness bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and wild Alaskan fish and chips—to satisfy any Irish cravings. But the restaurant’s also known for its modern versions of pub staples served to accommodate every palate, such as sirloin and blue cheese salad or the fashionable seasoned Portobello mushroom burger.
Executive Chef Doug Toney has been at O’Niell’s for 18 years, working through the years to modernize the kitchen’s offerings for new patrons, while staying true to their Irish roots for loyal customers. All desserts and soups are made in-house and at least a third of the menu is vegetarian. “The clientele near the college location is certainly more health-conscious,” Chef Doug adds. Founder Rob O’Niell wanted to bring good food and honest drink to Duke City. He’s accomplished that and more, including snagging a Best Dining Patio in Town rating from locals in the effort.
Irish Boxty (Potato Pancakes)
from Executive Chef Doug Toney
½ cup flour
1 pound shredded, frozen hash browns
1-1/2 cups precooked mashed potatoes
Handful scallions, cut on bias
Handful chopped, fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Mix all ingredients together well in a bowl to form a batter. Add more flour if needed. Heat a large nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium to medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add a light coating of olive oil. Drop a large spoonful of the batter into the pan and smash it down to about 1/8 inch thick. Let it brown on both sides, about 3 minutes each. Serve hot with your favorite protein and a glass of Guinness.
O’Niell’s Pub has locations at 4310 Central Avenue SE and 3301 Juan Tabo NE in Albuquerque.505.255.6782 and 505.293.1122, respectively. oniells.com.
Le Chantilly Fine Pastries
Tucked inside the historic Hoffmantown Shopping Center for 28 years, Laura Shirley’s Le Chantilly Fine Pastries has become a generational phenomenon. “We now have grandchildren coming back as adults,” Laura says. Riding the wave of economic ups and downs over the past two decades, her strategy has been to stay true to the bakery’s French roots—everything has filling and butter. What was popular from the start remains so today, including Laura’s Apricot Regent which is built with two layers of white-butter almond cake and filled with toasted hazelnut meringue.
Laura’s son Keith has been by her side since he was 15. Now 28, he handles the shop’s deli salads and savory menu. While the bakery side doesn’t cater specifically to food trends, he has incorporated vegan and gluten-free options to continue to attract a wider range of clientele. Le Chantilly offers salads and quiche as well as made-from-scratch breakfast and lunch selections such as stuffed croissants and homemade soups every day.
Leek and Potato Soup
from owner and baker Laura Shirley
2 quarts beef stock
6 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 leeks (white part only), thoroughly washed and sliced
Bouquet garni: 2 Tablespoons each tarragon, basil, thyme, rosemary, wrapped and tied in 10-inch square of cheesecloth.
Put stock and vegetables in a large pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove bouquet garni.
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons feta cheese crumbles
1/2 pint heavy cream
Over medium heat, make roux with butter and flour. Add cream slowly and then add feta. Combine the cream mixture with the stock mixture. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
Le Chantilly Fine Pastries is located at Hoffmantown Shopping Center, 8216 Menaul Blvd NE in Albuquerque. 505.293.7057. lechantillybakery.com.
Story by Jain Lemos