New Mexico’s cuisine is dominated by the foods of the southwest; green chile, beans, hominy, corn tortillas (blue corn is common). Satisfying, spicy, simple. On our visit, we found plenty of options to the regional fare that provided memorable dining experiences.
Equinox: This café in the lobby of Hotel Chaco is a most unlikely spot for a delicious inexpensive breakfast in a spectacular contemporary setting. The friendly staff served us freshly baked French style pastries and Prairie Frittatas with fresh side salads that satisfied and sustained us all morning.
St. Clair Winery: Right across from the Hotel Albuquerque, this is both tasting room and restaurant with a wide-ranging menu of American faves and adventurous options. We enjoyed a ying-yang lunch; a most delicious and hearty meatloaf with creamy mashed potatoes, and a fantastic Salade Nicoise with perfectly seared tuna. Their wine tasting flights are an absolute bargain, starting at $6; we sampled a trio of their Signature red wines. Served in a spiral tower, each glass was a treat. St Clair is a family-owned winery with French roots, growing vines in several areas of New Mexico. We found these excellent wines to be complex yet accessible and flavorful.
Los Poblanos Inn: For a more sophisticated foodie experience celebrating locally sourced foods, head out to Los Poblanos in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. On the pricey side, the sophisticated chef-driven menus serves “Rio Grande Valley Cuisine” in a completely unique and unforgettably lovely setting. Be sure to allow time to stroll the grounds before and after your meal, and visit the wonderful gift shop. Depending on the time of year, you may encounter fields of fragrant lavender, pomegranates or countless other flowers. At breakfast, Courtney enjoyed a traditional egg and bacon plate and Jimmy had the hearty house-made granola/ fruit/ yogurt plate (included in overnight stays) served with style in a cheery, sun-filled room with views of the gardens.
The previous evening we had enjoyed dinner (the seared duck was phenomenal) in that same room and it glowed warm and sexy, thanks to candles and soft lighting. Our wine choice that night was a refreshing rose from Milagro, a New Mexico vintner.
And a fresh fruit pie for dessert Jimmy lusted after earlier in the day on a tour (he’s a freak for pies with buttery, flaky homemade crusts, and this did not disappoint!)…
Tablao Flamenco : As Courtney describes in INSIDE, this venue made for a memorable evening of entertainment… but also of cuisine. The tapas were delicious and reasonably priced. We enjoyed a stage-side spread of Spanish cheeses, olives, Jamon Iberico, Albondigas (OHHH, so good!), all washed down with housemade Sangrias of various sorts. Perfection!
Learn more about Albuquerque, here.