I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, there ARE wine bars worth visiting in New Mexico!
I travel on business from Southern Nevada to West Texas… as you can imagine, this is not exactly the wine mecca of the United States. I always search out wine destinations where I travel. So, I thought I would throw these exploits on the blog. If you are ever traveling in the area, consider stopping in. They were both good, but Farina was special.
510 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Wow! I come here most trips into the area. Fantastic brick oven Napolitano style pizza. I enjoyed the “Meatball Pizza”. It was delish! As you can see, reasonable prices too! They have Antipasto and Pasta dishes, but here is the pizza menu:
margherita 12- tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil melanzane 13- salsa di pomodoro, eggplant, basil, oregano, mozzarella funghi 16- mushrooms, fontina, tallegio,mozzarella thyme, shallot salsiccia 16- tomato sauce, sweet fennel sausage, roasted onion, mozzarella, provolone. bianca 16- fresh mozzarella, parmigiano, ricotta, truffle oil, sage, artichoke hearts carni curate 17- cured meats (pepperoni, prosciutto, salami) tomato sauce, mozzarella pepe caldo 15- broccollini, hot pepper, ricotta, caciocavallo, mozzarella formaggio di capra 15- mozzarella, farmhouse goat cheese with leeks, scallion, pancetta additions 2- roasted new mexico green chile, pepperoni, roasted artichoke hearts, chopped imported olives, roasted garlic, etc. Meatball Pizza 15- Mozzarella, ricotta, spinach, garlic & marinara
I always enjoy their wine list. Often, less well known producers and usually pretty fair quality at a decent price. Have you ever heard of Malbec blended with Corvina? What a strange mash-up – it works, but the other wines were better. They change their selection frequently, bringing in new wines to keep things fresh. The stand-outs for me, were the Nero D’Avola and Negroamaro Blend. I tasted these wines:
Nice atmosphere and busy even on weekday nights. Could transplant this in San Francisco and it would work. Sit at the bar and Tasha will take care of you. Great service!
2. Slate Street Cafe
515 Slate Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Tried this restaurant for the first time this trip. Fusion of New Mexico and traditional flavors. Tried the chicken fried steak with green chili on a bed of smashed potatoes and broccoli – all surrounded by a red chili sauce. This was very good, but then again, I am a sucker for southwest fusion. Atmosphere was very blah and stuffy. See photo below:
Dinner menu below:
best of the rest
grilled sesame crusted Ahi tuna $27 jasmine steamed rice, vegetable spring roll, soy sauce, wasabi cream, habanero mango cream brown bag fish and chips $15 fresh salmon in beer batter, lemon basil tartar, housemade chips
served in a brown bag
Auntie May’s meatloaf $18 wrapped in prosciutto, porcini gravy, smashed potatoes, sauteed baby vegetables featured vegetarian entree $16 check our specials for tonight’s feature really big kid mac & cheese $12 pancetta, aged cheddar cheese sauce, parmesan brittle herb crusted center cut pork chop $26 grilled apples, new potatoes, applewood smoked bacon & shitake mushrooms
sherry demi glace
grilled ribeye $28 spinach & wild mushroom ragout, smashed potatoes
roasted garlic demi glace
chicken fried steak $16 broccoli with aged cheddar cheese, smashed potatoes
Duran’s red & green chile
salmon puttanesca $25 over linguini, sautéed broccolini spicy penne pasta $16 green chile chicken sausage, butternut squash, pepitas
sage cream sauce
chicken cordon bleu $21 spanish serrano ham, manchego cheese, smashed potatoes, sautéed baby vegetables, herb & white wine reduction
Nothing special about the wine selection. I tasted the wines separately from the meal. I was in the mood for red wine. Weather was chilly and it had been snowing up in Taos earlier in the day in mid-May – crazy weather. In any case, the reds would not go well with the moderately spicy food, so I drank before and after dinner. The merlot was very average, but I really enjoyed the Petite Sirah. Photos below: