Larry’s Albuquerque & New Mexico
Ten Favorite Dishes of 2015
Last updated December 30, 2015
As you read through this page, you will notice that M’Tucci’s Italian Market and Deli seems to be my favorite place. Well, it is my new favorite eatery and deli. I have been there 44 times since I found it in March, 2015. The two chefs, Cory and Shawn, are talented experimentalists, and are constantly inventing delicious and beautiful creations. I have stopped reading the menu because Cory, Shawn, or Savannah invariably tell me what I should get, and I always succumb. They know food, and they know me. MMD is a favorite of my constant dining companions Dazzling Deanell, Beautiful Barb, and Pulchritudinous Pam.
Remember that this is a New York-style Italian deli. You will likely find your favorite deli meats and cheeses, and you mist try the house-cured bacon. They dispense some very fine olive oils (the Organic Italian is my favorite).
My very favorite dish in 2015 is served at Piatanzi: the unbelievably good mushroom pizza with a side of the best-prepared calamari I have ever had. Anywhere. The calamari is lightly dusted with rice flour and flash-fried at 375 F. Served with lemon aioli. Perfection.
OK. Here they come
Mushroom Pizza at Piatanzi
Criminis, scalions, gruyere, and truffle oil. The crust is unique, flaky and tender, with just the right amount of crispness.
This is the best pizza I have ever had. I have shared it with the Dazzling Deanell twice in the past three weeks. I guarantee that this pizza will blow you away.
MUFFALETTA at M’Tucci’s Italian Market and Deli
Best Muffaletta in the Duke City. Shown wit Orzo Salad and a really good pickle.
Goat Curry at India Grill
Excellent Goat Curry at India Grill. Lovely, complex flavor with very tender and tasty goat.
This lovely dish is available on the ample buffet on Saturdays and Sundays, and a la carte all other days. Ari LeVaux loved this one, too.
Bread Pudding at N’Awlins Mardi Gras Cafe
This Lemon-Rum Bread Pudding has an excelent texture. Not too heavy and neither dry nor soggy. Just right.
The sauce is what sets this pudding apart from ordinary Bread Puddings. It has a slight tartness and a subtle rum flavor. It has made its way onto my Hall of Fame Bread Pudding list (fourth place), beating out some very worthy competitors.
Pappardelle and Pork Sausages at Torinos’@Home
My new favorite by Maxime.
Scratch made, including the tasty and juicy sausage. Tomatos, black olives, and white wine complete this excellent dish.
This was a special. Beg Maxime to put it on the daily menu.
Strawberry Blueberry pie at Casa de la Vieja Escuela Mariscos
Pamela Jackson, the pastry chef at this restaurant, create this beautiful dessert for a special occasion. She wanted to make a strawberry rhubarb pie (my favorite), but the rhubarb growing by the pool was past its prime, and she, being a perfectionist, compromised with fresh blueberries. Excellent. She wilake the rhubarb version next Spring when the plants are young and tender, Stay tuned.
Carne Adovada Stuffed Sopaipilla at Mary and Tito’s
The very best Red and Carne Adovada to be had anywhere in the Duke City, this is my favorite of its kind anywhere in the universe. It has earned a perennial place on these Best of pages.
Bailey’s Irish Cream Bread Pudding served with a Jameson whiskey sauce at Two Fools Tavern
House-made Bailey’s Irish Cream Bread Pudding served with a Jameson whiskey sauce. Perfect texture, taste, aroma, and appearance. I have enjoyed this many times, and after sharing it last night with my good friend Bart Schofield (The Bartman), it has risen to third place on my Bread Pudding Hall of Fame List
Cherry Espresso Lamb Ragout at M’Tucci’s Market and Deli
Another M’Tucci’s Market and Deli special.
Slow cooked New Mexico lamb with montmorency
cherries, Lavaza espresso and San Marzano Tomatoes.
Tossed with ziti pasta and smoked ricotta.
The smoky ricotta adds an unbelievable finish to this dish, which has made its way onto this page.
Braised Baby Back Ribs with Creamy Polenta At M’Tucci’s Market and Deli
Shawn and Cory have done it again. Every time I sit down in MMD, I get the feeling that they are creating extraordinary dishes just for me. This is one.
Slow-braised ribs with rosemary, black olives, cherries, and more are slow cooked for about 13 hours at 160-180 F. The texture is soft and falling-off-the-bone and the taste and aroma are out-of-this-world. Not all the fat has been trimmed off, and what is there is delicious. You need to eat fat—brain food. This all sits on a bed of dreamy polenta.
Cajun Burger at Nexus Brewery
I have been in somewhat of a rut ever since I discovered the Green Chile Cheeseburger (There is a even GCCB named for me out there). On my latest Nexis visit, I spied the Cajun Burger (new) on the revised manu, and figured WTFm let’s try it. Glad I did. It is one of the very best burgers I have had anyplace.
8oz ground chuck infused with bacon & onion + pepper jack + battered & fried bell peppers + andouille sausage + lettuce + cajun sauce. I\m going back tonight for another one.
Braised Pork Shank at M’Tucci’s Kitchen
Pork Shanks? Really? I have Lamb Shanks whenever I go to a new (to me) Greek Restaurant. I love Lamb Shanks.
On a recent visit to MK, our server announced that Pork Shanks were one of the evening specials. Undaunted, I ordered them and what a surprise! They were fabulous.
Slow cooked and finished with a creamy milk and rosemary sauce, the taste was gentle and delicious, and the texture was perfect. Beg the chef, John Haas, to put these on the regular menu. Offer your firsr born.
The M’Tucci’s constellation does pork belly very nicely. Now, how about lamb belly to complete the family?
Green Tamale Pie at Papa Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant
Green Tamale Pie. Succulent green carne adovada baked in sweet corn masa with bits of vegetables, green chile and a touch of onion, set off with a liberal lacing of melted cheese and green chile. served with arroz. The green chile is smoky and moderately piquant. Excellent and unique dish.
Side of Green Chile/Bacon Papitas. Great taste.
Bow Tie Pasta with African Lamb Sausages at M’Tucci’s Market and Deli
House-made bow tie pasta with African lamb sausage (richly spiced and piquant) and butternut squash, zucchini, and onion in a delicate and rich cream sauce. Cory made this for me, and everything was exquisite. It is because of the ingenious efforts of Cory and Shawn that I he ve been to MMD 43 times since March 2015.
Note: Starting in January 2016, I will be reviewing only those restaurants that I consider extra special. My failing eyesight makes it progressively difficult to compile these reviews. I will continue the Best Of Lists such as the one you are now reading.