Closing, closing, closing. What the hell is going on here? Mom 'n' pop restaurants are dropping like flies, while corporate joints squirm like maggots on every corner. I know I've been whining about this same thing for years, but things seem to have changed over the past few months, and it's happening faster and faster. Look, people, you control the future of this city. The potential for change is in your pocketbook. If you don't eat at McAppleSteakhouse, and do eat at Tippy's Taco Shack then you are helping to keep local dollars here, in the hands of your friends and neighbors. You're supporting local chefs, farmers and purveyors. It's like voting: Sometimes it seems pointless and sometimes you don't win, but if you don't do it, you always lose. In fact, think of the loss of one of your favorite little places next time you vote. Call your city councilor, mayor, or state legislator and ask what they're doing to help keep local restaurants alive. I mean, what more can I say? What has that multinational corporate feed lot on I-25 done for you lately? When was they last time you walked in to one of those places and got introduced to everyone in the neighborhood, given a lesson in red or green and made to feel welcome in a strange city?
All the News That's Fit to Eat
Tony Nethery is moving to Miami, Fla., to take a job as Sous Chef at Douglas Rodriguez' new restaurant OLA Steak. Nethery had been chef at Monte Vista Fire Station until the end of last year, when he became partners with Johnny Orr in the cheese and sandwich shop Relish (Wyoming between Louisiana and Pennsylvania). Nethery will remain a silent partner in the business after he leaves, which he said will happen before the end of February. Yes, it does seem sudden, but Nethery told me the job was too good to pass up; he couldn't resist the opportunity to work with such a well-known chef (Rodriguez was also behind the popular restaurant Chicama in New York City). Plus, Nethery's wife Melina (who also happens to the be the younger sister of my former coworker Sergio Salvador) is pregnant with their first child, so if they were going to make a move, it would be best to do it before they start hatching chicks. Pastry chef Ted Nicely, who spent the past few years making desserts for Monte Vista and Ambrozia, will join Nethery at OLA Steak. I will cry myself to sleep tonight, knowing I've had the last of Nethery's pork and grits creations and Nicely's awesome ice creams. The city will be way less yummy without the three of them.
An Oenophile's Guide to Sideways
The oscar-nominated film captures what we love about wine
When I first heard about a wine movie coming out, I nearly wet my pants. I mean, introducing wine to the mainstream—the Hollywood mainstream—that's the kind of publicity wine really needs in order to penetrate the American psyche.
Venezia's New York Style Pizzeria
Rio Rancho transplant brings the flavah of Noo Yoyk to the Duke City
My New York “expat” friends have long been making pilgrimages to Venezia's Pizzeria in Rio Rancho for their New York style pizza fix. I'm happy to report that brothers Renato and Aldo Venturino have opened a sister store in the near Northeast Heights, so we don't have to commute as far for a pie.
Flying Star opens next week in a historic Downtown building
Flying Star is set to open Downtown at Eighth Street and Silver on Monday, Feb. 28. This latest addition to the Flying Star and Satellite family of bakery/restaurants and coffee shops is located in a striking modern structure built in 1950 for Southern Union Gas, a precursor of PNM. The airy and open building with lots of stone, steel and walls of windows, was designed by the late John Gaw Meem, a famous New Mexico-based architect who was best known for his Southwestern style buildings, like UNM's Alumni Memorial Chapel. Flying Star owners Jean and Mark Bernstein worked with landlord Jay Rembe to get national historic status for the building.
U-Pick Green Chiles and Farmers' Market
Whether you’re more familiar with the French Riviera or the French Quarter, there are plenty of places in Albuquerque to get a taste of authentic French cuisine. Read Hosho McCreesh’s review of Le Quiche Parisienne in this issue, and check out these other restaurants in the city that will cater to your wanderlust and make you feel, if only for the evening, that you’re dining in the City of Lights. Bon appetit, mes amis.