Allure Bar and Grill took over the long-quiet Dickey’s barbecue joint on Pan American. The former cowboy motif has been replaced with a bar that runs the length of the building. Booths line the other wall, and there are pool tables in the rear. Service is casual and the menu offers a variety of dishes, from a crispy-good Monte Cristo sandwich to build-your-own pizzas. There are also burgers, salads, a Greek wrap and plenty of deep-fried appetizers to complete the bar menu. Select items are offered until 2 a.m.
Allure’s combo appetizer
1606 Central Avenue SE • 433-3731
Matteo’s on Central
Owners Tanya Fitzjerrell and Fredo Chavez opened their first Matteo’s on Coors three years ago. Needing to expand the size of the restaurant, they moved the operation to what used to be the Souper!Salad! on Central west of University. Now UNM-area diners can sit down to huevos rancheros, burritos or a nice little breakfast steak at Matteo’s. Their extensive menu includes New Mexican standards for breakfast, lunch and dinner—and, yes, there’s a soup and salad bar. Service is efficient, the sopaipillas are billowy and prices are student-friendly.
As soon as word gets out, folks in the Far Northeast Heights will be heading in droves to Pizzeria Luca. Richard L. Aldighieri and business partner Dennis Romo (formerly of The Rose Café) have created the look of a New York City loft in a spacious restaurant / wine bar in the same complex as Jinja Bar and Bistro and Trader Joe’s. The owners pay attention to the quality of their ingredients, bringing pepperoni from Italy and slicing it on the diagonal for better presentation. The salad greens that accompanied my sausage sandwich were fresh and served with a small pitcher of good vinaigrette. A make-your-own pizza of broccoli rabe, mushrooms and anchovies was generously topped and perfectly sauced, and it had a crust too good to leave behind. The four-cheese pizza was equally flavorful. You’ll find panini, pasta and good espresso drinks as well as excellent service.
Pizzeria Luca pizza
Pizzeria Luca ½ sausage sandwich
Umami Sushi and Asian Fusion Restaurant
6601 Fourth Street NW • 345-1984
Los Ranchos has always been short on Asian spots, especially Japanese. Now North Valley dwellers don’t have to drive across town for a quick bite of sushi and a bowl of miso soup. Open just five months in the strip mall at Fourth Street and Osuna, Umami’s decor is quiet and inviting. The servers’ T-shirts define the ethereal quality of “fifth taste” in simple terms. The restaurant is also down-to-earth, serving not only Japanese dishes and sushi, but the full sampling of Thai noodles, Chinese stir-fry, and plenty of steamed vegetables. My savory green chile tempura roll was a crispy treat.
Umami miso soup
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