The “farm to table” movement—or “field to fork,” or “farm to plate,” and so on—has been gaining traction in every corner of the country, and Albuquerque’s newest member of this growing club didn’t mince words when deciding on its name. After a long winter of teasing us via its Facebook page, Farm & Table finally opened on Fourth Street between Paseo and Alameda. The setting is gorgeous, inside and out. The food walks the walk and is reasonably priced for what you get. And the chef, Ka’ainoa Ravey, is a freaking genius.
I was hoping to catch up with those scallops on my return visit for brunch, but alas, it wasn’t an option. I settled for a garden omelet, speckled with veggies and chunks of local chorizo. Although the brunch contained fewer surprises and didn’t reprogram my taste buds the way the dinner menu did, it was damn good.
Dessert, on the other hand, gave dinner a run for its money. The sorbet trio included vanilla citrus, blackberry coffee and carrot apple sorbets, garnished with dehydrated slices of lime, orange and apple, respectively. All three had amazing flavor, although the texture of the apple carrot sorbet fell short—it was more like half-frozen juice than the perfectly creamy consistency of the other two. Hours later, the postre I fell asleep muttering about was the pastel imposible, an impossibly good spheroid of flourless chocolate torte with a hint of red chile, upon which was fused a layer of vanilla flan. If only the coffee had arrived at the same time, and not five minutes later. But rough spots like this are like temporary blemishes on a half-cut gem. Give this place another month, and I fully expect it to sparkle.
The bill brought a shock of a different sort. After ordering with the kind of hedonistic abandon that only the rich and those who aren’t paying (and restaurant critics) can enjoy, the tab was just $100. That’s two salads, two appetizers, two entrées, two glasses of wine, two desserts, a cup of excellent coffee and a cup of tea. Affordability has long been the Achilles heel of fine dining. I’m thrilled to see that Farm & Table has apparently solved this riddle.