New Perennial Favorites, Part Two—This multipart edition of "The Dish" is devoted to established Albuquerque chefs who are stepping up to the range at new projects. Click here to read last week's installation on Sam Etheridge's forthcoming Nob Hill Bar and Grill.
My first theater experience was in 1986, when I was marched to an off-Broadway production of Animal Farm with several of my classmates. Since I was much too young to grasp the underlying theme of the plot (this being the gloomy, Orwellian allegorical vision of the Communist revolution), I just enjoyed the idea that animals could walk, talk and do human stuff.
French wine is by far my favorite—a bad French Bordeaux is better than a good California Meritage, and a stinky Burgundy is better than a perfumed Oregon Pinot Noir any day. So when I heard a new French wine-oriented restaurant was opening in Nob Hill, I about wet my pants. To the benefit of my pants and my pride, I was able to pull myself back together when I discovered that Michael Cooperman (creator of the somewhat bloated but nonetheless chock-full-of-great-finds wine menu at Scalo) crafted the wine list at La Provence. Given that brasserie or brewery usually implies a more comfortable and laid-back environment, I thought I would reserve my judgment.