Best of the Rest: The best restaurant in Albuquerque, and beyond
 Alibi V.19 No.40 • Oct 7-13, 2010 

Best of Burque Restaurants 2010

Best of the Rest

The best restaurant in Albuquerque, and beyond

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests

El Pinto

Kate and Josh Gerwin, owners of Casa Vieja, voted Best Restaurant in Albuquerque.
Kate and Josh Gerwin, owners of Casa Vieja, voted Best Restaurant in Albuquerque.
Eric Williams
10500 Fourth Street NW • 898-1771
El Pinto is great for someone who isn’t from around here. It's in the North Valley and captures that New Mexico vibe, only greener. (JB)
2) Sadie's
3) Frontier

Best Atmosphere

El Pinto

See above for contact information.
Yup, it’s true. El Pinto's sunburned adobe, ristra-adorned patio and gorgeous gardens showcase the natural beauty of New Mexico unlike any other. (AF)
2) Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse
3) Jennifer James 101

Best Seafood in a Landlocked State

Pelican's Restaurant

Far Northeast Heights: 9800 Montgomery NE • 298-7678
Westside: 10022 Coors NW • 899-2000
New Mexico can't have good seafood? Pelican's disagrees and offers flown-in fare every day. Have a meal in this rustic shack and you won't be too far removed from the maritime morsels on the East Coast, landlubber. (AF)
2) Tie: Los Equipales, Mariscos La Playa
3) Noda's

Best Gluten-Free Options

Paisano's Pasta and Regional Italian Cuisine

1935 Eubank NE • 298-7541
About 90 percent of Paisano's menu can be made without wheat—calamari, pastas, pizzas, lasagna, even bread. Almost all of the desserts are gluten-free, and that includes cakes (but not the cannoli shell). Paisano's also sells gluten-free pizza crusts so you can make your own at home. (MD)
2) Annapurana's World Vegetarian Café
3) A TeaCo (The Annapolis Tea Company)

Best Brewpub

Marble Brewery

See P.M., Best Beer Selection for contact information.
Marble has only been open for a few years, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a grocery store that doesn't carry one of its "rock solid" brews. Drink fresh pints at the awesome brewpub, complete with an outdoor patio, a library wall and games. (AF)
2) Kelly's Brew Pub
3) Chama River

Best Greasy Spoon


See A.M., Best Breakfast Burrito for contact information.
The spoons come spotlessly clean at Frontier so that you, the customer, can have all the fun dipping them into various, diet-destroying pools of cheese, chile and eggs. Not to mention "sweet roll sauce," also known as half a stick of melted butter. Mmm ... fattening. (LM)
2) Tie: 66 Diner, Mannie's Family Restaurant
3) Milton's Family Restaurant

Best Outdoor Dining

El Pinto

See Best of the Rest, Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests for contact information.
New Mexico isn’t known for its lushness—not in terms of greenery, at least. But a visit to the El Pinto patio will make you feel like you’re in an oasis. Surrounded by ivy-choked trellises and pools of flowers, you’ll dine in a verdant sanctuary. (CC)
2) Kelly's Brew Pub
3) O'Niell's Irish Pub

Best Fine Dining

Tie: Artichoke Café and Wine Bar, Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

Artichoke Café and Wine Bar
424 Central SE • 243-0200

Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro
3009 Central NE • 254-ZINC (9462)
Is it coincidence that our fist place winners both have the term “wine bar” in their name? Or is it that a fine selection of fermented grape squeezings enhances our appreciation for fine food? (DO’L)
2) Tie: Jennifer James 101, Ranchers Club
3) Tie: Antiquity, Seasons Rotisserie & Grill

Best Wine Steward

Kate Gerwin, Casa Vieja (by a landslide)

4541 Corrales Road • 508-3244
Since opening her restaurant last year, Casa Vieja’s Kate Gerwin—who acts as sommelier, resident mixologist and co-owner, to boot—has turned the city's wine scene on its head. And that’s a good thing, as evidenced by her landslide victory. Three cheers to K.G.! (LM)

Best New Restaurant

Tie: Cool Water Fusion, Lumpy's Burgers

Cool Water Fusion
2010 Wyoming NE, Suite B • 332-COOL (2665)

Lumpy's Burgers
5420 Central SW • 833-1300
Cool Water Fusion has a new take on comfort food, as its scrumptious short-ribs will attest. Settle in front of a loaded frybread or a plateful of bread pudding for total satisfaction. Craving a burger? Lumpy’s 100 percent Angus burgers go down great with screwy, skinny or chunky fries. Lumpy's serves 'em the way you like 'em, and you like 'em a lot! (MY)
2) The Cube
3) Bailey's on the Beach

Most Missed Restaurant

Le Café Miche

We've reminisced about wonderful meals here—cassoulet, bouillabaisse, appetizers that stole conversations two weeks after the fact—too. We miss you, Café Miche. Chef Hjortkjaer, wherever you are, we know you’re eating well. (MY)
2) Chocolate Café and Bakery
3) Great American Land and Cattle

Best Chef

Jennifer James, Jennifer James 101

4615-A Menaul NE • 884-3860
Foodies know. They follow Jennifer James wherever she hangs her chef's hat. Because her meals are art, offering up surprising combinations of unusual ingredients. James never misses her mark. (MD)
2) Josh Gerwin, Casa Vieja

Best Restaurant in Albuquerque

Casa Vieja

4541 Corrales Road • 508-3244
From the cocktail menu all the way through dessert, the food and drink at Casa Vieja is made from scratch with carefully selected ingredients and many strokes of genius. (ALV)
2) Artichoke Café and Wine Bar
3) Scalo Northern Italian Grill
Results reported by John Bear (JB), Christie Chisholm (CC), Marisa Demarco (MD), Adam Fox (AF), Ari LeVaux (ALV), Laura Marrich (LM), Devin O’Leary (DO’L), Mina Yamashita (MY)