No contest—my choice for No. 1 meal in 2011 is Masa’s omakase in New York City, and Prune is certainly in the top 10 (see Have Fork, Will Travel). But I’ve eaten some amazing food here at home this year. The dishes that follow, available on regular menus or as specials, stand out as top notch. I have a hard time distinguishing between them for quality and sheer enjoyment, so in no particular order:
I was among the many diners who mourned the demise of Le Café Miche in 2009. From the beginning of Chef Claus Hjortkjaer’s tenure in 1996 until it closed, Miche was one of Albuquerque’s most popular venues for upscale continental dining. But weep no more. Hjortkjaer is in the process of making the Brasserie La Provence his own. Hjortkjaer comes to this new venture with longtime friend, and now business partner, Caryl Cochran.
Restaurateur is a humanitarian with a lot on his plate
By Mina Yamashita
It’s no secret that restaurants are strong supporters of the communities in which they serve. They are, after all, the face of the hospitality industry. This year Scalo Northern Italian Grill received the New Mexico Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Neighbor Award, sharing accolades with sister restaurant Brasserie La Provence. Their ongoing contributions have supported many Duke City groups including schools, churches, civic organizations and, notably, Dismas House, a transitional living facility.