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Cafe Bodega, Albuquerque, NM

This place is long since out of business, alas. I've never had a Hangtown Fry that could touch theirs.

On 2000-12-21, I tried this new bistro. The Albuquerque Journal gave it four stars, and I have to concur.

I started with the portobello soup with Spanish sherry and white truffle oil. It was exquisite---lovely texture, smooth, rich. Everything I want in a soup.

Appetizer was the Hangtown fry. Three large, perfectly fresh oysters are fried in a supremely light and crunchy batter and served with some applewood-smoked bacon, some mixed baby greens, and a very nice sage aioli. The waitress told me to wrap all this up in the three small chive crepes and eat them burrito-style. Outstanding. I don't normally go out of my way for oysters, but these were superb. Nice complex texture, and I could taste each ingredient separately in the mix.

Entree was duck confit over fontina cheese ravioli with a little sage broth and a scoop of very nice marinara. The duck meat was boneless, tender as butter, and scattered over the pasta. I'm not a great fan of marinara either, but this was pretty good stuff, just a hint of sweetness.

It's a beautiful room, and the service was excellent. Even though it's a fairly new place, you should call for reservations. It's located in the Granada Square center at 4243 Montgomery, on the north side of the street between Carlisle and San Mateo.

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John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2010/09/30 00:25:42