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La Cuisine, Albuqerque, NM

La Cuisine is firmly in the French tradition. If you haven't been here since around June 2002, please try it again: the new management is doing a great job.

We tried this place for lunch on Saturday, September 20, 2002, shortly after it was reviewed in the Albuquerque Journal. The place was fairly busy, but the staff coped well.

We started out with the French onion soup, and it was very nice. Instead of a mass of cheese floating on a larger mass of onions, this was a very tasty white cheese melted onto slices of bread and floating on the soup, which was a fine rendition of the classic French recipe.

After reading about the mussels flown in fresh from the Mediterranean, I had to try them, despite my reservations about the $12.95 price and wondering whether I would make it through a long day on seafood and some French fries. I needn't have worried. The mussels were not only fantastic, but there were about two dozen of them, and the meats averaged the size of an average man's thumb. The liquor in the bottom of the bowl was a simple but elegant wine and herb broth and made a good dip for the mussels as well as their excellent French bread. The salmon and leek quiche was also classically prepared and quite excellent, with a light, flaky crust.

It's hard for me to resist a chocolate mousse, and this too was a fine offering. It had a slightly chunkier texture than most mousses, with what I suspect was shaved high-quality chocolate mixed in. Not oppressively heavy, yet rich.

La Cuisine is open for lunch Tuesdays through Saturdays on the northeast corner of San Pedro and Candelaria, right next to Robb's Ribs, phone (505) 884-2573.

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John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2002/09/23 01:06:26