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Seasons/Savoy/Zinc, Albuquerque, NM

See also the official Seasons page. The same people also run Savoy, 10601 Montgomery Blvd NE, (505) 294-9463, and Zinc, 3009 Central Ave NE, (505) 254-9462. Savoy is every bit as wonderful as Seasons, with a fairly similar approach. Zinc is more of a downtown place: a bit trendier, more interesting decor, and some nifty dishes: try the duck confit spring rolls.

Update: May 20, 2000. I have probably eaten here around 20 times and nothing they have done has ever been less than terrific. Tonight it was the seafood risotto, with bay scallop, salmon, kalamata olives, and several other goodies I've forgotten. I'm not much of a risotto fan but this was exquisite.

The calamari is still my World Standard. Since the old review below, they've made two changes. Before they make the fresh tomato coulis, they smoke the tomatoes with the smoke from their oak cooking fire, and this gives the coulis a marvelous smoked flavor. They've cut back to only one sauce drizzled over the calamari, a superb lemon aioli.

Update: May 22, 1998. I had a regular menu item, Chicken Saltimbocca with asiago and prosciutto, crispy risotto cake and steamed broccoli florets. It was outstanding. My friend Eric had salmon on spinach orzo (small, rice-shaped pasta with pureed fresh spinach in it) and a fist-sized piece of radicchio wilted and spread out like a flower. That was good too. But the killer dish this visit was a soup: cream of broccoli with fresh chanterelle mushrooms and white truffle oil. One of the best soups I've ever had anywhere.

Seasons is near Old Town. From the junction of I-25 and I-40, go west on I-40 and exit south on Rio Grande Boulevard. At the junction with Mountain Road, turn left. On your left you will see a large Western Warehouse; turn left again just after that and you will be driving directly toward the restaurant, which is in a little row of shops on the north side of Mountain Road. Proceed around the road as it turns right and park in the parking garage there.

Make reservations well in advance---this place has been discovered! I showed up alone at 6:15 on a Monday night, not expecting to need reservations, but even at that time they were booked. They have a little four-seat ``demonstration bar'' where they seated me to eat while I watched the kitchen. I didn't mind that at all; their cooks are real pros and a joy to watch.

The calamari here is better than any I've had anywhere in the world. The batter is like a good tempura batter: it crunches and then practically vanishes in the mouth. The squid is absolutely tender. But the sauces raise it to the next level. On the plate there is a fresh tomato puree with herbs that interacts very well with the batter and squid. Just to make it more attractive and complex to the palate, two different cream sauces are drizzled over the plate, and every possible combination of the three sauces worked very well for me.

I've eaten here several times and every single dish was really worth writing home about. My first entree was the rigatoni in sage cream with locally made crumbled Italian sausage. The server asked me how I liked it and I blurted out ``I am not worthy!''

Service is very good to exquisite. The room is beautiful. People who know wines say the wines are very good. Prices are quite reasonable relative to the Albuquerque fine dining scene.

Next: Scalo Italian Grill, Albuquerque, NM
See also: Shipman's favorite Albuquerque restaurants
Previous: Sophia's Place/Ezra's Place, Albuquerque, NM
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John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2010/09/30 00:17:35