Friday, April 13, 2012

Desperately Seeking Wild Rice Risotto {Artichoke Cafe Review}

Artichoke Cafe Albuquerque
Anyone who knows me well knows it hard to drag me out of my hotel when I'm in town on business.  I'm not sure why because I have a lot of great friends in "the Q" that I miss a lot and there's SO much good food.... I don't know if it's the time change or just laziness but I just want to hole up when I'm there.  That said, I'm always grateful in hindsight when someone drags me out.  Last night my good friend, Snow {yes, she is named after precipitation}, from Placitas dragged me out.   
My Santiago Perez purchased from Artichoke Cafe

She picked me up and we went to the Artichoke Cafe on Central Avenue.  LOVE that place and haven't been 10 years I'll bet.... last time I was there I bought a huge oil painting by Santiago Perez off the wall.  I remember my friend Alisa couldn't believe that at the end of lunch I was like "I'd like to buy that painting" and I wrote out a check and carried it out.  A different life.  But I still have that painting on my living room wall.... we love it.  Might be the only true art I own. 

Well, they still have paintings on the wall for sale.  I didn't see any Santiago Perez, but there was some beautiful stuff.  And the food is STILL AMAZING!

We arrived at around 5:15 and since they don't seat until 5:30 we joined the masses and grabbed a table in the bar.... it was bustling with Happy Hour folks but we managed to grab a table and ordered two of the "select" reds which were on happy hour pricing... it was a great Zin, that's name is escaping me.... some reviewer I am.
Once we were seated we shared their steamed mussel appetizer which was LOVELY.  The mussels were very fresh and steamed with artichoke, chorizo, saffron, shallots, garlic & sherry... a great flavor profile.  As you can see from the picture, they {and Snow's glass of wine} escaped the photo shoot they were so yummy.... the bread looked great too but I stuck to my diet!

For our main course we decided to share an entree and had the Grilled Salmon special, it was PERFECT.  But what was even more perfect was the Wild Rice Risotto they served as an accompaniment.... it was too good to be true.  I loved it so I am seeking a recipe for us to try.... if you have one PLEASE post in comments below! 

As usual I digress, all in all I'd give it two thumbs up or 5 stars.... it was a relaxed dinner, with friendly efficient service, awesome food, good wine and the best of company.
Check it out if you haven't.

*** update:  Wild Rice Risotto found!

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1 comment:

  1. I love the Artichoke Cafe:) I haven't been there in a while but the food was fantastic!