Farm & Table: Food/farm pairing
Sunday, 09 September 2012
Your palate needs a moment to fully comprehend the vibrant flavors of Albuquerque’s Farm & Table, a community eatery rooted in the North Valley
The locavore concept of farm-to-table dining is not so much a trend as it is a movement of social consciousness and an ardent love of fine foods. Locally sourced ingredients not only provide diners with fresher flavors, but it also leaves them with peace of mind, knowing the environmental impact is far reduced and a local business is being supported.
“Delicious local food. Beautiful setting. Vibrant community.” These are values listed on the website of what is arguably one of the City’s best restaurants, Farm & Table.
Owner Cherie Montoya Austin opened Farm & Table with her husband, Joseph Austin, in March of this year. Cherie grew up in a family that has always grown their own food and prepared it as it was harvested. She is now sharing her deep-rooted love and respect for food and the land from which it comes with the Albuquerque community at this gorgeous restaurant in the North Valley.
Farm & Table
Dinner: 5-9p, Wed.-Thu.; 5-10p, Fri.-Sat.
Charm, a buzzing aura and effusive epicurean enjoyment were among the intangible delights my companion and I experienced during our visit. A top-notch front-of-house staff was well-educated on wine pairings and palate pleasers.
We also tried the special soup of the evening, a red chile sausage ($4/cup) with kale, potato, tomato, onion, and carrots, paired with a peppery red Castillo de Monseran Garnacha ($9).
Choosing an entrée was difficult, as the offerings were all enticing in their own right. I went with the local fig-wood cold-smoked and seared scallops ($21), served atop a white bean puree with bacon Brussels sprouts and an apple foam, with each scallop garnished with balsamic caviar. My partner ordered the pan-seared duck breast ($22), served over apple puree with an asiago polenta cake and braised red cabbage that was drizzled with a honey port sauce.
Meanwhile, the duck was by far the most tender and succulent either of us have ever had. It is cooked with the skin on, which preserved the gamey richness and light crispness. The polenta cake and apple puree added a full texture, as the crisp cabbage was quite a high note that brought the dish together.
For dessert we tried a plum pie, which featured a mascarpone ice cream, puff pastry and a few cherries to supplement the seasonal demand for plums. It was a perfect, sweet cap to an absolutely lovely meal.
It would be in your best interest to make a reservation around 7:30p on the patio before the summer ends. The romantic ambience of the patio is beyond the offering of any other dining establishment in Albuquerque, though I do look forward to a warm and charming meal in one of the two dining rooms inside the restaurant.