Four M’tucci’s chefs recently spent a busy week eating, drinking and cooking their way through Tuscany. Why spend thousands of dollars to send four guys, who have more than 70 years of combined professional cooking experience, to Italy? Especially since they are part of the team that has created the best Italian food in New Mexico?
We knew that because of their passion and dedication to being the best, they would bring back new ideas and techniques. At the very least, they would absorb “Italy” and share it with us. That is already evident at M’tucci’s with the new Italian Café & Market, and with the 6th Anniversary Dinner at M’tucci’s Italian on July 20 (menu at the end of this piece).
During a particularly memorable meal in the wine town of Bolgheri in the western, coastal part of Tuscany where we were based, Executive Chef/Partner John Haas exclaimed:
“The food is so incredibly simple in a great way, but the techniques are in their blood. They are in their 3rd or 5th or more generations at these techniques and we are first. I believe our flavors and depth are better in many cases, but there is no substitute for inherently knowing something.”
It doesn’t hurt that nearly all of Italy is one big farm, with a climate that allows for a long growing season and with fertile soils that support a diverse agriculture. Every place we went, the restaurants are blessed with quality ingredients and they truly embrace “farm to table” dining, which they have for generations. They returned committed to using only the best and freshest ingredients.
Overall, the visit didn’t produce startling new techniques or unknown recipes, rather it gave all four chefs the opportunity to experience Italian style, Italian living and Italian passion. All intangible qualities that you can’t get from a book, or from a hot kitchen. You have to feel it, eat it and live it. And, if only for a week, they absorbed it daily.
At the new Italian Café & Market, Shawn brings his experience to the charcuterie program, and to the artisan bread (which was already fantastic). He has inspired the pastry and bread chefs (Lauren, Michelle, Moriah and Sara) to continue their commitment to excellence, creativity and whimsy, which we saw at every cafe in every small town.
We have revamped the menu at M’tucci’s Café & Market and changed the hours (8:00am-6:00pm). You’ll see an amazing new display of desserts, pastries, cookies and artisan chocolates. We think we have created a little bit of Italy in Albuquerque.
Much of our inspiration for our upcoming Anniversary Dinner came from several of the meals and cooking experiences in Tuscany. They learned about Lardo in Carrara, where it was the main sustenance for the men working in the marble mines, and where we had it for lunch at a traditional trattoria nearby in Colonnata. Also, we made a version of it during our butcher class In Panzano in Chianti. Lardo is a type of salami which is made by curing strips of pork fatback with spices and rosemary, usually for several months. The wild boar pasta, the truffles, the beef shank, and the Chianina tartare on the anniversary menu were inspired by our trip.
July 20, 2019
6th Anniversary Wine Dinner
Please join us for this special evening inspired by our chef’s recent trip to Italy. We are celebrating six years of bringing La Dolce Vita to Albuquerque. Reservations required. $125 pp ($25 deposit required)
Insalata de Mare- Chilled Lobster, Pink Shrimp, Sea Scallop, White Clam, Fava Bean Puree, Barley Crumble
Pairing – Antinori Guado al Tasso Vermentino 2017
House Charcuterie- Garlic Salamini, Colonnata Style Butter, M’tucci’s Coppa, “Caprese” Burrata, Preserved Vegetables
Pairing – Antinori Guado al Tasso Sacalabrone Rose 2016
Chianina Beef Tartare (in the style of Chianti) - Extra Virgin Olive Oil , Regional Spices, Garlic, M’tucci’s Crostini
Pairing – Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico 2016
Braised Wild Boar, Hazelnut and Black Truffle Pappardelle, Grana Padano, Pan Jus
Pairing – Marchese Antinori ‘Tignanello Vineyard’ Chianti Classico Reserva 2015
Bone Marrow Braised Beef Shank Roast, Insalata de Mirepoix, Herbs, Pan Jus
Pairing – Antinori Guado al Tasso ‘Il Bruciato’ 2016
Almond Sable Ring, Brandy Soaked Stone Fruit, Black Pepper Meringue
Pairing- Antinori Muffato della Sala 2008
Dark Chocolate Truffle, Limoncello Gelato, Candied Lemon
Pairing- Poncé Alla Livornese
NEWS FROM M’TUCCI’S
M’tucci’s Italian Café & Market
The reincarnation of the Market is open and better than ever. Our new hours are 8:00am - 6:00pm. We carry the same great Italian imports, all of our artisan breads, and a wide variety of imported, domestic, and house made cheese and meat. There is an expanded selection of coffee and pastries. We’ll still have charcuterie boards to eat in or take out. Click here to see our new menu.
Here are just a few photos of what Lauren and Michelle have created for you:
Weekend Dinner Specials
-Cut of Day- Porterhouse
-Pan Sear- Ruby Red Trout
-Ravioli- Pesto Ricotta Ravioli Crispy Vodka Braised Duroc Pork, Gray Family Farm Roasted Oyster Mushrooms, Light Lemon Cream Sauce
-Braised- Red Wine Porcini-Braised Harris Ranch Beef Short Ribs Creamy Polenta Sautéed Spinach Red Wine Porcini Sauce
New Brunch Menu - Click here
ANNIVERSARY DINNERS AT M’TUCCI’S ITALIAN AND M’TUCCI’S MODERNO
3 COURSES/ 3 WINES, JULY 22 - 28
Celebrate 6 Years with Us all Week!
Olive Brined Shrimp, M’tucci’s Baguette, Olive Tapenade, Dressed Greens
Porcini Ravioli, Mushroom Consommé, Marinated Zucchini, Truffle Pecorino or
Italian Style Sirloin, Colonnata Style Butter Tossed Salt Water Potatoes, Marinated Red Bell Peppers or
Seared Yellowfin Tuna, Potato-Chive Croquettes, Oyster Mushrooms, Salsa Verde
House Gelatos- Pistachio and Apricot Gelato, Champagne Biscotti
$30 Per Person
Tax & Gratuity Not Included
Herb Rubbed Pork Tenderloin Grilled on open flame, served with Creamy Polenta, Sauteéd Haricot Vert and a bright Dijon Lemon Butter Sauce-Maggio
Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi, California: Chocolate and jam overtones, gentle palate with a smokey finish, medium tanic levels. $7/28
Pan-Seared Swordfish - Swordfish is very lean and has a mild flavor profile. A light grayish color and smaller flaky texture .
Tomaresca Chardonnay, Italy: Bright flavors, aromas of exotic fruits, citrus, pineapple notes and a light mineral finish. $7/28
Hand Cut Steak of the Day: 24 oz T-Bone
Molly Dooker "The Scooter" Merlot, South Australia: Vibrant red Merlot with rich flavor and a soft touch of oak~ $7/25
Live Music 8:30-10:30: Cali Shaw
M’tucci’s and Lava Rock Join Forces
Opening July 17: M’tucci’s menu will be available at Lava Rock Brewing beginning next week. Fred Gallegos will be at the helm of the M’tucci’s kitchen (making those great pizzas that you all love), and has created a menu to complement the beers made by Ram Kalsa at the brewery. The menu is below and will be on our site within a few days. Come visit Lava Rock at 2220 Unser Blvd (about a mile north of I-40). Call (505) 836-1022 for details.
We have a new web page and menu for our catering. You can schedule an event at M’tucci’s Italian (best for smaller parties of 12 or less) or in one of two private dining rooms at M’tucci’s Moderno (capacity 75 and 35). We also cater wedding receptions, office meetings or parties, lunch meetings and off-site events for any occasion. A full array of dishes, glasses and staff is available for your event.
Click here to see our full catering menu. For more information, call Ivy at 505-350-0019.
M’TUCCI’S MONTHLY PHOTO CONTEST
The winner of the June Photo Contest was Cheryl Valadez, who wins a $50 gift certificate, which is good at any M’tucci’s. The July Photo Contest is heating up, so post a photo from M’tucci’s with friends, food or beverages on your Facebook page or your Instagram feed and tag the photo #lovemtuccis. The winning photo is chosen from the three photos with the most likes. Don’t forget to edit your photos for exposure. Enter early for the best chance to win.
M’TUCCI’S AROUND TOWN
Our market items can be purchased at a couple of locations. We deliver our fresh bread every Tuesday and Friday to Silver Street Market at 2nd and Silver. Choose from Sourdough, Fennel Rye, Wheat, Baguette, Ciabatta, Raisin Rosemary and Focaccia.
Drinking at Bosque in Nob Hill? You can order a M’tucci’s Charcuterie Board while there.
SERVICE INDUSTRY NIGHT & DISCOUNTS
Area service industry workers can get a Service Industry card from us by showing proof of employment. With the card you receive 10% off your check every day and 20% off on Sundays from 6:00 - 9:00. Dine in only.
Our food is available for delivery with Door Dash or for pick up. Pick up something for the weekend or on your way home from work. The links to ordering are on the Home page.
MTUCCI’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Videos about making cocktails and pasta and getting to know the M’tucci’s culture. Click here
ALBUQUERQUE THE MAGAZINE - BEST OF THE CITY
We would appreciate your vote and support in the newest Best of the City poll. We feel pretty strongly that we are the best in these categories: Bartender, Bloody Mary, Craft Cocktails, Happy Hour, Appetizer Menu, Brunch, Chef, Dessert, Gourmet Pizza, Pizza and Wine List. We won last year for Waitstaff and Italian Restaurant and would love to keep our record intact. Click here to vote.
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Ciao until next Friday!