Most everyone who considers themselves a fan of good food, is aware of Spanish tapas. Tapas bars and small plates, along with a small glass of wine are found throughout Spain. Cicchetti are Italy’s version of tapas, but are found primarily in the small wine bars (bàcari) in Venice. From my experience (and my research), I’ve never seen them in Rome, Florence or Southern Italy.
Cicchetti are always fresh and made with local products. With Venice surrounded by water, they are usually seafood based, but meats and vegetables are also popular. Bàcari are usually small, with no tables, can be open before lunch and stay open late. Locals stop in for a quick bite and an ombra (small glass of wine which means shade) before lunch, after work or during the time we would consider happy hour! Going out for cicchetti is very much part of the social life of Venice.
Some of the cicchetti you might find in Venice inlcude: seppioline alla griglia (grilled baby squid), polpette (fried meatballs) or grilled polenta topped with different seafood. The wine you order at a bàcari will be local (from the Veneto) and usually from a keg of a large container on tap. It’s not intended to be fancy, rather a refreshing couple of sips to wash down your food. The name of the glass of wine, ombra, is said to have come from the days when wine merchants would unload their casks of wine to sell in St. Marks Square. During the day they would move their wine to keep it in the shade of the church tower to keep it cool.
We serve cicchetti at all three M’tucci’s locations. Of course, we have put our New Mexico/local twist on them, and the servings are a bit larger than you would find in Venice. Most bàcari are a five-minute walk or less from each other and encourage hopping from bar to bar for a small bite, so the concept is a little different here.
Some of our small bites at M’tucci’s Italian Market & Pizzeria are: fresh house made Mozzarella, tomato jam and ciabbata; house cured salmon, cucumber, lemon aioli and caperberry; or a prosciutto slider with mozzarella and tomato. They are $3 each, but during Monday happy hour (3:30-5:30) they are two for $5.
M’tucci’s Moderno and M’tucci’s Italian have different cicchetti menus with a few similarities. At M’tucci’s Moderno you can choose from beef carpaccio, truffle chips, Chianina meatballs or baked goat cheese. Some of the cicchetti at M’tucci’s Italian has truffle fries, wood roasted goat cheese bruschetta caprese on flatbread. Both locations have fried artichokes and a pizzeta margherita. All of the plates are available all day, but only in the bar and cost $5. We are planning some changes our cicchetti menu to offer small bites in addition to small plates.
NEWS FROM M’TUCCI’S
Ravioli: Three Cheese & Red Chile, Artichokes, Asparagus, Tomato, White Lemon Cream Sauce
Seafood: Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed Arugula, Roasted Italian Artichokes in a Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc Sauce
Braise: Slow Braised Whole Local Oxtail, Roasted Yellow Squash, Caramelized Fennel in an Onion Braising Sauce
Tonight 8:30pm - Eryn Bent Live
Seafood: Pan-Seared Swordfish
Hand-Cut 24 oz. Porterhouse
M’tucci’s Italian Market & Pizzeria
May 29: Beer Week Tap Takeover with Steel Bender Brewyard - We’ll feature SkullBucket IPA, ETTu Brut IPA, Berliner Wiesse and the Kolsch. Albuquerque Beer Week Pouring until they are gone!
Every Thursday - Sunday: M’tucci’s pizzas, sandwiches, and charcuterie boards are available La Cumbre Westside. Look for the M’tucci’s server and we’ll bring the food to you!
Don’t forget to come in for brunch, with some of your favorites done M’tucci’s Italian-style. You’ll love our take on Eggs Benedict, or Italian Sausage Hash or even a Carbonara Risotto. Of course, our Mimosas are made with fresh-squeezed Orange Juice.
M’tucci’s Italian and M’tucci’s Moderno both open at 11:00 and M’tucci’s Italian Market & Pizzeria is open at 10:00 with coffee, pastries and biscotti.
M’TUCCI’S MONTHLY PHOTO CONTEST
The winner of the May Photo Contest will be announced tomorrow. The June Photo Contest begins tomorrow, 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.
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.
M’TUCCI’S ITALIAN WEDNESDAY PRIX FIXE DINNERS
Details of our three course dinners paired with three wines will be published on Facebook and Instagram every Wednesday. 3 course + 3 wines for $25 per person, tax and gratuity not included.
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!