When I first dined at M’Tucci’s on Coors & Montano on Albuquerque’s Westside I knew, upon first bite, that this place was going to wreak havoc upon the Duke City. Aside from all of their recent accolades including Best New Restaurant, amongst many others, here are 10 reasons why I was right!!
1. Executive Chef and Partner, John Haas. Hailing from the Midwestern state of Iowa. From the second he shook my hand and starting speaking I said to myself, “this guy gets it”. His passion and commitment to providing the guest with an unforgettable dining experience is contagious. Surrounding himself with talent and putting them in a position to succeed is what means the most to him. Put quite frankly, not only can this man can cook, but he always looks out for those around him.
2. Owners Jeff and Katie Spiegel. Two extremely high character individuals who have owned and operated over 10 restaurants in The Big Apple, New York City. It doesn’t matter what time of day you get there, one or both of them are always there and interacting with the guest. Totally inspiring.
3. Ribbon Pasta with Sausage (Papperdelle con Salsiccia). My personal favorite thing on Chef Haas’s menu. Order it!
4. Any of Chef Haas’s rotisserie meats. He does something different every night, it just gets better and better. He does killer Lamb, Beef, (Pork which I will touch more on later), Chicken and a whole lot more. As I type this now all I can think about is how perfect his Chicken is. I’ve even swung by there on my way home just to pick one up to eat as a late night snack!
5. I just have to mention the bread basket. All too often we go to a restaurant and the bread is a foregone conclusion. Not here. No way, no how. This bread is house made and grilled to absolute perfection. You will order more before your entrées arrive because it’s just that good.
6. In the spring and summer seasons Chef Haas grows his own Herb Garden which adds an element of freshness to his dishes that are beyond belief. Nothing like a Chef being able to step outside his back door and pick fresh oregano to throw into his sauce!
7. Super creative mixologist Austin Leard, this guy crafts some of the best cocktails in town and has fun doing it. The bar at M’Tucci’s is a great place to be on any night.
8. They host guest Chefs, how do I know this? Because I was one of them. I had an amazing time on this past Cinco de Mayo Chef’ing it up in the kitchen with Chef Haas. The hospitality that they showed me was warm and unforgettable. I look forward to doing it again with them this year.
9. Community involvement, not only do they work with various non-profit organizations but they participate in a number of local events that benefit our great state of New Mexico.
10. Expansion. Chef Haas, Jeff, Katie and the gang just opened up a brand new concept a few doors down called M’Tucci’s Market and Deli—A true New York style deli that just opened a few weeks ago. From aging and curing their own meats to making all of their own spices and breads they are doing it all from scratch the old fashioned way, with integrity. You want to know how to gauge if a place is destined for success? When you walk in the first day they open and the room is wall to wall packed. I was there and that’s exactly what I encountered.
Written By: Chef Marc Quiñones