Lately we’ve been thinking about the art of the dinner party. Not Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, although with her autobiography coming out next week, this wouldn’t be a bad time to take inspiration from her work and host a dinner in honor of brilliant women. We were thinking something more along the lines of chef Jen Monroe’s color meals—maybe we’d steal from Maggie Nelson’s Bluets and prepare ten courses of blue. Or, in celebration of our garden, ten courses of green: tomatillo and melon sorbet, green beans with tarragon whipped cream, Thai eggplants with green pepián, cocktails with green Chartreuse. . . . Or, we might borrow from Judy Tuwaletstiwa’s practice for Continuing Painting 3, where she spent six months painting new work over and over on the same canvas, concluding the piece by painting it solid red. We’ll start with something super simple, like a cup of broth, and every course will build from it until the finale, where the presence of the broth will be totally obscured.
Then again, we could draw on Jen Monroe’s advice (we’ve been taking her class) and please the crowd by lighting every dish on fire as it’s served, or surprise them with edible bugs in the punch bowl—or tell the guests they’ll have to assemble their own meal. What better approach to a Sunday picnic than having a “make your own damn sandwich” party?
The Botanist’s Dilemma is not technically green, but given that it contains lime, celery bitters, and an artfully rolled slice of cucumber, it seems like a fair candidate for our green dinner party. A signature cocktail at Safe House Distilling in downtown Albuquerque (one of an impressive number of venues now participating in the monthly Albuquerque Artwalk), this exceptional beverage is made with Safe House’s own Lockpick Gin.
Entrances & Exits
Rumor Pizza has been serving pies in Corrales and Albuquerque out of their food truck for months. Now they’ve opened their own sit-down location, in The Farmacy’s old spot on Mountain. Hours are limited, so we haven’t had the chance to test out the new digs, but we sampled their pizza at Ex Novo Brewing Company a while back, and we can vouch for their crust—which is not a matter we take lightly.
Radish & Rye reopened in June. We can’t wait to get back and eat fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and sip on a 505 Manhattan. The quail and waffles look damn tasty too.
We’ve never been crazy about micheladas, but if we’re in the mood to overcome our prejudices (and lately we have been), we’ll probably go to Los Conejos. They specialize in agave, but they also have more sotol than most.
“I call it black corn under glass.” Jen Monroe isn’t the only one with a thing for black foods. New Mexico’s own Andi Murphy and her guests talk about black-colored foods in Indigenous foodways in episode 68 of the Toasted Sister podcast.
“Mocktails are having a moment.” If you’re among those seeking cocktails without booze, check out the mocktail guide at our partner in food, edible New Mexico. This virtual talk with DRY Soda founder and mocktail mixologist Sharelle Klaus looks worthwhile, too.
Need an explainer on ghost kitchens? Listen to the “Virtual Future of Restaurants,” the fourth episode in Eater and Recode’s solid series, Land of the Giants: Delivery Wars.
What does a volcano taste like? We asked ourselves this question on a recent evening sitting in front of a massive molcajete at Don Choche in Los Ranchos. The heavy and hot-to-the-touch lava rock mortar came to the table filled with enough asada and shrimp, onions, radishes, avocados—and even a chile relleno—to satisfy several hungry diners. A chile sauce, coating the porous bottom of the vessel, imbued each bite, in our imaginations at least, with the faintest flavor of some ancient eruption.
Serving a heaping portion of taco fillings in a molcajete is not the only way (or the original way) to use these beautiful basaltic bowls. If you are wondering what to do with all the tomatoes, chiles, green onions, and fresh garlic that are coming out of gardens and filling market stands these days, consider investing in a high-quality molcajete and making homemade salsa molcajeteada. A super basic version: Roast the ingredients, then grind the garlic into the bowl, followed by the chile and onion, and then the tomato until the consistency is just how you like it. Add a splash of mezcal if you like and make it a salsa borracha.
The next day, staring at those old volcanoes on the horizon, we got to wondering whether it’s possible to purchase a locally made, hand-carved molcajete from the lava rock that covers significant swathes of our state? Send us a note or tag #thebitenm on Instagram if you know.