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Indigo Crow: Sophisticated sojourn
Thursday, 22 July 2010
Photo by Wes Naman
Popular Corrales eatery redefines the ‘lazy summer meal’ with a spicy, refined take on the modern American menu

By Stephanie Martin
On a breezy summer night, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a meal under the stars with a good glass of wine. That’s just another typical night at Indigo Crow Café, a longstanding and popular local eatery boasting a comfy, yet spacious patio that makes for one of the city’s better environments to enjoy a relaxing, prolonged summer meal.
Nestled in the heart of Corrales, in one of its many old converted houses, the restaurant serves up some of the most incredible meals in the Albuquerque area. Here, diners can enjoy lunch and dinner every day except Mondays, as well as one of the best brunches on the west side of the Rio Grande every Sunday. If that weren’t enough, every Thursday, owners Don and Regina Raber host a special Chef’s Wine Dinner, where guests can enjoy two entrees and a bottle of wine for a mere $45. While reservations are not required, they are highly recommended, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

During a recent visit to Indigo Crow, my husband/dining partner-in-crime and I enjoyed a romantic evening on the patio, complete with a couple of glasses of wine and some of the fresh and seasonal dishes for which the restaurant is so well known. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a friendly hostess. Unfortunately, that didn’t set the tone for the rest of the night. Unlike our many previous visits, we received sub-par service throughout our meal. But since this has proven to be the sole exception, we nonetheless enjoyed our experience.

Photo by Wes Naman
We started the night with one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten, the chef’s spin on the classic Cobb salad, dubbed the Catalina ($7), and the Chipotle Clams ($11), which were served in a white wine and tomato broth. The salad was perfectly dressed with just the right amount of creamy “Louie dressing” (a classic Northwestern U.S. dressing famously found in Crab Louis) and the presentation was equally as beautiful — molded and topped with fresh tomatoes and grated parmesan cheese. The clams were a great fit to this New Mexico-inspired version of the modern American menu, a little spicy, but still sophisticated. The clams were tender and the sauce maintained a good balance of garlic and heat. It was also great for sopping up with the provided bread.

When it was time to order dinner, we both had a difficult time choosing between the wide selection of delicious looking items found on the menu. I ended up with a Grilled Bone-in Chicken Breast ($20) served with parmesan risotto (a substitution for the dish’s usual mashed potatoes), green beans, marinated wild mushrooms and truffle vinaigrette. My husband opted for the Grilled Rack of Lamb ($30) topped with a roasted red pepper, cucumber and mint relish and served with the parmesan risotto and a sauté of spinach and baby carrots. Both of our entrees were plentiful, providing just enough food to fill us up — no more, no less.

The chicken was moist and tender, and the wild mushrooms and truffle vinaigrette added plenty of great flavor. I’m a sucker for risotto, and I was very pleased with the parmesan-laden variety they serve here. The rack of lamb was cooked to medium temperature, just how it was ordered, and was juicy and flavorful with a nice sear on the outside. The red pepper, cucumber and mint relish complimented the flavor of the lamb without being too overpowering.

Photo by Wes Naman
After enjoying our dinner, the sun had started to set and the time was just right to order a steaming cup of coffee to accompany the dessert course. Whenever I see a chocolate lava cake on a menu, I immediately know it will be in my stomach by the end of the night, and this visit was no different. This chocolaty, fluffy, moist cake ($7) is served warm with fresh strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. The center of the dessert exuded a delicious flow of ooey-gooey chocolate, which brought a wonderfully sweet balance to the end of an overall great meal. 

Indigo Crow Café
4515 Corrales Rd., Corrales,
Hours: 11:30a-9p, Tue.-Sat.;
10a-9p, Sun.; closed Mon.
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