One surprise really, the other was something I intended to do here. First, the Gruet Winery. Gruet produces what is by far my favorite New Mexican champagne. Or at least Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine. About 30 years ago, a French family that already produced wine in the Champagne region expanded by buying some cheap land in the south of this State, where the soil and climate are just right.
Since I read about them seven years, their standard Brut is always in my fridge, like butter, catsup or caviar. It goes for $17 a bottle in New York City. More than just dry, it’s almost a savory experience.
Here’s the problem with me and what I swear will be inexpensive wine tastings. I usually end up buying a lot or in this case, joining the wine club. To the woman subletting my apartment: Please be home the next couple of months to accept some deliveries.
At the winery I looked up some nearby restaurants for a late lunch. Torino’s at Home popped up on Google with a high rating. According to a woman at the winery, it is owned by an Italian chef and his French wife, who make everything themselves, including the pasta.
It was outstanding. I treated myself to baked manicotti stuffed with braised beef cheeks and covered with béarnaise. From the house salad with arugula and the most delicate vinaigrette to the homemade tiramisu, I sat the thinking incredulously, I am in a strip mall outside of Albuquerque having one of the most lovely meals.
The two things I could’ve done without at Torino’s? Pictures of that hateful gross troll, Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. They were recently featured even though this place is neither of those three things and produces food that Mr. Fiery cannot begin to understand.
The other thing I could’ve done without? When the female French half of the owning couple swept through the dining room and looked at me and the other tables with people eating alone and exclaimed, “Look at all the single people by themselves!”
You know, you can cross an ocean and drive into the middle of the desert but there will always be some French bitch there to try and make you feel bad. Salope!