I don’t like gourmet cooking or ‘this’ cooking or ‘that’ cooking. I like good cooking. ~ James Beard
CLOSED FOR BUSINESS, EFFECTIVE JUNE 5, 2016
QUESTION: What kind of person drives two or even four hours from home just to eat dinner?
ANSWER: A hungry one who likes really good cooking. And from Las Cruces and Albuquerque, respectively, two and four hours is how long it takes to drive to the Curious Kumquat, a restaurant in Silver City, New Mexico.
The city was once a center for silver mining as its name suggests. Young William McCarty, who would later gain fame as “Billy the Kid” also called it home.
Now Silver City is a regional mecca for adventurous travelers seeking something new in food and art and The Curious Kumquat is the place to find them both.
What has made the ‘Quat, as locals affectionately call it, a serious foodie favorite?
The answer lies in the exotic and quality foods the owners have promised to bring to every dining experience.
Each dish features only the freshest local ingredients, many foraged from the wilds of nearby Gila National Forest.
And Chef Rob Connoley who has traveled all over ~ Asia, Latin America Africa, Europe, the U.S. ~ infuses menu offerings with the various flavors discovered on his wanderings.
What is especially good at the Kumquat in Silver City?
The multi-course tasting dinner is arguably the restaurant’s most acclaimed offering. Foraged ingredients play a major role and dinner guests find eating as much an adventure as a delight.
But then you might expect meals rich with exotic spices and wild edibles like acorns and cattails to surprise, even dazzle.
So when hubby and I drove out there for lunch recently, we were thrilled to discover that whether lunch or dinner, the ‘Quat dazzles.
Even the simplest lunch fare of soup, sandwich, and salad ~ without the more unusual foraged ingredients found on the dinner menu ~ is a treat.
He ordered the Turkey Melt and House Salad made with organic greens and pecans hailing from right here in Las Cruces. Typically hard to please with salad dressings, he happily scarfed up every piece covered with a tasty vinaigrette.
See how happy:
I went the soup and sandwich route, opting for a bowl of the hearty house classic Green Chile Corn Chowder. It warmed me up right away, and was, in a word: “Yum.”
Ditto my Farmer Brown sandwich, “slow roasted” chicken, asadero cheese, and caramelized onions. So delish on a slightly toasted bun with jalapeño mayo.
How I lived without jalapeños in my mayo until now, I don’t know.
We hope to return for a dazzling dinner soon.
Should you ever find yourself hungry and traveling anywhere near Southwest New Mexico, head for The Curious Kumquat in Silver City. It’s worth the detour.