Okay, Italian food lovers ~
First, the bad news (in case you haven’t heard): Some months ago, Forghedaboudit, the Deming, New Mexico restaurant known nationwide for its multiple award-winning New York Italian cuisine was put up for sale.
But here’s the (very) good news: Forghedaboudit is no longer on the market and the owners have zero plans to close. That means those same New York Italian favorites that have won thousands of hearts, minds, and stomachs since 2013 are still available to us.
Forghedaboudit won my heart a few weeks ago when I dined there for the first time. Hubby L. and I arrived to find five tables already full of diners, only 15 minutes after opening for lunch.
The first cozy booth inside the door invited us to sit down and we accepted.
Our waiter approached, smiled and took our beverage orders. I told him, An Italian soda for him and just water for me, thanks. Then I took a look around.
The red and white checkered tablecloths and checkerboard floors reminded me of the large pizzerias I grew up frequenting back in New York. The cheerful lighting and bright red chairs made me feel welcome. It’s a place you want to stay in for a while.
What’s on the Menu?
The lavishness of the menu offerings draws you in as well.
A full POUND of steamed mussels with garlic, lemon, and butter sauce?
A veal parmigiana smothered in a homemade red sauce? (I liked the sound of that.)
But wait a minute, they served fried calamari as well, with a tomatoey marinara sauce. Within a few minutes, I knew exactly what I wanted: some of everything.
The dilemma I was in must have been written all over my face because that’s when Kimberly Yacone, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Bob, came over to help.
If a surf and turf experience was what I was after, she suggested I order the Fish Soup. Being soup, it contained some of everything I was looking for ~ not only fish but a variety of vegetables. The soup would also be a lighter seafood option than the calamari, so I could follow it up with the meaty veal parmigiana I had locked my sights on.
Sounded good to me!
And in just a little while, both the salad L. had ordered and my Fish Soup arrived at our table.
A basket of warm bread rich with butter came with it, too. But, much like “Dirty Harry” says, a gal has got to know her limitations.
So I indulged in a single buttery slice before ceding the remainder of the basket to my mate. Then I focused on my bowl of soup.
My Forghedaboudit Fish Soup tasted just-out-of-the-pot hot and creamy, laden with corn. It was, as I’d soon see, a fitting prelude to the entrée that was to come.
New York Italian Style Veal Parmigiana
Kim Yacone hadn’t exaggerated when she told me the portions of meat and pasta in my Veal Parmigiana would be “generous.”
While Hubby L. got to work on that beautiful plate of ravioli featured way above, I cut into my first forkful of veal, bit into it.
The spaghetti that partnered the veal, was perfect, al dente. The red sauce that covered them both was tangy.
I only paused between bites to exchange smiles of approval with my husband, who was also happy with his meal. And to thank God out loud for Italy and Italian people.
In fact, the only thing that could have been better than eating my Forghedaboudit veal parmigiana would have been eating my Forghedaboudit veal parmigiana in Las Cruces. At one time, the Yacones had had plans to open a second location in Las Cruces.
But then an uproar over a social media blunder foiled those plans. And the dreams of Italian foodies throughout the city, mines included.
Such was my state of mind when Bob Yacone came over to our table to say, “Hello.” He asked how we liked the food in a way that told me he truly wanted to know. So I told him: Everything tastes great. It’s a shame you won’t be coming to Las Cruces.
And in the reply that followed, I learned the secret of the restaurant’s success. Bob Yacone spoke with intensity about serving the Deming community, having wanted to do the same in Las Cruces, and about the joy and pride he took in his family.
It occurred to me that some or most of his passion had to have rolled off into his work.
Good thing for us.
Bob had both L. and me laughing along when he described Forghedaboudit as “the best restaurant in Las Cruces that just happens to be 52 miles away.”
(In fact, the URL for Forghedaboudit’s online menu does include the words best restaurant in las cruces.)
Nah, I didn’t challenge Bob Yacone’s boast, but if I had, I’m pretty sure he would have said, It’s not boasting if it’s true.
The better choice is to go, eat, and decide for yourself.
Everything’s Better with Green Chile on It
When Bob brought a small container of his house green chile for me to try, of course, I said yes. Not because the parmigiana needed any embellishment. But I know how to accept good gifts when I get them.
Soon I had slathered green chile on both veal and pasta and . . . Kazam! ~ the man was right. The combination tasted fantastic.
I was in parmigiana paradise.
In fact, the dish was so good AND plentiful that . . . I decided not to finish it.
Yes, you’re hearing me right. I actually left a third of my parmigiana ~ more than enough for a light meal ~ to take home because only then would I have room for dessert.
Now, I don’t usually eat dessert at the end of a meal. However, along with tiramisu, cassata (cake), and spumoni ice cream, Forghedaboudit offers chocolate-dipped cannoli for dessert.
Chocolate-dipped cannoli with chocolate chips. THIS we can make room for.
Have you ever tasted a cloud?
I found the filling among the lightest I’d ever tasted.
Somewhere after my second bite, I caught my husband watching me, amused. He had passed on dessert but was getting a kick out of seeing me enjoy mine.
I smiled back at him and then looked up at a photograph of Don Michael Corleone on the wall. He was brooding. And I thought . . .
. . . if ever there was someone who could have used a Forghedaboudit cannoli, it was this guy. It’s hard to stay cranky when you’re eating a good cannoli.
And so I took my time finishing up my very good cannoli ~ every soft and crunchy bit of it.
Then we picked up our takeaway boxes filled with precious cargo and left for the drive home, determined to return for Kimberly Yacone’s award-winning pepperoni and sausage pizza.
Come & Get It
Who knows whether or not the Yacones will ever place Forghedaboudit on the market again? Or if they’ll open a second location anytime soon? I don’t.
What I do know is that the restaurant offers an all-around delicious dining experience and life is too short for regrets.
So I recommend you run, nor walk, to Deming for your first taste of Forghedaboudit yesterday. It’s where both the New York Italian food and the people serving it up to you are the real authentic deal.
Also New York Italian Food Luv-Related: Sausage & Pepperoni NYP Slice House Pizza: Marriage Therapy
What is your favorite New York Italian style dish? Share with a comment below.
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