Thursday, July 10, 2008

Not so High Finance

M and I have spent the day traipsing around old Albuquerque which is basically a potpourri of art galleries, Native American silver and inlaid jewellery and crafts, touristy bits and the odd carved gourd. Our plan is to return to the hotel with our purchases, grab a cab and venture forth to the foot of Sandia Peak to take the tramway for 2.7 miles above the Cibola National Forest, marvel at the panoramic views and hopefully a splendid sunset and Albuquerque below.

We’ve booked a table at High Finance Restaurant with promises “top notch cuisine” as we admire the vistas. The cable car journey is quite lively as we went to from believing that the car would be almost entirely to ourselves to chock-a-block full of rather animated teenagers who enjoyed screaming and whooping in equal measure. We climbed higher and higher and the adobe buildings of Albuquerque turned into rocks and trees.

We took our seats in High Finance that was a kind of ski-lodge cum bar and kept an eye at for the bruising sky so I can grab a few artistic shots. The restaurant has been billed at a bit of a fine-dining fish restaurant but I’m not convinced scanning the menu, M plumped for the Shrimp Cocktail and I go for the Leek Bruschetta with Forest Mushrooms.

Our waiter has the uncanny knack of creeping up on me and every time he approaches our table I feel peculiarly pounced upon. My Roasted mushrooms & caramelised leeks on a garlic rubbed crostini topped with parmesan cheese is okay but at every mouthful a shower of mushrooms falls on my plate and the caramelised leeks that may have added a little moisture to the dish and perhaps held it altogether seems to be entirely missing curiously. I just feel as if I’m scooping each the mushroom mixture fruitlessly back onto the dry crust and not really getting any joy.

M’s dish of four large shrimp served with cocktail sauce & lemon looks alarmingly drenched in tomato sauce, hardly a pale pink Marie Rose sauce just a gloopy mashed up tomato mush. Hmmm, I’m so relieved it’s not my starter.

Let’s see if we fare better with the main, we’ve both chosen the Filet Oscar 7oz filet grilled to perfection, served over Boursin cheese mashed potatoes & asparagus, topped with lobster & a sauce Béarnaise, though one is well done and the other rare. M is worried that she’ll never be able to eat a whole steak AND lobster but the fact I had to point the lobster probably means that it wasn’t particulate substantial. The whole dish is fine but seems almost wholly lacking in taste, so not quite the high cuisine we were promised. Well, unless you count the height about sea level which I believe is about 10,378 foot on the observation platform.

So we’re not to crazy about High Finance per se but I have to admit the view is very good, so no forks for them and if I ever award forks for sunsets they’d redeem themselves marginally.

And on the way down we had some stunning views over the twinkling lights of Albuquerque, I tried to capture the scene but lacking in a tripod, it turned out a little more surreal that I'd intended.

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