Trombinoâ€™s is the real deal.
The restaurant, with nearly 40 years of business in Albuquerque, serves only fresh meats, high-quality diary, fresh pastas, and fresh-from-the-oven bread to create distinctly Italian meals interpreted for a New Mexico clientele.
On a recent visit, I had delicious chicken piccata ($16.99), which makes a perfect meal for hot summer days. Three chicken breast fillets were pounded thin, then sauteed in butter and lemon juice to a golden brown. Capers and white wine were added to intensify the flavors, and a big ball of fresh spaghetti came on the side.
The dish was phenomenal and incredibly filling. Trombinoâ€™s isnâ€™t stingy when it comes to portion sizes, so this dish would easily feed two. The delicate lemon sauce, accented by tangy capers, was unbelievably tasty and rich. The plate wasnâ€™t overly garlic, but I could taste a subtle garlic flavor throughout. Meals at Trombinoâ€™s donâ€™t seem to hang in your gut like salty paperweights. They also arenâ€™t overly saturated in fats and oils. No food comas, thankfully.
Another welcome distinction: Trombinoâ€™s serves fresh Italian bread, baked in-house, alongside a plate of high-quality olive oil sprinkled with freshly cut Italian herbs. I could make out thyme and rosemary, but I suspect some basil or oregano may have been included too, and if I hadnâ€™t paced myself, I could have easily filled up on the delicious bread.
The veal piccata, prepared in much the same way but using calf meat instead of chicken, is an even grander delicacy, as is the calamari or the lobster ravioli. Other offerings include standard Italian fare such as chicken marsala, pasta arrabbiata, tiramisu for dessert, and a respectable wine list.
The welcoming decor re-creates an Italian village bistro, but the high-end architectural fixtures lend an air of fine dining. Locals adore Trombinoâ€™s, apparently, because on a recent visit, nearly every table was seated with families and couples. Prices are low enough that Trombinoâ€™s doesnâ€™t have to be reserved for special occasions. The service is excellent, and kids of all ages will find something good on the menu.
Parking is plentiful, and the place is open every night during dinner hours (except on holidays). The restaurant also offers special-event accommodations and gift certificates. It even has a frequent-diner rewards program you can sign up for to receive a free dessert or appetizer.
Youâ€™ll want to pay a visit soon to Trombinoâ€™s and experience â€śslowâ€ť Italian food, such as homemade lasagna and veal parmigiana.
Trombinoâ€™s serves its community great Italian cuisine without the artifice and without the gimmicks. The result is a much more authentic, more wholesome, and much more tasty dining experience.
LOCATION: 5415 Academy NE, 821-5974, bistroitaliano.com
HOURS: 4-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 4-10:30 p.m. Friday; 3-10:30 p.m. Saturday; 3-9 p.m. Sunday