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Fancy tacos, terrific tequilas: Zacatecas celebrates fall with Mexican dishes and a twist of añejo

Zacatecas owner Mark Kiffin said the restaurant’s taquería cuisine is inspired by his travels in Mexico. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Zacatecas owner Mark Kiffin said the restaurant’s taquería cuisine is inspired by his travels in Mexico. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Fall is in full force and Zacatecas is celebrating with some añejo tequilas and pairings that perfectly suit the season.

This is the Nob Hill restaurant’s sixth tequila dinner since it opened in early 2012, according to Mark Kiffin, chef and owner of the well-known Compound restaurant in Santa Fe, who opened Zacatecas. Kiffin said his frequent travels to Mexico inspired the authentic Mexican taquería cuisine at Zacatecas, which is prepared by chef Daniel Marquez, who hails from Mexico City.

Zacatecas offers more than 70 kinds of tequilas. Much thought goes into its tequila dinners. Tonight’s tequila offerings are “more golden, more aged tequilas” that will be used to create unique and flavorful cocktails, Kiffin said.

“They are some of our top sellers,” Kiffin said. “Some are truly Albuquerque favorites in some ways. They have great structure and great flavor. They don’t all taste the same. We try to find a balance. They are unique in their flavor components.”

Tonight’s dinner begins with an oyster escabeche cocktail, seasonal oysters poached in chile morita broth paired with Casamigos Apricot Smash. Tacos de lengua are made of tender beef tongue simmered with tomatoes, garlic and chipotle and placed in stone ground corn tortillas garnished with Chintextle salsa. The tacos will be paired with a Tres Generaciones Avocado Margarita.

The savory selections continue with Huitlacoche Ravioli Consommé, a Mexican truffle ravioli in a rich beef broth. It will be complemented with a Roca Patrón Manhattan. Winding down the dinner is an open-face duck breast relleno. The dish is comprised of a pasilla-and-Mexican-chocolate seared, dusted duck breast, pumpkin-sweet hash in an ancho chile and Guajillo-cider reduction.

The grande finale is a Volteado de Piña, an upside down pineapple and piloncillo cake served with toasted Amaranth ice cream served with mango coulis and Grand Marnier whipped cream. A Cazadores Double Añejo will accompany the dessert. A coconut paleta will cool the palate and finish off the exceptional dining experience.

For a complete menu and further details, visit zacatecastacos.com.

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