3305 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE
ABQ, NM 87111
"Cheers" Meets Exquisite Italian Cuisine
Think local gathering hub - casual, cozy, comfortable, with 22 different beers (16 New Mexican), Happy Hour specials (5 bucks will get ya an 8oz. "any" beer and a HUUUUGE slice of custom made, hand tossed, scrumptious pizza! Really!) The wine selection is truly unique with a versatile selection as well, not to mention the endless simply delicious classic Italian food options! The possibilities are endless!
The two year old Piatannzi on Juan Tabo just North of Candelaria has a very large menu of classic regional Italian food. Small plates, large plates, salads. Bread with soup. Handemade Desserts. Anything can be tailored to your taste - except for the desserts of course. Don't expect a fine dining experience, even though the food is.
I walked into Piatanzi East on a rare damp gloomy ABQ afternoon, but it was surprisingly bright and pleasant. The decor is a classy black and white with pops of color and modern accents. Sit at the bar and mingle with the regulars, grab a private table with a gorgeous view of the Sandias, rest outside all year long (bands on the patio Wed. & Sat.) or sit and sip/slam a few on the leather couch up front while enjoying the game. Very fun, cool, clean atmosphere!
Owner, Matt Lucas, was raised in a local restaurant family. He is a natural born chef with restaurant business in his blood.
His uncle Peter Lucas was classically trained at the CIA...Culinary Institute of America. I Know. I thought that too. Peter went on for many years to fill an executive chef position at the famous San Fransisco Club. Eventually he made the desicion to come home to NM and open a little place you might have heard of "Terra Bistro". It was located on Almeda for years. Now he owns and originated the first Piatannzi. Matt's dad, Tom Lucas, is involved as well.
The brothers, Peter and Tom, called Matt home after sewing his wild oats - like marrying his sweetheart Molly and having three kids, Simone (7), Clive (5) and June (1.5) - to open, prep, cook and run the new location. Ha Ha - Not too much to ask. He said yes with no hesitation. He was on the next train home. Viola! East was a go.
Matt says he's not trying to re-einvent the wheel with his menu. He keeps it classic and simple. On average his dishes have no more than five or six ingredients. He goes out of his way to buy top of the line products to make them the star. He makes all the bread in house (mostly gluten free) and even his pizza can be ordered gluten free. His veggies are seasonal and he buys locally when he can. The meats are flown in from New York, except for his steaks. (he does his best to buy them locally too). His fish is fresh daily (depending on the best available). Ask what the fish is that day... seafood is ever changing except for the clams, mussels and Ahi (diners' favs)... he always has those of course!
Matt wanted me to stress his massive lunch salads. He will custom design them to your liking. Start from the menu, change the arugala to mixed greens etc. He says it's the perfect locale for a quick business lunch. He swears he whips them out like a super hero. I belive him, I have seen him in action. Sandwiches are a good choice, too (ONLY available at lunch). Piatanzi East is the perfect choice for lunch - Great food, (have a craft beer) bright, airy and bustling! Energizing!
Small plates ("Morsels") are half price at Happy Hour, 3-6 daily - options like classic Caprese Salad piled high, Arancini de Rico (fried risotto balls, flavors change daily), meatballs a couple of ways, Ahi Tuna with fennel mint slaw and lemon aoli, OMG! gotta try this, Carpacio. Large plates - Well! Name a pasta! Matt can do it beautifully and will taylor them to your taste. All pastas can be ordered small or large. The steaks are the same size for lunch or dinner.
By no means ignore the hand tossed "stone" Neopolitan style pizza. Have it any way you want it. 11" is the only size offered, but is perfect as a side or a meal. Add $3 for gluten free.
Except the gelatos, all the desserts are handmade with loving care by who other than, jack of all trades, Matt. Orange marmelade bundt cake with marscepone frosting, Amaretto cheesecake, crème brûlée, to name just a few. They also, offer a large selection of dessert wines and coffee.
Lastly, Matt wanted me to be sure to tell you that Piatannzi is all about family, family friendly (always a kid's menu), family owned and family run. His employees, Jennifer the bartender and Jim, Matt's right hand man, have been with him forever: and he relies on them to round out your visit with the most efficient and friendly service!
Chek out there full menu on their website.
Friday & Saturday:
11:00am - 10:00pm
11:00am - 9:00pm