Scalo prepares to reopen subsequent week »Albuquerque Journal

The main dining area was set up on one level and the kitchen in the Scalo in Nob Hill was also remodeled. Wednesday May 27, 2019. (Jim Thompson / Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

For over 30 years, Scalo has been at the forefront of Albuquerque’s food scene, serving northern Italian gourmet dishes.

Now with new ownership, a new chef, and a $ 1 million renovation, Nob Hill Restaurant is preparing to open after having closed for almost a year and a half.

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According to co-owner Kristie Sawant, the doors will reopen in the second week of June.

Although the restaurant will open in the space it has occupied since the 80s, the team behind the reopening does not intend to keep everything the same.

“We still want to bring the familiarity back,” Sawant said. “This is Scalo, a very similar feeling to Scalo that you are used to – but with a fresh new taste on the menu and a fresh new look.”

In addition to a cosmetic facelift, the menu is being completely redesigned.

Chef Gaetano Ascione said his approach to cooking is “simple, rustic and brutal”.

Ascione has spent its decades-long career around the world and will bring this expertise to Albuquerque.

He said the reopening of Scalo is an opportunity to improve the restaurant while bringing something new and different to the city at the same time.

The intent of the menu is to avoid getting bored for years or becoming familiar with the same dishes on the menu.

“What they did was good, but what we have to do is very good,” said Ascione.

He said the menu would change frequently to expand the range of people.

For Kristie Sawant and her husband Prashant Sawant, this is their first foray into the restaurant world. Both spent most of their careers as engineers and took ownership as a passion project since the two were such fans of the restaurant.

At the reopening, Kristie said she has noticed that a lot of people are drawn to the restaurant because of their familiarity, but she hopes to “inspire” them with something new.

“When we started this project, the overall goal was to have a full dining experience for our customers,” said Prashant Sawant. “Good service, good ambience.”

The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in the spring, but the date was postponed for a few months as New Mexico struggled with the coronavirus.

It’s unclear what opening day will look like – restaurants didn’t start welcoming dine-in customers until June 1st with a 50% capacity cap.

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