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D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e    March 2008

Table Talk


Aqua Reef, the much-anticipated new restaurant of Tatsuya Miyazaki, has finally had its long-delayed opening at 900-B S. Telshor in Las Cruces. Table Talk mentioned last December that the self-defined "Euro-Asian" eatery had hit a snag, missing its planned September opening. "It was a lot of snags and chaos," said Michelle, a manager at the eatery. "We're so glad to finally be opening." The chain restaurant's trademark M.O. includes dim sum, tapas and a sushi bar, complete with a water canal and floating sampans. Miyazaki has a great local reputation as a restaurateur, having opened such favorites as Tatsu and Saffron. Brian Mangus is co-owner of Aqua Reef. Dinner only, no hours yet listed. www.aqua-reef.com, 522-7333.

Let the games begin! The newly opened CodeRed Cafe is a unique eatery helping to breathe life back into the El Paseo Plaza in Las Cruces. Owners Rick Carlson, Andrew Saigh and Dave Jacko say their "gaming" restaurant — with 61-inch screens and vibrating game chairs — is "far beyond" an Internet cafe. Carlson describes the lunch and dinner spot as "a luxury, console-based video gaming cafe." To play games, customers must purchase a membership and then play an hourly fee for playtime. CodeRed will stock an extensive library of games and customers also can pull games off the Internet. Folks just looking to, well, eat do not need a membership. The casual fare includes burgers, salads, appetizers and pizzas. The owners say they are gearing their business for customers of college age and older, and that they are looking to secure a liquor license. After all, who wants to face the Super Smash Brothers without a beer in hand? 1160 El Paseo Dr., 526-7774.

As reported in last month's Table Talk, La Posta de Mesilla, 2410 Calle de San Albino on the historic Mesilla Plaza, closed in early January for renovations. Thanks to the expeditious work of McGinley Construction and perhaps a small miracle from San Albino — a.k.a. Saint Albinus — himself, the first phase of the eatery's extensive renovation was completed in only 29 days and the landmark restaurant reopened on schedule in early February. Owners Tom and Jerean Hutchinson said parts of La Posta's kitchen were some 50 years old, and that these phase-one changes alone will make the facility more serviceable for staff and customers well into the future. Also, as part of this project, a handicap-accessible restroom has been added, the La Posta Chile Shop has been moved and the eatery's take-out area has been moved closer to the front entrance for customers' convenience. La Posta is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. 524-3524.

Construction is well underway at the corner of Solano and Lohman Avenue in Las Cruces for the Si Se_or Express drive-thru restaurant. The outlet will not serve alcohol, but will be open for breakfast and serve as a catering location for Si Se_or, its parent company. It's estimated some 20 employees will work at the new site, according to Si Seor manager Sergio Castillo, who says the company is hoping for an opening as early as next month. Si Se_or is located at 1551 Amador Ave. According to the company's Web site (www.sisenorrestaurants.com), Martin and Irene Castillo established their first Si Se_or Restaurant in their hometown of Deming in 1984. The couple and their three children have opened several Si Seor Restaurants in the southwest, including a Chandler, Ariz., location in 2001 — that one now closed — and the Las Cruces eatery in 1994. Deming: 546-3938, Las Cruces: 527-0817.

He's ba-a-ack! As mentioned in last month's Table Talk, Chef Marc Laliberte had temporarily shut down Marc's European Grill, his Mediterranean-inspired eatery at 420 Avenida de Mesilla in Las Cruces because he didn't have enough of the proper staff to run the high-caliber establishment he'd envisioned. Having secured his new line-up, Chef Marc plans to re-open March 4, serving up the flavors of France, Spain and the Mediterranean regions of Europe. 647-1112.

Gina's Artwork Cafe in Deming will be closed "for repairs and reorganization for a few months and into the summer," says owner Jeanne-Marie Banderet.

— Donna Clayton Lawder



Send restaurant news to donna@desertexposure.com







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