One of the many fresh options in the menu.

Though for a long time I have considered the Albuquerque area a food desert in many respects, there are some new eateries that should be on everyone’s radar.

One of the relatively new places that is a far cry from the usual suspects is Vinaigrette. It has a good selection of vegetarian dishes that don’t leave you feeling dissatisfied. In a town dripping with lard (conspicuous in beans, tortillas, tamales and other so called Mexican fare), finding an actual list of inventive salads in a single menu is nothing short of a revelation. If vegetarian is not your first choice, you also have the option (albeit pricey) of adding animal protein to your dish.

Though this restaurant is not gluten free per se, a celiac patron can find some adequate selections, although it is always advisable to check with your server to avoid “surprises”.

I particularly enjoyed the maple roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans. They were crisp, not too sweet and warm. The portion was generous for a side dish and I like the seasonal aspect of the very maligned vegetable: a perfect winter nutritional powerhouse.

I think I will go back now that the seasons are changing. I am sure there will be some delicious Spring selections. Asparagus anyone?