Since moving to El Paso in late 2011, we received several recommendations about Ardovino’s Desert Crossing. It was about time we checked it out.
Ardovino’s is located just down the road from us, in Sunland Park, NM. It truly seems “out in the middle of nowhere”, even though it’s not. We loved the quirky desert parking lot and building collection and anticipated more of the same as we walked inside. But…..lo and behold, we were instead met with an interior that was much more “sleek and sophisticated” as opposed to “desert quirky”!
We were led to a great red, round booth in a lovely dining room. What a great setting in which to dine! Our server, Russell, promptly greeted us and brought us glasses of water with sliced cucumber (very refreshing and quite good). We ordered up some wine and then got busy perusing the menu.
The Spinach Salad caught our eye…..baby spinach tossed with dried apricots, cranberries, golden raisins, dates, roasted local pecans, and feta in a honey sherry vinaigrette. What’s not to like about that? Richard ordered the regular-sized version while I went with the picollo-sized (translation: smaller version. Was so glad this was an option). This salad was oh so good. It truly was one of the best salads I’ve ever had. The tastes and textures all blended together beautifully, and the presentation was lovely. Russell had also brought us some good Italian bread (which Richard chowed down on).
For his entree, Richard had the Desert Crossing Ribeye. This was a he-man steak…..Heritage Ranch char-broiled, 1-pound bone-in ribeye rubbed with cracked pepper, garlic and olive oil. It came topped with merlot brown sugar sauteed mushroom, and was served with a side of chive crushed potatoes. He could not resist making it a surf-’n'-turf by ordering up a side of shrimp. Oh my – this was quite a steak! Richard said it was the best steak he’s had in El Paso, and he raved about the shrimp. He is not much of a side dish person so didn’t have much to say about the taters and shrooms, but they sure looked tasty.
As for me, I’m a gnocchi-aholic and could not resist the Gnocchi with Spanish Chorizo. This dish consisted of handmade potato gnocchi with fresh peas, shallots, and Italian parsley in a spicy Cantimpalo chorizo cream sauce, topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano. The serving size was perfect, as were the seasoning and taste. This was a fantastic pasta and one I’ll likely order many times in the future.
Time for dessert! Richard loves his cherries, so he had to get the cherry cobbler. I went with the chocolate lava cake with ice cream. Mmmmm……these were good, homemade, and very delicious desserts. Not a bit was left on our plates!
Russell was a very skilled server. We had a bit of a wait between our entrees and dessert, as Russell had to provide service to a somewhat large table of attention-needy peeps (if ya know what I mean). But when I asked for the check, Russell brought it super-pronto and all was good with the world (I hate it when I have to wait to pay $!).
It’s fantastic that a restaurant with such great atmosphere, food, and service is right down the road from where we live in El Paso. Ardovino’s Desert Crossing will be just the place to bring visitors (and OURSELVES!) for a wonderfully unique dining experience. We’re looking forward to a return visit.
Ardovino’s Desert Crossing is located at 1 Ardovinos Drive Sunland Park, NM 88063