Rutilio’s expands to new Los Lunas location

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In Valencia County, the name Rutilio’s just might be another word for delicious, and for the residents of Los Lunas, the delicious just got a little bit closer to their front door.

Ungelbah-Daniel-Davila-News-Bulletin photo: Joey Acanfrio and Natalie Valle, owners of the new Rutilio’s New Mexican Foods, bring their restaurant heritage to Los Lunas.

In July, Natalie Valle, daughter of Rudy Jaramillo, owner of the original Rutilio’s New Mexican Foods in Belen, and Joey Acanfrio opened their own Rutilio’s in Los Lunas.

Valle says her dad has been in the restaurant business for 40 years and has been the owner of Rutilio’s in Belen for 20 of those years, so, she says, it was an environment she grew up in.

As for Acanfrio, he too comes from a restaurant family in Pennsylvania, and, like Valle, says he grew up in the industry.

For the past 13 years, Acanfrio has been a loyal employee at the Belen location, but, the couple said they finally decided it was time to strike out on their own and move the Rutilio’s empire north.

“We thought we would try it out,” said Valle. “Rudy has such a passion for it and has been doing it for so long.”

“I’ve always enjoyed business and restaurants, so it’s putting it all together,” added Acanfrio with a smile.

Valle says her expertise is in the front end of the restaurant, dealing with the guests, while Acanfrio says he likes “the cooking part.”

The couple are obviously in their element in their spacious steak house turned New Mexican eatery as they explain the changes in decor they are eager to make, such as replacing antler chandeliers and lone star fixtures with a turquoise wall here and a chile ristra there.

They beam at one another, giggle, and light up with pride as they talk about carrying on their families’ tradition.

The couple say it’s important to them to stay true to the Rutilio’s taste the public has come to know, love and expect. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room on the menu to play.

Acanfrio, who, from his father, learned the art of creating Italian cuisine from scratch, says he has been slowly introducing some of these dishes to the menu on Sundays to see how people respond. So far, he says, the response has been positive.

The Italian meals, such as lasagna and chicken Parmesan, are all made from scratch, including the sauce, and from family recipes, says Acanfrio.

But, overall, the star of their menu is the carne adovada. Added to cheese fries, quesadillas, huevos rancheros and more, the carne adovada steals the show.

Perhaps one of the best things about the new restaurant, though, is that it’s local and family owned.

“I think a local place actually cares more about the community and the customers,” says Acanfrio. “Whereas a big chain is more about the numbers.”

The Rutilio’s New Mexican Food in Los Lunas is available for big parties and catering, and is open 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday; and 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Sundays.

Visit Rutilio’s at 2350 Main St. in Los Lunas.

(Rutilio’s New Mexican Foods in Belen is downsizing. Owner Rudy Jaramillo says the restaurant has moved to the building directly south of the restaurant, which houses the catering department, but the address will remain the same — 455 N. Main St. The downsize is in response to the economy, says Jaramillo.)


-- Email the author at udavila@news-bulletin.com.