M'Tucci's Italian Deli is an offshoot of the dopily named M'Tucci's Kitchina, a nice, friendly, Italian-influenced restaurant that opened some time last year in the Albertson's/Keller's/Hasting's shopping plaza at Coors & Montano.
The Kitchina's food tends to run a little sweet, but it's good and fresh. To me its spirit is similar to Indigo Crow's. It's a clean, well-lighted, somewhat funky place that serves food that seems like it's made by people who care. It might not last too long in cities like Portland or Austin that are full of such restaurants doing more interesting things, but it really shines and fills a void in Albuquerque.
M'Tucci's Italian Deli & Market, just a few doors down, is shaping up to be something much more special. It's a the kind of tiny artisanal Italian deli that was already disappearing when I moved to New York's Little Italy in the early '90's. Almost everything is made in-house -- a small selection of breads, cured meats, sausages, pâtés, burrata, fresh mozzarella, crusty breads, interesting salads and antipasti. They also sell a few things I don't know that I've seen before in an Albuquerque shop, -- gorgonzola dolce, linguiça, caper berries, pre-made beurre monté, and real speck.
A couple of little tables are set up in the shop, and they sell some sandwiches, light entrees, and various samplers beautifully served on cutting boards -- the salumi board, the pickle board, and the cheese board -- that look delicious and can be eaten right there. I didn't get to try much on my first visit, just had a couple of samples and bought some sausages for my Dad, but I can't wait to go back to really shop and eat.