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Aug 27, 2006 04:07 AM

Santa Fe Report in several parts, Part Three: Tulips

Originally, we had a reservation at La Casa Sena, one of my favorites, and not just for the wine list (one of the best in Santa Fe). But two different sets of people raved about Tulips, so we switched. We've heard that the original husband-wife team split and that, post-split, the husband -- now sole owner -- has become more adventurous. We can confirm this.

I had the Buffalo Chile Relleno and Black Angus Beef Tenderloin. (Elk is SO old in Santa Fe! Particularly when it comes from New Zealand.) The Relleno was great: a mango salsa with chipotle and creme fraiche. Spicy and crispy. The tenderloin was perfectly cooked and the combination of the ricotta ravioli with broccoli and a mushroom cream just nailed it.

The GF had the "Vietnamese Chilled Green Chile Lobster Springrolls" with a passion fruit sauce. Sweet but sprightly. Probably better with a white wine, but we tried a really excellent Testarossa Syrah from the Santa Lucia Highlands, near Santa Barbara. She had a main course not on the menu, center cut pork chop with pineapple salsa, garlic mashed potatoes and grilled bok choy. The mashed potatoes matched the pork perfectly; the bok choy seemed like filler but was fine.

Desserts: Applejack tart with jalapeno and vanilla ice cream that the GF devoured. And a plum custard pie that sounds boring but was divine, especially matched with the Kracher dessert wine, an ice wine from Austria.

Nota bene: We had lunch at Zia Diner, which is a great local hangout. The GF was unhappy with both the sweet potato fries and the portabello mushroom burger. I had turkey vegetable soup and a salad with smoked chicken and candied walnuts which I enjoyed.

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  1. Thanks for the report on Tulips. We just got back from Santa Fe and we were staying just around the block from it at the Casa Pueblo. We talked about trying it on on next trip. This time around we did dinner at Il Piatto, always a pleasure. Tailgated at the SF Opera with Whole Foods and Trader Joe's goodies. Another spectacular dinner at the Compound. Late sort of dinner at the Coyote Cantina. Good but my wife's margarita was pretty underwhelming and her version of their tortilla soup made from the Coyote Cafe cookbook was better than theirs. Tequila tasting lunch at Maria's with great tamales but the green chile stew was just OK. One obligatory breakfast at the Plaza Restaurant and one obligatory posole lunch at the Plaza.