I'd recommend a few places in Santa Fe.
1. Cafe Pasquale (on Water St.) is always delicious and fun, but it tends to get crowded... I think that they take reservations in the evening.
2. Geronimo's (on Canyon Road) is pricey, but the food is good. The atmosphere is upscale and fairly quiet.
3. El Farol (nearby on Canyon Rd) isn't New Mexican food; it's a Spanish restaurant, but they have a great bar that's sure to be fun and festive on New Years.
4. Casa Sena (near the plaza) is nice all the way around. Good food, nice setting, upscalish, but still Santa Fe casual. Their patio in the summertime is great.
5. The Shed (also near the plaza) is the classic place to get New Mexican food in Santa Fe. Natives ask to have their red chile dishes sent through the burner twice... the sauce gets richer, deeper and extra-caramelized.
At most New Mexican restaurants, the server will ask if you want "red or green" (referring to the chile)... say "Christmas" & you'll get both.
Hope this helps and pack serious winter clothes. Visitors are always surprised at how cold it is here!
Thanks for all the yummy suggestions! I grew up in SF, partially, and ended up booking at Rancho de Chimayo for NYE -- an old favorite even though they close at 8:30 PM. Sadly, our flight into ABQ was cancelled yesterday, and the soonest Southwest would get us there was after midnight tonight.
We're shooting for next week and spending NYE here at home in the SF Bay area... luckily one of our favorite restaurants within walking distance of home had one table left!
Happy New Year to all...
we ended up driving to ALB from Dallas. Got stuck in Vaughn. Almost froze to death. Slept in our car along the side of NOWHERE. listened to horrible New Mexico road reports that told us about how not to burn down the forests, but nothing about the roads we were on.
Anyway, we went to our hotel and had a nice dinner at the Las Posada Inn. It is home to the $98 burger or something like that. Ours was only like $18 (still a lot for a burger) but it was good. I guess if you get it all the way it is $98.
Although, if all you ate in four days was cheeze its and mountain dews, any burger would be tasty. So, I guess I withdraw my appreciation for the $98 burger.
I found santa fe to be pretentious and just STRANGE. It was like Ann Arbor on crack.
Uh, all restaurants in Santa Fe are New Mexican since Santa Fe is in New Mexico. (Slap!!) Sorry, couldn't help myself! This is probably not what you're looking for but we've done the Compound several times for New Year's and it's absolutly spectacular. The crowd is not really wild & crazy, but the menu is fantastic.
One thought would be Maria's. I would imagine it would be pretty festive especially after several flights of tequila.