- rugbyboy May 29, 2007 01:47 PM
Planning a trip for my wife and I for mid to late october to santa fe, looking for some advise on where to stay and eat.
we are probably going to spend three nights maybe four, would like a couple of options in prices. I have looked at Inn at anasazi, inn on alamada, bishops, etc.. prices I saw ranged from high 100's to 300+ something nice in that price range will work.
Also would like to do a spa day, 10,000 waves?
food and art are why we are going though
Just got back from Santa Fe. Rented a house for the best deal.
where to eat:
Bert' Taqueria Incredible real Mexican food including Corn fungus and Fried grasshoppers but the best real tacos etc and Bert is a gas. Ask him for a mescal tasting.
Santa Cafe unscale elegant food with South west flare
Cowgirls for Texas style Barbeque
LORD IN HEAVEN, stay away from the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Some of the dryest, toughest barbeque I've eaten. The rest of their food is largely innoffensive, but the horrendous service is enough to keep any civilized person away. A very good texas-style barbeque joint just opened down Cerillos Road in the San Isidro Plaza. It's called Josh's Barbeque. We've only been once, but they seemed to be doing a really great job. Genuine smokehouse flavor and tenderness in everything I tasted. But coming to Santa Fe to eat barbeque is a little silly. For truly great local food, check out Maria's on Cordova (the menu is hit and miss, the enchiladas and carne adovada are pretty good, but it's margarita's that you've gotta try), La Choza or The Shed (either near the Railyard or down on the Plaza, respectively, these two restaraunts are owned and operated by the same family and both do a tremendous job of preparing fresh and authentic Northern New Mexico food). If you're looking for some more high-end places, I have recently had meals at The Compound (Canyon Road) and at Trattoria Nostrani (Johnson Street) that were absolutely world-class. Both these places are at the top of their game and though you can expect a stout thrashing by the price-point, I never for a moment felt that I wasn't getting my money's worth. Geronimo seems to be in some kind of stall, if not death-spiral. The best green chile in town, hands down, is served at a little greasy-spoon of a place down at the end of Cerillos called Horseman's Haven. It's not for the faint of heart, but the sheer, intense flavor of their green chile is unmatched.
IHateKiddo is right-on on every count...
Cowgirl Hall of Fame is TERRIBLE unless you've got kids along and good/better food is less of an issue. Josh's BBQ on the southside of town is - simply - excellent. It's hard to find; across from a Lowe's Home Center and adjacent to the new Regal Cinema 14. Closed on Monday, btw.
La Choza or The Shed are must-visits for New Mexican eating and Horseman's Haven (further south on Cerrillos from the movie theatre) is also "required eating" but be careful; that chile while great can be lethal to taste buds not properly broken-in.
High-end meals have been discussed at length in earlier posts by many. Compound/Geronimo/SantaCafe/Ristra/Anasazi/Old House/Trattoria Nostrani are all exceptional and expensive. Personally, I no longer honor Trattoria with my $$$$ due to the owner's amazing arrogance and much publicized (recently) treatment of his "guests".
Admittedly, I was quite taken aback by the strict "no-fragrance" policy at Nostrani, which my party was informed of by telephone three separate times before arriving for our 8 pm reservation. Am I mistaken in thinking that the man who owned Rociada does not own or operate Nostrani? I think the current Executive Chef's name is Nelli. She is doing very fine work. I thought Rociada's owner had did himself in with his outrageous behavior towards his customers. Anyway, we decided to cleanse ourselves of perfumes, deodorants and colognes and give them a try anyway and we were absolutely delighted with the food. My appetizer of stuffed quail with a chicken liver pate was marvelous, rich and savory with nice sweet notes in the stuffing. The lamb tenderloin and veal scallopini were both among the best I've ever eaten, remarkably tender and flavorful, truly magnificent entrees. There was a dessert - a pistachio semi-freddo - that was unbelievable. A tremendous wine list as well, we enjoyed a '98 Barolo that rocked my socks completely off, priced under 100 dollars. The service was timely and friendly, too. I did not notice any upbraidings going on in the dining room or hear any loud arguments in the bar, so I just assumed the place must not be operated by that obnoxious windbag of Rociada fame . . .
The Chef at Trattoria Nostrani - Nelli Maltezos - is indeed really talented and the food is truly among the very best in Santa Fe (think she is an alum of Charlie Trotter in Chicago).
The owner (or managing partner; believe chef is a co-owner) is one Eric Stapleman; same as when restaurant was French oriented and known as Rociada. The name change/format change came when a silent partner was bought out a few years ago. He owned a ranch in Rociada, New Mexico hence that name.
The "no fragrance" policy while unusual is well within (imo) the rights of ownership. And, it is indeed stressed over and over to guests. That said there have been several way-over-the-top and well documented situations with guests involving e-mails, after dining where the owner PHONES the guests to berate them and suggest that they'll never again be welcome.
A party of four I know (two from Santa Fe and two visitors from Manhattan) took exception to being repeatedly "sniffed" by staff and management at table and were summarily thrown out into the night. Kind of gestapo-like as described to me.
There are simply too many other extremely fine dining experiences to be had in Santa Fe for me to bother with nonsense of this sort.
Make sure you hit The Shed at least once during your visit...be prepared to wait or call for reservations.
I highly recommend the bar at the Inn at Anazasi for friendly bartenders who make great drinks (especially the silver margarita). There's a pretty good bar menu too.
Tia Sophia's for breakfast...nice folks, great food, large portions...
I heard that there were plans for a restaurant at Ten Thousand Waves Spa, but haven't heard anything since i was there last summer...might be worth checking out.
We were there last year during the third week of Oct. It was a great time to visit. Be sure to make the drive to Taos...gorgeous that time of year!
It was our first trip up there. We enjoyed our meals at:
Harry's Roadhouse(leave room for pie!)
Maria's(if you like heat don't miss the carne adovado...wash it down with a margi!)
The Farmer's Market was still going as well. Be sure to visit! We picked up some goodies to bring home and I remember really good coffee and morning treats as well!
We also thought the carnitas from the cart on the Plaza weren't bad at all!