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Oct 31, 2007 07:57 AM

Christmas Dinner In Santa Fe

We will be in Santa Fe for Christmas and are looking for a good place for our holiday meal. We don't have anything specific in mind (although 2 of our 4 have requested a traditional turkey dinner, this is not necessarily a requirement.) We inquired at the hotel where we will be staying and were told that the list of menus and restaurants that will be open for Christmas will not be available until December 1st. That seems a bit late to make a reservation. I'm not sure that a buffet is the way to go, only because we've had many very expensive buffets in our lifetime and most were beautiful to look at, but not nearly as good to eat. I guess our only requirement is that the food will be special in some way. It doesn't have to be an upscale restaurant...........the quality of the food is what matters to us. Has anyone out there had a holiday meal in Santa Fe that was worth remembering? Your thoughts and ideas will be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Friends of mine, who live in Santa Fe, always go to Geronimo for Christmas Eve dinner. It's located on Canyon Road. They have a web site

    1. Last year we were all snowed in but we walked to Fuego at La Posada and it was great.

      1. You are right to be concerned about waiting until December 1st to make a decision. Generally, all of the top tier restaurants are open for Christmas Day dining though they each usually do a special menu and do not offer their regular menu as well.

        Geronimo, SantaCafe, Ristra, Fuego, The Old House, Inn of The Anaszi The Compound and La Casa Sena will all be open and a traditional turkey entree is likely as an offering at each.

        Some years ago, before living in Santa Fe full time, I always ate out somewhere. La Casa Sena was my choice then because it offered a distinct Santa Fe ambience in addition to excellent food. It was always crowded with many families.

        The food is not now what it was then at La Casa Sena though it is still good. The very best food will be had at Geronimo or Anasazi imo.

        Make sure you plan to walk Canyon Road Christmas Eve. It is special and amazing with New Mexican Christmas decorations; even better if it is freezing and there has been some snow. Note that Geronimo is located at the top of Canyon Road so perhaps a reservation there for Christmas Eve... (?). The Compound is about halfway up Canyon Road also. Another option.

        Note, too, that Canyon Road is closed to cars on Christmas Eve and parking anywhere near Canyon Road will be at a premium. So, if you walk up to Geronimo or The Compound, you WILL be walking back to your car after dinner.

        4 Replies
        1. re: fyfas

          WOW! Thank you for all the great ideas. We will be staying at the Inn On The Alameda, so we should be in a good position to walk most anywhere on Canyon Road..........(so I'm told.) Do you have any personal feeling as to the food and general experience at Geronimo? I've read such conflicting information about them. Some say that is the best experience they have ever had at a restaurant, while others say that the portions are small, the seating far too close and that all is served with an"attitude". We don't mind splurging if it is worth it, but we have had ultra expensive holiday meals before that were not nearly as good as they should have been, given the cost and hype. Thank you so much for all of your great advice!

          1. re: runsfast

            Food at Geronimo is excellent; no doubt about it. As for "attitude", there is some which doesn't surprise me when a place so regularly receives accolades. Too, holidays with families or a full house and special menus can lead to more of an assembly line experience anywhere.

            My only real complaint about Geronimo has to do with wine pricing; something I've mentioned in other posts. Many restaurants in Santa Fe price their wine lists high. Even Whole Foods sells wines for $4 over full retail (as suggested by the wineries). The Geronimo list seems to take it even a notch further to about 5x wholesale. An $18 full retail wine (about $13/$14 wholesale) will list for $65 +.
            It keeps a number of us "locals" who want wine with food away. A fairly well known wine person who posts often on wine forums describes it as akin to a "back-alley mugging".

            All of that said, if you've never been to Geronimo, I'd absolutely go whether it is on the Holiday or another day. Note that all of the top tier restaurants except Ristra also offer lunches on regular days. Much less expensive with simpler menus but still a great experience. I love to go any of several places the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas for their take on a leftover turkey sandwich or a hash or something imaginative they've dreamed up; with a soup or salad and a glass or two of wine. Fun. Hope this helps.

            1. re: fyfas

              Thanks fyfas for summing up what we all agree with. Santa Fe restaurants are price gougers when it comes to wine, and sometimes food. Geronimo seems to be at the top of this list, and the cramped tables, surly hostesses, and rediculous uniforms that the food runners wear all do not help.

              If you are staying at the Alameda, runsfast, then you are right next to Fuego, and as I said in my previous post, this is an excellent option. Also Casa Sena is a reasonable alternative.

              1. re: feaneater

                We've stayed at the Alameda and it's wonderful -- be sure to go to the Guadalupe Grill nearby.

                Okay, so here's what we did last time we went. For Xmas Eve dinner, we made late night reservations at the tapas place up the hill on Canyon Road and worked our way up through the festivities for a late night dinner. Xmas day we had dinner at Geronimo which was lovely and more formal.

                We haven't gone to Fuego but may try it this trip. We're going again this Xmas, maybe see ya there! We're staying 2 weeks and renting a casita, otherwise, we'd stay again at Alameda -- we really loved it there. Great location too.