Cafe Santa Fe, Todos Santos
First of all, a huge thank you to Mariana in Baja who pointed ( well, more like shoved...lol) me towards this place. We were there last Sunday with our friends and had possibly one of the best meals ever. Like all meals that fall into that category, it wasn't just the incredible food, but the gracious service and the lovely atmosphere.
At first glance of the menu, it really does seem to be northern Italian, but as Mariana pointed out to me, it has to do with so much more than that. Our server explained that they had several fresh catches of the day...tuna, Spanish mackerel and yellowtail. My friend and I had tuna carpaccio and our DHs had the Spanish mackerel which was a simple grill preparation. We all shared the Insalata Mista with fresh Baja tomatoes and all the lettuces coming out the restaurant's garden. Even better, the only dressing supplied are cruets of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Simple perfection.
As we waited for our fish, I could see the woman in the kitchen slicing the tuna for the carpaccio. I could also see another woman kneading dough for foccacia (that is served when you sit down) and pizza. This once again reminded us that this was all about letting the freshest ingredients being prepared in a way that would show them off to their best advantage.
When our tuna arrived, it was served drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with capers and slivered onion. It absolutely melted in your mouth. The mackerel did not disappoint either. With that we got a couple of plates of grilled vegetables to share.
We drifted out of there in a blissful state and back to the warm, sunny day.
Thank you again, Marianna! I/we are most grateful!
I stopped here for an expresso on my way to La Paz back in November. Benito Molina of Manzanilla in Ensenada had recommended the place. The bread I had was fabulous, the expresso was just what I needed to get back on the road, and the menu looked great.
The owner was very cool and friendly.
Glad you enjoyed the restaurant. I was there on Friday and this was my second trip to the restaurant in the last 3 years. I actually think this may be the best Italian food outside Italy (and I live in NY.) The homemade pasta is made the way it is made in Bologna. We had lobster ravioli with a light cream sauce and spinach ravioli with a tomato basil sauce. The salad was organic greens and tomatoes from their farm with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A lovely lunch with wine in a beautiful setting. It is worth the trip to Todos Santos.
Thanks so much for reporting. It is always helpful to learn if one's recommendations are well received and of course I am pleased that you were as happy as I had hoped you would be. If you come back another time on a week day I can give you some other suggestions- or better yet stay over on a Thurs, Fri or Saturday and have dinner at Michael's at the Gallery. Very different but every bit as good as Santa Fe. Happy travels.
re: Mariana in Baja
Do they have a website with their menu? I've looked before and couldn't find it. We got to Cabo each year and have not yet done an Italian meal there. It's hard to convince myself to eat Italian when there is such amazing mexican food.
Did your trip to Todos include a stop at Art & Beer?
re: DC Gal
No they don't have a web site. I would like to say yet again that while it is certainly Italian - the owner being from Italy - it is all locally grown, locally produced food. I believe it is considered by many to be the best food in southern Baja.
Please please do not go to Art & Beer. They are not good people and are not respected locally for many good reasons. There have been many posts about their incredibly rude behavior.
re: Mariana in Baja
We are a few months away from our annual trip to Los Cabos. Just by chance I was surfing through the board and happened to see this thread. My husband and I are still talking about our meal at Cafe Santa Fe. I'm not sure if we'll be back to Todos Santos this year, but just thinking about being there brings back some wonderful memories of a lovely afternoon. Thank you again!