return trip to Taos, New Mexico
We will be returning for a ski vacation again this March. Thank you to those who helped with favorite restaurants you've been to. Any new suggestions? We'll be there for about 9 days.
How can I give you new suggestions when I don't remember the old suggestions? Come to think of it, I can't remember what I had for dinner yesterday.
My most recent trip to Taos was in October. Here are some high points.
Antonio's. Reincarnated in the site of the old .......Supper Club just west of the plaza. Antonio also owns the small Rellenos Cafe. I really like this place.
Graham's Grille. Always great.
Sabroso. Just before you get into Arroyo Seco, where Momentitos used to be located. The bar menu is fine, never made it into the dining room. Deschutes Black Butte Porter on tap and some excellent Islay Whiskys on the shelf.
Orlando's. Of course.
The Stakeout. Retro, excellent food, excellent wine and great homemade (by the owner) Limoncello.
Joseph's Table for a fine-dining meal. Joseph Wrede was a Food & WIne Best New Chef 10 or more years ago. The Old Blinking Light (same ownership) for a more casual New Mexican one.
Don't miss Love Apple on the north side of town (no website yet I don't think but they are at 802 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, open Tuesday through Saturday, 575-751-0050). Wonderful food and you often need a reservation because it is very popular. Cash or check only. It uses local ingredients. They make homemade tortillas and wonderful yellow and blue cornbread. Sample main dishes: grilled rainbow trout wrapped in corn husks with lime compound butter served with a quinoa pinon fitter, posole and grilled lamb sausage, lemon and cardamon roasted chicken breast served with basmatic rice with pinon, crrants, house made preserved lemon, cilantro and charmoula sauce.
Another great restaurant is El Meze. Moorish Spain tapas (sort of) but with a New Mexican twist. See their menu at www.elmeze.com and don't miss their great deserts.
Also, there is a Japaneze Izakaya restaurant and Sake Bar in Arroyo Seco (the little town between Taos and the Taos Ski Valley that is out of this world. they only have about 10 tables. Some of their specialties are Chinese sticky ribs, duck sushi, salmon slider, wonderful noodle bowls, wok fried edimame with garlic, chile and sea salt, and great vegetables.
<Another great restaurant is El Meze.>
A hearty second to that one. We were there in October 09 & made a meal of their appetizers.
Guadalajara Grille made exceptionally fine fish tacos. We went to the one at the southern edge of town (I think they have two locations).
Sushi a la Hattori, tucked away out of view by that 'flying sculpture' place, was good too. It was suggested to us by the chef at El Meze & he was right.
I was just at the Guadalajara Grille on the north side, and thought the food had declined considerably. The fish tacos were pretty terrible, and had an exceptionally fishy taste. The barbacoa and carnitas were also both really dry and underseasoned. I used to like the place, but this experience made me wonder.....
I went to Joseph's Table and bunch of times, and it was consistently good, except for the cowboy steak, which was an awful cut of meat that I would expect to find at a Denny's , not a fine dining restaurant. The more esoteric the dish, the better it usually was at Joseph's (e.g. the banana curry, the charred kale salad, the butter poached trout with crab pico de gallo, etc.). He was also getting in some great black trumpet mushrooms, and made a fantastic mushroom soup from them.
As for El Monte Sagrado and the Anaconda Bar/De La Tierra, they apparently lost their chef a while ago and have no replacement. The formerly fancy dishes are now very amateurish and poorly executed, and at the prices they are charging, I would suggest avoiding most things. They couldn't even find a steak knife in the restaurant when I was there (WTF?). However, the bison burgers were the exception; they were perfectly cooked, flavorful, and of course were topped with some green chile (i.e., stick to the bar menu and the simple stuff). I didn't have any problems with bar service, and the bartenders were quite good and pretty friendly, though they did get a bit overwhelmed when busy. Marriott just took over the hotel last week, so hopefully they'll be able to show some management skills and bring the food up to the level of the atmosphere of the resort.