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Jul 11, 2011 11:09 AM

O'Keeffe Cafe, Santa Fe - disappointing

Groupon motivated us to give this place another try over the weekend. Things started out well enough - my corn flan was just lightly sweet and nicely balanced by a lemony beurre blanc and crispy shallots, and my wife was pleased with the oxtail strudel. Both main courses missed the mark - my duck was four slices of chewy and curiously bland breast served over a "crispy potato gallette" that resembled nothing more than a hockey puck, with some tasty swiss chard on the side. My wife's pork chop was overcooked, and she also felt that some of the accompaniments on her dish didn't quite work. Dessert was a mixed berry torte that might have been nice if it wasn't served right of the refrigerator and a trio of ice creams that ended up as a duo because they were out of one flavor.

Two side notes - service was a bit slow and bumpy - our bread arrived between our first course and our main course, and pacing was slow overall (2:15 from the time we arrived to the time we left). I saw two parties leave after sitting for 10+ minutes and not being approached. On the plus side, the Sunday night wine discount (50% off) creates some nice opportunities - we enjoyed a fine bottle of grand cru Burgundy for a price slightly below retail, and there were at least three or four other interesting selections on the otherwise (typical for Santa Fe) overpriced list.

O'Keeffe Cafe
217 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

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  1. Sorry to hear this. We enjoyed a great meal there in Feb of this year.. We also went via Groupon and on a Sunday.

    We had never been to the cafe before and knew that their dinners featured a 3 course prix fixe menu [and you can get all of the items a la carte, but at a higher overall costs] for $37. I had been checking the menu -- which is the same for the entire month -- since December. This months looked good and it worked well with V-Day and expiration date of groupon.

    We were greeted pleasantly by Rosemary and seated at a nice table. Being early, there were only a few diners, but the place did fill as our meal progressed.

    I ordered a Calamari appetizer and hubby got Lamb chop appetizer. We both ordered the duck breast for main.

    We were brought a lovely amusee bouche of currants, cheese and a HUGE caperberry. The bread was a baguette -- warmed and crusty on outside and soft inside. A dipping oil was served along the bread and we enjoyed both as starters.

    The calamari was brought out and I instantly realized I made a mistake in ordering it. I somehow thought it would be fried and it was not. I just don't like calamari unless it is fried. So hubby kindly switched with me.

    The lamb chop was big enought to almost be an entree! It was served over a butternut squash puree with a wilted green.

    Rosemary, walking by, noticed we had switched appetizers and asked if there was a problem. I explained my mistake and she asked my husband if he would prefer a lamb chop [he would have continued with the calamari] and he said yes. She wisked away the calamari, saying "we just want you to be happy with your meal,not a problem"

    The new chop was quickly brought to the table and quick work was made of it.

    The duck was cooked perfectly, with no cloying sweet sauce to drown out the flavor. It was served on top of polenta, again with a wilted green.

    [That would be my only negative; that both items were served with similar presentations.]
    We had chocolate mousse for dessert, along with cappucino and espresso. We were given a little box with 2 truffles to take home.

    Rosemary was kind enough to inform us that they were again going to be doing a groupon in March, so be on the lookout for it.

    She was such a great server and she made us feel welcomed [even with the groupon] and when we again thanked her for switching out the appetizer, she repeated that they wanted us to enjoy the food and the evening.

    We did!