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Oct 15, 2011 08:14 AM

Amavi in Santa Fe

Looking for feedback. Have you had a meal there and if so, how was the food? Variety of items on menu, are the offerings truly a locavore concept? How was service? Was it doing a brisk business.

I have searched on here and found just a few comments about it. Thanks.

Amavi Restaurant
221 Shelby Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501

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  1. I've gone a few times when friends suggested it. Found the food and service totally competent, if unremarkable. The prices on the food and especially the wine seemed pretty high to me. There's nothing wrong with their upscale Med menu, but with a little effort I can do it at home.

    As a side note, the weekly wine classes are inexpensive, unpretentious, and truly educational. Mark, their sommelier, is a local NM guy made good (I think he grew up in Artesia?), and does a great job making a traditionally exclusive subject seem welcoming to all.

    1. Finlero's "competent, if unremarkable" evaluation seems right on target to me. We had our third meal there a couple of months ago - my first course was a flawed arugula and cucumber salad (I think they forgot the lemon in the lemon vinaigrette). For main courses I had the Pollo al Mattone, which was predictably dry in spots but served with a very nice caper and preserved lemon sauce. My wife had the New York strip which was a nice piece of meat and a truly massive portion, although I personally could have done without the melted Gorgonzola on top.

      Service was about average for Santa Fe and they were doing a decent business (although this was in the peak tourist season). Despite all the local growers mentioned on the menu I don't get the impression that this is really a farm to table restaurant - the menu is pretty static and not especially seasonal.

      Not to be a contrarian, but the one wine class I attended there was like Chinese water torture for me - the sommelier really talked us to death. I think he spent 20 minutes introducing a Pinot Grigio that costs about $12/bottle. My wife and I were both rolling our eyes and fidgeting for the majority of the class. On the other hand, the price certainly is right, and there aren't many opportunities to do this sort of thing in Santa Fe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rcurtism

        > Not to be a contrarian

        Not at all, it's great to get extra data points.

        I've been to a few of the classes and agree they can be hit or miss, and definitely geared more towards novices than vets. He's undeniably chatty (which can sometimes be a good thing), but if I heard him waste 20 minutes on something that plonky I might have jumped out a window, for all the good it would have done from the second story.

        Especially if you have some wine chops, probably best to go on a night highlighting something about which you know little. For whatever it matters, we thought he did a particularly good job with a dessert wine class last year.