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Return to Santa Fe

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We are getting set to return to Santa Fe and area for the first time in a little over five years, this time with my daughter & son-in-law in tow. They are both lovers of good food [they currently live in Portland OR] and I want this visit to be especially memorable for them.

I look at this board regularly, so finding out about the current CH favourites is not difficult, and there are several places thay I know they will enjoy [Bobcat Bite, Horseman Haven, Harry's, La Choza] that we will definitely hit. None of us are really interested in Geronimo-style high end, but if someone can suggest some nicer places [i.e. Amaya or 315] that we might not find out about on our own, I'd really appreciate it. Almost any ethnic style is OK, but Portland has a great deal of Asian food, and we'd all like this to be about New Mexico. [That being said, a superlative Creole or French restaurant would still be nice to know about.]

Also, can anyone tell me if Sugar's BBQ in Embudo Pass is still there and still great?

Many thanks!

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  1. I don't know if you saw the thread on Trattoria Nostrani. It's an Italian restaurant in Santa Fe with a French chef, and it's reopening soon (or may already have reopened) as a fine dining French restaurant with the same chef and owners. It's kind of expensive (though not as expensive as Geronimo), the management is a little uptight (not snotty, just nervous), and they have this weird no fragrance policy, -- but you shouldn't let it put you off. I think it will be a superlative French restaurant, and not too many people are cooking at this level in New Mexico.

    Otherwise, if I were to pick one fancy place in Santa Fe to try, it would probably be Aqua Santa under it's new chef/owner, Charles Dale. I think 315 and Amaya will disappoint in comparison with the kind of restaurants you have on virtually every corner in Portland.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ninrn

      Just a minor point about Nostrani / Vivre. Eric's involvement is now limited to overseeing the wine list at Vivre. Otherwise he is totally involved only with the adjacent noodle shop; Shibumi.

      Don't know exactly what brought this about but I know it on good authority.

    2. Sooooo jealous! My one and only time eating in Santa Fe was such a disappointment......
      Family vacation with the kids, coming from PHX, heading to WY. I was thinking we could eat someplace cool. Well, my husband took a wrong turn, we ended up in some pretty odd residential districts, we started to argue, and ended up at the mall food court, eating separately!
      One of these days, we'll go back, without kids, and do some homework. Thanks goodness we have google maps now! No smart phones back then. It came in handy when we took our 7,500 mile road trip this summer, no arguments!

      1. There are some great restaurants in town these days. If you like world cuisine- try Jambo Cafe- reasonably priced African food- owner is from Kenya. Restaurant Martin for more high end- but less pricy than Geronimo- also Galisteo Bistro. La Boca and their new Taberna La Boca for tapas- happy hour brings half-priced tapas. Dona Clara in Santa Fe Village for authentic Mexican lunch or early dinner. If you come in February- Chef Charles Dale is opening a French bistro on Alameda St. No creole of high-end French. Sugars is still there but not always open- check with them for days and hours. Also some interesting food trucks and carts have opened around the downtown area in the last few years. Lots of new places in the last 5 year.s Bon apetit!

        1. Well, we just returned from our visit, and every eating experience we had was wonderful. The kids really wanted to immerse themselves in Northern New Mexico food, and we happy to oblige them, all but one and that was also truly exceptional.

          In a nutshell, we had two great breakfasts at Tecalote, a fine one at Zia Diner, a super dinner at La Choza. Our one exception to the NM food theme was The Trading Post in Rancho de Taos, seriously one of my five favourite restaurants in the world. Italian, but with a hint of New Mexico sensibility [the only way I can think of to describe it].

          We snacked at various places including Leona's in Chimayo [frito pie and tamales] the San Francisco St Bar & Grill. Between breakfasts and dinners like we had, full lunches would not have been advisable. The fresh potato chips at the Bar & Grill were especially tasty, even more so considering how windy it was in Santa Fe on Saturday.

          Our last meal together was in Albuquerque at Garcia's, and I know it doesnt always get a lot of love on CH, we love it, and so did the kids.

          There being only so much time, we didnt get everywhere we wanted to, but we did just fine, and there is plenty to experience on the next visit.