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Dec 19, 2013 09:40 AM

Chef Tasting Menu in/around Santa Fe or ABQ

Coming to Santa Fe for anniversary and would like one "must eat at" experience. We enjoy Tasting Menus and/or unique experiences. Did a search, but didn't uncover any recent postings. Thanks in advance.

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  1. For better or worse, Santa Fe is not much of a tasting menu town. Most of the higher end restaurants tend to stick to the standard three course a la carte formula. I do think I've seen a tasting menu posted at the host station at Coyote Café as I was passing it on my way upstairs to the Cantina, but their web site appears to be down at the moment so I can't confirm that.

    If you're looking for something other than first course/main course/dessert your best bets may be La Boca (a wide selection of tapas and one of the best tables in town regardless of format) and Arroyo Vino (an assortment of small plates with an excellent selection of wine from the adjoining wine shop). You should be able to create a "virtual" tasting menu at either place. Service and atmosphere at both are somewhat casual, so if you're looking for a more formal special occasion ambience they may not fit the bill.

    Good luck, and enjoy your visit!

    2 Replies
    1. re: rcurtism

      Yeah, like rcurtism said, Santa Fe just ins't a tasting menu town. Moreover, I think Santa Fe's high-end dining is so demand-driven that there's just a remarkable amount of tourist-focused mediocrity out there.

      Geronimo offers a four-course vegetarian tasting menu. The restaurant is nothing if not elegant, and even if the food leans more toward "flawless" than "sublime" you'd be hard pressed to find a more quintessentially upscale Santa Fe feel to a restaurant.

      Other distinctly Santa Fean upscale places worth a peek at the menu: Ristra, the Compound, Santa Cafe. I've never been especially wowed by any of them, but they do get the vibe right.

      I also agree with rcurtism that the food at La Boca is among the best in the city. It's a cramped, bustling tapas joint that's nowhere near as ostentatious as, say, Geronimo, but if great food is your primary motivator it would be hard to argue with this choice. I haven't been to Tanti Luce yet, but the word is that both the food and cocktails are more or less the real deal.

      Finally, Santa Fe loves its safe, inoffensive French food, so if this is your thing, you certainly wouldn't go wrong at 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar or Bouche.

      1. re: finlero

        Thank you for the posts. We like tasting menus because we like what's in season and have trouble deciding what to get. Casual is fine and it sounds like we can't go wrong with La Boca.