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Dec 21, 1998 12:04 PM

Dining in Sante Fe

  • j

My folks are spending January in Santa Fe and I'd like
to make them a Christmas gift of dinner in a good,
interesting restarant. Any suggestions would be much

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  1. If you want to do your own research, a good site with
    lots of links is

    I like low-end food in Santa Fe, like a bowl of green
    chile at Tia Sophia's or blue corn enchiladas at The
    Shed. A Christmas gift warrants something more
    high-end, I suppose. In this category, I have had some
    very good food (try the elk) at Geronomo on Canyon Road
    (in the heart of the gallery area), though I have also
    heard several very angry complaints recently of
    indifferent to rude service. Mark Miller made the
    Coyote Cafe famous, and though he is no longer running
    the kitchen, it still produces good, though not great,
    food, and the decor is wonderful and wonderfully
    unique. It's hard not to have a good time here, and it
    is sort of uniquely "Santa Fe." Another possibility is
    the Anasazi Restaurant in the Inn of the Anasazi on
    Washington Ave. The decor of the hotel and the dining
    room is great, and the food, although variable, but can
    be quite good (I had an amazing watermelon soup here,
    but find other dishes, like peanut and coconut grilled
    prawns cloyingly sweet and overwrought). All of the
    above-mentioned places include southwestern elements in
    their cooking. There are some other places that serve
    Italian, French, and other cuisines, but why would you
    go to Santa Fe, New Mexico to eat Italian food?
    Another popular southwestern place is Cafe Pasqual's--
    not cheap, but not as "high-end" as the other places
    I've mentioned. If you need more suggestions, let me
    know. Good luck.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Tom Armitage

      I saw Tom's response which was mainly about high end
      restaurants in Sante Fe. Tom, you intrigued me with
      your low end suggestions. I am going to Sante Fe in
      April , any suggestions for a good lunch place. (I am
      also going to Albuqueque and Taos). Thanks in advance.

      1. re: decider

        Sorry for the delayed response. Unfortunately, I've
        lost or misplaced my notes on some of the more obscure
        Santa Fe eateries. I'll supplement this response when
        (if?) I find them. Generally speaking, Santa Fe is a
        tourist town, catering to yuppy tastes. There is a
        lot of wanna-be food served up in Santa Fe, that would
        not come close to passing muster in New York or Los
        Angeles. So have some fun, and explore the outskirts
        of Santa Fe--you know, little places attached to a gas
        station off the tourist track--and see what you can

        Here are few suggestions. In town, try the green
        chile stew and other simple dishes at Tia Sophia's,
        210 W. San Francisco St. Or the red chile enchiladas
        (the traditional New Mexican stacked blue corn
        tortillas) at The Shed, 1131U2 E. Palace Ave., though
        I've read recent reports of spotty quality here.
        Maria New Mexcan Kitchen, 555 West Cordova Road, also
        serves a good version of blue corn enchiladas, along
        with more standard fare. Also, Tomasita's Santa Fe
        Station, 500 S. Guadalupe St., expecially for the
        carne adovada special on Fridays. Other possibilies
        include the Old Mexico Grill, 2434 Cerillos Rd, and La
        Choza, 905 Alarid St. Outside of Santa Fe, try El
        Farolito, NM 84 to 554, at 1212 Main St. in El Rito.
        And Rancho de Chimayo, County Road 98 (formerly NM
        520), in Chimayo.

        1. re: Drew

          The answer is simple: because I've never had a meal there. Have you? If so, what is your opinion of the food there compared to, say, the food at Geronomo? (BTW, you're not associated with Ristra in any way, are you?) From the menu alone, I'd say that the food at Ristra falls into the "too-many-things" category. Menu descriptions like "Chimayo chile brioche tart with brandied leeks, roasted tomatoes, oregano and Taleggio cheese" and "duck leg confit with lentil du puy, wilted escarole, and mole verde de pepita" make me hunger for a bowl of green at Horseman's Haven. But, as I say, I've never been to Ristra.

      2. Just returned from 4 days in Santa Fe. Good eats all over. My top choices were:
        Pranzo - Excellent, medium priced. Nice atmosphere.
        La Casa Sena - High priced. Must have dessert at La Cantina,next door, and enjoy the singing waiters.
        Little lunch spot on Canyon Road is the Brown Bag. Try the soup.
        In Taos, try lunch at Eske's. Little brewpub with good eats and beer. Try the Red Chile Chicken Burrito.
        Have fun!!