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Advice on Santa Fe: Cafe Pasqual, Geronimo, The Compound, etc

  • s

Hi,
Everyone has been so helpful in responding to my queries on Grand Canyon, Vegas, etc, that I thought I'd try for some Santa Fe advice.

I would welcome your opinions of Cafe Pasqual, Geronimo, The Compound, Coyote Cafe, Cafe Estevan, Anasazi Restaurant, Old House, The Shed, El Farol.
And any other restaurant that you especially enjoyed.

My wife and I love good food, which ranks for us far above ambience, service, or price. So fire away!

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  1. I've been to both Geronimo and Coyote Cafe. Geronimo was the best, hands down! Incredible atmosphere, and outstanding cuisine & service. I thoroughly enjoyed my lobster bisque with home made crab cake, and my seared elk.

    Coyote was great as well, but in my opinion, was a slight step down from Geronimo. The location is certainly more accessible, and the layout of the dining room is beautiful and spacious. I was there for a group event, so I really can't comment on their daily menu.

    At the other end of the scale, I would avoid the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Again, it was a group event, but both service & cuisine left a lot to be desired.

    Enjoy!

    1. s
      Santa Fe local

      hi, I'm a Santa Fe local spurred into action by some of the touristy and not very good restaurant recs I've seen here so far. The Shed is the first place I go when I have been away, the only place I like to have red chile. Geronimo's is great, but can also be spotty. I really enjoy old standbys Santacafe and Casa Sena for outdoor eating. For great hot NM food, try Horseman's Haven. Tia Maria's is great for Wednesday lunches. Best of luck!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Santa Fe local
        b
        Brent Howard

        Why would you say that "Geronimo's" (sic) is "spotty?"

        1. re: Santa Fe local

          I love Horseman's Haven. The Level 2 chile is a religious experience. Not on the menu so you just the waitress to bring you a side. I'd also suggest milk and yogurt on the side for safety! By the way, the bartender at Il Piatto was telling me that they also have a Level 3 chile! I can't even imagine.....

        2. The Horsemens is a good pic, although now that they built the new cafe the atmosphere is awful...get it to go. The Plaza has some of the best red chili in the city. It is a great breakfast/lunch place. I am suprised a local says they eat at the Shed. I stay away from that place. Not Good. El Farol is great for tapas/getting drunk with a date in the evenings. Go on Sunday afternoon and you will be the only one there. My favorite is the Albondigas. (Lamb Balls!) Though it is a bit overpriced. Compound is steady fare. Casa Sena is great. Dont listen to anyone that states Geronimo is spotty. It isnt. Or maybe I have just been lucky for 10 years....Santacafe isnt what it once was. Skip it.

          1. Just FYI: the Shed's less-touristy sister restaurant, La Choza, is where I always bring folks instead (have been there with a couple of work prospects over the last couple of weeks). Same food, less annoying atmosphere. The locals seem to prefer it.

            1. I think Pasqual's is overrated for dinner and also expensive. However, breakfast or lunch is very good. I went to the Compound once and didn't care for the food, but most people like it. From early April through late October, the Coyote Cafe opens the rooftop Cantina, and it's one of my favorite spots. The food is a lot less costly than the main restaurant and it's very tasty. Most of the dishes are on the spicy side but not to the point of having to drink water after each bite. I haven't been to Old House since Martin Rios left to go to the Anasazi, but I have to assume that the Anasazi is just as good as when he was at Old House. I recently went to Aqua Santa for the first time, and while the menu is small and thus not for picky eaters, the food is very good; quite romantic atmosphere too. If you're in Santa Fe for a week or so and get tired of Southwestern food, try Il Piatto for excellent Italian.

              6 Replies
              1. re: ChelseaGirl

                The Anasazi is wonderful...everything about the Inn and the restaurant is impeccable....I love the outdoor patio for tapas and drinks.
                Marin Rios seems at home and happy.

                1. re: latindancer

                  I think he's at Geronimo now, though, isn't he?

                  1. re: Betsypaige

                    I apologize. Yes he is...I've been thinking alot about The Anasazi and the great food there and got the names of the chefs mixed up.
                    Nobody has mentioned the food at The Anasazi with the new chef, Oliver Ridgeway,
                    I believe his food is outstanding. He moved to Santa Fe from New York where he was chef at The Carlyle. He's originally from England and I love his fish dishes....he's very focused on freshness and quality and his food reflects it.
                    It's definately worth a try being it's situated in one of the most beautiful hotels in Santa Fe....how can anyone go wrong with a Rosewood Hotel?

                    1. re: latindancer

                      No apology necessary - just wanted to clarify. Everywhere I turn, there is another outstanding Santa Fe restaurant popping up. I may have to move there, lol

                      1. re: latindancer

                        Have thus far only had lunch and brunch at Anasazi since Oliver Ridgeway took over the kitchen and it has become one of my favorite spots in town. Geronimo is still great and I'm sure the Coyote Cafe is as well, though haven't been there since Eric DiStefano was ensconced (though it's a treat I look forward to). The Compound is good but the combinations and tastes not as bright as these other three. I was underwhelmed by Santa Cafe, La Casa Sena (though the garden is a lovely place to sit), and most of the other top spots in town, including Ristra. Keep La Boca in mind for tapas-style eating. Nice flavors, lovely plating, a fun vibe. We are always happy with a simple red wine-and-pasta dinner at Pranzo.

                        1. re: Bonnie9878

                          Thanks for the report, Bonnie! I haven't heard much about Anasazi since the new chef took over, so I'm glad to hear that it's as good as ever. Another to add to my ever-growing list?