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Aug 11, 2014 03:48 PM

Santa Fe: Arroyo Vino?

We haven't been to Santa Fe in 3 years, but one of our favorite restaurants 2 years running was Max's. I thought Mark Connell's food was fantastic. I see that he's at Arroyo Vino. Wonder what people think of it. Looks like about a 15 min drive from the plaza area. After eating his food in the past, I'm thinking it's probably worth it. Is it?

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  1. For me Arroyo Vino is one of the two or three top fine dining destinations in Santa Fe at the moment. I may tend to rate it more highly than others because I really enjoy wandering around the adjoining wine shop and selecting a bottle for dinner. They typically apply a modest service charge to the retail price of the wine (I think $20 but you should confirm that), and occasionally have "free corkage" nights with no surcharge.

    Based on my memory of meals at Max's the preparations at Arroyo Vino may be a bit more straightforward (IIRC Connell was occasional dabbling in some "molecular lite" techniques at Max's), but between the wine program and a more convivial setting (I always found the atmosphere at Max's to be a little grim) Arroyo Vino may offer a better overall experience.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rcurtism

      I had no idea about the Max's connection, we loved that place. Now I'm kicking myself that I didn't go to Arroyo Vino sooner, I'll totally have to check it out.

      1. re: finlero

        Finiero, off the subject - Going to my favorite city in the U.S. this weekend and have been doing some investigating of restaurants.

        Thanks for all your great informative posts - have made reservations at these four restaurants...
        Bouche Bistro
        Arroyo Vino

        and will definately be eating at my fav breakfast/lunch rest in Santa Fe - Cafe Pasquels.

        thanks again for all your informative posts - Geronimo has been a fav of mine for years.

        1. re: eatinman

          Hey, thanks for the nod!

          I will say that these days I'm probably partial to L'Olivier over Bouche for French, and Andiamo doesn't bowl me over, but I'd be surprised if you had a net-bad experience at any of the places. Joseph's, Georgia, and Loyal Hound have been recent favorites of mine.

          Welcome in advance, and thanks again for the note!

    2. Haven't been to Santa Fe for about 18 months, what's new on the culinary scene?

      1. If visiting Santa Fe - don't miss the greatest dining experience in this great restaurant town - Arroyo Vino. And be sure to ask to sit in Whitney's section. Great waiter.

        We were at Arroyo last week, had an excellent meal of Oysters, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Spring Rolls, Stripe Bass and Steak.

        Wish we could go back today..............but stuck in New Jersey.

        1 Reply
        1. re: eatinman

          Read finlero's post on Arroyo Vino. . .

          We ate there recently (thanks, finlero). Delicious. Surprising. Very special place.

          Well worth the short drive on 599 to get there. Closed Sunday and Monday. I believe they will also be closed the end of January, so plan accordingly.

        2. Arroyo Vino is a bit overrated, I believe. It is a decent restaurant - attentive service (that asks a little to often how "everything" is), a well-stocked retail wine shop to select from for dinner at a reasonable fee, and an often successful attempt to use only prime ingredients (some veggies are grown in their own backyard). Their weakest point, though, is their chef - a self-made man with no formal training. He is creative in making up dishes and combinations that are original but do not always make sense: fried asparagus and hollandaise is too fat, risotto and beans too starchy. Sometimes the kitchen lacks basic cooking techniques: the pheasant breast is dry because the few juices this bird has are not preserved correctly. And the bread is poor: dry and tasteless crumb and chewy crust. Cheeses are excellent (they come from the fabulous Santa Fe cheese monger). Desserts are playful if you like infused marshmallows. All in all: reasonable, but not as good as they think they are.

          1. I like Arroyo Vino a lot. And, I like that I can choose an excellent bottle in the retail wine area to have with dinner. Wines available can be pricey however and include some that I've not seen anywhere else in Santa Fe Wines are $20 over the retail price.

            Food, too is very, very good. I loved Max's and Tomme in their day so I gladly travel from Tesuque to Arroyo Vino.

            Be careful driving as there are plenty of assorted law enforcement types (state/county/city) "sharing" the road.

            Website has menus and excellent photos so you can get a sense of the place...