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maryland crab

Santa Fe Restaurant recs

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About the J.C. Penney Burrito on the menu...

Just a guess but their location might have been where the Taos J.C. Penny store was located in another era. (I'm not in Taos but on the northside of Santa Fe so I'll have to ask around.) Perhaps they served food the way stores like Woolworth's once did. You may make me drive to Taos tomorrow or Tuesday just to ask.

Doc Martin's in The Taos Inn (across the street from Graham's Grill) is another Taos option; decent food with a big lobby-bar scene. It's a place with a real "history" of its own.

You also asked earlier in the thread about The Pink Adobe in Santa Fe...

Before I lived in Santa Fe and was a visitor there were few restaurants of any real consequence. The Pink Adobe was one however and was where you could begin that love affair with green chile.

Now, with many very worthy and sophisticated restaurants offering "fine dining", places like The Pink (as it is known) are "second tier" but still worthy; especially for signature dishes. At The Pink those dishes are Green Chile Stew, Gypsy Stew and Steak Dunnigan.

Summer isn't really the best time for either of the stews imo. Think cold and brisk; late fall/winter/snow. As well, every restaurant has some version of an excellent steak. The Steak Dunnigan at The Pink Adobe is a well grilled New York steak topped with a green chile concoction that is terrific; not a sauce and not a marinade but more of a relish with heat. I buy it as a to-go condiment and use it on hamburgers ! They hype the sides and a stuffed, twice baked potato that come with it but they are forgettable and, frankly, dated/old fashioned.

The heart and soul of The Pink Adobe was Rosalea Murphy who opened the place in 1944. While Santa Fe was small and things were slow then everyone headed to Los Alamos and the Manhattan Project had to check-in in Santa Fe. The wife of a friend in Los Angeles was the infant daughter of a medical doctor at Los Alamos and the family lived in the house that is now the Geronimo restaurant space on Canyon Road. The offices where those going up the hill to Los Alamos did their checking in and got things like housing assignments is where The Shed restaurant is on Palace Avenue in Santa Fe today.

Murphy succeeded initially because there were new people here. Slowly she expanded as business allowed. She passed away a few years ago with her children running it. It has since been sold but the new owners seem to be respectful of the restaurant's place in the community.

Appologies if this is more than you wanted to know.


Edited by fyfas (log)

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The Compound is very good; doubt you'll be disappointed.  Chef/owner Mark Kiffin was  James Beard Best Chef of the Southwest in 2005.

You also mention considering lunch at The Apple Tree in Taos.  Just my opinion, but... don't.  It is nothing special and at times is downright poor.  In Taos, depending on types of food you are craving, consider Orlando's on the north side of town for New Mexican dishes, Graham's Grill on the main street of Taos, just north of Kit Carson Road or Joseph's Table in the La Fonda Hotel on the south side of the Plaza.

Graham's Grill

Thanks, fyfas. That's very helpful.

re: Graham's Grille. I gotta ask: what's the story behind the "JC Penney Burrito?"

I agree, there is nothing special at the Apple Tree and try Orlando's. But... Don't miss a breakfast or lunch at The Dragonfly (next to the PO on the main drag).

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Few ever mention the Ore House right on the Plaza, their 2nd floor deck is a great place to sip some tequila and have a light meal. We have eaten dinner there a few times and it has been very good but the deck and something to drink on a lazy afternoon nails it for us!

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I appologize if I am starting to sound like a broken record, but, I ate at Tratorria again tonight. First, let me say I had a kobe burger at La Posada that was great and a filet with green chile at the Bull Ring that was a great meal on my first two nights in town. I reccomend both. I am trying to branch out.

The third night in town I went back to Trattoria and ate solo at the bar. The menu had changed since the last visit in June, but I had a great progressive tasting menu and loved it.

The reason I am posting however is to point out an exceptional dish. First, know that I hate mushrooms. Hard to be an egulleter, but it is the truth. However, the staff had been collecting shitake mushrooms gowing wild at the Santa Fe ski basin. Served with pasta (house made), and a browned butter sauce, I ate every bite. A phenomenal dish.

Again, this is a place for serious foodies.

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The reason I am posting however is to point out an exceptional dish. First, know that I hate mushrooms. Hard to be an egulleter, but it is the truth. However, the staff had been collecting shitake mushrooms gowing wild at the Santa Fe ski basin. Served with pasta (house made), and a browned butter sauce, I ate every bite. A phenomenal dish.

To my knowledge there are no shitakes that grow up in the Pecos Wilderness.

Perhaps these were boletes? The most common edible mushroom in the Pecos. I know that Eric had made some pickled boletes recently.

Anyone heard any buzz about Martin Rios's new place Restaurant Martin?

I'll be working there and I was wondering if anything is being talked about outside Santa Fe.

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Come to think of it, I doubt highly that they were Shitakes (perhaps too much wine). Several people have indicated to me that there are large numbers of mushrooms growing in the ski basin and that they were transplanted species. I have not looked into it any further, but a quick google search shows that there are a lot of people collecting mushrooms in the ski basin. Whatever they were, they were pretty darn good.

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Mushrooms collected around the Santa Fe ski basin are usually porcinis.

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That makes a lot more sense. How did porcini mushrooms end up at the Ski Basin? Are there native porcinis in America?

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Sorry I can't answer how porcinis ended up in this forest; a picnic basket gone wrong ?

I only know people who go up there to search and harvest. From time to time I'm lucky enough to share in their bounty.

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The "Porcinis" are actually Queen Bolete mushrooms, which are related to the Porcini.

We went on a 75 mile backpacking trip from the Ski Basin to Truchas peaks and all around in the Pecos Wilderness.

On the way up there were literally hundreds of Bolete mushrooms everywhere in the Puerto Nambe area. I picked a few on my way back down at the end of the trip and used them when we got back to Santa Fe.

We went back up a few weeks later and we couldn't find anything but Anamita Muscaria (Fly Agaric). I have a friend who goes up and brings down pounds of chanterelles and hedgehogs.

I have also heard rumours of there being psychedelic mushrooms up there, but since that's not really something I want I've never looked for them.

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We went out to eat at Aqua Santa last night. Fantastic meal, Wonderful Service. Brian Knox (owner and executive chef) was cooking and greeted us on the way in. It appeared that each meal was cooked to order by Brian and his Sous Chef with one other assistant working in the back of the small exhibition style kitchen. The plates were either floral print around the edges or light blue transparent glass. It all fit with the theme of "Slow Food" quite nicely.

We started with 2 glasses of the house Bordeaux (Sarah did not want a white because she was cold).

I had the Grilled Calamari Salad with Wilted Greens and Aioli, Sarah had the Pappardelle with Crab, Pears and Peppermint.

Both were amazing. The pappardelle was home made, and had a wonderful texture, the crab was abundant and the pears and peppermint just blended perfectly with the cream sauce to create a dish that very well could have been the main course...and perhaps, was the star of our meal.

My calamari was over wilted romaine lettuce with a dollop of aioli and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Toasted bread (almost like perfect little micro-croutons) was mixed in for texture and the whole dish came in together with such freshness that it seemed that it just as easily could have been from a village favourite on the coast of italy as from a small converted house on the north-west side of Santa Fe.

Before our main courses came I asked for a suggestion on wine.

I had ordered the Pan Seared Chorizo Stuffed Quail with Golden Rasins and Fingerling Potatoes.

Sarah ordered the Braised Shepherds Lamb with Wilted Greens, Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta.

The server suggested a Gary Farrell 2006 Russian River Pinot Noir and I took his suggestion.

The Lamb was succulent and fall apart tender and the wilted spinach was wonderfully salty in contrast to the rich lamb flavour. Excellent all around

The Quail was semi boneless and stuffed with chorizo and golden raisins. It was perfectly cooked, not in the least bit dry. The chorizo and golden raisin stuffing was just slightly spicy. The fingerling potatoes appeared to be pan fried in the fat from the quail and all together it was a hearty yet delicate meal for a chilly night.

We finished our meal with a Pear Crisp with Creme Fraiche.

I had a glass of Dow Tawny Port and Sarah had an Espresso.

The Pear Crisp was seemed to have almost no sweetening other than the ripe pears. The creme fraiche had a nice tart tanginess that mixed with the sweet pears and the light fluffy crisp on top to create a desert that could have easily paired with many cheeses. Honestly, being someone who dislikes most sweet desserts, this was perfect for me. Sarah, as someone who prefers simple desserts, thought that it was perfectly executed and exemplary of a home made pear crisp.

In the end, our waiter forgot to charge us for the wine, and when I notified him that he had omitted this (an $80 charge) he added it and said "Oh well, even if you hadn't caught it it wouldn't have mattered because it was such a pleasure to serve you".

Never was there a rush. Never were we asked "how things were" but rather asked about our experience: "Are you enjoying yourselves tonight?" "Are you having fun? Good, you look like you're having a great time". Effortless service, unrushed in every way and very friendly without being overly informal. It was like coming into a friends house and eating expertly cooked food while being served by a gracious host who was glad you'd decided to come over.

This is an experience we will be repeating again.

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I recently had lunch at a new place in Santa Fe and I thought I'd pass along the info. They've been open only a short while, about 2 months. Mediterranean cuisine, very friendly and welcoming staff.

I had the Mezza appetizer plate for lunch and it was plenty of food and a solid offering. I'd get it again. My dining partner had the Falafel Sandwich and enjoyed it as well. I tried it and though I prefer the one at L'as du falafel, this was pretty good.

There were a couple of desserts on the menu that I'd not heard of before: kulaj bishta, and Katif with walnuts. I'd like to find out what those are; maybe try them some time.

Espresso was excellently prepared and tasty.

Casablanca

207 W. San Francisco St. (map)

Santa Fe, NM 87501

Open daily 7am - 9:30pm

Mediterranean Cuisine

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

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Recently stopped in at Ecco to have a latte. Except for the uber-hipster attitude by one of the employees, I'd recommend this place for a coffee. The gelato (most of them) looked pretty good, too.

Ecco Espresso and Gelato (web)

105 East Marcy Avenue (map)

Santa Fe, NM 87501

(505) 986-9778

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Bumping this thread, because it's been a while and I'm headed for a short trip to greater Santa Fe. What's great?

I'm astonished at the stability of the recommendations here. I remember a bunch of places people extol in -- The Shed, The Compound, Coyote, Pascual, Geronimo, SantaCafe -- fondly from trips in the 90's. Unless I'm mistaken, I remember good things about Pascual from the 60's! That sort of stability does happen -- there are plenty of places in Paris that were good twenty years ago and are great today, too -- but I think it's hard to do in the US.

I'd also have assumed that Santa Fe would have attracted a bunch of talent along the lines of Carlos Gaytan’s Mexique (Chicago/Top Chef), who does French-inflected Mexican, or Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo (also Chicago). And perhaps something innovative in the fancy food/informal service spectrum (like SF's Canteen -- fine food in a diner -- or Momofuku, or State Bird Provisions with its dim sum-style carts).

So what's new and terrific in and around Santa Fe??

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