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Radish & Rye - Santa Fe

I haven't been, but I've heard it's still pretty good. We'll get back eventually.

1 day ago
finlero in Southwest
1

Radish & Rye - Santa Fe

I've now been to R&R multiple times. I've never gotten anything other than small plates, but they've been outstanding every time, and the cocktail craft has seriously impressed me without fail. Definitely expensive, but I think it's well worth it, this has become without a doubt my favorite upscale dining choice in town.

I've been to Eloisa twice. The food and the digs are visually spectacular and unlike anything I've ever seen elsewhere in town. Taste-wise, IMO the chow is very good, but ultimately forgettable, ditto the cocktails. Still one of the better high-end dining choices in town, but for my (admittedly fussy) palate it doesn't quite have "it".

Aug 31, 2015
finlero in Southwest
1

Surprisingly good French brunch at Chez Mamou, Santa Fe

Grabbed a quick brunch over the weekend at Chez Mamou in downtown Santa Fe. Nothing punched me in the metaphorical (or literal) face with its trailblazing culinary originality, but that's not the point. Everything was no-fuss, competently executed, straight-up French brasserie fare.

Baked goods were right on the money, not overly coiffed, but wonderful to the taste. Standout was a brioche bun topped with pearl sugar. Also good were the macarons, again not the most visually beautiful I've ever seen, but canonical in flavor and very close for texture.

Kitchen fare was also good. DC's croque madame was once again canonical and delicious, made extra good due to the fried egg on top with a fantastically dark yolk; eggs are sourced from a local organic farm in Nambe. My ham and egg crepe was also very good, made all the better by melting gruyere over the top as the last step. Provencal potatoes were just the slightest shade too firm, but nicely seasoned.

Drip coffee was easily the best French roast I've had in years, with enough body to balance out the assertive darkness of the blend.

Staff were friendly and totally competent, but for whatever reason they seemed immensely harried, as if the restaurant had opened yesterday instead of a few years ago. Not sure what was going on there...could have been a bad manager, new staff, a surprise rush, weird coincidence, who knows.

They've converted the little alley just west of the building into a remarkably nice little outdoor patio, which made for a lovely place to sit and enjoy our meal. The interior is well done too, nicely lit and understated.

The mostly French wine list doesn't look particularly special but it does look fairly priced, as does the dinner menu. Looking forward to getting back for a dinner sometime soon.

Aug 17, 2015
finlero in Southwest
1

Happy Hour in Santa Fe

Curious: [how] is the corpse reviver #2 different from a boulevardier?

Jul 31, 2015
finlero in Southwest

4 days in Santa Fe - Report on what I've eaten so far, plus advice sought!

It's a consistency thing.

In my experience, the quality at Plaza downtown is variable. At its best it's more or less comparable to Southside, but in my experience that's only about 1/3 of the time. When it's off, it ranges from fine to mediocre.

As an example, if I get the chopped salad downtown it's usually smaller and a bit more haphazardly put together than Southside. The baja fish tacos downtown frequently seem a little heavier. The bacon in the breakfast burrito can be just a little underdone. Everything tends to exhibit just a little less attention to detail.

The menu is also less extensive and a small tick more expensive. And while I don't recall if they do beer and wine, I'm nearly positive that only Southside has a hard liquor license, and they make a pretty decent margarita.

Jul 28, 2015
finlero in Southwest

4 days in Santa Fe - Report on what I've eaten so far, plus advice sought!

(And FYI, IIRC Dave has been in the Bay Area for a number of years now.)

Jul 27, 2015
finlero in Southwest

4 days in Santa Fe - Report on what I've eaten so far, plus advice sought!

Hey Dave! A lot of Boston expats around these parts.

Given that there are maybe five semi-active posters on the board, you may be best served with some board searches, but a few quick ideas for casual New Mex:

Tecolote Cafe - just reopened, fantastic for breakfast. Don't miss the blue corn piñon pancakes. I think of it as the Pantry's much more awesome cousin.

Plaza Cafe Southside (not downtown) - good for everything, but this would be where I'd send you for THE green chile cheeseburger.

The Shed/La Choza - sister restaurants dishing out canonical New Mex and excellent margaritas.

Dr. Field Goods - cool New Mexican take on farm-to-table, fun riffs on NM standards, such as a carne adovada egg roll. Nice beer list.

Jul 26, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Tecolote Has Re-Opened

Maybe you're thinking of the spring roll thread from a few months ago?

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1004867

Jul 23, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Tecolote Has Re-Opened

Went this morning. Food as good as ever, with a nice upgrade to the digs. Very happy it's back.

Jul 22, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Frost Gelato opened in ABQ (ahem, in 2013) and it's excellent

Frost has been a required stop every time we pass through Tucson, serving up some of the best gelato I've had in the States. We happened to be at Uptown Plaza in ABQ yesterday and I noticed the familiar logo on the same building as Marcello's. Yep, same place, same outstanding gelato, turns out it's been open since 2013. To the best of my knowledge, there's absolutely no other ice cream in the state of NM that approaches the quality at Frost.

Just like the original in Tucson, the place looks so glossy and high-rent that you could be forgiven for assuming it won't be very good, but thankfully looks aren't everything. Same terrific flavors as in Tucson, same perfect texture, which presumably means they're reprocessing their gelato daily, very cool. Also the same obnoxiously large portion sizes; I'm annoyed they make you get a medium to have two flavors, the small is already a little too much for me for a single serving. Highlight yesterday was the pistachio, but I've never had an outright bad bite here. I'm looking forward to getting back and trying some of the really traditional Italian flavors like fior di latte.

Looks like Frost is expanding quickly, arguably alarmingly so. They now have stores across AZ, CA, TX, UT, and IL, as well as another set of stores overseas in the Middle East. I just hope they're don't overextend and buckle under the weight. Regardless, thrilled that one of my favorites has landed in NM.

Jul 20, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Shake Foundation Owner to Open Taco Foundation in former Bert's Burger Bowl Site in Santa Fe

I like Bumblebee's well enough, but I think their tacos are just OK; I also don't care for how they season their rice and beans. I quite like their burritos, and actually they make some of my favorite salads downtown.

Jul 17, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Shake Foundation Owner to Open Taco Foundation in former Bert's Burger Bowl Site in Santa Fe

Very cool. I've never quite fallen in love with Shake Foundation, but there's no denying its populist appeal. And it would be fantastic to have another good taco option in the city. Plaza Cafe Southside's baja-style fish tacos are pretty much beyond reproach, but it would be great to have something respectable downtown.

Jul 17, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Happy Hour in Santa Fe

Two options I love south of town, two options I like downtown:

Plaza Cafe Southside is on the low-frills end of things, but they have fanstastic food and good margaritas. They do a happy hour from 4 - 6 daily where all the appetizers are 1/2 off (yes, chips and salsa and guacamole and all that, but I think they have easily the best fried calamari in town) and drink specials.

Also south of town, the drinks at the Ranch House are only decent, but their food is stellar. Once again, happy hour 4 - 6.

I don't absolutely love Agave Lounge in the Eldorado Hotel, but their food and margaritas are decent enough in a hotelly kind of way. I forget exactly what their happy hour specials are, but they definitely do a happy hour.

I don't know if they do happy hour specials, but it's always fun to sit outside on the Coyote Cantina roof deck. Food and drink are always totally passable.

Jul 16, 2015
finlero in Southwest
1

Radish & Rye - Santa Fe

A group of us went this week and just did a bunch small plates and cocktails. One dish was average, everything else was absolutely superb. This is the farm-to-table, garden-to-glass place I've been wishing for since we arrived in Santa Fe six years ago.

Food highlights: the aforementioned scallop ceviche, perfectly described above by rcurtism; the green chile corn chowder with bone marrow, delicious, innovative, with a balanced amount of heat, and striking to look at with contrasting bold yellows and greens; the duck rillette, meaty without being fatty, served with some terrific pickled baby turnips; and the ham hock croquettes, smoky and robust while still maintaining a nice lightness. Only miss was the grilled rapini, which was too oily and thus took on a bit of a burnt oil taste from the grill. All the preparations were relatively understated, letting the ingredients speak for themselves.

Drink highlights: pretty much everything, this has instantly become my favorite non-margarita cocktail spot in town. Every single specialty cocktail is whiskey-based. I loved my barrel aged boulevodier (essentially a Negroni with bourbon instead of gin). And the non-bourbon cocktails were all beautifully mixed as well. Notably nice glassware too, especially the coupes.

I agree that the wine list is overpriced and not particularly inspired (looks like well over 100% markup even at the high end), however I'll note that they have a fairly extensive selection of half bottles, which is a really nice amenity for small plates if you'd like to have both white and red to pair off of different items.

Service was about as good as I've seen in Santa Fe; every member of the staff was notably professional, and they were working as a team even on a night when every single seat was filled and a lesser staff could have let things descend into chaos. Digs are as gorgeous, modern, and understated as the food, including a lovely covered outdoor patio. This place has a warm professionalism about it that makes me optimistic it may have the legs to stick around a while.

Super excited to have Radish & Rye in town. If it's this good after five weeks, I think we've got a keeper.

Jul 16, 2015
finlero in Southwest
1

Santa Fe dinner w 3 grown up sons

Totally agree on parking at Georgia -- one of the only restaurants in town where valet makes sense.

Jun 30, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Santa Fe dinner w 3 grown up sons

Georgia has nominally better service and a significantly nicer setting due to its gorgeous outdoor patio. They also do cocktails vs. Joseph's beer and wine. Joseph's feels a little more local, Georgia feels a little more "could exist in any affluent bubble in the country".

Jun 29, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Mark Connell opening a restaurant at Hillside Market, Santa Fe!

Eloisa is on my radar, I'll be interested to check it out at some point. I'm a late adopter and I have an arguably irrational bias against hotel restaurants, so I haven't exactly cleared my evening schedule to get there, but I'll stop by sooner or later. The photos I've seen of the food are certainly beautiful and modern, so that's something.

Jun 29, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Santa Fe dinner w 3 grown up sons

Ristra appears to have closed; their website redirects to a remarkably progressive sounding new place called Radish & Rye. Optimistic this could be a great new find, but this is literally the first I've heard about it, so.

La Casa Sena has a fabulous high-end wine list and borderline dreadful food.

High-end, non-threatening places I can actually recommend: Georgia, Joseph's. Both are New American done well, with plenty of unweird options available.

Jun 29, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Huevos Rancheros in Santa Fe, New Mexico

It's gotta be either Tia Sophia's, the Plaza Cafe, or the Shed. All three do very respectable renditions of huevos rancheros. I think Plaza Cafe's Southside location does the best I've had, especially when you opt for their extra hot green chile.

The reason NM huevos rancheros taste different than others you've had is that you can really think of NM food as regional cuisine from back when this area used to be part of Mexico. Just like pasta dishes are different in Piemonte vs. Puglia, a lot of Mexican dishes you might think of in one way may actually vary quite a bit from region to region.

I've never been to La Flaca on the Lower East Side, but they're supposedly a half decent New Mexican restaurant, and they have a NM-sounding rendition of huevos rancheros on the brunch menu. NYC is enormous enough I'm sure there are a few other options too.

Jun 26, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Mark Connell opening a restaurant at Hillside Market, Santa Fe!

Given that I live near the Hillside Market and that Mark Connell is almost certainly my favorite chef in the state, I worry I'm about to become very fat and very poor. From the Beneficial Farms weekly newsletter:

"With all the great change and planning going on, we haven’t brought you up to date on the future of the restaurant at Hillside. With the closing of Epazote a few months ago, many thing have been changing, but for the best!

"We would like to introduce Chef Mark Connell, the new owner and head chef of the restaurant that will be opening at Hillside hopefully in August!

"Since Mark came to Santa Fe around 2010, he has endeared himself to the community with his true flashes of brilliance. After a well-established career at Max’s, Arroyo Vino and Tomme, Mark is bringing his skills to Hillside for the next stage in his culinary adventure. We won’t try to replicate the numerous articles on the success and admiration Mark has earned through his time here, so please read up on him for more. http://www.localflavormagazine.com/at..."

Jun 23, 2015
finlero in Southwest
1

Good restaurant steak in Albuquerque?

What apps and sides do you like at the Bull Ring?

Jun 23, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Santa Fe and Albuquerque

Ranch House burger itself is good, but the bread is variable. Plus I can't go there and get anything other than the honey chipotle baby back ribs.

My favorite GCCB by leaps and bounds is the one at the Plaza Cafe Southside, served on their amazing house made potato roll. I often add sugar cured bacon and sub in sweet potato fries. At this point I don't get a GCCB anywhere else north of San Antonio, NM, it's the One.

Jun 19, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Santa Fe and Albuquerque

I think Martin's food is very pretty but not especially good. Terra is a boring, overpriced money grab since Charles Dale left; his own place, Bouche, is decent. Geronimo is in a gorgeous setting, food is fine.

Upscale Santa Fe places I do like (in addition to La Boca and sister restaurant Taberna): Georgia, Joseph's. Haven't been to Arroyo Vino since the chef change but it was my favorite place in town. The Compound and Santa Cafe just don't seal the deal for me at dinner, but they're both fun for an upscale lunch in a nice setting.

Mid- or downscale places I love: Dr. Field Goods (especially the luncthtime sandwiches at their new butcher shop in the same plaza), Izanami, Vinaigrette, Ranch House, Jambo Cafe, Paper Dosa, Pupuseria Salvadoreno, Plaza Cafe Southside.

Casual place on the road from ABQ to Santa Fe: the original Range Cafe in Bernalillo.

Jun 17, 2015
finlero in Southwest
1

Dr. Field Goods Butcher Shop and Bakery: the best new chow in Santa Fe in forever

A year or so ago Dr. Field Goods quietly snatched up a second storefront in the same plaza as its restaurant, using it for storage and eventually prep, leveraging the extra space to make more deliciousness in house. They've now added a small front of house with a half dozen chairs at a counter and a deli case, and christened it Dr. Field Goods Butcher Shop and Bakery.

I've now been there four times, and HOLY CRAP is it amazing. Charcuterie, fresh bread and other baked goods, and at lunch, bar-none the best sandwiches I can think of in town.

The charcuterie is highly market-driven, depending on the local meat they can source and the produce that looks good at the farmers market. The asparagus and feta pork sausages we brought home on our first visit were absolutely stellar, and no less good than the house made, house smoked hot dogs we got on our second. Today there was a goat sausage with cherries and cinnamon, and another with garlic scapes and onion. They're also making all sorts of pates, along with homemade cold cuts like mortadella, smoked chicken, and liverwurst. And you can also get straight-up butcher shop stuff, from steaks to chicken livers to bones and knuckles.

The baked goods are also very good, most especially the bread. The house rye is about perfect, designed to work with a sandwich (see below) by being reasonably soft, a little sweet, and still plenty hearty. The baguette was perhaps a tick less good than the rye, but still excellent and sandwich-focused. Haven't tried their cinnamon rolls or croissants, but they look well considered and on the deliberately indelicate side, a more manly riff on the canonical pastries you find at Dulce. The chocolate chip cookie was again about perfect, a big and chewy affair with the classic three "zones" of crisp, chewy, and in-between sweet spot.

But as good as all of the above were, the sandwiches just blew the doors off of anything else I can think of in Santa Fe. The house smoked ham and melted cheese, with dressed beet greens and pickled onions on a griddled hoagie roll (why yes, also house made) was without a doubt the best ham and cheese I've ever had. The liverwurst, pickled onion, and rustic mustard on house rye was simply incredible, a hearty combination of simple and elegant flavors that combined in an almost alchemical way. $12 gets you an enormous (like, easily enough for two meals) sandwich and a massive pile of house-cut fries, all cooked to order.

It's hard to describe the awesome heartfelt ambition manifest in every facet of this place. I just hope they're popular enough to stick around a while (hopefully Cheesemongers and other places can start sourcing the charcuterie?). I can't think of another eatery in all of NM that tries this hard and succeeds so completely. Go early, go often, this place is the real deal.

Jun 16, 2015
finlero in Southwest
1

Trip from Dallas to Phoenix

Grand Canyon and Sedona just ain't my hood, but there are a bunch of recent threads on both if you do a quick board search, or even just scan through the thread titles on the front page.

Jun 04, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Trip from Dallas to Phoenix

Assuming you do the I-20 to I-10 route, I'd definitely suggest going 40 minutes out of your way to check out Hatch, NM, where what many purport to be the best green chile in the world is grown. Board search will turn up a bunch of choices, my personal favorite is Sparky's but there are several very good options.

Another recent Southwest road trip thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1012986

Jun 03, 2015
finlero in Southwest
1

Santa Fe: let's talk lunch spots for great salad

Wow, thanks, I hadn't even thought of SFB&G, but they have several other salads that sound incredible too, and reasonable prices to boot. I have my eye on the smoked trout, pinon, and spinach one for sure.

May 28, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Santa Fe: let's talk lunch spots for great salad

You're a genius, great thinking. Just looked at Body Cafe and Sweetwater, they both have legitimately great looking salads in the $10 - $15 range. I'm almost positive Treehouse is now closed, M.A.M.A.'s looks a little more halfass on the healthy options (albeit not as bad as Dr. Field Goods where they almost overtly come out and tell you the healthy stuff won't be as good as the other stuff on the menu).

Will try these and report back, thanks again.

May 28, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Santa Fe: let's talk lunch spots for great salad

After just 6 short years of living in NM, I've finally had enough carne adovada burritos and green chile enchiladas that I don't feel like I desperately need to have them for lunch, like, every single day, and I might actually be able to have a healthy midday meal every now and then without weeping longingly for the chile that could have been.

So...salads. Where do you like to go in Santa Fe at lunchtime for nutritious, filling salads that actually taste good? Bonus points for reasonable pricing, but...hey, it's Santa Fe.

My list so far:

* Kaune's - I think their chopped salad bar is probably the best intersection of nutritiousness, filling deliciousness, and value. The Asian chop (mixed greens, roast chicken, edamame, oranges, almonds, Vietnamese-style dressing, and a few fried noodles) is my favorite, followed closely by the spinach chop (spinach, Swiss, jicama, apple, candied pecans, pomegranate dressing). All salads well under 10 bucks, portions remarkably large.

* Vinaigrette - so pricey that I want to hate it (many salads approach the $20 mark once you add a protein), but locally grown veggies and terrific dressings bring me back here fairly regularly.

* Plaza Cafe Southside - I feel like Plaza can do no wrong with anything coming out of the kitchen, and the salads are no exception. I lean on the chopped salad of greens, avocado, tomato, corn, green chile, apple, onion, pepper, tortilla strips, and a citrus vinaigrette, adding smoked turkey. Not cheap at $16 with the protein, but filling and delicious. NB I've had ostensibly the same salad at Plaza Cafe Downtown and it just isn't the same.

* Bumblebee - a recent discovery, it turns out they make totally respectable salads. I love the house salad of greens, avocado, jicama, tomato, cotija, chips, and vinaigrette, with their rotisserie chicken added. At just over $10, good value too.

Honorable mention to Loyal Hound for both their mixed green salad with beets, almonds, and bison short ribs, and their arugula and fennel salad with grilled chicken. Really, really delicious salads, but the portion size is a little too small to get me to dinnertime.

So how about you? Where do you go for a tasty, filling Santa Fe salad at lunch?

May 27, 2015
finlero in Southwest

Albuquerque - Penzey's is coming!

WOOHOO! I'm running low on the extra-sharp black peppercorns from my last trip to AZ, very excited to hear this!

May 26, 2015
finlero in Southwest
1