I have an appetite for adventure: a dining adventure that is! Locals and foodie tourists alike are wowed annually when Santa Fe Restaurant Week makes its appearance. The City Different is justly renowned for its delicious panoply of dining options, and I’ve got my list made for all eight days from February 22 - March 1. The plan? Delve into old favorites and add new discoveries to my dining routine. If you’ve got a craving to satisfy, prix fixes dinners from $20 to $40 per person are the tastiest dining deals around.
Santa Fe Specializes In The Art Of Dining Sunday is my museum-hopping day. With a new exhibition to savor at the O’Keeffe Museum, I’m going to follow an afternoon at the museum with a digestif and dinner right next door at Georgia. I confess to feeling envious every time someone I know raves about a meal there, so my eight-day week begins with discovering the delectable secrets hidden in this historic building.
When I leave my desk on Monday, I’m not in the mood for cooking, but my other half is definitely in the mood for a meal. Dinner for Two to the rescue! This cozy spot is a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recipient for ten years running and a Santa Fe favorite year-round. Their specials for Restaurant Week include El Rito, NM lamb chops--perfect for pairing with a glass of wine and a happy hubby.
Take A Trip Around Santa Fe’s Culinary World T stands for Tuesday and for tapas. Taberna or La Boca, take your choice—one chef with two great spots equals terrific small plates and a signature wine list that includes memorable Spanish sherries. Both restaurants have an intimate yet lively atmosphere and each features a four-course Restaurant Week special. When I see jamón serrano and blood orange aioli on the menu, I know the meal will be muy sabroso.
I’ve had my eye on Bouche Bistro for longer than I care to admit. I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to satisfy my desire to share a bon appetit with my BFF and start a midweek dinner sipping French Onion soup or scarfing down escargot. She has celebrated her anniversary at Bouche ever since it opened, so I know she’ll steer me to the right choice of entrée. And she’s generous about sharing dessert!
As long as I’m taking a culinary tour, following Spain and France with a visit to Italy is a must. Every family has its comfort food and when we’re not in the mood for New Mexican, we often opt for pasta. By Thursday, I look forward to the comfort of a well-sauced plate at Pranzo Italian Grill to make it through to Friday. I will concede, however, that the pork schnitzel sounds awfully tempting.
When 5:00 rolls around on Friday, find me heading east—the Far East—to Shohko. I was raised in a fish-on-Friday household and old habits are hard to break, but Mom never made sashimi! Shohko has set the standard for authentic Japanese dining since 1975 and I’ve made many a pilgrimage to this temple of subtle tastes. I never, never tire of Shohko’s seaweed salad and green tea ice cream tempura. Well, Mom never made that either!
Weekends Mean Dining Wonderfully A woman’s work is never done, and Saturdays are always full of errands and shopping. Not that I mind, since I Santa Fe boasts plenty of fascinating shopping beyond groceries. I’m ending brown bag duties on the southside of town, so I told my honey to meet me at The Ranch House. We’ve been looking for an excuse to park our buggy there and the prix fixe has five hearty entrees to entice a hungry man.
Our Restaurant Week is ending with elegance when we celebrate Sunday dinner at The Compound. This beloved restaurant is housed in what is arguably the loveliest historic dining room in Santa Fe—and the cuisine matches the ambiance to perfection. I’ll wrap up the evening with a memorably sweet finish: maybe the bittersweet chocolate torte or a prickly pear mousse.
Speaking of sweet treats, I’ll toss in a pitch for weekend lunch at Sweet Lily Bakery. Even if you just stop in for cookies, rest assured that your gluten-free pals can have dessert too!
Santa Fe Restaurant Week Is Rich In Flavor—And Savings By all means, don’t limit yourself to my suggestions. Your menu meanderings can include any of the 52 dining establishments on the list. That’s up to you, but no matter how you slice it, I promise you’ll be eating the best of Santa Fe at the best prices of the year.