Unique Santa Fe Restaurants

By Eileen Richardson

There is a lot you can discover about the history and traditions of Santa Fe in her restaurants. For such a small town of under 70,000 world class eateries abound. But I wanted to write about the unique restaurants to Santa Fe that may be something visitors may want to try to get a taste of the mixtures of cultures here. Here is a short list that by no means represents everyone, but it is a start:

Native American / Northern New Mexican Food

Amaya - Hotel Santa Fe - This restaurant uses classic technique, contemporary flair, and fresh seasonal ingredients from traditional American Indian fare. Amaya highlights local Pueblo and Northern New Mexican influences, as well as regional foods from around the U.S. The casual, inviting atmosphere keeps the focus on fine food and conversation, and the restaurant opens onto a patio for seasonal outdoor dining.

Coyote Café - Serves a unique style of Southwestern cooking that has its origins in Hispanic-New Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Pueblo Indian cuisines. The chef sees the value of featuring locally grown and organic produce at his restaurant.

Southwestern / New Mexican

The Pink Adobe - The fare here is eclectic-continental and New Mexican. Steak Dunigan, is smothered with green chiles and mushrooms. Finish off your meal with The Pink's renowned French apple pie with hard sauce and hot brandy sauce. (The crust is made with lard, New Mexican style).

Geronimo - Epicurious.com rates Geronimo as one of Santa Fe’s top restaurants. They say Geronimo's Southwestern dishes, with a touch of northern New Mexican cuisine, deliver knockout flavors. Menu items are stupendous such as New Mexico “Four Corners “grilled rack of lamb with Fresh Pea Puree, Parmesan Polenta Cakes, Roasted Leeks & Merlot Lamb Reduction, and Iron Skillet NY strip steak with Natural Cedar River Ranch Beef with Fingerling Potatoes, Cipollinni Onion & Brussel Sprouts Medley, Harissa & Veal Demi Glace'

Western/ Santa Fe BBQ Style

Cowgirl Hall of Fame - Photos and posters of Cowgirls in history adorn this eatery. In their own words the Cowgirl offers a unique blend of features to satisfy many different tastes. The true-pit mesquite smoked Barbeque is unequaled in the Southwest. Ribs, chicken and brisket are slow-cooked daily to give you the big Texas flavor you love. Grilled specialties like salmon soft tacos, jerk chicken and of course, big tasty T-bones are favorites with the locals. And our New Mexican specialties add diversity to a menu already brimming with regional American choices. The made-from-scratch Chiles Rellenos with green chile is one of the favorites only the Cowgirl can deliver.

Rio Chama Steakhouse - Named after a major tributary of the Rio Grande, which flows through some of the state's best cattle country. Serves melt-in-your-mouth aged beef in a classy, romantic setting. The menu offers plenty of steakhouse fare including rib eye and prime rib, as well as specialty dishes such as Rocky Mountain Lamb Chops, Black Skillet Trout and stuffed shrimp. There are many dishes prepared with the southwest flare or chile somewhere in the ingredients.

Ranch House - BBQ mains, New American fare & creative cocktails are presented in an adobe-style space. Green Chile Brisket Enchiladas, Salmon Tacos, and an over the top Mac n Cheese are dishes that round out this extensive BBQ menu.

Contemporary Southwestern

Anasazi Restaurant - Inn of the Anasazi www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/inn-of-the-anasazi-santa-fe/.../anasazi-restaurant The Anasazi Restaurant is one of Santa Fe's most highly acclaimed. According to their advertising, this 92 seat restaurant serves an exciting combination that honors the culinary legacies of the Southwest. Foods of the earth from the Native American, foods of the soul from the Northern New Mexican and foods of substance from the American Cowboy. Chefs take advantage of New Mexico's abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as organic meats and poultry, when available to create culinary delights daily at this award winning restaurant.

La Casa Sena - La Casa Sena is located just off the Plaza, La Casa Sena, which means ” the Sena House”, occupies an old hacienda style adobe. The Sena family was one of the oldest and most notable in Santa Fe. The land La Casa Sena was built on, was originally granted to Captain Arias de Quiros by General Diego de Vargas, who reconquered Santa Fe for the Spanish in 1693. This restaurant and cantina is a favorite. Its charming New Mexico-themed atmosphere creates a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The menu is diverse, offering contemporary meals with a Southwestern flare. The wine list is one of the most extensive in the Southwest. Next door to the restaurant the cantina singers, who double as waiters and waitresses, perform Broadway tunes.
These are just a few suggestions of restaurants in Santa Fe which are unique to this area and really must be tried.

Bon appetite!