The Harper Notebook: Best Restaurants in Santa Fe

.article-cta-top

This historic and sophisticated city is filled with restaurants that celebrate the rich culinary heritage of the American Southwest. Here are five Santa Fe restaurants that offer everything from imaginative seafood and Southwest fusion to lovely patio dining and deep wine lists.

LA CASA SENA

The salmon Niçoise salad at <em>La Casa Sena</em>
The salmon Niçoise salad at La Casa Sena - Gabriella Marks

Atmospheric restaurant in an 1860s adobe house on Sena Plaza with a fine collection of paintings and furniture, plus a lovely tree-shaded patio. The imaginative Southwestern menu might offer pan-seared sea bass with a sea bean and fennel salad and lemon-saffron vinaigrette, or Colorado lamb with green beans and a cascabel chile-cranberry sauce. The 56-page wine list has more than three dozen by-the-glass selections.

La Casa Sena
125 East Palace Avenue. Tel. (505) 988-9232

THE COMPOUND RESTAURANT

The exterior of <em>The Compound</em>
The exterior of The Compound - Kitty Leaken

The spare interior of this stylish restaurant provides the setting for Southwestern folk art, as well as chef Mark Kiffin’s creative fare. A starter might be tuna tartare with walnut toast, preserved lemon and caviar. Main courses could be Alaskan halibut topped with peperonata and olives, with potato dumplings and a sweet herb salad; or beef tenderloin with cep mushrooms and foie gras Hollandaise. The excellent wine list has more than 200 selections.

The Compound Restaurant
653 Canyon Road. Tel. (505) 982-4353

GERONIMO

Maryland blue crab cakes with caviar sauce and braised leeks at <em>Geronimo</em>
Maryland blue crab cakes with caviar sauce and braised leeks at Geronimo - Peter Vitale

This time-honored restaurant within a restored 1756 adobe house has a charming dining area on the front porch and a contemporary interior with fireplaces and modern art. On chef Sllin Cruz’s eclectic menu, an appetizer could be ahi tuna tartare with buttermilk-scallion pancakes, wasabi aioli, avocado, soy-lime syrup and caviar; and a main might be tellicherry-rubbed elk tenderloin with peas, bacon and brandy-mushroom cream sauce.

Geronimo
724 Canyon Road. Tel. (505) 982-1500

LUMINARIA RESTAURANT AND PATIO

Jumbo sea scallops with sweet pea risotto, chillied pepitas, grilled spring onions and brown butter  at <em>Luminaria Restaurant and Patio</em>
Jumbo sea scallops with sweet pea risotto, chillied pepitas, grilled spring onions and brown butter at Luminaria Restaurant and Patio - Luminaria Restaurant and Patio

The restaurant of the Inn and Spa at Loretto has one of the loveliest patios in the city, illuminated by chandeliers, candles and an immense kiva-style fireplace. Beneath the Gothic Loretto Chapel, guests dine on Southwest-fusion dishes such as Kurabuta pork belly with Anasazi bean ragout and a red chile-bourbon glaze; sea scallops with sweet-pea risotto, pepitas and spring onions; and filet mignon accompanied by asparagus and blue-corn enchiladas with red chile and Tucumcari cheddar.

Luminaria Restaurant and Patio
211 Old Santa Fe Trail. Tel. (505) 984-7915

SANTACAFÉ

Lobster “wedge” salad with avocado, asparagus, applewood smoked bacon and green goddess dressing at <em>Santacafé</em>
Lobster “wedge” salad with avocado, asparagus, applewood smoked bacon and green goddess dressing at Santacafé - Santacafé

With four dining rooms, each with its own fireplace, and an elm-shaded patio, this 1862 adobe house provides the venue for superb contemporary Southwestern cooking. The menu changes seasonally, but classic starters include shiitake-and-cactus spring rolls with a Southwestern ponzu dipping sauce, and shrimp-and-spinach dumplings with a tahini sauce. Look for main courses such as grilled Angus filet mignon with glazed carrots and green-chile mashed potatoes with a cilantro-lime Hollandaise. The extensive wine list offers a good selection by the glass.

Santacafé
231 Washington Avenue. Tel. (505) 984-1788

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.
Learn more...
.article-cta-bottom

Keep Reading

Tagged: