It's spring in Santa Fe. So what is new with the "City Different?" Excitement is building for this season’s major art markets, music, performances and exciting, new restaurants that are opening in Santa Fe, New Mexico. With spring finally here and summer around the corner, locals and visitors alike are enjoying the delights that come with the change of season and enjoying what’s new in Santa Fe:
Restaurant and Food NewsMidtown Bistro: Located in Ironstone Gardens, a hip, happening residential and commercial complex south of downtown Santa Fe, this new restaurant is already drawing crowds and great reviews. The owners and operators are both veterans of Santacafé, one of the city’s most popular and respected restaurants and their experience shows. The restaurant has a cool, industrial vibe and is very comfortable. At lunch it tends to be packed with people who work on the south side of town. The menu for both lunch and dinner is varied with a bit of a local New Mexican twist.
· Caffe Greco: Trekking up and down Canyon Road and taking in tons of amazing art can be a tiring experience. Now there’s a new place at the bottom of the hill with funky charm and home-cooked food, perfect for a snack! Chef Cindy Barerras is a fourth generation local who cooks up burgers, burritos, pastries and more, inspired by traditional New Mexican cuisine. The restaurant shares the building with Jacqueline’s Place, an upscale boutique.
· Arroyo Vino: This exceptional wine store located on the outskirts of Santa Fe, in the community of Las Campanas, has just opened a new restaurant in March. Featuring small plates meant to be shared and created by Santa Fe chef, Mark Connell, the place provides a clean design with seating for 50, plus a small, but soon to be expanded, wine bar. Choose a wine from the restaurant’s ever-evolving list of wines by the glass or pick a bottle from the store’s stock to take into the restaurant, for just $20 over the shelf price. Then pair it with the array of choices from Connell’s kitchen from fresh salads to pork, lamb and duck dishes.
·The Shed: One of Santa Fe’s most venerable New Mexican restaurants, was recently named to Travel + Leisure’s list of Best Mexican Restaurants in the U.S.
· Santa Fe Culinary Academy: Chefs Rocky Durham and Tanya Story offer three hands-on intensive workshops this spring for home cooks who want to take their game to the next level. The Art of Pastry, Butchery and Charcuterie, and The A La Carte Restaurant Challenge will each give participants hours of personal instruction and practice over several days. At the end, all participants will be invited to collaborate on a pop-up Mothers’ Day Dinner on May 10.
· KGB Spirits: KGB Spirits, a northern New Mexico boutique distillery, has just released a six year old sipping bourbon, Simeon Turley’s Taos Lightning. The bourbon is aged in charred oak barrels and is exposed to natural climate changes. It’s available at many Santa Fe restaurants and liquor stores.
· Talin Market: Santa Fe cooks who love international flavors have rejoiced at the opening of the new Talin Market, a smaller, but well stocked version of a huge international grocery in Albuquerque. Talin specializes in the hard-to-find authentic ingredients used in Asian, African, Indian, and Latin American cuisines. There is also fresh produce, fish, and meats, plus a Japanese-style ramen bar. Talin is just next door to the new location of Ohori’s Coffee, so shoppers can take a break with a snack and a cup of artisanal brew.
· Inn on the Alameda: Guests at the Inn on the Alameda, a luxury boutique hotel just steps away from the heart of the city, now have the choice to stay in for dinner or late afternoon snacks. The kitchen and Agoya Lounge, where a lavish breakfast and evening wine and cheese reception are served, have been renovated in keeping with the hotel’s traditional Santa Fe style. The menu features light and interesting choices, including plates for two and a variety of paninis. Local ingredients are the focus and new chef Jordan Marsters’ inspiration for creating almost everything homemade. The wine list has been expanded to go along with the Agoya Lounge’s full bar offerings. In warm weather, the inn’s gracious patio is a relaxing spot for enjoying food and beverages. In addition, each of the inn’s 72 rooms has received attention and updates, from bathrooms to furniture to amenities to creating fireplaces where there were none. What has been an outstanding inn, is now a true, full-service hotel.
· Heritage Hotels & Resorts: Heritage Hotels has named Charles Thompson as Executive Chef for itsHotel Saint Francis and Hotel Chimayo. Thompson will oversee the kitchens for restaurants and bars in both hotels. He is a native of Santa Fe who has most recently been chef at The Legal Tender and the Hyatt Tamaya Santa Ana. Thompson earned his chef stripes working at some of Santa Fe’s best restaurants, including Geronimo and La Fonda Hotel.
· Dance Conditioning Plus!: Also at Ironstone Gardens— Kate Eberly has moved her innovative and rapidly expanding dance fitness program to Belisama Dance. The studio is large, airy, and perfectly suited to the exuberant classes, which are so much fun that participants may not even notice how fit they are getting. Eberly is known for her own dancing in professional companies in New York and Chicago. The Dance Conditioning Plus! program includes several types of classes and a full schedule. It is accessible to people of all ages and levels of fitness.
· Mellow Velo: One of Santa Fe’s most popular shops for renting mountain bikes, road bikes and city cruisers, just expanded in a new space right in the heart of the city. The new shop will feature the same services and bikes from a more convenient location making riding out the door and onto the trail that much easier. 132 E. Marcy.
It may be several months away but the city is already buzzing about this summer’s Bandstand program of nightly live music on the Plaza. The free concerts kickoff in the evening on June 21st with an all-Salsa show and continue through August 19th . Performances go on four nights a week featuring Native American evenings, world music evenings and music from outstanding local and national talent playing folk, rock, jazz, mariachi and more.
Information provided by The Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau
Photography Copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose Photography