Noted chef Eric DiStefano operates this long-running pioneer of contemporary Southwestern cuisine, although results here have always been a bit more uneven than at his other restaurant, Geronimo. Coyote Cafe is reliable for taste variations on the beloved green chile, but the menu has evolved to include the flavors of French and Asian cuisine. Menu offerings include fiery hot-and-sweet Mexican white prawns with crisp almond rice cakes; a peppery elk tenderloin; and the
rotisserie rock hen with herbs de Provence. Service and food quality vary widely—not an encouraging trend considering the high cost of dining here. Your best bet may be to head to the adjacent Rooftop Cantina (open April through October), a fun outdoor gathering spot with a loud and lively social scene where you can enjoy cool cocktails and flavorful under-$15 fare like burgers and Mexico-inspired fish tacos. On the ground floor, a lounge called the Den serves first-rate craft cocktails, but the overly slick vibe feels out of place in laid-back Santa Fe.