Santa Fe trip report

Old Dec 10th, 2007, 06:01 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 248
Santa Fe trip report

We stayed at such a nice B&B and had 2 wonderful dinners out of 3 so a report is called for.

First off, we found that traveling the first week of December was a dream. The airports were not crowded - there was no line at SFO security - restaurants weren't booked and we got a $15/day rental car. The weather in Santa Fe was very cold, but beautifully sunny. Holiday greens were being strung along the plaza buildings while we were there, filling the air with their fragrance.

We flew into Albuquerque, and at the recommendation of the rental agent, took the back way to Santa Fe, through the mountains on to Madrid and down into Santa Fe. Madrid was having a holiday fair, and it made a nice stop along the way.

We stayed at Hacienda Nicholas. It is a lovely, adobe style B&B, reasonably priced, close to both the plaza and Canyon Road galleries. The atmosphere was warm, friendly and inviting. Wonderful baked goods were always available, and the breakfasts were ample and varied. We stayed in the Nicholas Suite which had its own gas fireplace. All the rooms I saw would have been fine with us. The staff made spot on recommendations for dinners - the only one we were disappointed with was the one I booked before our trip.

El Farol - I would not go back as the food was just OK and the service was the "move 'em in and move 'em out" attitude. The bus person actually placed another table's dirty dishes on ours in order to pick up some of our tapas plates. I think we may have felt a bit better about the place if the kitchen had paced the dishes. You are urged to order a tapas assortment for 2 persons, and that is what we did. While we were in the midst of our ceviche and salad, a platter with our 5 (maybe it was 6) hot tapas plates arrived. When I asked if they could be paced so that we could enjoy our cold plates, we were told that's not the way they did it.

315 - formerly Bistro 315 - This was exactly what we needed on a very cold night. The restaurant is small, and while it was full, there wasn't a sense of bustling or crowding - just everyone enjoying good food. Our waiter made an excellent wine recommendation for us and we each had an appetizer (duck ravioli and roasted butternut soup) and split an entree of lamb shoulder. We were too full for dessert, plus we knew there was plenty back at the inn.

The Compound - we had read many mixed reviews, but we took the advice of one of the inn staff members. This restaurant is beautiful, romantic, has flawless service and incredible food. Its wine list was extremely overpriced, ($20 more for the same wine we had the previous night) but we forgave it due to the overall quality of the meal. We had one of the best beet salads I have ever had, and I make a point of ordering them whenever they appear on a menu. We also ordered the pumpkin panasotti and the duck breast with fresh wild mushrooms. Divine. We couldn't eat dessert as we had had a late lunch that day at Pasquale's. The desserts going to other tables looked amazing. This is a restaurant that I would dress up for next time, but I was not uncomfortable in casual pants and nice sweater with jewelry.

Pasquales, of course! Only a 20 minute wait -another reason to go when we did.
The Shed - their red sauce is more heat than depth and finesse but we discovered the Shed chowder. I would return for that.

I won't remark on all the galleries because everyone has their own taste. Suffice it to say that Santa Fe's galleries are world class and there is something for everyone.
PJTravels is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2007, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 901
thanks very much for your great trip report!
beach_dweller is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2007, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 271
Thanks for the report, PJ. I'm going to have to try 315 one of these days.

Next time, try La Boca for tapas. The original chef from El Farol is the owner and it's a great new place.

abqdeb is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2007, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
Thanks for the report, I'm flying into Albrquerque and visiting there and Santa Fe over Christmas, so I appreciate the information.
kodi is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2007, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,840
Thanks for posting your trip report. Yep, El Farol isn't at the top of my list for food but more for live entertainment and the bar scene. Bistro 315 is one of our favorites.

Ditto the recommendation for La Boca. It was wonderful!

Glad you had a good trip. Heading there in 12 days!!
BeachGirl247 is offline  
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