Santacafe -- Never Again!

Apr 2nd, 2005, 08:34 AM
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Santacafe -- Never Again!

Two nights in Santa Fe -- two upscale restaurants, two very different experiences:
Santacafe the first night -- asked about a $64 bottle of Pinot Noir (I've loved PN even before "Sideways"!) and the waiter upsold us to an "incredible" [his word]$88 Lollapalooza -- that was the right name for the price, but not the taste. Also I ordered a margarita "up" -- the waiter brought it on the rocks, said he'd fix it, asked if anyone at the table wanted this one [no indication whether he was giving it or re-selling it] -- we all passed. When he brought my new one, there had to be as much salt in the glass as there was around the rim. Undrinkable but, after seeing how they responded to my request to get the drink as I ordered it, I would not complain again -- feared how they might sully my food in the back so I grinned and bore it. Next night at Geronimo's, better food, better service, and, after we shared the wine story from the night before, they brought a great wine. Only downside was that after we enjoyed that bottle, they did not have a second one -- so they said that "for a little more" -- sadly the second bottle didn't rival the first.
screenwriter2006 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 09:18 AM
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Interesting story. Our experience at those two places was exactly the opposite. Two of us ordered rack of lamb at Gernonimo, ordered rare, they came out very well done. Sent them back and they came back unedible. We didn't know they bought them frozen. Both ours were not thawed in the middle! Couldn't eat them. When we mentioned it to the waiter and showed they were still frozen hard in the middle he muttered something like, "well you wanted them rare" and he walked away. Had a fabulous meal and service at SantaCafe.
Patrick is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 09:26 AM
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Good grief Patrick...the "well you wanted them rare" was either an attempt at humor or he was about the rudest waiter ever. I think my BP would have been through the roof.
OO is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 09:27 AM
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When I go to a restaurant, it's the food that's the main determining factor as to how much I like the place. You make no comments about the food in either place!
When we dined at Santacafe a few years, the food was superb.
HowardR is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 10:05 AM
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It's funny -- I don't doubt anything any of you have said. I believe that Geronimo's has off nights as well. That's why I find it very hard to go spend $75-100/person for a dinner and drinks anymore. It's very frustrating -- and, I must disagree a little with the comment that the food is everything -- if I feel like I'm being ripped off by the waiter, I have a very hard time enjoying the evening no matter how the food tastes.
screenwriter2006 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 05:23 PM
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I didn't say food was everything. I said it was the main determinant. Of course, ambiance and service matter, but without decent food, forget everything else/
Meanwhile, you still haven't told us what you thought of the food in either place.
HowardR is offline  
Apr 26th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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We, too, have had too many bad experiences at Santacafe. While some nights may be ok we've had way too many that were disappointing due to the attitude from the waiters & food and wine problems. Their attitude has run us off. (Only good waiter is Victor? I think? Long grey-silver hair. Very good waiter.) We'll go for a cocktail before we head over to Geronimo where, knock on wood, our service and food has been stellar the last 20+ visits. When something falls short at Geronimo, they have gone out of their way to make up for it. Ordered a new tuna dish, both of us disliked, they took it away without making us feel "less than" and brought us something we did like. And quite quickly as well -- with several apologies. I think their wine list is overpriced but it is Santa Fe.

Just curious, screenwriter2006, when you ordered your bottle at Geronimo, did the waiter inform you that it was their last bottle? Just curious. I think they should IMO.

Patrick - give Geronimo another chance. I LOVE the lamb dish. Too bad they didn't take better care of you.

As far as food quality, Geronimo exceeds Santacafe and is more consistent, in our opinion.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2005, 06:15 PM
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We love both Santacafe and Geronimo, though would probably give the nod to Geronimo. We're getting ready to go there again, what do you love these days? Bistro 315, Ristra, what is new (or old) and great?
Apr 26th, 2005, 06:29 PM
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the wine miscue was the only setback at geronimo -- it appears they didn't know it was the last bottle until we asked for another -- and the funny thing is, we had started the evening by telling the waitress the problems we had had at santacafe and that we were trying to avoid them this night -- oh well -- maybe I'll just have to go back to the casual cantina at la casa sena and order the blue plate with three or four new mexican specialties for about $20 -- and broadway tunes from the wait staff besides
screenwriter2006 is offline  
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