Gentedimontagna editor Berit Baugher spent a few days in Santa Fe, scoping out the latest and greatest, including spicy South Indian dosas, a modern spin on the traditional general store, and cut-to-order artisan cheese.
SANTA FE, New Mexico – In a small city known for having one of the oldest buildings in America (whose foundation dates back to 1200) and a distinct and traditional regional cuisine, new businesses are an especially welcome change. Last spring, I packed my bags and headed to Santa Fe, where, in addition to hitting great classic spots like Canyon Road, Cafe Pasqual's, and Ten Thousand Waves, I kept my eye out for newcomers. I was delighted to find that the city's food scene is undergoing a rejuvenation with the arrival of modern restaurants and shops that maintain Santa Fe's small-town, Southwestern charm. These were my favorites.
637 Cerrillos Rd.; +1-505-930-5462
For a contemporary take on the traditional general store, visit the airy farmhouse-inspired cafe and shop from the owner of Vinaigrette, a neighboring salad bistro. Fresh and vibrant fare, like purple barley porridge and poached egg sandwiches with frisee, thyme aioli, and applewood-smoked bacon, is served alongside green juices and artisan coffee. A blond wood Austrian stone-burr mill makes the minimally processed flours that go into their baked goods and are also available for sale. My personal highlight was the herbal tea served in the most delightful yellow three-piece porcelain set by Japanese brand Kinto. Once you finish eating, browse the shop's perimeter for potted succulents, copper mugs, biodynamic seeds, and other fancy home and gardening goods.
Cheesemongers of Santa Fe
130 East Marcy St.; +1-505-795-7878
The artisan cheese shop is a welcome addition for local and visiting cheese connoisseurs. Refrigerated display cases are filled with individually wrapped domestic and imported cheeses, as is the U-shaped service counter. The specialty food market also sells a selection of charcuterie, Don Diego Breads, artisanal crackers, and French chocolates — basically everything you need for a dreamy post-hike picnic in the Sangre de Cristo mountains.
228 E. Palace Ave.; +1-505-982-0883
Chef John Sedlar, who is originally from Santa Fe, has returned from Los Angeles to open a deeply personal restaurant inspired by his first teacher in the kitchen, his grandmother Eloisa. Another culinary influence was his great aunt Jeronima Newsome, the chef of food-loving artist Georgia O'Keeffe. Interiors at Eloisa are sleek and modern with steel accents, light colored wood, and white-washed brick walls. The open kitchen and wood-burning fireplace create a warm and inviting environment for showcasing Sedlar’s modern take on Northern New Mexican cuisine. Dishes like the maize budino (white and green corn, black quinoa, red amaranth) and pastrami tacos (crisp blue corn tortillas, pastrami, sauerkraut, pickled serranos, ballpark mustard) are artfully plated using contemporary elements like black and white family photographs and cow skull-designed platters by local artist Larry Swan.
631 Cerrillos Rd.; +1-505-988-8992
When you've had your fill of huevos rancheros and enchiladas, head to the walk-up burger joint for a quick picnic table lunch. Though inspired by restaurateur Brian Knox's love of the Santa Fe's iconic green chile cheeseburger, Shake Foundation also offers a classic burger and hand-cut shoestring fries. The namesake shakes are made with Taos Cow Ice Cream and come in a rotating assortment of flavors.
Fire and Hops
222 N. Guadalupe St.; +1-505-954-1635
The folksy gastropub, the first of its kind in Santa Fe, is run by Joel Coleman and Josh Johns, friends who worked together in area restaurants and joined forces to create an upscale pub specializing in small batch brews and global fare. The dishes, like roasted pork ramen and and poutine made with green chile gravy and bacon, are made using locally sourced ingredients. There are eleven beers on tap and a thoughtful list of hard ciders and wines.
551 W. Cordova Rd.; +1-505-930-5521
An under-the-radar favorite that got its start with private parties and weekly pop-up dinners has recently opened a brick-and-mortar shop. Owners (and couple) Paulraj Karuppasamy and Nellie Tischler dish up light and spicy South Indian plates in a concise menu that includes a collection of the savory thin crepes that the restaurant is named for, as well as fresh salads and hearty curries.