Ski season is here, with powdery, sun-drenched slopes in the Rockies that beckon alpine skiers and snowboarders. This renowned snowbird’s paradise has some of the top slopes in the Southwest, along with majestic views of the city and surrounding mountains. With 83 trails, 660 acres of terrain and a 12,075-foot summit. Ski Santa Fe offers something for everyone, from novice to expert skiers. But after a day of hard play on the mountain, when you’re hungry and need to re-fuel, where do you find an après-ski scene? As it turns out, Santa Fe offers plenty of post-ski options, whether you’re seeking a cozy fireplace for two or a party atmosphere in a crowded bar. Below are a few suggestions for places serving up excellent food, drink and ambiance once you’ve ditched the skis.
Rio Chama is an après-ski hot spot, a a steakhouse in a rambling adobe with a popular bar. Stretch out in a booth or belly up to the bar and join the crowd. The place is known for prime rib and filet mignon, but the fondue is the perfect après-ski dish—a creamy blend of melted cheeses, amber ale and white wine, served with a spread of bread cubes, broccoli, cauliflower and apples for spearing on fondue forks and swirling in the melted cheeses. You can order it at a booth in the bar, but for a true après-ski vibe, grab a table in one of the intimate dining rooms, preferably by a fireplace with merrily burning flames. Other dishes that will warm you up include the mussels, served in a jalapeño-corn broth with grilled bread. Or splurge on the hearty, slow-simmered duck leg cassoulet with smoked sausage and white bean.
Boxcar’s gastropub fare is great for whatever ails you after a day on the slopes. Grab a seat at the bar or a tabletop in the spacious room and you can watch the crowd or any number of sporting events on the giant TV screens. You’ll find plenty of hearty fare to fuel you up, but consider starting off with bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers or hand-cut Parmesan truffled fries, followed by seared Black Tiger shrimp and smoked Gouda grits. The Boxcar Mac & Cheese is loaded with bacon, Kyzer pork belly, chicken, spinach, Hatch green chile and roasted red peppers with Tucumcari cheddar and mozzarella. Or sate your hunger with chicken and waffles, served with Guinness gravy, New Mexico red chile butter and syrup. Hang around into the night and you’ll catch a DJ spinning tunes or live music, which usually starts at 10 pm.
At Del Charro, inside the Inn of the Governors, you’ll find a crowd of locals and guests who are staying at the inn. You could take a seat in the bar, but for great après-ski ambiance, head to the covered, heated patio and take a table in front of the fire. There, you can order an excellent margarita and pair it with chile con queso and chips, a tantalizing combo of cheddar, pepper jack and Gouda with New Mexico green chile and tomatillo salsa. For a heartier dish, you can’t go wrong with the beer-battered poblano stuffed with black bean corn relish and cheese and topped with a creamy chipotle chile sauce. If you’re famished from the day, then go for the famed green chile cheese burger stuffed with applewood smoked bacon, New Mexico green chile and Gorgonzola cheese with a house-made green chile relish. You won’t regret it, and you’ll have ample reason to get back on the mountain tomorrow and work off all of those calories.This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead