Celebrating the Autumn Harvest at Amaya
Locally grown ingredients are paired with seasonal foods from Alaska to the Great Plains
In the midst of fall harvest, we celebrate the fruits of the earth with meals featuring the foods of the season—green chile, potatoes, apples, and other ingredients plucked from our gardens or bought from local farmers. When you've had your fill of cooking and it's time to treat yourself to a nice dinner out, it's the perfect time of year to visit Amaya at Hotel Santa Fe, where locally grown ingredients are paired with seasonal foods from Alaska to the Great Plains. The hotel's partnership with Picuris Pueblo is palpably visible in the menu created by executive chef Walter Dominguez, who pairs indigenous ingredients with non-indigenous fare, fusing Native American cuisine with Asian, Mexican, and New Mexican dishes.
Consider the grilled New Mexican lamb chops served with edamame, as well as cipollino onions, corn, roasted tomato, asparagus, potato puree and lamb jus, or the ancho-laquered Braised Bison Short Ribs with Green Chile Risotto, both highlighting traditional northern New Mexico ingredients infused with classic cooking techniques and innovative flavors. There's also a stuffed poblano with tri-color quinoa, apricots, arugula, caramelized onions and a garlic red wine sauce.
Nightly specials might include venison tenderloin with huckleberry sauce, roasted corn with chanterelle mushrooms and sauteed kale; miso-glazed scallops "a la plancha" with pancetta cranberry jam, wild mushrooms, snap peas and roasted tomato ragu with parmesan gratin; and seared buffalo ribeye with chive polenta, sweet peas, oyster mushrooms, garlic and roasted tomatoes, topped with red wine demi, Stilton and date jam.
Lighter fare includes the Picuris Salad, brimming with roasted sweet corn, cucumber and a red chile-dusted tortilla crisp, and a hickory-smoked chicken salad with mandarin oranges, pineapple, candied pecans. From the coastal regions of the country comes the lump crab cake with cilantro-avocado crema and charred pineapple mango salsa; and the Chimayo Club is a classic, stuffed with smoked turkey breast, applewood bacon and avocado. For traditional regional fare, try the red chile vegetarian tortilla soup and the green chile stacked chicken enchiladas.
Be sure to leave room for dessert because the offerings are enticing, from the Amaya white chocolate bread pudding with whiskey sauce, to the almond pear tart, to the chocolate mousse tower with caramelized ginger compote and blackberry sauce.
Amaya is a romantic spot, with a new patio enclosed by glass overlooking the outdoor garden. You can dine in the restaurant, or sit in the handsome lobby and sample the bar menu, which includes achiote-seasoned mahi mahi tacos, West Coast black mussels, and the Amaya burger. The bar is just as busy as the restaurant, with special craft beverages like the October Cocktail of the Month: Spiced hot chocolate made with arbol chile-infused Patron XO, whipped cream and red chile!
Amaya also hosts special events, including a monthly 'Dinner with the Artist' series. This month's event honors Comanche painter Nocona Burgess and takes place on Wednesday, October 28 at 6 p.m. The three-course prix fixe menu includes creamy corn soup, pan-seared salmon with jasmine rice and beurre blanc, and a sopapilla with ice cream and chocolate.
Amaya's annual Thanksgiving Buffet offers a splendid way to celebrate the autumnal harvest. The sprawling menu includes a Harvest Native American Salad with tri-color quinoa, roasted sweet corn, bean sprouts, sun-dried apricots, cherries, cinnamon-spiced pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette, as well as a European antipasto platter loaded with Genoa salami , hot capicola, prosciutto, mortadella, andouille sausage, Italian sausage, pheasant sausage, morcilla and Spanish chorizo stilton, morbier, sage derby and bleu d'Auvergne. You can also snack on poached Scottish salmon, peel-and-eat shrimp, and oysters on the half shell with red chile remoulade, cocktail sauce and lemon wedges. Don't miss the butternut squash and apple bisque with butter brioche croutons – and that's just for starters.
Then move on to the holiday carving station, a smorgasbord of slow-roasted turkey with pan gravy and spiced cranberry sauce; roasted prime rib au jus with horseradish cream; ancho chile-braised buffalo short ribs with blueberry veal reduction; herb and lemon-crusted salmon and beurre blanc; and pine nut and asparagus-stuffed chicken breast with roasted pepper and garlic reduction.
All the sides are served up, too, from green bean casserole and baked sweet potatoes with brown sugar to roasted garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, green chile and dried fruit cornbread stuffing and steamed seasonal root vegetables. The feast will finish off with pumpkin bread pudding with whisky creme Anglaise; bourbon pecan pie; raspberry almond tart; espresso pot de crème; maple creme brulee; house made biscochitos; and a flambe and bananas foster station with assorted toppings.