April Cuisine Scene

Lynn Cline - March 29, 2016

A Month of Culinary Fun

Spring has officially arrived, bringing it with a fresh crop of celebratory food events across the city. From Pub Night to Burger Week and dining for a cause, Santa Fe is abloom with culinary events honoring ingredients of the season.

A Night at the Pub

It's Pub Night at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy, an evening devoted to inspired pub fare, local craft beer and community, and you're invite on Thursday, April 7 at 6:15 pm. It's part of the academy's monthly Pop-Up dinner series, and April's features a 5-course menu that includes Pretzel Rarebit; Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts, Shallots and Lemon; Fried Chicken Roullade with Bacon Fat Biscuit and Caramelized Cipollini Onion Gravy; Braised Pork Cheeks with Sour Cabbage; and best of all, a Beer Foam
Buttered Popcorn Sundae.

Burger Bonanza at Joe's

If you're hankering for a thick, juicy burger you can really sink your teeth into, head on over to Joe's Dining, where the 4th Annual Burger Week kicks off on April 11, seven days devoted to burgers prepared in a dozen different ways, all discounted to celebrate one of America's favorite foods.

My favorite burgers from Burger Weeks past include the Bourbon Chutney Beer Burger, made with locally grown, grass-fed beef topped with a chutney bursting with flavor as well as tomato and lettuce. Then there's the Hawaiian Beef Burger, topped with thick round of pineapple, melted cheese and tomato and lettuce.

The Triple Beer Burger is a decadent combo of beef, bacon and blue cheese, and the Pizza Beef Burger is topped with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. And if thats not enough, the Greek Lamb Burger features fresh ground New Mexico lamb topped with Tucumcari feta, chopped kalamata olives and served with tzatziki.

There's more, including a Trifolati Mushroom Burger for vegetarians and a Salmon Burger as well as a Green Chile Cheese Buffalo Burger. And I expect there will be some new additions to this year's celebration of hamburgers in a zillion flavors.

Joe's Burger Week runs through April 17, so hurry on over. Burgers are discounted and served with wine and beer specials as well as artisanal hard cider from Santa Fe Cider Works.

Dining with Angels

It's not often you get to help others in need simply by going out for a great meal. But on Thursday, April 21, during the annual Angels Night Out, some 30 Santa Fe restaurants will commit 25% of your bill for dining with them to Kitchen Angels, which delivers free, home-cooked meals to people with life-challenging conditions.

Even though its called Angels Night Out, you can dine during the day, too. Start your morning with a delicious breakfast at The Teahouse, including Norwegian Eggs Benedict, made with smoked salmon and capers, or a Breakfast Panini with Black Forest ham, prosciutto di Parma, grilled mortadello and two steamed eggs on a ciabatta roll with Fontina cheese.

Then have lunch at Tecolote Cafe, maybe a Tecolote Burger with green chile, bacon and cheese, or Pork Chops Verde, smothered with green chile and cheese. Or go for BBQ at The Ranch House and feast on BBQ Brisket Quesadilla, Spicy Pulled Pork Burrito and other rich and hearty fare. If you're craving seafood, lunch at Mariscos Costa Azul, for traditional Puerto Vallarta-style Mexican seafood. Try the Tostadas de Ceviche, with fish, shrimp or a combo of both, and the Camarones a la Plancha, grilled shrimp seasoned with garlic and paprika.

For dinner, head to Bouche Bistro, where the classic Parisian bistro-style fare is served in a warm and bustling adobe. Signature starters include Black Mussels with White Wine and Red Chile, or a bowl of French Onion Soup Gratinée. For entrees, nothing says French bistro like Steak au Poivre with Pommes Frites or Tenderloin Steak Tartare, Fresh Farm Egg, House Potato Chips.

If you're looking for local flavor, dine at Cowgirl BBQ on a bowl of Chuckwagon Chili served Texas-style with ground beef and brisket, beans, veggies, jalapenos, red onions, sour cream and jalapeno cornbread. Or order a big plate of BBQ Mesquite-Smoked Baby Back Ribs with all the trimmings—BBQ beans, potato salad and cole slaw.

Midtown Bistro also serves dinner on Angel's Night Out. This urban-style eater offers a menu of contemporary cuisine with a Southwestern flair. You could start with the blue crab with mango salsa and lemon aioli, followed by an entree of Seared Maple Leaf Duck Breast With Roasted Gingered Sweet Potatoes,Sautéed Bok Choy and Cranberry Sauce. Or try the Grilled Scottish Salmon With Quinoa, Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Broccoli and Tobiko Caviar Beurre Blanc.

By dining at any of these restaurants on April 21, you'll automatically be entered to win some great prizes, including a $500 gift card or weekend package at Buffalo Thunder. Best of all, when you participate in Angels Night Out, you're supporting Kitchen Angels, a community-based, volunteer-driven agency that provides free, home-delivered meals to people in Santa Fe who are living with life-challenging health conditions. For the past 24 years, they have enhanced the quality of life and supported the dignity of homebound individuals who are unable to prepare their own meals.

A Radio Show for Foodies

If you haven't yet tuned into Santa Fe's hottest new radio show...what are you waiting for? “Heating It Up” with James Beard award-winning author Cheryl Alters Jamison airs Fridays on KVSF 101.5 FM, a whole hour dedicated to all things food. The show is fun, lively and fascinating and guests include food writers from across the country as well as acclaimed chefs, purveyors, restaurateurs and more. Tune in for a show that has everyone #excited about food!