February Cuisine Scene

Santafe.com - January 31, 2017

Restaurant Week, cooking classes & a new burger joint

Even in the midst of winter, Santa Fe's cuisine scene is still hot with culinary events, cooking classes, discounted meals and more. Read on for some tempting morsels of fun that will get you out the door, despite the snow, ice and freezing temps.

The Return of Restaurant Week

The big news of the month is the annual Santa Fe Restaurant Week, scheduled for February 19-26. There's no better dining-out deals to be found than those on tap at top Santa Fe eateries this week— three-course prix fixe lunches and dinners offered at substantially lower prices than you'd normally pay. Be sure to make your reservations early for this week-long event.

Here are some of the dishes served at participating restaurants that caught my eye, including Bouche Bistro's Forest Mushroom and Black Truffle Ravioli paired with Leek Nage and famous Profiterole Au Chocolat for dessert. Geronimo is offering the late Eric DiStefano's  beloved Fiery Sweet Chile And Honey Grilled Mexican White Prawns with Jasmine Almond Rice Cakes, Frisee Red Onion Salad & Yuzu Basil Aioli, along with signature Flourless German Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Smoked Sea Salt Caramel Sauce.

At Joseph's Culinary Pub, you can try Potato Crusted Norwegian Cod with Niciose Olive Tapenade, Lemon Caper & Smoked Paprika Butter Sauce and for dessert, the dreamy Cloud Cake with Italian Meringue Cake, Caramel Sauce, Fresh Tarragon & Grapefruit Supremes. Eloisa's entrees include Pecos River Trout with Swiss Chard, Broccolini, Lardon Pine Nuts and Caramelized Brioche with Apricot Compote for dessert.

A short drive out of town, Arroyo Vino is offering first plates designed to share, such as Duck Confit Larb with bibb lettuce, pickled red onions, bean sprouts, cilantro and Thai chilies and a Chicken Cacciatore entree with herb spätzle, roasted peppers, house-made Italian sausage and stewed tomato. Further north, Red Sage at Buffalo Thunder's entrees include Braised Buffalo Short Rib with red chili demi-glace, mashed potatoes and market vegetables and Warm Bread Pudding with bourbon sauce and homemade vanilla ice cream, if you have room.

Restaurant Week also includes some great workshops where you can learn culinary skills and more, including a Culinary Cocktails class son Saturday, February 25 at 2 pm at Coyote Cafe with owner/mixologist Quinn Stephenson. And the fun continues with Taos Restaurant Week February 26 through March 5 and Albuquerque Restaurant Week March 5-12.

Fun in the Kitchen

One of the best winter deals in Santa Fe can be found at the Santa Fe School of Cooking, which offers popular winter Bonus Classes at discounted rates. You get to be a guinea pig as the school auditions new menus to add to the regular schedule during three-hour demo classes that include lunch. This is a great way to discover new recipes you can make at home that are perfect for entertaining, special events and weeknight family meals. Sign up for one or enroll in all three to taste all the dishes. Happy cooking!

Here's what's on the menus. The Bonus 1: Great Southwest Appetizers class, held February 2 and February 23, features Mini Chicken Tacos; Bacon-Wrapped Chipotle Shrimp; Chilled Avocado Soup Shooters; Brie and Mango Quesadillas with Chipotle Crema; and Duck Confit Phyllo Cups with Red Chile Honey.

The Bonus II: Contemporary Southwest Fare class on February 9 will demo Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup with Green Chile Focaccia Croutons, Creamed Poblanos and Corn,; an Open-Faced Burrito Bowl with Shrimp; Chorizo Skewers; and Margarita Cheesecake.

The Bonus III: Foods of Mexico class on February 17 includes Chipotle Rellenos with Charred Salsa; Chayote Tomato Salad with Orange Anise Dressing; Chicken Braised in Tomatillo Sauce; Arroz a la Mexicana; and Tres Leches Cake.

Hamburger Heaven

If you've got a hankering for a burger, shake and fries, head straight over to Santa Fe's newest burger joint, where the burgers are out of this world. The Burger Stand @ Burger Alley serves up some classic burgers, including a green chile cheeseburger with fire-roasted Hatch chile verde, pepperjack cheese as well as some creative versions, such as the Kobe, made with American Kobe beef, pickled red onions, truffle butter, tomato-aioli sauce, and local greens. You can amp up the heat with a burger called Fire, topped with fresh avocado and habanero-cactus jam. Or, go for Smoke, with applewood-smoked bacon, gouda cheese, chipotle-cocoa ketchup.

What's a natural accompaniment with burgers? Hawt Dogzz, of course, and they're on the menu in a variety of ways, from a classic dog with cherry pepper ketchup, mustard, pickle relish and onions to a homemade battered and fried corn dog.

You can't have burgers and dogs without fries, and The Burger Stand offers some innovative versions, including Duck Fat, Truffle or Green Chile fries or fries smothered in a bourbon, bacon and cheese sauce. Traditional burger-and-shake fans will want to try the Casbah Cookie Dough shake or the Oreo Avalanche...or both!

The Burger Stand offers much more beyond burgers. The Barnyard Bash, for instance, is made with chicken breast topped with sliced avocado, applewood smoked bacon, swiss cheese and, spicy honey mustard BBQ sauce. The Catfish Po' Boy is topped with spicy creole slaw, pickle relish, tomato and house-made mayo. There's even Bangers & Mash, a British comfort food made here with green chile pork sausages, garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.Vegetarian options include a mushroom or falafel sandwich a lentil burger and a mushroom sandwich.

Photos, courtesy of Restaurant Week, the Santa Fe School of Cooking and The Burger Stand