Gourmet Girl: Happy New Year in Santa Fe
Be a little decadent
It's time to ring out the old decade and start a new one, no matter how hard we resist the light-speed passing of time. (Was it really 20 years ago when we were freaking out over Y2K and the looming possibility of the world's end?) Before you can finish cleaning up all of the wrapping paper and ribbons from your holiday gifts, and exchanging all those online items that didn't fit or work, you'll have to start thinking about what to do this New Year's Eve. In Santa Fe, you won't have to think hard. The city offers plenty of fun and fantastic ways to mark the arrival of 2020. Read on for a few ideas to start you off.
A ticket to ride The Carousel at Meow Wolf may be the hottest ticket in town. Dress as “your future best” and enter the Chamber of Sassy Freaks, an experimental VIP chill zone, where you can sip champagne and savor an organic, locally sourced dinner from Dig & Serve. Groove to the music of DJ Eldon, Tone Ranger, Audio Buddha, Space Jaguar, Varsity Acid and others as the clock ticks its way to midnight, when you'll release who you were and embrace what you will become.
Why not celebrate New Year's Eve in style at the Inn and Spa of Loretto's Luminaria Restaurant & Patio, where Chef Jason Stewart has planned a festive three-course prix-fixe menu. The evening begins with West Coast oysters served with green chile sorbet and New Mexican tōgarashi, a twist on a Japanese spice mix that originated in the 17th century. Or you could choose New Year's soup as your first course, made with with elk meatballs, lemon sorrel, dino kale and black-eyed peas, thought by many to bring you good luck in the new year. Then, it's on to main course option such as center cut Prime bone-in filet with lobster salad, parsnip-potato purée and Béarnaise sauce or Colorado lamb chops with dukkah spiced carrots, farro and lemon labneh. My choice for a decadent way to bring in the new year would be the Black Forest Cake but you could do just as well with sticky toffee pudding with fig and vanilla bean ice cream or natillas, a regional favorite.
More elegant oysters are on the menu at the Anasazi Restaurant, served with a green chile-fennel mignonette. They're part of a champagne reception for the restaurant's New Year's Eve tasting menu, created by Executive Chef Peter O'Brien. Don't eat too many, though, as other items include smoked salmon with corn cakes, caviar and crème fraiche; roasted beet terrine with goat cheese mousse toasted pistachio crisps and pork belly jam; shrimp and sea scallop tamal; lobster-stuffed venison filet; and a hazelnut mocha bomb with spicy caramel sauce. Orale!
La Casa Sena's New Year's Eve menu offers a variety of delectable dishes, starting with a choice of lobster bisque, Bershire pork belly and Diver scallop carpaccio. Entrée options include cast iron New York strip steak with chanterelles, roasted potatoes and garlic butter sauce, grilled Scottish salmon and grilled Colorado rack of lamb. For dessert, the coconut chocolate bounty cake sounds like a great choice, with strawberry glace and toasted coconut, but the maple-apple cobbler or the mascarpone-cream cheese tartine will satisfy your sweet tooth, too.
After you've dined like a diva, head over to the Fourth Annual New Year’s Eve on the Plaza and join hundreds of locals and visitors for live music, bonfires, hot chocolate and biscochitos. Write down your wishes for 2020 on a memorial banner and, as midnight arrives, cheer the Zia symbol as it rises high into the sky, surrounded by exploding fireworks. It's how we celebrate the New Year in the City Different.
You could dance your way into the New Year in the funky town of Madrid, at the Mine Shaft Tavern where Betsy & the Hollyhocks will rock the house with their blend of alt country and desert rock music. The old mining town's holiday lights are something to see while you're there, and you can always stay overnight in a B&B so you don't have to make the drive back to town in the dark.
Little ones—and those adults who can't stay up 'til midnight—can head to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden for the fabulous Glow—A Winter Lights event, and the Kids' New Year's Eve party. Guests can frolic in the fabulous light displays, listen to live music by Andy Mason, then revel in the New Year a few hours early during the Flower Petal Drop, which happens at 7 pm instead of midnight.