Gourmet Girl: March Cuisine Scene

Eating well to weather the month of March

Restaurant Week has come and gone and so, perhaps, has winter. In Santa Fe, though, you never know. With its late snowfalls and wild winds, winter can linger well into spring. No matter the climate, the seasons officially change on March 20, and we set our clocks forward this weekend.

If these annual transitions turn your inner clock cuckoo, don't worry. It's okay to sleep in on a weekday, to wear shorts one day and wrap yourself in a down parka the next. Your body eventually will adjust but if you'd like to help it along, good food always helps. And while we don't know who first said “You'll feel better after you eat,  the old adage still rings true.

So let the winds howl and the snow blow, March will make its way onward, even if it marches in reserve, coming in like a lamb and out like a lion. What we can do to weather this month is to eat well, and in Santa Fe, that's a cinch. Below, you'll find just a small sampling of what's on tap in the city this month. Explore our calendar of events and listings to discover more.

An Ode to Oysters

Not everyone loves oysters, but those who do love them passionately. Any oyster lover in Santa Fe knows that 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar is one of the best places to savor them. The daily happy hour here features fresh oysters shucked to order. From 5 to 7 pm every day of the week, each delectable half shell costs half the price. This delicious deal regularly packs the wine bar, where guests tend to pair their pearls with champagne, craft cocktails and beer, and wines from around the world.

This month brings a brand new oyster experience to 315, where chef/owner Louis Moskow will devote a three-course dinner, including dessert, to the venerable oyster. As you dine, you'll sip carefully curated wine pairings with each course that will highlight the flavors of every unique oyster. 315's Oyster Dinner takes place tomorrow, March 7, and some seats still remain. So if you're an oyster lover, run now to your phone or computer to reserve your table.

Restaurant Week lives on

Did you miss out on Restaurant Week? Then you'll be happy to learn that the days of discounted dining live on at 315, at least through this Sunday, March 10. Drop by for dinner and you'll get the same three-course prix fixe dinner that was available during Restaurant Week. Bouillabaisse or steak frites, anyone? Or lemon crepes with macerated strawberries, peut-être? The answer should be oui! On top of that, you'll receive a 25% discount on any bottle of wine. Quel bonne affaire, as the French would say. Or, what a bargain!

Remarkable Reubens and Pies for Pi

Did you know that March 14 is National Reuben Sandwich Day? Don't worry if you didn't, because just about every month, week and day in America has been assigned a food, or drink, to commemorate, and that's a lot of keep track of. March 14 is also Pi Day, when folks around the country are invited to bake a pie in solidarity with Pi, aka 3.14159. If you're moved to make a pie, they're easy to bake. In fact, they're as easy to bake as, well...pie. Or, you could celebrate Pi with mouth-watering pies such as gluten-free organic mixed berries, apple or blueberry from Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen and Key Lime Pie from The Teahouse. Finding great pies in Santa Fe is no challenge, but where do you go for a good old-fashioned Reuben?

You can't go wrong celebrating the Reuben at New York Deli. That's because the menu offers not just one but four appetizing varieties of the sandwich. There's the classic combo of corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut and the other classic combo, known here as the “Rachel,” which substitutes pastrami for corned beef. Then there's a leaner option, the Turkey Reuben, and one for vegetarians bearing tofu. Whatever version you choose, each sandwich is served on grilled rye, accompanied by French or matchstick fries, coleslaw and a pickle.

Joe's Dining serves up a mighty Reuben, piled high with thick slices of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing between two slices of swirled rye bread.  Dress it up with a side order of coleslaw, onion rings or fries. The flavors are so authentic that, after just one bite, you may wonder whether you've somehow teleported to Manhattan.

Here's to St. Paddy

If you'd rather pretend you're in Ireland, you're in luck. Joe's will celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a traditional corned beef and cabbage feast, offered March 11-17, which is the official St. Paddy's Day. Don't forget to order a pint of Guinness on tap, as that is the Emerald Isle's official beer and practically required on this holiday. To truly get into the spirit, bring your own green food coloring for your beer. Now you're ready to make a proper toast to Saint Patrick, who drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Sláinte!

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