New Santa Fe Eats

New digs in Santa Fe's dining scene

Santa Fe's culinary scene is constantly in flux, which is what you'd except from a world-class dining destination. Trying to keep up with all the restaurant openings and closings isn't always a piece of cake, but Gourmet Girl will make sure you get the whole enchilada about who's cooking what and where.

Here are just a few of the recent entries on Santa Fe's dining menu, and while it's not complete, it will whet your appetite for trying the city's newest eateries.

Let's start with Infierno, an intriguing blend of Southwest-infused Italian fare in the former home of Cafe Cafe on Sandoval Street. There's still time to enjoy the outdoor patio and sample some innovative appetizers, from baked brie topped with toasted pistachios and fresh herbs to Calamarachokes, a combo of flash-fried calamari and artichokes served with garlic basil aioli, marinara, and bagna cauda. Or go for the antipasto platter,featuring smoked prosciutto, roasted red bell peppers, artichokes, herbed olive oil and crostini.

For main dishes, try the signature relleno, a Southwest-Italian melding of fire-roasted poblano stuffed with italian metas and topped with marinara, mozzarella and smoked gouda, or buffalo meat lasagne with Hatch green chile, mozzarella and marinara. Infierno also offers a lengthy list of freshly-made pizzas along with entrees including chicken Marsala, tournedos and seafood pasta, made with shrimp and calamari, capers and a spicy tomato creamy tomato sauce.

Infierno offers gluten-free and vegetarian options as well as a wine bar that also serves international beers. Live music is also and the restaurant joins a growing number of eateries offering late-night dining, open until midnight Monday through Saturday and until 10 pm on Sundays.

Sleeping dogs certainly didn't lie in the space that once housed the Sleeping Dog Cafe. La Fogata Grill recently took over the subterranean spot in the Plaza Mercado on San Francisco Street, offering fare from New Mexico as well as Mexico and Central America.

Serving breakfast all day as well lunch, dinner and take out, this eatery does it all, from pancakes, waffles and huevos rancheros to enchiladas, empanadas, Oaxacan tamales, chilequiles, barbacoa de pollo, chicken mole and more. For dessert, try the classic tres leches cake.

Stop by for Taco Tuesday or the daily Happy Hour and enjoy agave margaritas and sangria, as well as beer and wine.Or try the watermelon agua fresca and horchata.

The CAVA Santa Fe Lounge is another new kid on the block, occupying the center focal point of the Eldorado Hotel. Offering meeting space, entertainment, a bar and eclectic food, the lounge is billed as “Santa Fe's community living room.”

You've probably been here before, to listen to live piano music as well as local bands and maybe take a seat while you waited to meet a friend for the hotel brunch or dinner at The Old House, but the lounge has a whole new identity, starting with the food—small plates inspired by the Basque Country of northern Spain as well as South America. Try the albondigas with blue cheese romesco and almonds; the Basque-style mussels with sherry, saffron and tomato broth; or the empanada with sherry, mushrooms, truffle arugula and salsa verde There's also salt cod fritter sliders served with lemon-caper mayo, and for dessert, the house made churros with Mexican chocolate.

The lounge offers a wine list that highlights Old World varietals and craft cocktails,of house made infusions and fresh juices, including concoctions that were popular during Prohibition.

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