A Feast for Summer Solstice

Santafe.com - June 19, 2018

Where to savor the sublime flavors of summer

Summer officially arrives tomorrow with the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. One of the great joys of the season is getting outdoors, whether to hike, bike, swim, picnic or simply sit on a patio , savoring  the fresh foods of summer. Cooking your own meal in the hot temps of June, though, can be a drag, so leave your own patio behind and head out to some of these places with lovely patios, where the cooking is done for you and the results are always sublime.

Happy Summer to us all! May our days be long and filled with feasts.

Canyon Road offers some wonderful shady spots where you can relish the fresh flavors of summer. The Compound's patio, for instance, has an elegant Mediterranean feel, soft, earthy tones, a courtyard fountain and colorful flowers spilling over giant urns. This is a great spot to enjoy a jumbo crab and lobster salad, with mango, red onion and butter lettuce all tossed in a tangerine vinaigrette. Or try the tuna niçoise, a delectable combo of seared rare tuna, tomato, olives, hard-boiled egg, fingerling potatoes, green beans and red onion, all tossed in a Dijon shallot dressing. The chicken schnitzel is always in season, elegant and ethereally light. It's served with capers, parsley, lemon and sautéed spinach. Add in a prickly pear margarita and you've got a delicious start to summer.

Geronimo's portal is a hot spot for dining as well as people-watching. One of the most venerated restaurants in Santa Fe, it offers impeccable service to match its award-winniing fare. Start off with one of summer's most popular foods —lobster. Try it as a lobster sweet corn crepe appetizer, with fresh peas, leeks and lobster bisque. Or dig into it as a main course of mesquite-grilled Maine lobster tails with Thai basil pasta, spinach, edamame and creamy garlic chile sauce. The Maryland Blue Crab cakes come with caviar-dill sauce, braised leeks and baby watercress, and the green miso sea bass is a delightful dish with bok choy, scallions, ramen noodles, truffle essence, lobster miso and citron rouille. End your evening with another salute to summer—the refreshing Meyer Lemon crepe, with lemon curd, crème fraiche and limoncello.

Take an outside table at The Teahouse and you can watch the sky change colors from turquoise to the brilliant streaks of sunset to the inky, star-studded dark of night. The food here is hearty and delicious, whether you drop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Don't miss the the bacon, roasted pear and brie panini, a combo of  flavor and texture, or the addicting goat cheese and roasted pear panini with truffle honey and arugula. Or you could just sit and snack on sweets—a cranberry almond scone, raspberry cheese strudel, apricot almond twist—and sip hot or cold tea until the day is done.

Bouche Bistro has one of the most romantic patios in all of Santa Fe, where you can dine on traditional French bistro fare. The ambiance and the food, such as the signature Black Mussels in White Wine and Red Chile, will make you feel as if you're at a neighborhood Parisian bistro, the cozy, intimate kind where the locals hang out. Go with the one you love and share a plate of fresh oysters on the half shell with Champagne mignonette, cocktail sauce and extra horseradish. Or linger over the Charcuterie Plank, with San Daniele Prosciutto, Saucisson, Mortadella, Rillettes Maison and more. Small plates include Classic Escargots à la Bourguignonne and entrees include Wagyu Hanger Steak “Au Poivre” with Pommes Frites. For dessert, Porfiterole au Chocolat is always in season.

Perched on high at Rooftop Pizzeria, you can look down on the world as you dine on upscale pizza. The pie with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella is a nice summery dish, with roast garlic spread on artisan crust. The green chile chicken option with toasted piñons and four cheeses on artisan crust is a locals' favorite. You could splurge on the seafood specialty, piled with lobster and shrimp as well as bacon, mushroom, green onion, truffle oil and four cheeses on a blue corn crust. Or build your own creation, choosing from traditional as well as “over the top” toppings such as smoked duck, wild mushroom and the lobster. Rooftop's menu includes a nice selection of antipasti—prosciutto-stuffed crimini with mozzarella, spinach artichoke dip with Parmesan and crostini—as well as an array of salads and pasta.