Gourmet Girl: Restaurant Week is Coming…

Gourmet Girl - February 17, 2015

More than 50 restaurants offer great deals during Santa Fe's 6th Annual Restaurant Week

Santa Fe Restaurant Week kicks off this Sunday, February 22, offering seven days of wanton feasting with delicious dishes prepared by Santa Fe's top chefs. This is a great way to try new restaurants, as well as those you might not be able to afford on a regular basis. Every eatery offers a prix fixe three-course dinner and some offer lunch as well. Prices are ranging from $20 - $40 depending on the restaurant.

The original Restaurant Week, a four-day event, was created in 1992 by restaurateur Joe Baum and Tim Zagat, of the Zagat Guides, as a goodwill gesture to some 15,000 reporters covering  the Democratic National Convention in New York City. Restaurants offered three-course prix fixe menus for $19.92. “Frankly, we thought it would be a short-term money loser but have long-term PR benefit for New York and the restaurant industry,” Zagat writes in an article about Restaurant Week in The Atlantic. “Now, almost 20 years later, restaurant weeks have become a tradition in city after city because they appeal to both customers and restaurants. In short: they are a win-win.”

Restaurant Week in New Mexico launched in 2010 as a way to introduce diners and travelers to New Mexico's impressive restaurants. This year's event runs from February 22 through March 1 in Santa Fe, and then in Albuquerque from March 15 through 22, ending in Taos from March 22 through 29.

Below, discover some of the items on offer for this year's Restaurant Week in Santa Fe. Be sure to explore Restaurant Week's website for full menus from all of the participating restaurants. Happy Eating!

Dinner at Amaya at Hotel Santa Fe highlights local ingredients, from the hearty Red Chile Tortilla Soup with asadero cheese and tortilla strips to the Juniper and Fennel-Seared Berkshire Pork Loin with sweet potato mashers, Swiss chard and maple jus  End your meal with a rich Mexican Chocolate Decadence Cake served with vanilla ice cream and blackberry purée.

For authentic Parisian fare, head over to Bouche Bistro and start with the famous Onion Soup “Les Halles,” followed by Beef Short Ribs served Pot Au Feu Style, with Horseradish Crème. For your end note, try the decadent Crème De La Crème Brulée.

At Coyote Cafe, starters include the classic Coyote Wedge Salad with sweet heirlooms, Danish blue, applewood-smoked bacon, and toasted piñon nuts. For entrees, try the Mesquite-Grilled Maine Lobster Tails with housemade pappardelle pasta, organic spring onions and creamy, spicy chile sauce. For dessert,  the Tangerine Tres Leches Cake sounds tasty.

Galisteo Bistro offers the salty, fresh flavors of the sea with its Char-Grilled Oysters, fresh shucked to order. For an entree, consider the slow-braised Bison Short Ribs with coffee rub and au jus, followed by a sweet Lemon Tart.

Geronimo's dinner menu includes a Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartar and Buttermilk Scallion Pancakes with wasabi crème fraiche, avocado, soy-lime syrup, shiso leaves and caviar. Entrees include Spice-Rubbed Roasted Game Hen with Sage‎ & Asiago Polenta "Gnocchi", with young turnips, carrots, mushrooms and roasted red pepper-Infused demi-glace. Try to save room for dessert, which includes Flourless German Chocolate Cake with vanilla bean ice cream and smoked sea salt caramel sauce.

Laurie Allegrettit

In addition to the amazing views at izanami, the Japanese gastropub, you can enjoy Omakase, a.k.a. Chef's Choice, where you simply sit back, relax and enjoy a culinary odyssey featuring five to seven small plates chosen by the chef. Pair your dinner with a sake flight, featuring five artisan sakes. Izanami also serves a Lunch Bento box during Restaurant Week, with soup, salad, pickles, rice, and your choice of a main dish.

Joseph's Culinary Pub menu includes Grande Borscht as an appetizer, with beets, root vegetables and local elk stock, American sturgeon caviar and hard-boiled egg, fine dice onion and crème fraiche. Try the Crispy Duck, Salt-Cured Confit Style with sweet potato-caramel glaze, French lentils, warm radicchio and date-pancetta salad. The Lime Sorbet will end your meal with notes of basil orange, thyme lemon and cilantro.

La Boca offers a four-course menu featuring Grilled Shrimp Calamari with Pineapple-Cucumber -Onion Escabeche and Pan-Seared Salmon with Piquillo Sauce, served with sautéed Brussels Sprouts, corn and jamón Serrano. Finish with the Tiramisu De Limon, with layers of lemon curd, vanilla cream and lady fingers.

At Mangiamo Pronto, start with Calamari Fritti with flash fried, arborio rice-dusted calamari, rustic tomato sauce & lemon aioli. Then try the Gnocchi Con Salsiccia—baked handcrafted potato gnocchi with sweet Italian sausage raogut and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Be sure to leave room for the  Housemade Gelato Or Sorbetto With Biscotto. Lunch is served here during Restaurant Week, too, including ,Tomato Basil Soup and Gnocchi Al Funghi—baked handcrafted potato gnocchi with mushroom Pomodoro Sauce.

The Old House Restaurant menu starts off with a choice of apps, including the Market Salad Of Roasted Beets & New Mexico Goat Cheese with New Mexico Windmill Farms green chile goat cheese, organic baby greens, and roasted shallot dressing.Entrees include Veal & Butternut Ravioli made with tender veal, roasted mushroom ragout, sage Marsala cream and parmesan. For dessert, the Decadent Chocolate Pyramid with hazelnut Anglaise and praline feuillantine sounds....well, decadent!

At Plaza Cafe Southside, the menu includes a Strawberries And Spinach Salad starter with fresh mandarins, candied walnuts, feta cheese and a citrus honey vinaigrette. For something totally unique, try the Goat Stifado with fingerling potatoes, pearl onions, wild fennel, carrots, tomatoes, dill and white wine sauce. Then end the evening with a slice of Warm Greek Walnut Cake, served with candied oranges and Greek yogurt.

Pranzo Italian Grill's dinner offerings include a longtime favorite, the Classic Caesar salad, followed by Pumpkin Gnocchi with sage cream, guanciale, crispy shallot and a duck egg yolk. For dessert, choose your favorite gelato flavor—dark chocolate, black raspberry cabernet or sea salt caramel with truffles.

Ranch House is serving up Barbecue Won Ton Tacos with chopped rib meat, red chile-honey glaze and  Green Chile Slaw. Then try the Red Chile Honey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs,with with Green Ghile Cornbread, BBQ Beans and Green Chile Slaw. For dessert, the Coconut Tapioca sounds like the ultimate comfort food.

Out at Red Sage in Buffalo Thunder, there's a great a vintage appetizer, Wedge Salad with blue cheese, red onion, tomatoes, bacon, radish and buttermilk dressing.For an entree, The Braised Talus Wind Lamb with French gnocchi, mushrooms, arugula and housemade ricotta should be a hit. Be sure to leave room for Spiced Apple Cobbler  with cheddar strudel topping, vanilla ice cream and salted caramel.

At Swiss Bistro & Bakery, you could start with Carpaccio, made with thinly sliced New Mexico organic tenderloin, rubbed with olive oil and topped with capers and citrus  Then choose the Ravioli, stuffed with slow-cooked organic heritage pork and topped with a garlic red chile and bean cream sauce. For dessert,  try a classic Napoleon. You can also lunch here during Restaurant Week, when the menu includes Eggs Benedict, Swiss Crepe and Monte Cristo Burger.

The Compound Restaurant's offerings include Smoked Ham Hock Raviolis with shaved pear, watercress and smoked gouda cream as a starter, followed by Harris Ranch Tenderloin Medallion with organic stone-ground white corn grits and wild mushroom Bordelaise sauce. The Prickly Pear Mousse with mango, lime  and mint salad provides the perfect ending!

The Palace Restaurant and Saloon has a special deal where you can choose any four cicchetti, or Italian tapas, for $25. Offerings include Duck Confit Fritters with orange-chipotle dipping sauce; Rabbit Loin wrapped in prosciutto with a risotto croquet and apple-brandy cream sauce; and Gambas, sautéed shrimp with shallots, garlic, Spanish sherry and smoked pimenton, served over creamy polenta.

The Thunderbird Bar & Grill is serving up Frito Pie with ground beef, peppers and pinto beans smothered with cheddar cheese and topped with lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream, The Steak & Enchiladas combines bistro tenderloin with two cheese enchiladas. For dessert, the classic Carrot Cake is paired with caramel sauce for dessert. Try The Thunderbird's two-course lunch, which includes Roasted Chicken Enchiladas, Fish Tacos and Beef Sliders.

Dinner at the Zia Diner includes the famous Artichoke Hearts Parmesan, served with a baguette, and Chicken Marsala, with a creamy mushroom-Marsala wine sauce. Dessert offerings include the award-winning Zia Black Midnight Cake, a dark chocolate delight.

Restaurant Week's special events include a Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Tasting at Mangiamo Pronto. Learn how this famous vinegar is made and what makes it unique. You'll taste four varietals, including two 12-year-old vinegars—one aged in wood and the other in juniper barrels— and two 25-year-old vinegars, including one aged in cherry barrels.  You'll also sample appetizers and enjoy a glass of wine.
February 26, 5 pm

​Galisteo Bistro hosts two special dinners during Restaurant Week. The first, Cline Vineyards Wine Dinner pairs eclectic menu of cuisine highlighting fresh seafood and wild game. Each course features tastings of several wines from Cline Vineyards, which specializes in sustainable organic wines.
February 26, 6 pm

The second, Dinner with Santa Fe Brewing, showcases the restaurant's new line of esoteric and heady hops, paired with a three-course dinner of exotic edibles from chefs Allan Keller and Brian Muller. A brewmaster will be on hand to describe the various varieties.
March 1, 5 pm