Food that makes us feel good again
Fall is undeniably here, with cold, wet weather that could dampen your mood if you're still clinging to the summer. On top of that, the country is suffering a deep divide and the ensuing anger has cast a pall from coast to coast. To make things worse, the recent news about global warming is ominous. These are dark days, indeed, and no one will blame you if you want to stay at home, in bed, with the covers pulled over your head. But take heart. There are ways we can overcome despair and find hope and positivity in these troubled times.
One way, of course, is to make your voice heard—get out and vote in New Mexico's General Election on Nov. 6. Another way is to stay connected with your community—friends, family and other loved ones who can make you laugh and feel good about the world. One of my favorite things to turn to when things get rough is comfort food, whether it's your favorite food from childhood or something so delectable, it makes you feel good. So let's get out there and connect with those we love over a great meal. Below is a list of some of the comfort foods you'll find in Santa Fe so you can feel good again.
At Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen, the mission is to nourish your body and spirit with delectable global fare made with fresh, healthy foods. For instance, the scallion pancake appetizer is served with a vibrant ginger tamari dipping sauce that will make you smile. Or, try Drunken Shrimp, sauteed with garlic, shallot and Korean red pepper in a sake-butter sauce. For your main dish, Kimchi Fried Rice is a beautiful blend of a fried organic egg atop fried brown rice, kimchi, baby bok choy and snap and green peas. You can add bacon and/or shrimp, and of course, you should. For dessert, doesn't Chai Spice Flan sound divine? Or indulge in the famous carrot cake studded with golden raisins and walnuts.
315 Restaurant & Wine Bar focuses on contemporary French cuisine, and what's more French than French onion soup gratinée? This classic dish also happens to be one of the ultimate comfort foods, and here it's made with Comté cheese and a sourdough crouton—the perfect meal for a cold autumn night. Another traditional French treat is Steak Frites, and 315 serves a 10-ounce New York strip with your choice of au poivre, bernaise or herb butter, paired with fantastic frites. For dessert, order the heavenly Molten Chocolate Cake with banana ice cream and caramelized banana. It's so good you could order it twice.
Head over to Joe's Dining on any Monday for the Blue Plate Special, a combo of Grilled Sausage, Smoked Pork Loin, Mashed Potatoes and Sauerkraut,. Add a glass of Second Street Brewery's famous Oktoberfest beer—on tap all month long—and you've got your own Oktoberfest celebration, a pick-you-up for sure. Or drop by with someone you love on any Tuesday for Spaghetti & Chianti Night. Dinner for two includes Caesar Salad, spaghetti with homemade Bolognese plus a half-liter of fine Chianti. Then indulge in Joe's famous chocolate mousse pie, a sure-fire remedy for the blues.
The rustic yet elegant decor of the Anasazi Restaurant provides an ideal getaway from life for a while. The artful food will spirit you away with inventive flavors and combinations. Indulge in the Native American prime strip loin with pearl onions, artichoke and pommes Dauphine with bernaise sauce or the Colorado lamb chips with aubergine, ras el hanout, date, panisse and cashew. When it's time for dessert, order the cookie plate because homemade cookies are a balm for almost anything. Nibble on wedding cookies, Chimayo red chile chocolate chip cookies, blue corn cookies and the official state cookie, bizcochito. Or try the chocolate crème brulee with a Graham Cracker and marshmallow, because who didn't love S'mores growing up?
The distinctive flavors of Maize honor the Native American, Spanish and French influences of the region with innovative fare, reminding us that we live in an extraordinary place. Celebrate our city with the Black Ash Tamale appetizer, made with grilled prawns and mole Coloradito. Then savor a bowlful of Caldo Verde, which will raise your spirits with the combo of adobo-grilled pork tenderloin, pinto beans and green chile posole. Or try the Poblano Relleno with a carrot-pinon mole, nagado sauce and corn foam. For dessert, definitely order the Dreamcatcher. This ethereal concoction of chocolate pecan mousse, pinon meringue and pistachio ice cream will remind you that dreams are worth pursuing.
Small plates can work big magic, especially when you order them at Joseph's of Santa Fe. Duck Fat Fries? Yes, please, along with the egg-battered and duck fat-fried Jalapeño Poppers. You could dig into a hearty bowl of Green Chile Beef Stew or sink your teeth into Joseph's delicious New Mexico Lamb Burger, with sheep's milk cheese and green chile. But save room for that Cloud Cake. This Italian meringue confection with caramel sauce, tarragon and grapefruit supreme will leave you walking on air...a feeling we all need a little more of these days.