Whether you’re a Santa Fe resident or visitor, the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi should be among the top places on your local culinary list. Three times in recent weeks, I was invited to a meal or drinks at this downtown boutique hotel, steps off the Santa Fe Plaza. In all cases, I was struck by how well suited it was for the various occasions.
A PRESTIGE PROPERTY
Rosewood is a company I’ve followed for at least 20 years since its founding in Dallas. In one of my former lives, I wrote Best Places to Stay travel guidebooks. Rosewood hotels were always stellar examples of best places. The first property — and still one of its most special — was the Mansion on Turtle Creek. The collection also includes such gems as The Carlisle in New York, Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, Le Guanahani in Saint Barths, Virgin Gorda’s Little Dix Bay, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, and the Mayakoba on the Mexican Riviera. At 58 rooms, our local Rosewood is among the most intimate of their 40 or so properties worldwide.
NEW CHEF DANIEL
Even with the petite size, it provides varied venues for dining and drinks. All are overseen by new Executive Chef Daniel Hurtado. Daniel grew up in Mexico City. He whipped up his first dish for someone else as a young child, scrambling eggs for his brother, who gave them a thumbs up. He was hooked on bringing joy to other people through cooking. After attending culinary school in CDMX, he worked in Barcelona, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dubai, San Miguel, and other worldwide locales. General Manager Lutz Arnhold told me that he and Daniel had crossed paths at Mayakoba. It was Daniel’s creativity, his combination of international experiences, and his abilities as a team leader that inclined Lutz to lure Daniel here to Santa Fe.
I asked Daniel how he was finding Santa Fe. He remarked that it reminded him, in the best ways, of San Miguel. As an occasional visitor to that city full of art, food, and distinctive architecture, I thought how right that seemed to me, too.
As the hotel gears up for the summer, Chef Daniel has released his new menu. Its roots are planted in the Southwest and Mexico, with touches from Spain and elsewhere. Among the bar nibbles, I particularly like the tender corn masa-crusted empanadas. Choose between fillings of mushroom and corn, or chicken tinga, a classic Mexican stew accented with piquant chorizo.
The actual bar, just inside the door, feels lively and convivial, with a lot of interaction among the patrons at its counter and the handful of tables. In contrast, the lounge, between the bar and restaurant, is filled with cushy chairs. It’s quiet enough that you can hear an actual conversation. Because of its lower volume and central location, I often recommend it for a sit-down with business colleagues.
The Tequila Table can be reserved for tastings of tequilas or mezcals at several price points. In most cases, the flights showcase different styles. I’m usually uninterested in “celebrity” branded products. One of the tastings, though, shows off the tequilas distilled by the companies of George Clooney, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, George Strait, and Michael Jordan. What a disparate but impressive grouping of personalities and agave spirits!
The main Inn of the Anasazi restaurant, open and light, surrounds guests with lots of Southwestern stacked stone. It feels special without being precious. New dishes on Chef Daniel’s menu include roasted bison filet with Port gastrique, and crispy octopus, with papas bravas and lemon aioli. To finish, I love the flan served with biscochitos and cajeta, or goat’s milk caramel. In these days where so many restaurants are closed for a day here and there, or are no longer serving some meals, I really like knowing I can drop in here every day, breakfast through dinner.
The Patio Restaurant, on the sidewalk terrace, offers one of the prime outdoor perches in Santa Fe. It has some of our best people-watching, whether with a meal from the same menu as the main restaurant, or drinks in between meal service. The appropriately named Wine Cellar offers intimate dining for a select group of up to a dozen. The well-appointed Library is a larger private room available for bigger gatherings.
The Anasazi’s a property for every culinary mood. Check it out sometime soon.
Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
113 Washington Avenue, Santa Fe
Reservations are particularly recommended for dinner and needed for the Tequila Table.
Story and photographs by Cheryl Alters Jamison.
Four-time James Beard Foundation Book Award-winning author Cheryl Alters Jamison is the host of Heating It Up on KTRC and is now the “queen of culinary content” for SantaFe.com. Find new stories about the Santa Fe food scene each week on SantaFe.com.