By Steven J. Westman
Clafoutis French Restaurant and Bakery
A few years back, Albuquerque lost one of their faves: Le French Corner Bakery. Luckily, owners Anne-Laure & Phillipe Ligier resurrected their business in the City Different under the name Clafoutis. Whether or not you can pronounce the name, this place is one of the yummiest finds in Santa Fe. Finding a home just north of the Guadalupe District, in a building that has been home to many now defunct eateries, Clafoutis is a great spot for breakfast, lunch or sneaking in some of the decadence found in the pastry case. Simple salads, crepes and sandwiches dot the menu, but there is absolutely nothing in simple terms of taste.
402 N. Guadalupe., 505.988.1809
Hours: 7a-5p, Mon.-Sat.
Max's 21st Century Cuisine
The drawback for many Santa Fe businesses is the fact that they are not always easy to find. Maria Rentiria took a chance when she decided to offer up a new venue just last year. Nestled behind another bar on Guadalupe Street and right across from the Train Depot, Max's has become quite the hot spot, a place where everyone is welcome. It's tiny inside, but with Lisa Tyrrell in the kitchen, there's a powerhouse menu to discover; grilled wild mushrooms on curried polenta cakes followed by housemade gelato feels like heaven.
403 1/2 S. Guadalupe, Santa Fe, 505.984.9104
Hours: Lunch - 11:30a-2p, Tue.-Sat.
Dinner - 5:30-9, Tue.-Thu. & Sun.; 5:30-9:30p, Fri. & Sat.
South of the Plaza on Sandoval Street stands a building that has been
host to a myriad of eateries over the years — my fave was “Pizza Hu”
(someone stole the “T” and it was never replaced). My favorite thing
now? Cafe Cafe, the creation of Kirsten Griffin and Donalee Goodbrod
(formerly of the Paramount Nightclub). What they have done here is
bring big character to a small space, along with yummy food. Leaning
more on the Italian side, Cafe Cafe is open for lunch, dinner and
Sunday brunch. The Eggplant Parmesan is to die for, and the specialty
pizzas are wonderful. A nice beer and wine selection tops it all off.
Cafe Cafe? Go, Go!
500 Sandoval, Santa Fe, 505.466.1391
Hours: 11a-9p, Mon.-Thu.; 11a-10p, Fri.-Sat.; 10a-2p, Sun. (brunch)
Fine dining is just one of the bigger assets to this city. In that
respect, the addition of Amavi to the Santa Fe dining scene this past
year has increased the value of such an asset significantly. Owner/Chef
David Sellers took over the old building where Periscope Restaurant
once resided. Winding halls leading to intimate rooms, a fun front bar
and a wonderful staff make all the difference here. The Mediterranean
influenced menu makes it remarkable. Pan Seared Diver Scallop with
Smoked Salmon and the Grilled Elk Tenderloin with White Truffle Risotto
are embedded in my mind forever. And the Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee is
just naughty! An extensive and affordable wine list tie the ribbon on
this lovely package.
221 Shelby, Santa Fe, 505.988.2355
Hours:5:30-9:30p, Sun.-Thu.; 5:30-10p, Fri. & Sat.
Off the beaten path, and nestled in a quaint neighborhood, another cafe
opened up in the former Dave's Not Here location, a long time Santa Fe
“meet and eat.” The Tune-Up Cafe was recently featured on the Food
Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and is busy making everyone in
Santa Fe forget its predecessor (although the delish “Dave Was Here
Burger” on the menu serves as a bit of a tribute). Breakfast, lunch and
dinner are served seven days a week. Try the Huevos El Salvadorenos in
the morning, the burger at noon and the El Salvadoran Combo in the
evening (a chicken or veggie banana leaf wrapped tamale, pupusa with
roasted tomato salsa, rice and cortido). Don’t scoff; people have been
known to eat here more than once a day. Owners Jesus and Charlotte
Rivera have made this place all their own, as Jesus’ El Salvadoran
heritage plays a big part of the menu — lots of love going on here.
1115 Hickox, Santa Fe, 505.983.7060
Hours: 7a-10p, Mon.-Fri., 8a-10p, Sat. & Sun.
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