Santa Fe - Santa Fe
Sun-Thu: 5-9pm Fri-Sat: 5-9:30pm (hours can change without notice)
315 is the kind of French restaurant Albuquerque doesn't have. It's got a casual atmosphere in an old converted house, but the food is knock-your-socks-off stellar. Chef Louis Moskow uses the finest ingredients (think foie gras and beluga caviar). Before you order, your server will bring over a chalkboard showing the day's specials; they're often the most exciting offerings. This is also a great place to have just a snack and a glass of wine from the incredible list.
It's one of the fanciest restaurants in a city that has a lot of fancy restaurants. What makes The Compound different is a beautifully designed interior, lush gardens, a killer sommelier and really freakin' good food. Chef Mark Kiffin doesn't mess around with too much Southwestern stuff (though he did when he was at Coyote Café), favoring dishes like tuna tartare topped with osetra caviar and preserved lemon. Try this place for lunch during the week or dinner any night. And in good weather you should absolutely sit outside. (Also, The Compound has a package liquor license, so you can leave with nearly any bottle from their huge cellar.)
Mon-Sun: 11:30am-9pm (hours can change without notice)
New Mexico’s most famous restaurant, Coyote Café is where Chef Mark Miller came to fame as the king of Southwestern cuisine. This beautifully renovated restaurant serves only dinner, but the rooftop bar, Coyote Cantina (open in the summer), has a wide selection of tequilas and an affordable Latin American menu. Try the trio of salsas including lime pico de gallo for only $6 while enjoying a cocktail.
This is another one of our all-time Santa Fe favorites. We go for Spanish-style tapas in one of the quiet dining rooms. Sometimes we stop in for a late-night drink and some entertainment in the lively bar up front. Whether it's a flamenco guitarist and dancers, or a Western swing band, the bar is always fun.
Mon-Sun: 5:45-9:30pm (hours can change without notice)
Most people consider Geronimo the best restaurant in Santa Fe. The signature dish is a telicherry rubbed elk tenderloin atop garlic mashed potatoes and bathed in a mouth-watering brandied mushroom sauce. Generously dotted with applewood-smoked bacon and big, meaty morel mushrooms, and served with a superb glass of red wine, it is yum-um-ummy. The ambience here is a little uptight, but the food is what matters, right? If money is an object, try lunch; it's just as good and way cheaper.
Breakfast: Mon-Fri: 6:30-11am, Sat-Sun: 6:30am-12pm Lunch: Mon-Fri: 11am-2pm Dinner: Tues-Sat: 5:30-10pm (hours can change without notice)
Look for The Old House tucked away in the deluxe Eldorado Hotel. Here you’ll find mostly French-inspired food like sautéed diver scallops with a portobello and foie gras Wellington, wilted greens, Xeres sherry and Meyer lemon sauce. Everything, from the silverware to the service, is top-notch.
Sun- Thrs: 11:30am- 10pm Fri- Sat: 11:30am- 11pm (hours can change without notice)
Food Network star Ming Tsai worked here for a few years in the mid-’90s, and the menu still shows a strong Asian influence in dishes like shiitake-and-cactus spring rolls with Southwestern ponzu dipping sauce. Close to the plaza, but not too pretentious, SantaCafé is an old standard. Ask to be seated on the lovely enclosed courtyard.