Where to Eat in Santa Fe on Valentine’s Day 2022

I’ve struggled a bit this week on concepts to recommend to you for intimate Valentine’s Day culinary celebrations. I imply, to me, nothing {couples} higher with meals than love, or lust, or simply nice friendship. However this 12 months, specifically, you could want in on some secrets and techniques to determine a sport plan. A number of big-name locations like Geronimo and Sazón have already got overflowing reservation books. To complicate issues, Santa Fe’s awash within the state’s legislators jawing and imbibing away in lots of native haunts by mid-February. Some spots, comparable to good-looking Market Steer Steakhouse and New Mexican charmer Rancho de Chimayó are closed as a result of its Monday night time and so they’re short-staffed. Others have been closed for weeks in January and are simply now updating web sites with Valentine’s data. Nevertheless, there are numerous shiny glimmers of romantic hope on the market. Some locations often closed on Mondays, like Restaurant Martín and Liu Liu Liu, each recognized for his or her chef-owners’ artistic cookery, are opening for the night time and, as of as we speak (February 1, 2022), have prime instances out there.

Quinn and Nicole Stephenson’s Coyote Café and Santacafe have quite a few seating instances open as of this minute too. Each eating places require hefty pre-payment for stunning-sounding multi-course menus, and there are not any refunds if one thing goes amiss. Santacafe’s coq au vin or a lobster tail sounds oh-so-appealing on that dinner menu. If it’s greater than you need to decide to, although, in value or quantity of meals, or they replenish earlier than you possibly can click on by to Open Desk, go for lunch. I feel it is likely to be even sexier to order the daytime lobster roll, heaped excessive with chunks of tender shellfish in a toasted brioche bun, which merely begs to be eaten along with your arms. What sensuous enjoyable it’s to observe your date handle this deal with! Up at Ten Thousand Waves, a lot of Izanami’s izakaya and sushi menu is finger-worthy meals too. Nestled within the pine forest on the best way to the ski space, this modern magnificence serves all day, so you may strive for a late lunch.

You possibly can nonetheless snag early night reservations, like between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. time slots, at an assortment of eating places. Take a look at the venerable Compound, or at Horno, 315, Sasella, Midtown Bistro, or Dinner for Two, the place the identify just about says all of it. I feel it’s nice to have the ability to head residence early, and nonetheless have time for leisurely after-dinner drinks in entrance of my very own fire.

The bar at Geronimo in Santa Fe, New Mexico
The bar at Geronimo in Santa Fe.

One other nighttime risk is moving into the bar of an in any other case bustling place. I’m considering of Geronimo, specifically, with its oversize fire and considered one of Santa Fe’s most congenial and proficient bartenders, Shaun Adams. In a city of superb Manhattans, I feel his could also be tops. It begins with Amarena cherry-infused Buffalo Hint bourbon from the institution’s personal hand-selected barrel. It will get a shake of house-made rosemary-orange bitters, together with a cherry and rosemary sprig garnish. Add a bowl of the sherry-laced mushroom soup or wealthy lobster bisque, or my go-to, the ahi tartare and sashimi duo. The Compound’s Alexander Girard-designed dialog pit-style bar is sort of a harder reservation than the eating room, but it surely’s value a strive for its convivial attraction. There’s luscious lobster in a bisque right here too, in addition to bedded over bucatini. If these are stuffed on the 14th or surrounding evenings, I’ve smooth spot for the bigger Rio Chama Bar. I met considered one of my favourite guys on the planet there. Share the cheese fondue. Paloma’s intimate bar and informal Mexican class is a becoming backdrop for his or her agave spirits-based cocktails. Accompany with some masa-boat sopecitos and crispy churros to complete.

Mentioning Paloma makes me consider different spots that transport us elsewhere. Take a mini-trip to Africa or India, respectively, at Jambo Café, or India Home or Paper Dosa. In all circumstances, the settings are dreamy, the service gracious, and the verify received’t empty your checking account.

Sizzling chocolate at Clafoutis.

What about going out for an indulgent breakfast? I really like Clafoutis within the morning. There’s silky French-style sizzling chocolate and bowls of café au lait large enough to drop in a complete croissant or ache au chocolat. The French toast comes piled excessive with recent fruit and there are many crèpes and croques to decide on amongst as effectively. At Counter Tradition Café, you possibly can go for breakfast or lunch. OK, a spot with counter service and a easy industrial inside initially won’t scream romance to you, however the meals will put you within the temper. I’d recommend the gravlax or the salmon sandwich, and the matchstick fries that proprietor Jason Aufrichtig calls “haystax.” End with a ginormous piece of the most effective chocolate cake in Santa Fe, a Bundt magnificence with a touch of espresso, and a thick spackling of ganache frosting. And hey, when you have no Valentine and need to cheer your self up, cease in and get a bit of this cake to go. There’s no finer balm. The Shed within the coronary heart of downtown stays busy year-round, however strive it at 11 a.m. or round 2 p.m., (or name forward and request to be placed on the brand new waitlist). Nothing beats its previous New Mexican character, and the pink chile positively will warmth up your day. One other of Santa Fe’s greatest desserts might be discovered right here, chocolatey wealthy mocha cake underneath a giant floof of whipped cream.

Heart-shaped chocolate boxes
Coronary heart-shaped bins of chocolate from The Chocolatesmith.

Talking of that meals of the gods, midtown’s Chocolate Maven is open from morning onward with a full menu of treats. In case your soulmate’s not on the town, they’ve a cherry pie flaunting — merely flaunting — chunks of Belgian chocolate, or a mega-brownie dotted with those self same cherries, that may be shipped. Kakawa Chocolate Home’s downtown flagship is the mid-morning-to-afternoon place for swoon-worthy elixirs and cacao blends from Meso America and past. Whereas sipping chocolate, you possibly can nibble too on the store’s beautiful hand-crafted truffles and caramels, some with pink chile. And talking of chocolate and chile, The Chocolatesmith’s kitchen makes a swell darkish chocolate bark flavored with pink or inexperienced. The inexperienced model is topped with cranberries for a very festive look. For purists, what I feel is Santa Fe’s most interesting darkish chocolate sauce, hides within the classic fridge tucked within the nook. There’s no seating right here, however take residence a slab of that bark, or a jar of the sauce, and pair it with some pears or strawberries or — oh, heck — simply feed it to one another from the jar! For a special tackle chocolate, ebook your Valentine an appointment for a white chocolate facial with aesthetician Lee Bowman. I checked out that indulgent therapy and my pores and skin feels as smooth as marshmallow cream. Attain her at [email protected] or textual content 505-670-9219.

Right here’s one other thought. Heat one another up with a winter picnic. Name Kaune’s Market downtown (they’d love two days’ discover) and order a basket of charcuterie, cheese, and extra, together with splits or a half-bottle of one thing glowing, and haul it, a few Champagne coupes, some silver, and a tablecloth all the way down to the tables overlooking the Santa Fe River alongside Alameda. One other twist on the glowing theme could be to go to the Gruet Tasting Room within the Resort St. Francis for flights of their Champagne-style wines.

You recognize, you don’t actually need to have fun on the 14th. I extra typically select to exit earlier than (or typically after) the official V Day. I admire eating places that provide their particular menu all weekend, like Osteria d’Assisi for Italian specialties and Zacatlán for artistic Mexican, each in cozy former residences close to downtown. How about boxing up an IOU or reward card to get into Geronimo or Sazón or another place you like, on a totally completely different night later within the month? Personally, that’s extra my model. I’ll go for a tryst at residence on Valentine’s night time, and see you, out and about, earlier than or after.


Except in any other case famous, all locations have simply positioned on-line presences to verify particulars, hours, and places. A lot is in flux, so verify forward to keep away from disappointment.

Story and photographs by Cheryl Alters Jamison.

4-time James Beard Basis E book Award-winning writer Cheryl Alters Jamison is the host of Heating it Up on KTRC and is now the “queen of culinary content” for SantaFe.com. Discover new tales concerning the Santa Fe meals scene every week on SantaFe.com.

Read Cheryl Alters Jamison’s bio here!

This text was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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