Joy Godfrey
Joy Godfrey | Joy Godfrey

Terra

Andrew Cooper, the chief chef at Terra Restaurant at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, has managed to turn melted cheese into a delicacy that's to be shared with everyone at your table. It's his twist on queso fundido ($14, it's not on the menu, you have to ask), a Mexican dish associated with pico de gallo and chorizo. But leave it up to Cooper, who's known for his green chile cheeseburger, to turn it into a whopper by adding onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocados and local chile. You forget that the chorizo, the main ingredient, is even there, making it, in his words, "a New Mexican-style cheese dip." It's one of the more filling appetizers on the menu, whose very unorthodox dishes pleasingly range from blue corn crusted trout ($22) to sweet crab chile relleno ($17). The trout is a healthier version of fish and chips. The batter is blue corn, soaked in buttermilk, and the trout is coated with blue corn meal before it's fried. There is a chipotle dipping sauce. As for the sweet crab chile relleno, it's as sweet as the relleno is amply stuffed, making it one of the best around.

-Thomas Ragan

198 State Road 592, 946-5800
Lunch and dinner daily; brunch on Sunday
fourseasons.com/santafe


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