You might need a guide to find the bar at Rio Chama; it's one of those quintessential bigger-inside-than-it-looks-outside New Mexico buildings. Walk in the back door and you have to turn at least four corners, passing softly lit and beautifully appointed dining nooks, before you finally land in the old-school lounge. Get a table, get an iced tea, get comfy—no haute couture required for this corner. Perennially the celebration spot for lawmakers and journalists alike (SFR takes employees there for a one-year anniversary lunch), Rio Chama is the traditional fancy steakhouse you always hoped your parents would choose for their birthday. A gargantuan pot of cheese fondue ($20) starts off, followed swiftly by a nicely seasoned flat iron steak with garlic mashed potatoes ($17), or, at dinner, maybe fish and chips (made with salmon, because fancy—that's $21). Sure, you can put on a sport coat and hush yourself into one of the romantic little side rooms, but it's also fun to grab one of Santa Fe's legendarily tony restaurants by the lapel and drag it into a bar booth to slather horseradish on your $19 prime rib sandwich and laugh a little too loud.
414 Old Santa Fe Trail, 955-0765
Lunch and dinner daily