Visitors to our city sometimes give you a funny look when you tell them they must eat at 315. Why should they come to Santa Fe to eat French food? Because this is hands-down one of the absolute best restaurants in town. And despite the menu's Provençal focus, the atmosphere is unmistakably Santa Fean. Locals


flock to the wine bar to choose from the dozens of wines by the glass and hundreds available by the bottle. They linger to taste and debate Burgundies with Louis Moskow, the oenophile chef/owner. They snuggle together in the cramped but congenial dining rooms, nibbling on a plate of unbelievably rich and delicious basil wrapped shrimp, dragged through a swirl of delicate Madras curry sauce and followed by a small forkful of apricot chutney. The outdoor patio is a gorgeous place to meet friends for a late afternoon drink that turns into a late-evening dinner. Dishes like a succulent lamb confit and mussels in white wine with french fries are expertly executed, but those who dine here often know to order from the chalkboard specials, where the kitchen's true talents are exposed. Indulging in a $40 steak and lobster special is expensively delicious, but it is possible to eat quite well here, especially at lunch or in the wine bar, for a very reasonable price.

315 Old Santa Fe Trail, 986-9190.

Dinner nightly.

Lunch Tuesday through Saturday. $$$