This may be the last Restaurant Guide you ever read.
Not to be alarmist or anything, but 2012 is, in some circles, considered the date of the coming apocalypse. And it's not just the guys peddling crystals on the side of the highway; many Americans believe that, sometime next year, the world will come to an abrupt, fiery end [cover story, Nov. 18, 2009: "My Oh Mayan!"].
The events of 2011 seem to support this eventuality: fires, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, and Congress' near-failure to raise the debt ceiling (and utter failure to do anything else).
Lawrence E Joseph, the author of Apocalypse 2012 (and Aftermath, the guide to surviving said apocalypse), has a name for the shape of the solar flare that could spell our demise: "cosmic croissant."
Wait, wait—what could be more innocent? On a cold day, when the scent of wood smoke fills the clear desert air, what could make you feel righter with the world than a warm, fresh, buttery croissant?
Santa Fe, while we're on the subject, offers a wealth of perfectly lovely croissants—not to mention wine bars, pizza joints, fine dining establishments, fat burritos, noodle houses, scenic patios, culinary innovation, cocktail wizards…In fact, the City Different is as perfect a place as anywhere to eat, drink and be merry before the world ends.
In order to equip you to do just that, we've changed the format of this year's Restaurant Guide. Instead of a single Restaurant of the Year, the 2011-12 guide profiles the 10 local restaurants we consider the city's very best.
And despite continued economic gloom, four of these—Azur, The Palace Restaurant & Saloon, Raaga and Shibumi Ramen Ya—are new ventures, each with a wholly unique interpretation of top-caliber food with rich cultural relevance.
Other new restaurants, such as Tia's Cocina and Casa Chimayó, offer a return to local roots, while still others (Whoo's Donuts, Tomme) promise to push the envelope in exciting new ways.
It's difficult to choose, but we've also whittled our 40 Favorites category down to the 20 eating establishments you absolutely must visit before the Mayan apocalypse. Many of those are longtime favorites, but they continue to evolve, always with enduring standards of excellence.
We're lucky to live in a place brimming with such magnificent culinary delights—and we urge you to enjoy it while it lasts.
Click HERE to view the digital edition of our Restaurant Guide.