315 Restaurant & Wine BarA memorable evening begins with a leisurely read of a chalkboard propped up at your table—upon which chef Louis Moskow offers a long list of apps and entrees that change often enough to merit the transitory instrument. Has his trip to the market or the woods this week resulted in foraged fungus or squash blossoms? Or has farther-off travel arrived on the plate in the form of Australian truffles? Both, on our recent visits. Find a well-butchered and not overdone one-quarter duck with a dark cherry demi-glace alongside mashed turnips and tasty collards ($25) or a tender, house-made fettucine with a rich cream sauce ($14 for a half portion). Moskow has much success with a popular and expansive patio dining area and three-course holiday prix fixe menus—like the one on Labor Day, which featured grilled salmon with wild mushrooms and the best onion rings we’ve ever tasted, followed up with a fresh berry crumble and coffee ice cream. The restaurant’s other packaged plans—such as theme dinners around wine, or one we remember quite fondly, bourbon and soul food—are also a hit. With more than 20 years serving French-inspired cuisine on Old Santa Fe Trail in an environment that’s not overly stuffy, you’ll always remember the address and a place on the map that’s undeniable. (JAG)
The outdoor patio of this downtown hotel is an ideal people-watching spot for big weekends on the Plaza, with top-shelf margaritas and a simple menu that includes squash blossoms stuffed with pork cheeks ($15) and buffalo sliders with green chile marmalade ($18). Inside, the Pottery-Barn-does-mid-century-Santa-Fe dining room provides a serene escape of smooth plaster, warm wood and handmade ceramic tableware. In 2016 a new chef, Edgar Beas, drew our attention back to this old haunt by introducing a sophisticated menu with plenty of local flavor, especially at dinner. Highlights have included a quail egg tart with local oyster mushrooms ($12), handmade cavatelli with venison bratwurst and summer truffles ($17), New Mexico lamb with blue corn polenta ($38) and suckling pig with lemon cucumber and nasturtiums ($37). At its best there is a delicious attention to detail here, for example in the bread basket, which holds things like focaccia darkened to blue-gray by onion skin ash and comes with European-style butter right at room temperature. Occasionally the simple things seem to suffer from a lack of attention (a dry, overcooked hamburger), but high-low-brow offerings like shrimp nachos with chipotle crema ($19) deliver a hint of luxury without messing up a good thing. (GD)
Andiamo!Walking into Andiamo! feels fresh. You are struck by the candlelight flickering through the giant bay windows that flank the Italian eatery’s front door. With its predominantly white decor, set in a multi-room former home on Garfield Street—where it has been serving up fine fare for 17 years—it still invokes the notion of a secret hideaway. Although you are right in downtown Santa Fe, it’s quiet and removed from the hustle and bustle of the nearby Railyard and tourist-laden Tomasita’s. From date night to corporate dinner meetings, it’s a solid choice.
Start your evening at the classy-casual spot with a glass of prosecco ($12), served from a split that delivers more like a glass and a half. Indulge and try the crispy polenta ($7), which comes in a perfect square with a crunchy top, surrounded by a rich rosemary gorgonzola sauce that’s so delicious, we bet you will sop up the extra with your complimentary bread. The ravioli of the day—arugula pesto and ricotta ($18) on our visit—is cooked to al dente delight and keeps its texture, making for a happy bite. Andiamo! means “let’s go!” Fitting. (MER)
Atrisco Café & BarWhen a restaurant can boast a pedigree that includes local faves like Tia Sophia’s or Tomasita’s, you can bank on it being a fine establishment. Such is Atrisco Café & Bar, tucked away in the DeVargas Center. With a commitment to fresh ingredients and 40-plus years of New Mexican tradition, this quaint, family-owned establishment doles out popular dishes like the green chile cheeseburger deluxe ($10.50), a hangover-slaying menudo ($4.50-$7.95) or a flavorful green chile stew ($5.25-$9.95) that comes loaded with a special blend of herbs and spices. Atrisco keeps lighter appetites in mind as well, with a number of plates like huevos rancheros ($9.50) or Yia Yia Sophia’s Greek salad ($11.95), a veritable garden’s worth of fresh veggies served with a house-made Greek dressing. Owner George Gundrey’s focus on locally sourced, grass-fed meat also means that the puffy and savory stuffed sopaipilla ($9.50-$13.50) will surely enter your personal pantheon of favorites whether you choose the classic ground beef, the juicy roast beef or the melt-in-your-mouth carne adovada. (ADV)
DeVargas Center, 193 Paseo de Peralta, 983-7401
Lunch and dinner daily; Breakfast Saturday and Sunday
Bouche French BistroBouche has become one of our favorite destinations for high-class comfort food, refined service and a cozy adobe atmosphere. The dining room is great for a romantic night when you want to impress someone special. The warm lighting, mercury glass mirrors over high banquettes and a big, homey rug practically encourage canoodling. This year the dining room has been remodeled to add a few more seats and the kitchen has added some Italian hints to the Provençal fare. The old standards are still there: escargots ($14), black mussels in white wine and red chile ($18/$28), Niçoise-style tuna carpaccio ($21) and steak tartare ($26). But a nightly pasta, risotto or gnocchi now joins a market fish, soup du jour and nightly foie gras preparation in introducing elements of spontaneity to the menu. Don’t miss out on the side dishes like truly enormous asparagus spears ($10) and L&L’s cheese tots ($8/$12), addictive nuggets of molten Gruyere cheese, coated in a golden, crunchy batter. The food is precisely crafted, expertly curated and pleasantly delivered by knowledgeable but not intrusive servers. The wine list is long and the by-the-glass choices are appealing and affordable. (GD)
Blue Corn BrewerySome things are the same as they ever were, and some things are different. Blue Corn Brewery on the Southside is walking a successful line between them. They’re still doing the beer thing and the corn thing, but chef David Sundberg has been at the helm for about six years now, shifting offerings in delicious ways. Get a renewed version of a creamy roasted corn and chipotle soup ($4.50-$6.50) and be blown away by the jalapeños saltaditos ($8.95), a rendition of what you might call hush puppies—fried cornmeal balls with a flavorful kick of fresh chopped peppers. Sundberg serves on the Santa Fe Food Policy Council and is super into the local food movement, sourcing ingredients from tortilla chips to the Kyser Family Farms pork that he barbecues to tenderness and slathers in sweet red chile sauce ($15.95). Combine with loaded mashed potatoes and this 1-pound bone-in plate is enough for another meal the next day. Or, get the one-two punch with one of the city’s best versions of beer-battered fish and chips ($13.95). For dessert, it’s not just flan, but flan with an unmistakable citrus zing in the form of lime ($6). Some plates are worth fighting for. (JAG)
Cleopatra’s CafeFor a juicy gyro with the right amount of crispy edge on its hunks of roasted lamb and a fresh-tasting tzatziki sauce, the Southside location of this pair of cafés is our pick. While single pita dishes are filling enough, combo plates served with fluffy, well-cooked rice and crunchy salads are a good way to try several items—like the Cleopatra plate, which includes creamy sheesh tewook chicken, plus a gyro and hummus ($12.95). Order at the counter for a low-key service encounter. At the suggestion of the cash register attendant, we added a lamb skewer ($5), with thick cuts of medium-rare and well-seasoned meat interspersed with tasty vegetables. Tabouli salad for the table comes with a generous helping of fresh chopped herbs ($4.95). And with their reliable French fries and cold case of bottled beer, Cleopatra’s is one of the best-valued dining options for grabbing a real meal before catching a flick at the Regal next door. Or, get some shake with those fries when you make this the date night or family night destination by dining on the evening of one of their regular belly dance performances. (JAG)
3482 Zafarano Drive, 474-5644
Lunch and dinner daily
Dr. Field Goods KitchenYou won’t have to wrestle a horde of tourists to get a table at this cool, creative eatery down on Cerrillos Road. Find yourself a seat at the bar, pick a pint of something local and then order a carne adovada egg roll ($8) while you try to decide between tempting sandwiches like a barbacoa torta with honey habanero hot sauce ($15.50) and the “Bad Ass BLT” ($13.50), which is more than a half pound of ground bacon, served like a burger. (It’s a noble idea, but a little excessive, even for bacon lovers.) Or you could go with a wood-fired pizza and choose toppings from an eclectic selection of house-made meats including Italian sausage, carne adovada and duck confit. Poke around the rangy menu and you’ll find steak frites ($18.50), a veggie burrito ($10.50) and fish and chips ($11.50). This is definitely a place you can take a group of people who don’t agree on anything. If they can get on board with good food, cold beer and a rad punk rock soundtrack, they’ll all be happy at Dr. Field Goods. Take home some of those meats from the related butcher shop a few doors down. (GD)
Nationally acclaimed chef John Rivera Sedlar returned to his native New Mexico to open this fine dining restaurant with an intriguing take on Santa Fe cuisine and a uniquely stylish dining room. The menu features broad Latin American flavors, from a pasilla relleno with garbanzo puree ($12) and pastrami tacos ($11) to a blue corn crusted elk ($38) and a take on enchiladas with duck confit and blue corn tortillas ($22). A small plate of squash tamale, presented with pulled pork inside half an acorn squash and topped with masa ($15), delivers more for the eye than the tongue, but a large plate of seared sea scallops ($32) included a tantalizingly small smear of delicious celery root puree. Although on a recent visit, a couple of diners were thoroughly neglected throughout a dinner that dragged on for hours, an apologetic server made a thoughtful and sincere effort at bribing his way to forgiveness with two glasses of Moscato d’Asti and an extremely good plate of caramelized brioche ($9). Don’t miss Bar Alto, the glass-walled rooftop bar, surrounded by a deck and pool, with a spectacular panoramic view and inventive cocktails. (GD)
Estevan RestauranteThe second-floor balcony and windows behind the bar help the small hotel restaurant feel like a hideaway. One guy who won’t be hiding, however, is executive chef Estevan Garcia. Though he likes to settle down at the end of a chilly fall evening in front of his fireplace with his chef’s jacket draped nearby, the Santa Fe native typically works doubles to keep the plates flowing for lunch and dinner (oh, and Sunday brunch). Get a twist on the chile relleno with his naked version of the lovely green lady packed with mushrooms and dunked in a red chile demi-glace with pintos and garlic ($11). A rib-eye that uses a version of the same chile sauce comes out of the kitchen with a tasty collection of roasted vegetables ($29), and the signature carne adovada ravioli ($12) is just as decadent as it sounds, served with a bit of garlic bread on request. Do this. Grandpa would approve of the way you clean your plate. And before you go, share the goat’s milk flan ($8). Trust us about the sauce. (JAG)
Fire & Hops
Whenever we’re craving locally sourced food that tastes amazing but won’t break the bank, we wind up back at Fire & Hops, and we’re far from the only hungry folks with this habit. Despite its somewhat limited access to parking, this cozy gastropub pops with energy pretty much every night.
Chef Joel Coleman keeps the menu simple, dashing just enough sauce and spice to make his ingredients shine. Our favorite way to enjoy his fine offerings is to order a round or two of draft brews ($4-$7) and pick a few small plates to share. Deep-fried Brussels sprouts paired with pickled shallots ($7) presents as a filling happy hour snack. Shishito peppers ($7), lightly oiled and salted and covered with shredded cheese, are another great option to get your greens out of the way. Those with heavier taste may want to try the poutine ($10), which is greasy and rich, or spare pork ribs ($10), which balance nicely atop a pineapple slaw.
For dessert, try the simultaneously creamy and crunchy matcha panna cotta ($9). And buy another round while you’re at it. (SH)
Harry’s RoadhouseThat variety is the spice of life certainly bears out at Harry’s Roadhouse, which charms with its long and varied menu that blends Southwestern influences with those from the East and the Far East. Taste the semi-sweet treat of Vietnamese caramelized catfish ($13.50) or dig in to a flank of steak—served with enchiladas and mole colorado ($19.50). Steer into vegan territory with a hearty Buddha bowl of forbidden black rice (because how can you resist the enticements of a food labeled “forbidden?”) topped with grilled vegetables and tahini ($10.50). The book-like menu also offers burgers, pizzas and a respectable array of New Mexican favorites, including blue corn turkey enchiladas and carne asada tacos.
But we’re particularly fond of taking a table with a patio view and indulging in the tour de force of their breakfast offerings. When savory beckons, we go for migas, a plate of eggs with peppers, onions and pickled jalapeño served with beans and a warm tortilla ($9.25-$10.25). When it’s time for sweet, the blue cornmeal waffle ($7.75)—a flavor and texture that make clear in every bite that you’ve stepped way up from the freezer-to-toaster options for this entree—or lemon ricotta pancakes ($8.75) are sure to satisfy. (EM)
96B Old Las Vegas Hwy., 989-4629
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
KohnamiThe aesthetic of this mom-and-pop sushi restaurant, in business since 1998, crosses between rural Japan and classic Americana: Paper lanterns and torn shoji panels share a space with an old telephone booth and the faint croons of Otis Redding from a distant speaker. An inflatable lobster clutching a bottle of Kirin beer hangs from the ceiling, greeting customers to this dimly lit, casual date spot, where diners can sit at the sushi bar, on the floor in the tatami room or—if they’re squares—at tables.
We resisted the blues-rock dance party taking shape at Cowgirl for a quieter night next door. Our chef laid out seven pieces of fresh nigiri ($18.95) without garnish. Each serving offered a generous portion of fish plopped atop sticky and vinegary sushi rice. Our yellowtail actually appeared to be yellowtail, which is a sad note we have to make in these fish-substitution days. We also tried something called the Playgirl roll ($12.75), which is identical to the Playboy roll save for the salmon, as opposed to tuna, layered on top of a mix of cucumber, rice and shrimp tempura.
Shohko this is not, which isn’t a bad thing. The presentation is basic, the mood is relaxed and your fragrances are welcome. Come for a casual date or work lunch. And wear your perfume. (SH)
313 S Guadaupe St., 984-2002
Lunch and dinner daily
L’OlivierThis un-stuffy French restaurant off the Plaza is a fun place to meet for happy hour on the patio or to grab a midweek dinner. L’Olivier makes it easy to get in the door with a bar menu of French tapas, a happy hour discount on dinner ordered before 6 pm and a three-course prix fixe menu ($35, available only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) that offers a brief menu of comforting classics like escargot, chicken in white wine, duck confit and créme brûlée. The regular dinner menu features attractive meat-and-potato mains like duck breast with fig sauce ($30) and elk tenderloin with sweet potato puree ($36), yet it can also rely too much on heavy sauces, like in a hanger steak served with tagliatelle drenched in a porcini cream sauce ($28). There is a little local fusion, like green chile mashed potatoes with the braised short ribs ($29), but for the most part this is approachable French food in a comfortable atmosphere with warm, friendly service and a great list of wines by the glass. It’s an offer you can’t refuse. (GD)
Palacio CaféWe’d worry that we’re letting you in on a well-kept locals’ secret with this one, therefore compromising any chance of securing a lunchtime table—but that it has increasingly become tough to find a spot to sit at Palacio Café confirms that the secret’s out anyway. Thankfully, the powers that be have anticipated our concerns and opened a second location on Don Gaspar, with later hours and word that a beer and wine license may be on the way. Cheers to that.
Now that we’ve squared away the logistics, on to the main event. For us, that’s the unsung hero on this menu stacked with excellent New Mexican options: the green chile cheeseburger ($9.75). You could easily read right over the grilled burger, with optional additions of green chile, bacon and avocado, and miss out on one of the town’s most flavorful, juiciest burgers, not to mention some of our favorite fries around.
El Palacio also plates up some seriously stalwart huevos rancheros ($9) and a veggie enchilada plate ($10.50) that’s packed with peppers and spinach, best served drenched in red and green chile, just the way we like it. (EM)
209 E Palace Ave., 989-3505
Breakfast and lunch daily
Pizzeria & Trattoria da Lino
Longtime Santa Fe restaurateur Lino Pertusini has spent the last several years growing his quaint Italian establishment into one of the most authentic and charming restaurants in town. Within the last year alone, Pizzeria & Trattoria da Lino has added a host of proprietary beers, an expanded list of fine wines, house made gelati ($3.50-$5.50) and handmade pastas, all of which make it a powerhouse player in the world of local Italian food. Located on Guadalupe Street, this is one of the best date spots in town, and whether you’re scarfing down a crispy yet fluffy and melty buffalo mozzarella pizza margherita ($13), the powerful basil flavor of penne primavera al pesto ($13—which should fully convert anyone on the fence when it comes to pesto dishes) or the sinfully rich tiramisu ($4.95), you’ll revel in the fact that this is real Italian food created by real Italian people. And that it tastes absolutely incredible. (ADV)
204 N Guadalupe St., 982-8474
Dinner daily; lunch Sunday
Plaza Café SouthsideWe’ve never finished a dish at Plaza Café Southside, which has nothing to do with the quality of the food and everything to do with the enormous portions served at this bigger, less-crowded companion to every tourist’s favorite downtown diner. Like the Plaza location, Southside takes the greasy spoon concept to its logical extreme. Gleaming rims line the east wall. Beer bottles sit like trophies on shelves. Bursts of neon light—red, orange and purple—illuminate the shiny booth cushions and slick countertops.
Our “Southside Roundup” ($11.95), composed of sausage, bacon, beans and eggs, barely fit on the plate. And that’s not even counting the bowls of chile con queso and small plate of green chile that comes on the side. When we returned for lunch, our cheeseburger ($9.95-$11.95), a true monster of the genre, encompassed the better half of our huge saucer, which would seem within the realm of human reason if not for the heaping serving of fries overflowing onto the table.
We’d be remiss to neglect that Southside also holds the distinctions of carrying a liquor license a stone’s throw away from the Regal 14. Your Friday night is set: Scarf down a burger the size of your face, glug a margarita and see a superhero movie. (SH)
We’re convinced there’s not a wrong turn you could take at Raaga—it’s all good. But, particular favorites include a now-iconic spinach salad ($9.95), a sweet and crispy spin on the classic ingredients that sees flash-fried spinach topped with tomatoes and white onions and a little yogurt to round out the bite. Gobhi satay ($7.95), battered cauliflower served in a peanut and coconut milk sauce, looks like the best dumpling around and just might get your doctor’s sign-off. Chicken curry ($9.95/$15.95) reliably pleases; lamb vindaloo ($11.95/$17.95) balances just a little anise-like sweetness with heat. Some of that sweetness, incidentally, comes from local spices as chef Paddy Rawal likes to source regional flavors to augment his North Indian staples.
A particular favorite, though, comes from the tandoor: the basil paneer tikka ($14.95), in which chunks of firm cheese are baked in a clay oven alongside onions and bell peppers. It’s an addiction-worthy level of decadence.
Chef Rawal is often spotted manning the tandoor, where he can greet customers as they come in, but he’s also been known to wander the tables to ensure the ladies seated at them are appropriately complimented. What’s not to love about a place with that kind of personal attention in the service? (EM)
544 Agua Fría St., 820-6440
Rancho de Chimayó RestauranteA grizzled editor once told a newly arrived reporter that the sopaipillas in this restaurant float right out of the kitchen. And they still do. Although the kitchen has some new features since a fire closed the restaurant in 2008, it came back as good as ever. A 2016 James Beard Foundation “America’s Classic” Award for owner Florence Jaramillo also brought the region the kind of recognition that she, and it, deserve. Now, to the food. If a plate of simple blue corn cheese enchiladas can feel decadent, it’s these. The enchilada pequeña ($8.25) is two of them, rolled with cheese and onions, topped with your choice of green, red or vegetarian chile, served with beans. As if you needed more evidence that the place is a classic: add an egg to any dish for 80 cents. The menu is a veritable encyclopedia of all the New Mexican standards and then some. Slurp on a pleasantly pink prickly pear frozen lemonade ($4.50) or get a pitcher of margaritas for the table. Get rellenos, flautas, fajitas and bistec, among all the rest. For the last 50 years, no trip to the small village in northern Santa Fe County is complete without two pilgrimages: one to the renowned santuario and the other here. (JAG)
300 Juan Medina Road, Chimayó, 351-4444
Breakfast Saturday and Sunday; Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday (April to October); Dinner daily (May to October)
Red EnchiladaIt’s often an unspoken rule that the more unassuming a restaurant appears, the better the food will be. Red Enchilada embodies this concept in basically every way with a massive menu representing Mexico, New Mexico and Central/South America, a veritable cornucopia of delicious pupusas (a Central American delicacy wherein a hearty corn tortilla is stuffed with a variety of cheese, meats, veggies and more) and some of the best sopaipillas we’ve ever had in our lives. The two-room eatery located where St. Michael’s Drive turns into Osage Avenue also boasts friendly, expedient service plus daily specials and fantastic chile and, perhaps best of all, the whole thing is easy on the wallet. Try the steak and enchiladas ($9.95) for a delicious and filling end-of-day meal, drop a side of fries directly onto your tortilla burger ($6.25)—served X-mas, obviously—or sample authentic desserts like tres leches or flan ($3.50 apiece). (ADV)
1310 Osage Ave., 820-6552
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Shake FoundationOn a recent afternoon, one of those temperate fall days where a light breeze offsets the sun and staying indoors feels criminal, a woman danced, hand-in-hand, with a young boy outside a burger stand across from a Motel 6. The scene screamed vintage Americana—almost comically so. Something tells us that’s exactly the vibe owner Brian Knox had in mind when he opened Shake Foundation right before Christmas in 2013.
The double-stacked green chile cheeseburger ($6.50), served in a cardboard container, is the specialty here. Generously buttered buns, real beef patties and fresh Hatch chiles harmonize for an epic ballad. Add an order of dangerously addictive shoestring fries ($3.75) and a thick adobe mud shake ($5.95) to round out a heart-clogging lunch you won’t regret. You really can’t do much better for these prices in this town. You’ll drive away chanting, “U-S-A! U-S-A!” as a giant American flag, unfurled down the shack’s backside, shrinks away in your rearview mirror. (SH)
631 Cerrillos Road, 988-8992
Lunch and dinner daily
Santa Fe BiteWhen John and Bonnie Eckre were tragically forced to shut down their burger paradise on the outskirts of town, then known as Bobcat Bite, a dedicated cross-section of burger-lovin’ Santa Feans held our breath and prayed they’d reopen someplace new. It was scary for a moment there, but the Eckres picked up right where they left off and are now conveniently located downtown at Garrett’s Desert Inn. We could rattle of a list of interesting facts like how their pork chops ($17.55) are fantastic or how you should pop in on a Sunday because it’s the only day they serve fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy ($13.50), but we’re mostly here to remind everyone that Santa Fe Bite’s legendary green chile cheeseburger ($12.35) is the way to go. The thick and juicy seasoned burger rests on a house-made bun (they’ve got gluten-free, too, for all you celiac sufferers) and is, in fact, so incredible that you’ll find it hard to not wolf it down in seconds flat. Santa Fe Bite has also expanded their menu to include items like tacos ($11.75-$12.75), soup and sandwich combos ($11.80) and Friday-only fish and chips ($14.75). Shut up and take our money! (ADV)
TecoloteFollowing the loss of its longtime Cerrillos Road location and a hiatus that had us in a panic, the somehow always-perfect Tecolote has risen like a phoenix. A smorgasbord of New Mexican breakfast brilliance, the owl-themed, spacious new location on St. Michael’s Drive has proven to be a blessing in disguise. Even those who’ve frequented Tecolote for years can’t deny they’ve upped the ante in almost every way from the fancy new digs to the way the food somehow tastes better than ever. Start off your day with a fat brekkie burrito ($10.50) crammed with eggs and meats (or no meat), lunch it up with one of Santa Fe’s best and somehow under-appreciated green chile cheeseburgers ($10.50) or keep it healthy with the doctor bell ($9.75), a vegetarian omelette made with Egg Beaters and Morningstar faux meats. Don’t forget about the bakery basket, either, a potpourri of baked goods (including cinnamon rolls on Sundays) that comes with most meals. Just remember one important thing when they ask if you’d like the basket or the tortillas: Tortillas are for suckers. (ADV)
Tune-Up CaféThe constant crowds at Tune-Up can feel a little intense, but it’s important to remind oneself that wading through a sea of people becomes totally worth it whether you’re out searching for breakfast, lunch or dinner. One of the smaller restaurants on this year’s list, this cluster of two rooms and über-pleasant patio located on Hickox Street covers all the bases from simple breakfast options like breakfast burritos ($7.25-$9.75) and Irish oatmeal ($6.50), meat and vegetarian lunch options like the ginger chicken sandwich ($9.95) or brown rice nut burger ($8.50) and creative dinner dishes like banana leaf-wrapped tamales ($8.95) or halibut and shrimp pasta ($14.95). Tune-Up also does weekend-only brunch options, rotating specials and has some pretty cool merch to boot. So yeah, it might be a little busy over there, but it just means they know what they’re doing. (ADV)
1115 Hickox St., 983-7060
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily; Brunch Saturday and Sunday
VinaigretteForget what you know about Caesar and garden. Ditch the wedge. Reconsider the whole equation through dishes like Vinaigrette’s spinach-mushroom salad ($10.25), in which warm, sauteed mushrooms meet with bacon and hardboiled egg. Revisit beets in their balsamic roasted variety, over baby greens and goat cheese ($11.95). The “Eat Your Peas” salad ($11.25) squares off sweet and salty with sweet peas and bacon. “The Omega” ($11.50), with the recommended cilantro lime shrimp ($18.50), sets a rainbow of color and flavor with corn, avocado and red pepper. Seasonally varied salads will throw in a little of the latest harvest. And there, now you’ve got room for dessert, like the flourless chocolate torte ($6.25), or the housemade pies, sliced generously and topped with homemade ice cream ($7).
If you’re looking for something a little meatier (ha!) for the main, the Cuban torta ($13.50) offers a classy and slightly spicier twist on a Cubano that still follows through on the promise of pork shoulder and ham—this one spiced with green chile. A side salad ensures you still get your dose of greens. All are served in the simple elegance of white dishware, bare wood and metal. (EM)