La Boca chef-owner James Campbell Caruso made waves in 2012 with the opening of Taberna, a more casual, nightlife-oriented take on his highly successful Spanish restaurant. At Taberna, a mid-afternoon happy hour with discounts on wine and tapas segues into dinnertime, where live music often accompanies the nightly specials (including, as of press time, “Paella Tuesdays” and “Wino Wednesdays”—we’ll leave that last one open to interpretation). Then, as if to defy Santa Fe’s early-to-bed reputation, Taberna also hosts a reverse happy hour from 10-11 pm each night. The tapas are uniformly delicious and range from the extremely affordable (olives; marinated tomatoes on crostini; cheese) to the more decadent (SFR favorite: steak served with blue cheese butter or caramel sauce). The wine list is adeptly crafted, but don’t miss the sherry cocktails—though many chefs relegate sherry to cooked dishes, it’s a rich template for drinks, too, and Campbell Caruso uses it with an expert’s hand.
125 Lincoln Ave., Ste. 117, 988-7102
Lunch and dinner daily. $15-$20