Unless you already live on Santa Fe's northwest side, the drive to Arroyo Vino from the city is enough to breathe a little sigh of escape. Arroyo Vino's new executive chef, Allison Jenkins, arrived in the late spring, and the presentation details and creative dishes she's brought to the scene give it a grounded, curated feel. A chalkboard on its eastern wall is good shorthand, listing not only wine on offer for the evening, but also sources for many of the ingredients that will come out of the kitchen—such as, on a recent visit, cherry tomatoes from the on-site garden. Service is professional, unobtrusive and attentive. The menu is not sparse, but also doesn't feel overwrought: Diners choose from a maximum of six options in each of the three courses. On our visit, the amuse-bouche that arrived shortly after we ordered was a shot of zippy watermelon gazpacho with a tiny basil leaf and bud adorning its surface. Then, it's flatbread resembling a pesto-drenched pizza, featuring bacon lardons and parmesan-corn puree ($12) to start, and segundi of bold lamb tartare with vaudovan curried yogurt and pistachio crumble ($15). Our favorite main was a sweet and tangy sauce on gnocchi with roasted eggplant puree and goat gouda ($26). Sure, we had great wine, but after that, the flavor of the thirst-quenching iced tea we chose for the rest of the evening was memorable—a blend of chamomile, mint and Earl Grey ($4). For dessert, we're pretty certain you can't go wrong with the chocolate pot de creme ($10). The whole night felt right.
218 Camino La Tierra,