"Isn't there some little tool they give you?" I asked. "Yes, like, a little fork…?" mused my companion, unsure. Of course, we're talking about the escargots. You have to pull them out of the shells. But how? We aren't French. We aren't born knowing these things. Praise be, then, for a place like L'Olivier, which serves the snails ready to stab and eat, like little clams swimming in a bath of garlic butter, ham and almonds ($15). The tender bugs were the perfect entry point into a fine but Santa Fe-casual French meal, the likes of which can't really be found elsewhere in town; a special of swordfish over black rice with thyme beurre blanc ($36) and Colorado elk with sweet potato puree, snow peas and poached pear ($39) may be done by other chefs, but not quite as beautifully as here. A duck breast with raspberry sauce ($32) and honey-glazed roasted squash with polenta ($25) were also hard to pass up. If the prices spook you, never fear: L'Olivier's much-crowed-about prix fixe on Tuesday and Wednesday nights boasts incredible options for $39 a head for three courses. And relax—you don't even have to bring your fancy fork.

Lunch and Dinner
Tuesday-Saturday

.$$$.

L'Olivier
229 Galisteo St.,

505-989-1919

Instagram: @lolivierrestaurant