Great dining destinations deserve great deals once in a while…and New Mexico delivers with its first annual restaurant week! For two exciting weeks, Santa Fe and Albuquerque restaurants will be upping the ante in the kitchen while they’re dropping the price in the dining room to create deals that satisfy the palate and the wallet. If there was ever a time to visit New Mexico with our regional cuisine in mind, this is it! The brainchild of Michele Ostrove and Lucien Bonnafoux of Wings Media Network, this first annual culinary event kicks off on February 28 after only a few months of whirlwind planning.
Santa Fe serves up this dining extravaganza first, for the seven days from 2/28 through 3/6, with prices ranging from two for $25, up to $40 per person.Years ago, the Inn on the Alameda decided on its opening to forego a hotel restaurant, so our well-fed staff is prepared to offer honest advice about any participating establishment, and guests of the Inn can tap into a prix fixe meal at the following restaurants after enjoying the Inn’s complimentary 4:00-5:00 pm wine hour.
Smart diners will recognize the $40 deal represented by the following fine dining options: The Inn of the Anasazi, Geronimo, Terra at Encantado, The Compound and Trattoria Nostrani.
A $25 per person charge applies for the broad swath of excellent choices at these restaurants: A La Mesa!, Amavi, Amaya at Hotel Santa Fe, Andiamo, Café Paris, Cowgirl BBQ, Dinner for Two, El Meson, Epazote, Fuego at La Posada, Galisteo Bistro, Joe’s, La Boca, La Casa Sena, La Plazuela at La Fonda, La Stazione in the Railyard, Luminaria at the Inn and Spa at Loretto, Milagro 139, The O’Keeffe Café, Osteria d’Assisi, Rio Chama, Ristra, San Francisco Street Bar and Grill, The Old House, Vanessie, and Vinaigrette.
And two can eat for only $25 per couple at these convivial spots: Blue Corn Café (both locations), Flying Star Café, Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen, Pranzo, Rooftop Pizzeria Sleeping Dog Tavern and the Zia Diner.
In addition to the plethora of affordable dining experiences, there will be a series of Santa Fe culinary events that allow food mavens to expand their knowledge and hone their skills. Classes range from perfecting the classic Caesar Salad to discovering the panoply of foods of the Americas to finding inspiration in the humble taco, all under the tutelage of Santa Fe’s kitchen masters.
On Sunday, 2/28/10 at 4:00pm, Petro Pertusini of Osteria d’Assisi offers the Art of Making a Caesar Salad. On Monday, 3/1/10, at 10:00am, Rocky Durham demonstrates Traditional New Mexico Cooking at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Featured on Tuesday, 3/2/10, at 11:30am at Epazote, are Fernando Olea, Lois Ellen Frank and Walter Whitewater, who share an informative talk and three-course tasting of tacos and their origin. Ms. Frank and Mr. Whitewater return on Wednesday 3/3/10 at 10:00am at the Santa Fe School of Cooking to demonstrate Native American Cooking. The Wines of Italy are the focus of a talk that night by Lisa Anderson of National Distributing at 6:00pm at Osteria d’Assisi.
Wines return on Thursday, 3/4/10 at 5:00pm, when Walter Gallegos leads a tasting at Fuego! At La Posada. For beer lovers, also on Thursday the 4th , the Blue Corn Café and Brewery Southside hosts a brewery tour and tasting at 5:00pm. Friday events include an 11:30am Foods of the Americas tasting presented by Fernando Olea, Lois Ellen Frank and Walter Whitewater at Epazote, as well as an Old World vs. New World Wine tasting at La Casa Sena at 5:00pm, hosted by James Cook and Michael Gelb. This delicious week is capped on Saturday, 3/6/10 at 5:00 pm, with The Art of Making Cocktails, by Calvin Lathrop, the talented bartender at Osteria d’Assisi.
On March 7, the dining action shifts to Albuquerque until March 13, whetting the appetite with $25 per person and $25 couple options. The state’s largest city continues to expand its dining options and out-of-towners and New Mexicans alike can certainly find an excuse to head for the Duke City and discover who is in the kitchen!
$25 per person offerings can be found at these Albuquerque dining destinations: Artichoke Café, Brasserie La Provence, Casa Vieja, Chama River Brewing Company, Corn Maiden at Hyatt Tamaya, El Pinto, Pueblo Harvest Café, Lucia, McGrath’s Restaurant and Lounge, Pars Cuisine, Prairie Star, Savoy Bar & Grill, Scalo, Seasons Rotisserie and Grill, Slate Street Café, St. Clair Winery & Bistro, Trombino’s Bistro Italiano, ZEA Rotisserie and Grill, and Zinc Wine Bar. Two for $25 specials are available at these two spots: Flying Star Café Downtown and Sandiago’s Mexican Grill.
Albuquerque culinary events appear on three alternating days with a Tequila and Chile Presentation by Jim Garcia at El Pinto on Tuesday, 3/9/10 at 6:30pm, repeated on Thursday, 3/1//10 at the same hour. A Toast New Mexico Restaurant Week wine tasting takes place on Saturday, 3/14/10 at 4:00pm at St. Clair Winery & Bistro, presented by Kevin Jakel, the winery’s general manager.
Bring a big appetite and a small wallet and come celebrate this first for New Mexico! Bienvenidos!