The Buzz – Dec 2017—Jan 2018

Sam Gerberding of Inn of the Governors | Image by Gabriella Marks

Sam Gerberding of Inn of the Governors | Image by Gabriella Marks

Albuquerque
Anything dubbed “nosh” is probably pretty much right up our alley. So when we’re told the ABQ NoshFest is coming to town, our buzzers go off, so to speak. Lovers of all things food and fun, Jan. 14, 2018, is your day. The event celebrates Jewish heritage, bringing to Embassy Suites Hotel the best in Jewish cuisine—from Nosh-talks to a Latke and Vodka tasting, from a Kugel Cook-off to Baillo’s Football Play-off Zone, plus a kid zone, shopping and a raffle—and the money raised benefits the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque. The community center assists homeless families and children; provides summer camp, swim lessons and early childhood education scholarships; supports people with disabilities; helps wounded warriors and beyond. JCC Executive Director Dave Simon says in a press release, “We are pleased that local favorite food establishments have stepped up to the plate to prepare and serve popular Jewish foods not easily found in our city.” Visit abqnoshfest.com; as they say, “Whatever you nosh, you’ll nosh it at the first annual ABQ NoshFest.” Mazel tov!

The Pueblo Harvest Café at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, which was among the first restaurants in the United States to offer pre-colonization dishes, recently launched its new winter menu, which includes several dishes created solely from ingredients present in North America before European contact and colonization. The menu includes an earthy corn-broth-based stew and game meats a-plenty. The dishes highlight Native cuisine and tradition, and abound in the flavors of an Indigenous diet that aren’t as well known to mainstream culinary audiences. “This pre-contact menu is our take on this growing movement of celebrating Native cuisine,” Executive Chef David Ruiz says. “I wanted the stories we’re telling through the food to reflect the stories being told in the museum, what I call the Pueblo-to-table story.” And for those of us who already have a go-to dish on the menu, many post-contact favorites remain to tantalize wintry taste buds. Visit indianpueblo.org.

From Jewish to Indigenous to Ethiopian cuisine, we go! On Dec. 11 at 6 p.m., Cherie Montoya’s Farm & Table Restaurant in the North Valley—known for its delicious, seasonal, community oriented and fresh-from-the-land fare—brings us an authentic Ethiopian experience, with wine and a traditional coffee ceremony to round out the night. Guest chefs Rahel Fikre-Selassie and Adrian Perez join Chef Carrie Eagle to create the hearty meal, dubbed “A Taste of Ethiopia.” Tickets cost $75; visit farmandtablenm.com.

We welcome The Acre to the Northeast Heights! The restaurant, which serves up creative “comfort vegetarian,” opened in November under the talents of Owner/Executive Chef Shawn Weed, who has an impressive culinary history extending from the States to oversees. Chef Shawn says in a press release, “We’re sincere in what we are trying to accomplish with The Acre. We offer affordable farm-to-table fare, supplied by local businesses. Our vegetarian dishes are approachable with classic, but creative, comfort foods. I think that’s unique and it resonates with people….” The menu’s unique and creative fare includes the likes of buffalo cauliflower “wings,” marinated and braised Chicago-style carrot hot dogs, and “Chicken ’n’ Waffles”—a waffle topped with fried cauliflower and bourbon maple syrup. “There’s no reason that vegetarian can’t be filling and a little fun,” the chef says. “You won’t walk away hungry here.” The Acre serves up brunch, lunch and dinner, plus beer and wine. Open daily; check out theacrerestaurant.com.

On Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. on Channel 5.1 and on Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. on Channel 9.1, New Mexico PBS brings us a new episode of ¡COLORES!, a NMPBS/KNME production, which has been celebrating the creative spirit for over 20 years. This episode, set among 25 acres of lavender fields, lush gardens and historic architecture, takes us to Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, where the new restaurant, Campo, dishes up fare fresh from its fields. As Chef Jonathan Perno says in a press release, “Rio Grande Valley Cuisine tastes like New Mexico. It’s the sky, it’s the air, it’s everything that encompasses this state and that river.” 

And it seems, of late, a Duke City Buzz wouldn’t be a Buzz without a shout-out to the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa. Located on the Santa Ana Pueblo, the resort was named among the top resorts in the Southwest in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards.  According to Resort General Manager Herb Rackliff, “This award is a testament to the premier travel experience available at our resort, from the upscale accommodations to the unique experiences and activities we offer to our guests.” These particular awards are among the longest-running and most prestigious recognitions of excellence in the travel industry. Way to go, Tamaya, you keep us proud.

Santa Fe

Our journey through the Santa Fe culinary scene begins with an emphatic: Get yourself to Santa Fe Spirits’ Read Street location! Last month, I incorrectly wrote that the tasting room was closed for the winter. I was totally wrong; they’re closed on Sundays till the spring, so don’t worry, you can still hit them up après-ski—or any time (except Sundays!) for a good ol’ winter warm-me-up. Phew. I’m truly sorry for the error.

And while we’re on the topic of warm winter libations, Afternoon Tea is back at the Hotel St. Francis, so wander into the lobby Wednesdays through Fridays (noon till 4 p.m., and Saturdays beginning at 11 a.m.), until Jan. 13, 2018, and enjoy traditional tea served with finger sandwiches, homemade scones with clotted cream and preserves, as well as a selection of delicious pastries. Sometimes, a relaxing tea is just what one needs. And this might be a good place to jot down a few resolutions, too…just a thought. Call 505.983.5700 to make reservations.

But wait, there’s more sweet (and savory) news also in the pastry—and tea and coffee and quiche and cake and beyond—realm: Dulce Bakery & Coffee has a new owner! Keith Maestas has glided smooth as frosting onto the scene, and the shop still bakes the treats we’ve come to crave. Keith took over a few months ago, just in time for the holiday season; welcome aboard—we’ll see you soon! Visit dulcebakery.com.

More accolades from TripAdvisor! The travel site ranked Inn of the Governors No. 6 on the Best Values Hotels list. To make the list, destinations needed at least 3.5 stars and had to cost less than $300 a night, among other criteria. The inn, once an ice-supply cavern, a livery stable and an ’50s auto shop, beat out hotels in Florida, California and Seattle. The Inn is truly one of Santa Fe’s treasures—how wonderful to see them get this kind of national recognition.

Dear weekend warriors, Paloma began serving brunch this fall, and it’s worth a visit if only for the horchata borracha or the hibiscus mimosa…or the enchiladas suizas or the chilaquiles…OK, there are many reasons to visit. But simply, as Owner Marja Martin puts it, the space is just “so pretty during the day.” The restaurant is a lovely spot to enjoy its delicious fare (no matter the time), with dishes inspired by traditional Mexican ingredients and awesome cocktails, but in the sunshine, the Guadalupe Street dig shines with a brightness and light that match the warmth and spicy aromas of its cuisine. Brunch takes place Saturday from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. and Sunday till 4—when we spoke to Marja just before closing one Sunday, the bar was packed. It’s chilly, it’s winter, it’s dark out so early these days; here’s a bright, warm reason for a daytime toast. Visit palomasantafe.com.

In November, Eloisa launched its winter menu with dishes like turkey albondigas with pumpkinseed mole, and green poblano soup with pumpkin crush—’tis the season, right? Chef John Sedlar and his team have been “outdoors in the sun, in the soil, picking local corn that we helped plant with the Puebloans, understanding the process of these local food sources, then back in the kitchen cooking the maize for our guests,” Chef John writes in an email. The corn from Santo Domingo Pueblo farmers was then dried and made into masa for tamales and tortilla florales. The corn will last through 2018, until next year’s crop. Local restaurants with local, field-to-table dishes are always worth a visit—we’ll be there before the year’s up. Visit eloisasantafe.com.

As Eloisa proves, winter needn’t mean the end of local produce. And the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is here for just that. With its variety of produce and local, organic products, the Market is a feast for the senses, even mid-winter. By popular demand, and right on cue for the holiday shopping spree (seriously, our household does most of its Christmas shopping here), the SFFM is extending its Tuesday market through Dec. 19. Bring your list! Visit santafefarmersmarket.com.

Of late, we’ve been so excited about New Mexico Fine Dining—comprising Chef Charles Dale of Bouche French Bistro and Jim and Jennifer Day. Maize, with its modern take on Southwestern cuisine and nestled in the old brick haunt that used to house Georgia, was recently mentioned on the Travel Channel as one of 10 Places Serving Native American Cuisine in U.S.— Pueblo Harvest Café was also on the list—bravo! And Dec. 8 is an important day for lovers of Italian food, fans of Charles Dale or patrons of handmade pasta. That’s to say, head on over to Trattoria A Mano, the Italian sibling in the NM Fine Dining bunch, which opens in the former Galisteo Bistro spot. And Dale’s original Bouche, also under the NMFD restaurant group, has “some fantastic, festive holiday meals” set for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, Chef Charles tells us, and the option to enjoy “small tasting menus every night during the holidays.” So there you go, plans for the end of your year, and into the new one. Visit bouchebistro.com for more on the Eve dinners.

And should you be lacking in the New Year’s Eve plan department, and want something with some groove to ruffle your tassels…or some truffles, for that matter, resolve to hit up The Palace Restaurant and Saloon for their New Year’s Eve Bash featuring a Santa Fe Crooners dinner show, DJ Elvis Karaoke and a three-course truffle dinner. ’Tis the time for decadence, and where else but the old Palace to put on your dance shoes? Call 505.428.0690 for reservations. Check out palacesantafe.com.

A truly grand thank you to Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino—and to everyone in the community who contributed—for the annual Coins and Cans food drive this fall, which exceeded its goal of 15 tons of food, or the equivalent of 35,000 meals for those in need. Indeed, 17 tons of food nourished the bodies and minds of hungry New Mexicans as a result of the drive. “We recognize the need in our own community,” the resort’s Marketing Director Christine Gabaldon says in a press release. “And as a company, we’re in a unique position to do something about it.” Coins and Cans benefits The Food Depot, which provides food to 145 nonprofit agencies to help shelter homeless families, ensure hot meals and develop life skills in youth.

Have you heard? The City Different was among 22 destinations nominated by Travel + Leisure editors for its Readers’ Choice Destination of the Year…and we won with 65 percent of the vote. Among nominated destinations were cities, regions and countries around the world (runners up were Slovenia and Norway). “Steeped in the history of the American West, Santa Fe has long captured the imagination of artists and freethinkers, with its pueblo-style architecture and rugged landscapes,” the Nov. 15 T&L story on the Santa Fe win reads. “…A growing alternative arts scene—driven by the city’s outré creative class—is giving newfound edge to the southwestern town.” The story sites Meow Wolf, George R.R. Martin, the beautiful Sangres and of course, our food. Head to travelandleisure.com/poll-destination-of-the-year-2017.

Taos

Since you might just be in Taos anyway, for snow, to ski or to visit the Pueblo during the holidays, hit up Taos Mesa Brewing on Tuesday evenings and warm up not only your palate but your brain. Join hilarious hosts Gina Gargone and Scott Tennant—who are, we’re told, sci-fi nerds as well as local celebs—and enjoy two-buck tacos during trivia. The Trivia & Taco Tuesday festivities begin at 7 p.m., and there’s no cover to get in. Visit taosmesabrewing.com. Cheers!

On Dec. 9, head to Bent Street any time from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. for Bonfires on Bent Street. The lovely street and the John Dunn House host the 29th annual celebration, with open and decorated shops, farolitos, bonfires and music galore. Stroll down the street and enjoy hot beverages, snacks and hors d’oeuvres, plus a feast for all; a reception is held from 4 to 7 p.m. Happy, healthy, joyous holidays to you, dear readers!


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