Chef’s Buzz July 19

(Story by Lynn Cline)


Big news from the top of the Tramway. For the first time since the High Finance Restaurant and Tavern closed more than three years ago, you’ll be able to dine on cuisine inspired by the Southwest and by Italy as you drink in some of the best views of the city. The new restaurant, Ten3 (literally, its location at 10,300 feet above sea level) is set to open at the end of July in a brand-new building that includes a sky bar and seats 180 people. The Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway’s $7.5-million dollar project looks like it’s rising right out of the mountain, owner Benny Abruzzo has said, with eye-popping views rewarding riders of the 2.7-mile tram as well as hikers and skiers.

The world now knows what we’ve long known here in New Mexico—Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm is a cherished treasure. Hospitality Design magazine has bestowed the historic property with the coveted Midscale Hotel design award, after considering more than 1,000 design projects around the world. “The environment and the mood tell a beautiful story,” the HD Awards judges say in the magazine’s June issue. The award arrives on the heels of a recent renovation led by Atkin Olshin Schade Architects of Santa Fe that beautifully blends rustic history with modern functionality, and the Los Poblanos team couldn’t be more thrilled. “One of the things that is so rewarding is to have a project that’s so purely New Mexican be recognized on an international level,” Owner Matt Rembe tells Local Flavor. Speaking on behalf of all New Mexicans, we absolutely agree!

The new Safe House Distilling Co. at 616 Gold Ave. SW, is a great place to beat the heat with craft cocktails featuring the distillery’s vodka, bourbon and, coming soon, rum, gin and whiskey. The laid-back tasting room, pet-friendly patio and distillery occupy the site where the U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union stood. A rotation of food trucks ensures you’re well fed. “This isn’t your swanky, uptight bar,” reads a post on the company’s Facebook page. “This is a place to come and relax, meet some great people and taste some exquisitely handcrafted drinks.”

Here’s to Canteen Brewhouse, celebrating its 25th anniversary. You may have first tasted this award-winning beer back when the business was called Il Vicino Brewing Company. Partners Greg Atkin, Rick Post and Tom White started out making craft beer as a side project so they could serve it at their fledgling pizza restaurant. Soon, the awards began to accumulate and, before they knew it, the team was in the microbrewing business. Taprooms were opened, more awards were won and the rest is history.

Don’t be afraid to make a pig of yourself at the 16th Annual Pork & Brew. This, after all, is the best BBQ blowout in New Mexico, and it takes place July 5-7 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. Sample barbecue from around the region that will knock your socks off, then whet your whistle with the finest local craft beer. Dance to live music, enjoy family fun and shop for arts and crafts at what the New Mexico Hospitality Association deems the Event of the Year.

It may not seem possible, but M’tuccis Italian Restaurants are becoming even better. The restaurant group credited with creating some of the best Italian eateries in the state has sent a team of chefs to Italy to soak in the experience of a farm-to-table culture and bring new ideas home. From a tour of a Chianina ranch to a truffle walk, vineyard visits, a cooking class with a renowned butcher-chef and much more, these bel paese encounters will inspire M’tucci’s chefs with new approaches to food and techniques, resulting in delicious fare that soon will be delivered on a plate near you. Bravo to Owners Jeff Spiegel, Katie Gardner and their very lucky team.

Sadly, we report that Owner/Chef Pete Lukes has closed Pentola, which opened earlier this year. We will miss his flavorful Mediterranean cuisine, especially those bacon-wrapped dates and Basque seafood stew. Fortunately for us, Chef Pete’s restaurant, Piatanzi, remains open, so you can sate your Italian craving there.

Wine-lovers, get your tickets now for the Science of Wine at Explora, a fascinating look at the chemistry, composition and structure of a favorite adult beverage. You’ll test your palate sampling local wines, make your own wine glass charms, learn about wine pairing and much more. The evening includes live music and a local artisan market. It all takes place Aug. 2, 7:30-11 p.m., at Explora, 1701 Mountain Road NW. VIP tickets get you early entrance, along with a swag bag and access to the VIP lounge.

Santa Fe

Happy 10th birthday to Jambo Cafe! Join the celebration July 20 at 6 p.m. in the Railyard Plaza, with a drum circle, an African dance class and a concert by acclaimed African singer/songwriter Natu Camara. Of course there will be Jambo’s delectable African-Caribbean fusion food and you can congratulate one of the city’s favorite chefs, who’s jubilant about the occasion. “I am grateful and humble and so proud of our community here in Santa Fe for supporting us these last 10 years,” Owner/Chef Ahmed Obo says. “I’ve watched Jambo Cafe grow and change over the last decade; it has been a real gift. I am thrilled to continue to support different social enterprises in Santa Fe, which is mirrored in my hometown of Lamu, Kenya, with the Jambo Kids Clinic. The clinic helps 1,200 people a month; I and the children and families of Lamu are deeply grateful to all of you for making much-needed healthcare readily available. Finally, I am thankful for the people who have worked at Jambo Cafe and Jambo Imports over the years. I am deeply grateful for your energy, focus, and laughter. From the bottom of my heart, I love you, Santa Fe!” Chef Ahmed, Santa Fe loves you right back!

Revolution Bakery is back and fans of Dionne Christian‘s gluten-free baked goods are giddy. Having closed her old space on San Felipe Avenue in 2016, Dionne re-opens her popular bakery early this month in the Design Center, where you’ll find her baking gluten-free (and some vegan) gourmet breads and pastries. “I’ve spent the last few years honing my gluten-free dough-development expertise and recipes, and I feel my breads and pastries are even better than they were before,” Dionne says. She plans to offer a subscription box program that allows you to order items in advance and pick them up at her drive-through window on Saturdays.

Fresh news from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market! The Wednesday Market returns, July 3 in the Railyard Market Pavilion, 3-6 p.m. This year brings free educational presentations by farmers and other folks focused on gardening, farming, food security and more. Also starting this month, the Southside Tuesday Del Sur Market operates out of the Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center’s lower level parking lot, 3-6 p.m., through September. Market-goers here can enjoy food demos as well as an exercise class and health screenings.

If you’ve been down the Santa Fe Margarita Trail and back, you’ll be happy to learn there’s much more to explore. With 17 new locations that span the city’s environs—from El Nido in Tesuque to Harry’s Roadhouse on Old Las Vegas Highway and the Float Bar at Meow Wolf—the Margarita Trail now leads to a total of 45 spots, each serving a margarita made specifically for the trail. Created by TOURISM Santa Fe and launched on Cinco de Mayo in 2016, the trail instantly hit it big with locals and visitors alike. A passport allows trail-goers to collect stamps for each beverage they order in pursuit of t-shirts, books and other prizes, including the grand prize, a VIP Margarita Package for completing the entire trail. FYI, the paper passport is being phased out for an app, which you can download at, where you’ll also find all the details you need to set out on the trail.

Let’s raise a glass to El Rancho de las Golondrinas, which hosts the 26th Annual Santa Fe Wine Festival, July 6-7. The longest-running wine festival in Santa Fe offers a spectacular setting for sampling wine made by 20 vintners across New Mexico. You’ll be surrounded by historic buildings that represent the region’s rich Spanish Colonial history as you enjoy live music, delicious food from Jambo Café, Tres Colores and an arts-and-crafts mercado. Wine connoisseur or occasional imbiber, you’ll likely bring home a bottle or two of your favorite sip of the day.

The inaugural Santa Fe Art Week, July 12–21, will showcase the city in all of its artistic glory, with more than 100 events at acclaimed galleries, magnificent museums, studios and other venues. One of the highlights, the Canyon Road Art & Wine Stroll on July 17, 4-7 p.m., brings back a much-loved tradition—the summer arts stroll. The stroll starts at the intersection of Canyon Road and Delgado Street and continues up to Camino del Monte Sol. Along the way, you’ll visit famous galleries lining the fabled Canyon Road, meet artists, greet friends, sip wine and stop for food from the road’s wonderful restaurants. Find ticket info here:

Savor the flavors, colors and sounds of Mexico at Paloma’s Mezcal Dinner series, held July 28, Aug. 25 and Oct. 27.  The five-course dinners, which start at 7 p.m., take place on the festive patio, dressed up with Otomi textiles brought back from Mexico. Chef Nathan Mayes will change the menu each month to reflect seasonal ingredients, and each course will be paired with a different mezcal. Tito Rios will play classical guitar to accompany your meal. “This is a great experience,” Paloma Owner Marja Martin tells Local Flavor. “There will be tables of eight instead of single tables, so it’s an opportunity for out-of-town visitors to sit with Santa Fe locals and have a lovely, private dinner experience on the patio.” For reservations, call 505.467.8624.

What’s better than a garden in summer? Why, dinner in a summer garden, of course. And this month, you have the chance to dine in an enchanting garden of a private residence, beneath a canopy of stars. It’s the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s Summer Garden Dinners series, held July 18, 19, 25 and 26. Each evening takes place in a different garden and supports the botanical garden’s mission and educational programs. These communal dinners will turn strangers into new friends as you share good company, delicious food and a chance to support a Santa Fe treasure. Make your reservations now as these dinners sell out:

Pride Month may be over, but Café Mimosa extends the LGBTQI celebration with Pan@Mimosa, a party that takes place on the last Thursday of every month, 6-11 p.m. Savor Chef Alex Hadidi’s Mediterranean fare, sip mimosas, beer or wine and dance to music from local DJs Ana M and BadCat. It’s all inspired by Pan, the Greek god of music. “Pan is also a prefix that means: ‘All, everything, involving all members of a group,’” Café Mimosa Owner Lisa Dion says. “It’s in this spirit that Café Mimosa welcomes all to Pan@Mimosa.”


Taos has a chic new hot spot, The Lounge by Rolling Still Distillery. Located in a historic house at 110 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Ste. D, this hip bar’s interior blends mid-century modern with Southwest design, and it’s drawing locals and visitors alike for cocktails that are as creative as the space. Try the Macho Mule, a melange of Rolling Still’s chile-infused vodka, ginger beer and lime. The Violet Fog blends lavender-infused vodka with butterfly pea blossom, lemon, honey and egg white. You can sample other New Mexico spirits, too, including Santa Fe’s Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery, and KGB Spirit’s Taos Lightning. Small plates offer big flavors like the Locavore Platter, a combo of cured lomo, beet deviled eggs, vodka pickled peppers, cheese and more.

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