Santa Fe old favorites and new finds

Always fun to wander around lovely sophisticated Santa Fe, especially on a crisp sunny day in February. We visited a few old favorites and discovered some new places to add to our list:

La Boca – a little Spanish tapas restaurant near the plaza. Excellent garlic shrimp, grilled artichoke with goat cheese, chicaronnes (deep fried chunks of pork belly), red wine sangria.

Oldest church structure in the US, ca 1610, San Miguel Church.

Ventana Fine Art, a Canyon Road gallery where we bought a painting years ago and were tempted to buy from again, this time a boldly colored red and blue print by Mary Silverwood of one of the Salinas Mission Pueblos we visited last week, south of Albuquerque. Looking at the print we realized it was the same view (minus me) of the Quarai ruin that we captured in a photo, although maybe a different time of day since the shadows differ.

A few new discoveries:

Mille Creperie – we didn’t have the crepes at this small rustic chic French place (Santa Fe is the essence of rustic chic) but the coffee, salad Nicoise, ham sandwich on baguette and hefty buttery croissant were delicious. People watching was fun too, lots of well-heeled octogenarians and young boho moms with cute kids.


Form & Concept gallery in Railyard Arts District/Guadalupe Distict (unclear of the boundaries), big bright space with eclectic collection of contemporary artwork where we met another interesting woman working with textiles, not braiding this time (as in ABQ) but sewing together pieces of vintage silk, linen and cotton clothing and table cloths to refurbish a high wire-framed sculpture outside the gallery that was set on fire by an unknown arsonist. A heap of the original burned cloth, salvaged post-fire, was not far from the artist, aka Anastazia Louise, working at her sewing machine. The replacement cloth is flame resistant. Anastazia is also a costume designer and performance artist from California, I learned here:

Chocolate + cashmere —- the name drew us in but the prices kept us from indulging, as is often the case in this affluent town. Beautiful stuff though, on both fronts. We also found a rare free parking spot in a pretty, lowkey neighborhood of adobe homes (where we think we may have stayed 35 years ago with a friend attending St. John’s college here) near Mille (water and west alameda streets) and Guadalupe church, which was unfortunately closed on a Wednesday, as was the contemporary art museum SITE. Another good free parking along one side of a small triangular pocket park at Marcy and Paseo de Peralta.

Kakawa chocolate house – with fantastic Mexican hot chocolate varieties served in pretty blue and white Mexican ceramics. There’s even a hot chocolate flight, offering tastes of several varieties, some hot in more ways than one (i.e. laced with chile.) The chocolates also come with southwest dashes, including chile and piñon. And there’s organic chocolate ice cream too. No wonder there was a line snaking almost out the door on the sunny late afternoon we visited. (much quieter mid-morning.)

San Marcos Cafe and Feed – We have passed this rustic adobe cafe and farm operation on the Turquoise Trail (highway 14) south of Santa Fe before but it wasn’t open or it wasn’t lunch time. This trip, it was both so we went inside, found a cozy atmospheric old adobe cafe with several other diners who looked more local than us. D finally got his huevos rancheros and I decided to go New Mexican too and try the blue corn enchiladas. Both good but my stomach is still rocky. Much of Madrid seemed closed on Tuesday including our favorite rug shop Serrapin and daughters. (There was a number to call to summon a salesperson. We opted not to.) South of Madrid we did drive past what appeared to be a movie set, overlooking a spectacular panorama view.

The New Mexico Museum of Art – we’ve also passed this gorgeous old adobe building off the plaza in Santa Fe several times but this was our first visit. The architecture (1917 Pueblo Revival) and art are impressive. We saw some 20th century New Mexican portraits and landscapes by artists who visited or lived in this area. There was also a temporary exhibit of 21st century protest art. (We got into the museum free with our Des Moines art center membership.)

Lovely San Miguel Church, built in 1610 by Tlaxcalan Indians “under the direction” of Franciscan padres (according to the sign out front).

Best hot chocolate ever


Filed under New Mexico, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Santa Fe old favorites and new finds

  1. Charlotte Angel

    Love your Santa Fe adventure….Hope you bought the painting!

    • betsyrubiner

      We didn’t get the painting. May eventually. We are downsizing some time soon (from an Iowa house to a Chicago apartment) and will have more art than walls, although that’s never stopped me in the past…

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