The Anasazi Restaurant New American / Global 113 Washington Ave., Santa Fe, NM 505-988-3030
Santa Fe Restaurant Review:
In my mind, the upscale Anasazi Restaurantwas one of the Big Four in Santa Fe, along with the nationally-known Coyote Café, The Compound, and Geronimo. But when I recently stayed at the Inn of the Anasazi again and dined in the restaurant, they were a little off their game. It was a new chef and new attention to nickels and dimes, it seemed. At this point, I would say that one of the above restaurants, or SantaCafe or even Cafe Pasqual or Nostrani (not yet reviewed) would be a better choice for a great meal. But the hotel itself was as good as ever.
SETTING - The restaurant is at the front of the famed Inn of the Anasazi in the heart of Santa Fe, a hundred feet from the plaza, facing the 400 year-old Palace of the Governors. The boutique hotel has (or had) the only Mobil 4-Star hotel rating in New Mexico. The Anasazi Restaurant has its own front door (on the left, above), through a small patio in front and then through the cozy, atmospheric bar (highly recommended for a pre-dinner drink).
FOOD - The chef is new since my last visit, came from a hotel in the Northeast, and unfortunately, what I chose was uninspired and reminded me that this is still a hotel restaurant. Quite the let-down from my previous dinners here. (In general, I think that hotel dining tends to be unremarkable, but there are exceptions.) The list of entrées ($30-$38) is short but an interesting read, at least. I can no longer vouch for the execution.
WINE - An extensive list ranging from $40 to $300.
AMBIANCE - Southwestern, with a log viga ceiling, stacked sandstone walls, and earth-toned murals reminiscent of the large rock paintings (pictographs) left behind by the ancient ones. The lighting is low and the mood is relaxed. Attire is dressy casual.
PARKING - The valet parking is not cheap, so you may want to find other arrangements - but if you're dropping big bucks on a dinner, who cares?
RESERVATIONS - Not a bad idea, although I personally have never seen the restaurant full. Also open for lunch and breakfast.
BOTTOM LINE - Elegant setting and polished service will make you feel like a big spender. Hopefully my last dinner was just an off night.