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Visiting Santa Fe

2014, February Winter What's New

February 19, 2014: Just because it’s winter and the city is busy with skiing and boarding in the mountains and crackling fireplaces and sunny, crisp days in town doesn’t mean fresh things aren’t still happening. Here is what’s new for winter in Santa Fe.


• The Compound Restaurant reopened after a two-week remodeling project that included new diamond plaster on the walls throughout the historic property. New sous chef Michael Frank, most recently of the Phoenician in Scottsdale, arrived just in time to help Chef Mark Kiffen create a winter menu that includes new items like pancetta wrapped monk fish plus new flavors for old favorites like the pan-roasted chicken breast now with shaved pear and foie gras jus. New furnishing and upholstery are planned in the coming weeks.

• Shake Foundation is now open in a re-imagined gas station on Cerrillos Road near downtown. It’s the brainchild of well-known Santa Fe chef Brian Knox whose vision is to rejuvenate nostalgic foods with local, highest quality ingredients. The iconic New Mexico green chile cheesburger is, of course, the star of the menu, plus classic burgers, lamb burgers, an oyster sandwich, and old-fashioned shakes made with Taos Cow Ice Cream.

• Izanami, a Japanese-style grill has opened at Ten Thousand Waves. In a wooded setting in the mountain foothills, the restaurant features a high-beamed ceiling, cozy booths, and lots of Japanese art. The menu is small, tempting plates and the artisanal sake selection can’t be beat.

• L’ Olivier has opened on Galisteo Street, downtown. The French/Southwestern bistro is owned by chef Xavier Grenet who trained in Europe and was most recently executive chef at Ristra. The menu features soups, salads, and sandwiches for lunch and a range of creative entrees for dinner.

• Inspired by the Brazilian experience at the Museum of International Folk Art–see below–the Museum Hill Café has a new, prix fixe four-course menu featuring the robust flavors of Brazil including a duck tostada, feijoada, a traditional stew of meat and black beans, Brazilian Empanada, Queso Fundido and Orange Flan. The Brazilian selections are optionally paired with wines for a celebratory lunch. The café has spectacular views and is open from 11 am until 3pm daily.

• Long-time Santa Fe chef Fernando Olea – of Bert’s Burger Bowl fame – opened his latest restaurant, Epazote on the Hillside, on Valentine’s Day. The lunch spot, 11am to 2:30 pm, will feature Olea’s New World Cuisine in the art and craft filled market space. Look for the chef’s signature cuitlacoche based dishes, tuna tartar and desserts. Dinner service is planned for the future.

• El-Evation Bistro opened the first of the year and has been getting great reviews for its traditional American fare, hip ambiance and attentive service. Not to mention the convenient downtown location, happy hour deals and friendly vibe. Look for more as this place gets its feet on the ground.

• The Draft Station, opened in early February, is downtown’s newest taproom and pouring 13 local craft beers. Located in the Santa Fe Arcade the new brew pub has one of the few second floor patios in the city with a commanding view of the Plaza. Serving food from sister operation Rooftop Pizzeria, the Draft Station is certain to be an instant hit with Santa Fe locals and visitors alike.


• Hotel Santa Fe is in the middle of expanding its outdoor patio. The newly enlarged space will be covered and feature sliding glass doors that open onto the back courtyard. The patio will adjoin the Amaya Restaurant and accommodate up to 200 people. Completion is expected by April 1.

• Drury Plaza Hotel Santa Fe is now taking reservations for lodging beginning August 4 in anticipation of its expected opening this summer. Drury has extensively renovated a historic building that was the city’s first hospital, added underground parking, incorporated meeting space and built an upper story pool all just steps from the downtown Plaza. The new Drury will have 183 rooms.


• The Outside Bike & Brew Festival is a new event celebrating Santa Fe’s vibrant, and growing, bike culture. Scheduled for May 15-18, the event officially kicks off Friday with a craft beer fest, bike expo, live music stage, food trucks, live art demonstrations, a bike beauty pageant and a pedi-cab mobile mariachi band that will serenade festival goers Santa Fe style. The weekend will also include a bike in movie, Single Track Sampler demo rides, a ‘Tour de Brewer” ride to four breweries, endurance bike poker race, pro rider led special clinics and, on Sunday the 18th, the 29th Annual Santa Fe Century, a 100-mile ride–and several shorter distances–that explore the history, culture and beauty of the Santa Fe area. For competitive riders the Century Gran Fondo timed event will be another part of the day’s activities during the century. , Outside Bike & Brew website due March 1.


• A new photography exhibit, Donald Woodman: Transformed by New Mexico, opens February 23 at the New Mexico History Museum. Woodman came to New Mexico in the 1970s to work as a research photographer at the Sacramento Peak Solar Observatory in southern New Mexico, but soon began exploring the landscapes around him.

• Few countries can boast of art, music, and dance as colorful and joyful as that of Brazil. Brasil & Arte Popular is a new exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art on Museum Hill that celebrates the many dimensions of Brasilian culture and art.

• What could be more stunning than an entire exhibit of gorgeous turquoise jewelry? Turquoise, Water, Sky: The Stone and Its Meaning opens April 13 at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, also on Museum Hill. There will be hundreds of necklaces, bracelets, belts, and other objects, all starring the precious blue stone.

• The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum opened two new exhibitions, both on February 7 running through September 14. “Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawaii Pictures” will feature works by the two friends inspired by their personal experiences during time spent in the islands. While done at the height of their respective powers, much of this work has received little attention. “Georgia O’Keeffe: Abiquiu Views” brings together paintings inspired by her long-time Abiquiu home, some on display for the first time in many decades.


• Music lovers will be captivated by the new spring season of concerts just announced by Santa Fe Concert Association. They include solo concerts by Joyce DiDonato, one of the most acclaimed mezzo-sopranos in the world, and David Russell, a top classical guitarist. There will also be two concerts by on-tour students and faculty of the Curtis Institute, one of the premier music conservatories. SFCA Artistic Director Joseph Illick will hold one of his popular and entertaining lectures on the complex music of Mendelssohn.

• Saint John’s College is bringing its summer outdoor music series indoors for a series of jazz evenings called Music on the Hill Elevated. It’s a club-like setting with wine, beer, and small plates available. The series continues through March. Reservations or advance ticket purchase are recommended.

• The highly-regarded Aspen Santa Fe Ballet just announced that the fiery dance and music of Juan Siddi Flamenco Santa Fe will become part of the ASFB operation. The move will free creative director Juan Siddi to focus more on production and less on the day to day operation of the company. Look for performances from both at the Lensic Performing Arts Center this spring and summer. ,


• During March, visitors can do more than appreciate Santa Fe’s world famous art scene—they can join in. Only the desire to create is needed to bring out anyone’s hidden artist. DIY Santa Fe: A Creative Tourism Journey is an annual event that gives visitors the unique opportunity to work with top notch local artists and artisans in their own studios. There are hundreds of workshops from painting, pottery, and photography to egg decorating, tinsmithing, silk painting, jewelry making, dance, and more. Some workshops last just an hour or two while others are multiple days. Participants sign up for the experiences they choose, then book discounted hotel rates at Accommodations include hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rental homes. There is also a fun series of contests and prizes, including a free hotel stay, for participants.

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