Santa Fe’s been unusually hot and really dry. This time of year, we’re supposed to get the “monsoon” rain storms in the afternoon. These torrential showers cool down the air temp a bunch, drench the ground and make the arroyos run. Time for a rain dance!
Food and wine news:
In response to the new economy, Michael O’Reilly, the enterprising owner, Pranzo Italian Grill is opening Alto, a new upscale yet affordable bistro, in the restaurant’s second story space. Kate Campbell, Pranzo’s general manager, who’s working closely with the chef on the new menu, calls the concept, “hip, edgy and youthful”. Their aim is to create sophisticated, seasonal mostly, a la minute dishes, starring fresh and local foods whenever possible. While Pranzo serves what Campbell calls, “family Italian,” the new concept is global with an Italian twist. The menu will feature a mix of small and large plates. The smaller options, priced between $4 and $7, will allow diners to graze their way thru the offerings. Many items will be available in both sizes. Top entrée price will be a reasonable $15. O’Reilly, who knows his wines (he worked for Robert Mondavi for over 20 years before becoming a restaurateur), is putting together an affordable list of South American labels. Glasses will be priced at $7 and $8. They are hoping to be open in late July. They’ll be open Wednesday thru Sunday from 5 to 8pm. They want to add lunch at some point and the goal is to be open seven nights. Campbell says that Pranzo has always been customer driven and they welcome diners’ feedback. She says that Alto will be a work in progress at least for a while, shifting and changing until they get it just right. When they new space reopens, pianist David Geist, who’s been playing the piano there for years will be back. Check with the restaurant for his schedule.
Kudos to Harry’s Roadhouse. The popular local eatery is going solar. Harry Shapiro, the enterprising owner has tapped into a federal grant to help with the $159K price tag. The US Department of Agriculture is funding the program that gives small businesses, farmers and ranchers funds through the Rural Energy for America Program to either install or improve renewable energy systems. They fund up to 25 percent of the project which gives Harry’s $37,821. The solar power is projected to save them about 40 percent on monthly electric bills.
Last week we told you about Encantado’s management change and reported, per the Public Relations firm that represents the resort that Executive Chef Charles Dale would be staying on at Terra. The local grapevine said he’d leaving the Four Diamond restaurant and now it’s confirmed. Four Seasons has issued an official statement sent by PS representative, Ashley Kind states:
“We have tremendous respect for Chef Charles Dale and wish him the very best as he makes this transition to focus on his family. Chef Dale has been in instrumental in setting the culinary direction for the resort and establishing Terra as a leading dining destination in Santa Fe. We anticipate unveiling our culinary plan for Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe within the next four to eight weeks.”
We wish Charles well. Those will be tall shoes to fill. We’re sure Four Seasons is up to it.
The 19th Annual Santa Fe Wine Festival will be at El Rancho de las Golondrinas Saturday, July 7th and Sunday, July 8th from noon to 6pm both days. Sixteen New Mexico wineries will be at the event talking wine and offering tastings to attendees. In addition, there will be food and 45 vendors offering wine accessories, jewelry, art and farm products. Roque’s Carnitas, the popular stand that’s been on the historic Santa Fe Plaza for over 25 years, will be offering his famous fare. There will be live music both days:
Noon to 2:30pm: Boris McCutcheon and the Salt Lick Trio
3:00 – 5:30pm Havana Son
Noon to 2:30: Zenobia
3:00 – 5:3pm: La Junta
If you’ve never been to this local treasure, Las Golondrinas is a living history museum set on over 200 acres that was part of a Spanish land grant. Costumed volunteers recreate life in Spanish Colonial New Mexico for visitors.
Museum and gallery news:
Northern New Mexico has a rich tradition of Spanish Colonial Art. Today, Santeros, artists creating images of saints, continue a tradition that goes back over 400 years. The form has two main expressions: bultos (three dimensional carvings) and retablos (two dimensional paintings, often done on tin). SANTOS CONTEMPORANEOS, Axle Contemporary’s latest show featuring the work of three contemporary Santeros, Charlie Carrillo, Vicente Telles and Clay Peres, is on Friday, July 6th from 5 to 7pm under the shade structure at the Santa Fe Farmers Market.
The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture has a few events planned for Saturday, July 7th and Sunday July 8th in conjunction with their current exhibitions, Woven Identities, and They Wove for Horses, both on view until March 2013.
10am to 5pm: Trunk show and sale presented by Indian art expert Terry DeWald featuring Indian baskets from the Southwest and California, and Navajo saddle blankets.
Noon to 4:30 pm: Basketry demonstration by two award-winning Native artists. Both Terrol Dew Johnson (Tohono O’odham) and, Loa Balumnaech Ryan (Tsimshian) will demonstrate their techniques.
2 to 4:30pm: Indian basket expert Terry DeWald will lead a discussion with master basket weavers from Arizona, the North West Coast, Panama, and South Africa.
Admission to these events is free with museum admission. Remember all State museums are free to NM residents with IDs on Sundays.
SITE Santa Fe’s new exhibition, More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness, opens to the public at on Sunday, July 8th. The cutting-edge show is a joint effort of SITE and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. What is “truthiness” you might ask? Coined by Stephen Colbert for his popular TV segment, The Word, SITE interprets it as “fabricated truths, without regard to fact or logic.” The works in the show, all manipulated images, “blur notions of reality and truth.” Organized by Elizabeth Armstrong, contemporary art curator and director of the Center for Alternative Museum Practice at the Institute, the show has work from over 25 established and emerging artists from around the world. In a time when any image can be manipulated with the touch of a mouse, this is a provocative topic. The show runs through January 6,2913.
THEATERWORK, a Santa Fe based company with international roots, presents WHERE ANGELS COME TO SING!, at the James Little Theater on Saturday, June 30th at 7pm and Sunday, July 1st at 2pm. The production is the result of a year-long project the group did with students from Mora High School. The students gathered hundreds of stories, some of which are told in this production. They are also the actors. THEATERWORKS calls the characters, “storytellers, poets who have gathered in the Valley, drawn by the beauty, by the songs and voices of the people who live on its hillsides and along its streams.” Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children and teens. For reservations, call 505-577-1799.
Bits and pieces:
The Randall Davey Audubon Center on Upper Canyon is an oasis of peace and a great place to take a walk in nature. This summer they’re offering outdoor butterfly classes. Steve Cary, Audubon New Mexico’s Community Naturalist known as the “Butterfly Guy,” will offer these on the fourth Mondays of June, July and August. The first one is as I write, but you an still catch the other two. They’ll be on July 23rd and August 27th. Both classes are from 10am to noon. Classes are recommended anyone over 8 years of age. Participants will enjoy a moderate walk though the Center and adjacent Santa Fe Canyon Preserve to observe butterflies found there. Binoculars are recommended. Audubon members may attend free of charge. The cost for non-members is $5 per person. For reservations, contact Steve Cary, at 505-983-4609 ext 27.
The vintage Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, running from Chama, NM to Antonito, Colorado is, according to the operators, the highest coal operated steam train in the United States. They offer daily service from both ends of the line and also offer special trains. This caught my eye this week and I wanted to share it. They’re planning a series of Moonlight Wine Tasting Trains featuring New Mexico wineries this summer. All but one train departs from Chama. The views on the route to Osier where dinner is served are memorable. For reservations call (888) 286-2737.
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