Tidbits: don’t let April fool you - there’s lots going on in Santa Fe

T.S. Elliot once wrote “April is the cruelest month of the year.” Santa Fe may disprove that this year. If April is anything like March, we’re in for a treat! We had a very early spring. When the Equinox arrived buds were already on the trees and some were even starting to leaf. It was in the 70s. It’s cooled down a bit, now in the 60s, but we woke up to snow on the ground on Saturday morning. Welcome to spring in Santa Fe!

There’s a lot of food news this month plus some other things to share and we’ll get right to it.

Santa Fe a unique sense of place- The Oldest House (in the USA), photo Steve Collins

The Oldest House (in the USA), photo Steve Collins

Santa Fe just garnered a HUGE honor. It won first place for Sense of Place in the National Geographic World Legacy Awards. To put it into perspective, over 1,000 cities around the world entered in this category. According to Cynthia Delgado, Director of Marketing for TOURISM Santa Fe, “Our site evaluator Keith Sproule shared that the people and community of Santa Fe had a passion for Santa Fe. It was that passion for the City that sustained the rich culture and history.” Our small city rocks! Here’s what we think gives Santa Fe its unique sense of place. Planning a visit here? We can create a unique and memorable itinerary for you. Check out The Santa Fe Traveler website.

Food and dining news

A James Beard Best Chef contender in our midst

Chef Martin Rios in the kitchen, photo/Kate Russell courtesy Restaurant Martin

Chef Martin Rios in the kitchen, photo/Kate Russell courtesy Restaurant Martin

Popular Santa Fe chef, Martin Rios of Restaurant Martin, is the only New Mexican among the five finalists for the 2017 Best Chef of the Southwest James Beard Award. Winners will be announced at a gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 1st. Good luck, Martin! You’re already a winner in our book.

After 23 years, Back Street Bistro, located on out of the way Camino de los Marquez, famous for its homemade soups, has closed its doors over a landlord dispute. There had been rumors about reopening at a new location but since they were advertising everything for sale last week, it seems they’re be gone for good. If you want to own a piece of the BSB, there may still be some stuff left.

Rancho de Chimayó

Florence Jaramillo (on right) and Cheryl Alters Jamison a the Edible awards, photo Rancho de Chimayo.

Florence Jaramillo (on right) and Cheryl Alters Jamison a the Edible awards, photo/Zina Jundi

If you are a regular reader you know we love Rancho de Chimayó and its feisty owner, octogenarian Florence Jaramillo, known affectionately as Mrs. J. She and the restaurant garnered two honors last month: she was awarded the New Mexico Restaurant Association’ first annual Women’s Restaurant Award as well as a Local Hero Award from Edible Santa Fe. She’s no stranger to awards. A few years ago, the restaurant that turned 50 in 2015 was named a James Beard America’s Classic (a designation given to “restaurants with timeless appeal, each beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community”) last year.


A view of ELOISA's kitchen, photo Steve Collins

A view of ELOISA’s kitchen, photo/Steve Collins

While renowned chef John Rivera Sedlar no longer owns ELOISA (pronounced El-oye-sa), the restaurant at the Drury Plaza Hotel named for his grandmother, he’s still very much involved with it. He retains the titles Culinary Director and Executive Chef that he named for his grandmother and continues to oversee menus and selection of purveyors and we’re assured that the restaurant will honor his original vision. “We can stay true to his recipes,” says Rick Pedram, the hotel’s Food and Beverage Director. “So in essence, nothing has really changed and it will be business as usual.” As for Sedlar, he emailed that the only difference “is I’m here less time and more in the local Native pueblos researching indigenous cooking - very exciting.” ELOISA will be introducing its new spring/summer menu in May.

Jambo Cafe

The back dining room at Jambo Cafe photo/courtesy Jambo Cafee

Jambo Cafe photo/courtesy Jambo Cafee

Jambo Café is temporarily closed. A vehicle crashed its front window on Thursday, March 2nd. Fortunately, although the restaurant sustained extensive damage, injuries were minor. The good news: their food truck was onsite the following day serving up the good eats the restaurant is known for. The truck will remain until Jambo reopens, which they expect will be in mid-May.

Blue Corn no more

Chef David Sundberg cooking at a local chef competition in 2011, photo/Steve Collins

Chef David Sundberg cooking at a local chef competition in 2011, photo/Steve Collins

One of our favorite chefs, David Sundberg, who ran the kitchen at Blue Corn Café & Brewery’s Southside location for years is moving on to new culinary adventures. Chef David was well known and loved for his inventive beer dinners and his commitment to sourcing locally when he could. He’s very excited about his new project, but isn’t yet ready to unveil it. Stay tuned.

Farther afield dining news

We don’t usually share food news from other cities as we have enough going on in our own city but two chefs who worked locally and had followings have new Northern New Mexico gigs and we wanted to share the news.

MÁS Marc

The dining room at MÁS, Hotel Andaluz, photo/Steve Collins

The dining room at MÁS, Hotel Andaluz, photo/Steve Collins

Marc Quinones, one of our favorite Santa Fe chefs, departed for Albuquerque last year. After a brief stint at El Pinto he took over as Executive Chef at MÁS in the city’s Hotel Andaluz  in early March. According to Chris Jacoby, the hotel’s director of Sales and Marketing, Tapas will continue to be the core of the MÁS dinner menu. Some favorites will remain and Chef Marc will be adding new small plates. He’s also expanding the entrée section of the menu. He will also flex his culinary muscles offering both lunch and dinner specials. “The menu,” said Jacoby “is being invigorated with new flavors and experiences.” Under the influence of the hotel’s General Manager, Chris Pauk, the wine list was greatly expanded. Pauk, a wine aficionado and owner of a vineyard in Argentina, expanded the list from 60 mostly Spanish bottles to 160 from around the globe. “I’m not a guy who likes wine by itself; I prefer it with food.” Jacoby shared. “But, there are wines by the glass on the list that stand on their own merit, no food necessary.”

Amaury’s back

Chef Amaury Torres in the kitchen at the Plaza Hotel's restauarant photo couresy Plaza Hotel

Chef Amaury Torres in the kitchen at the Plaza Hotel’s restauarant photo/couresy Plaza Hotel

Remember Chef Amaury Torres of Babaluu’s Cocina Cubana, which closed its doors in the fall of 2013? He’s back! Chef Amaury is at the helm of the kitchen at the historic Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, NM an hour northeast of Santa Fe. Hotel owner Allan Affeldt tells us that the talented culinarian is bringing “his creative fine dining to Las Vegas, with an emphasis on Victorian, Spanish and local.” We can’t wait to try it! Longmire fans will recognize the façade of the historic hotel as it’s in many of their shots. The hotel is on the old Los Vegas Plaza cattycorner to the building that serves as the Absaroka County Sheriff’s office. The show is currently shooting its last season. You may catch some shooting if you head to LV for lunch or dinner at the hotel.

Santa Fe music

New Mexico Performing Arts Society

The New Mexico Performing Arts Society. photo courtesy NMPAS

The New Mexico Performing Arts Society. photo/courtesy NMPAS

The New Mexico Performing Arts Society presents the annual New Mexico Bach Society Concert on Sunday, April 9th at 5:30pm at Immaculate Heart Chapel, 50 Mount Carmel Road. Program and soloist details are available on their website. Tickets are $29 for adults, $36 for seniors over 65 and $18 for students. Children 18 and under free and parents will be given a $5 discount at the door when accompanied by their kids.

Santa Fe Symphony

Santa Fe Symphony's Principal Horn, Nathan Ukens, photo courtesy Santa Fe Symphony

Santa Fe Symphony’s Principal Horn, Nathan Ukens, photo/courtesy Santa Fe Symphony

The Santa Fe Symphony presents Chabrier, Haydn & Schumann on Sunday, April 23rd at 4pm at The Lensic, Santa Fe’s Performing Arts Center. The symphony, under the leadership of Guest Conductor Robert Tweten, presents a program with the theme of  “dreaming of springtimes to come.” The concert opens with Chabrier’s Suite Pastorale, four themed works that “paint a picture of the idyllic French countryside.” Next is Haydn’s Horn Concerto No.1with Nathan Ukens, the orchestra’s Principal Horn, as soloist. Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 wraps up the program. Tweten will give a free pre-concert lecture at 3pm. Tickets, $22 to $80 (half-price tickets available for children ages 6 to 14 with adult purchase) can be purchased at either the Symphony or Lensic box offices or online at the Santa Fe Symphony at Tickets Santa Fe.*

Performance Santa Fe

The vibrant Taj Express onstage, photo courtesy Performance Santa Fe

The vibrant Taj Express onstage, photo/ courtesy Performance Santa Fe

Performance Santa Fe presents the Taj Express on Wednesday, April 12th at 7:30pm at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. The Taj Express, named or the train that has run from Delhi to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, for over 50 years, “takes the viewer through the pulsating heart of India via elaborate costumes, intoxicating music, and thrilling choreography and film.” Tickets: $27 to $100 are available at the Lensic box office or online at Tickets Santa Fe.*

*Tickets Santa Fe

Santa Fe art

No Land

Total, 2017, Digital video on loop, photo courtesy Strangers Collective

Marcus Zúñiga, Eclipse Total, 2017, Digital video on loop, photo/courtesy Strangers Collective

Jordan Eddy, Kyle Farrell and Alex Gill of Strangers Collective are launching NO LAND, a new art space, at 54½ East San Francisco Street. Their inaugural exhibition, Ya Veo, featuring the work of artist Marcus Zúñiga, opens on Saturday, April 8th from 6 to 9pm. The space will be transformed into a “futuristic planetarium” as Zúñiga” incorporates cosmic imagery into new media projections and sculptures, opening windows into the universe by manipulating footage that he captures through a telescope.” The show runs through June 10th.

Two art openings take place in conjunction with the Last Friday Art Walk in the Railyard Arts District:


Jeremy Mann's "The Valley Shouts for Joy", photo courtesy EVOKE Contemporary

Jeremy Mann’s “The Valley Shouts for Joy”, photo/courtesy EVOKE Contemporary

EVOKE Contemporary opens a new show featuring the works of artist Jeremy Mann opening on Friday, April 28th from 5 to 7pm at their Railyard gallery. Mann’s work, according to EVOKE “embodies the grit and character of the urban landscape with a tone and color quality rivaled by few. Supported by a massive global following, his approach is a combination of menacing attack, fused with bolero romanticism.” The show runs through May 20th.

SITE meets form & concept

Ryan Villarma, “Pussilanimous”, photo courtesy SITE Santa Fe

Ryan Villarma, “Pussilanimous”, photo/courtesy SITE Santa Fe

SITE Santa Fe may be closed for expansion but they’re still a force on the Santa Fe art scene.  They’re joining with form & concept for Deliberate Acts, the sixth annual exhibition of the SITE Scholar program, on Friday April 28th from 5 to 7pm at form & concept’s gallery at 425 South Guadalupe. The program, targeted at college-age artists, aims to “lay the foundations of art careers for students across New Mexico.” Under the leadership of Joanne Lefrak, SITE’s Education Director, SITE Scholar offers a wide range of opportunities to higher education students across New Mexico. The show runs through May 20th.

Santa Fe misc. 

On Your Feet's current Sambusco store, photo courtesy On Your Feet

On Your Feet’s current Sambusco store, photo/courtesy On Your Feet

On Your Feet, one of Santa Fe’s few shoe stores, opened 1989, and its sister clothing store, Get it Together are moving. They are the last holdouts at the former Sambusco Center, now owned by the New Mexico School for the Arts. Many of the other tenants that were in the charming mini mall moved to DeVargas Center last year. The good news: they’re not moving far. Their new digs are at Guadalupe Station on Montezuma Street, a block east of their current location. They’re leasing 5,000 square feet that formerly housed three shops. The old stores will be closing on April 15th. Get your summer shoes and clothing now as they won’t reopen until sometime in June or July. Onwer, Nina Houle says, “We also have an ongoing sale 60% now… and a blowout sale our last day April 15th outside.”

That’s all we’ve got; told you it was a short month! Tidbits will be back on the last Tuesday in April. ¡Hasta Luego!

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