Monday, August 07, 2006

The COMPOUND makes a comeback in SANTA FE

Tonight's luscious dinner was up the famous gallery lined Canyon Road in Santa Fe, back to THE COMPOUND where I have not been for over a dozen years. The Compound was THE spot to dine when I first started going to Santa Fe in the 80's, but it declined a bit several years back. Chef MARK KIFFIN is now in charge and has garnered many awards including a JAMES BEARD regional chef!

Our wine was a superb bottle of ELK COVE Pinot Noir "La Boheme" Vineyard 2004 from Oregon. I was afraid the wine would be too young, but this vintage is ready to drink NOW and is full fruit and yummy. One must mention the excellent olive bread (and sourdough) from Sage Bakery in town as well.

My appetizer was a wonderful CRAB REMOULADE ECLAIR with Butter Lettuce, Tomato and Spicy Mustard-Caper Dressing. This was a large eclair (not sweet) filled with piles of crab salad on beautiful heirloom yellow and red tomatoes with several dollops of the sauce for spice. It was sublime.

Everyone else ordered the excellent fleshy and tasty ALASKAN HALIBUT in Lemon-Fennel Broth, but I opted for the VEAL SHORT LOIN SCALLOPINI with Chanterelles and Baked Oregon Cheddar Orzo in Buttered Veal Reduction. The meat melted in my mouth and was so wonderfully tasty as well as the accompanying mushrooms and the orzo. Course two--just as sublime as the first.

We had told lur server we needed to get to the opera, but we just couldn't seem to find him after our plates were cleared (incidentally, they cleared the plates while one of us was still eating-a BIG NO NO). I tried to motion to several folks for dessert menus, and finally reached in back of me and grabbed them off the table next to us. We still had to bug someone to get our order placed, so by this point the 20% tip had dropped to 15%. The PEACH SPICE CAKE with Peach Ice Cream, Peach Caramel Sauce and Ginger Snap finally did get ordered and we all shared it. A luscious cake and ice cream and sauce as well, but the "ginger snap" was really a gummy tuille" that we discarded. Final course, also sublime, minus the little cookie. Service gets a "C" though, but I think I'll still return to the COMPOUND again next trip.