Friday, August 11, 2006

GERONIMO, here we come....(Santa Fe)..and more...

Geronimo on Canyon Road consistently gets the top ratings for food, quality and service in Santa Fe, and I must agree, we always have a fine dining experience there. Last night was no exception, for the most part.

The bread was hot out the oven and tasty fresh, but I was surprised to find that no amuse bouche was offered at all. We ordered a superb bottle of DOMAINE SERENE 2002 Cote Sud Vineyard Chardonnay made from Dijon Clones (Willamette Valley, Oregon) and a gorgeous straw yellow in color with an intense minerality and a hint of French oak. It was perfect with our starters: my SPICY MARYLAND BLUE CRAB CAKES with Pan Braised Leeks in White Wine Chive Butter Sauce. These were spicy versions of our back home favorites that did well with those yummy New Mexican chilis. Will had the less exciting MAINE LOBSTER and CABBAGE ROLLS with Avocado Endive Salad and Lemongrass Vinaigrette. Here Chef Eric diStefano seemed to miss the mark a bit. The rice paper wrapped rolls were not too exciting, and at times seemed to be short on lobster. We actually had to send it back halfway through for a replacement as a hair appeared on the plate under the rolls! Our server apologized profusely and brought out another entire portion (which had more lobster than the first as well).

Will opted for the yummy CORN TEMPURA FRIED MARYLAND SOFTSHELL CRABS with Chilled Bucatini Pasta Salad and Roasted Garlic, Cornichon and Walnut Remoulade. The pasta was boring, but the crabs were superb--as good as back home! My PEPPERY ELK TENDERLOIN with Applewood Smoked Bacin. Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Snap Peas and Brandy Sauce was heavenly, and the meat was as tender as could be (unlike the stringy raw chop at Casa Sena last week). Even the peas and potatoes were superb; this is one of Santa Fe's star dishes. I had a glass of intense ROSENBLUM 2003 SYRAH "Abba Vineyard" that worked perfectly with the meat as well.

Desserts as well are a huge success at Geronimo with Will's TOFFEE CHEESECAKE with Pecan Linzer Crust and Caramel Ice Cream and my PASSION FRUIT SEMIFREDDO with White Chocolate Mousse, Orange Cake and Pineapple Compote. The latter was beautifully layered from cake to mousse to semifreddo on top and was a light and luscious treat. We shared a glass of COSENTINO 2002 Late Harvest Viognier which had a yummy smokey acidity when swirled around the mouth before we headed off to The TEMPEST at the opera.

We had breakfast yesterday at our hotel LA POSADA and it's always a huge treat (breakfast in this city is always HUGE). Samuel had a fruit and yogurt platter with all kinds of melons, papaya, pineapple, kiwi, berries, etc and honey which he enjoyed drizzling over the fruit. I had the BEEF HASH with Poached Eggs and of course, spicy chilis, while Will went for the Frittata. The breads again come from Sage Bakery and get fresh homemade jams: strawberry, peach and rhubarb--YUM YUM.

Lunch yesterday was really more for Samuel than us, so we headed to ROOFTOP PIZZERIA on the Plaza (60 E San Francisco, which is a new place atop a small shopping mall and a true retreat from the hustle of downtown. The outdoor tables have a view of the city and mountains and are perfected shaded with canopies. The child's pizza is huge and the regular ones (which we did not have) looked excellent. Even the lemonade was great.

Today we had breakfast with three dear friends also visiting town for the Santa Fe Opera's 50th Anniversary this weekend (tonight is the big gala) at The COWGIRL Hall of Fame Grill which offered a small, if sad, playground in the rear which kept Samuel busy. He sadly refused even a taste of the delicious BLUEBERRY PANCAKES, and just ate all the bacon. My BREAKFAST BURRITO was the best ever loaded with Bacon, potatoes, scrambled eggs and of course, a healthy helping of green chili sauce. It was sop huge I could not finish it, but everyone seemed to be enjoying everything except Will said the homefries were boring and not hot enough, although he loved the Cowgirl Eggs Benedict with Smoked Ham. The coffee and lattes get raves, and the staff was great always there when we needed them, despite the fact that we were the only table in the outside rear playground section.