Here I am, just back from the annual trek to Santa Fe, New Mexico! Each September it is a tradition for the girls in my family to load up the car and cruise down I25 for 5 days of art, jewelry and fun togetherness.
This year we stayed at the Inn of the Alameda. On a scale of 1-10 this hotel rates about a 7 with us. What we loved about this hotel was it's location (at the base of Canyon Road), the complimentary wine and cheese everyday at 4:00 p.m. (my niece and I loved the Brie), and the adobe courtyard filled with wild (west) flowers.
Since we are all artists and "foodies" we go to Santa Fe partially to experience the food scene. Each year we search for the most inventive restaurants. Two that stood out as memorable this year were Trattoria Nostrani and Cafe Pasqual.
Cafe Pasqual is a favorite breakfast spot adored for it's food and ambiance. This year we decided to also try dinner. In the evening pillar candles light up this usually sunny little cafe and their entire menu has gone Organic which is really wonderful and rare even in Santa Fe where, much like Boulder, there is a focus on health and wellness. We loved the Garlic Nest French Fries, the Carrot Ginger Soup and the Fresh Buffalo Mozzerella with Tomatoes and Basil. The Thai Salmon with Sticky Rice and Banana was very imaginative with unique flavors and lots of freshness. The dessert was to die for (honestly) : Coconut Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce drizzled on top.
Trattoria Nostrani was (as usual) WONDERFUL. This is a fragrance free restaurant so if you ever dine here never EVER wear perfume or cologne or you will be asked to leave. The philosophy is that heavy fragrance conflicts with the enjoyment of their fine food and wine, so when you make a reservation they ask you not to wear fragrance for your own enjoyment and for that of their other guests. The 5 Cheese Risotto in a Pumpkin Sauce was so amazingly delicious it almost made us cry. We suspect that the secret cheeses and risotto were slowly cooked with white wine, chicken broth and garlic and that the pumpkin sauce was made with fresh pumpkin, cream and some unidentified spices. We can also recommend the House Made Cheese Raviolis with a Olive Oil sauce, the Tempera Squash Blossoms with Artichokes and Chiles and the Beet Sprout Salad, all of which were equally good. The finales of Lavender Panna Cotta and the unforgettable Chocolate Moose Tart left us more than impressed, it left us awe struck, as Chef groupies. This is high art.