Beyond the cascades of wine bottles and European baubles adorning La Provence Brasserie's traditional eatery, award-winning chef Claus Hjortkjaer forges the savory meats and delicate sauces fundamental to traditional and modern French recipes. Classic hors d'oeuvres of escargots and french onion soup make way for a bevy of succulent braised beef and lamb flanked by sautéed garden vegetables. Red, white and sparkling wines hail from locales both domestic and abroad, and bubbly microbrew beers dream of being invited to the wines' raucous cellar parties. Standing gas heaters keep the outdoor Parisian patio toasty as diners at white-clothed tables gaze at performers commanding the stage during open-mic events each Wednesday night.
Timbuctu’s chefs riff on contemporary American dishes and Southwestern flavors, infusing beurre blanc with agave, marinating sirloin in citrus and tequila, and flanking eggs with spicy housemade chorizo. Wines from around the world and beers from Turtle Mountain Brewing Company out of Rio Rancho complement dinners of pork belly with green chile and marmalade or chuck roast with hominy and calabacitas. Saturdays and Sundays kicks off with brunch, where guests can enjoy frittatas, french toast, and salmon BLTs while dreaming of a world where Mondays have been outlawed. Local art covers the walls in the dining room. Each displayed piece is for sale, with all the proceeds going to the artist.
Throughout the day, The Chocolate Maven Bakery & Café buzzes with visitors who dine on kitchen specialties while savoring aromas of fresh pastries from the onsite bakery. With a commitment to locally sourced ingredients and a flavor for international fare, the kitchen crafts dishes such as crispy Mediterranean pizzas with sun-dried tomatoes or empanada pastries with butternut squash. They regularly turn out decorative cakes, bread, and sweet treats as well. True to the eatery's name, the bakery offers vegan sweets and a selection of chocolate goods praised by the Santa Fe Reporter for being "utterly decadent."
For roughly 50 miles, the Rio Grande winds through canyons and the Taos Ski Valley, passing along reddish-brown hills and the distant peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Here, fisherman Taylor Streit casts his line into the rushing water and snags a rainbow trout. An expert fly fisher, Mr. Streit has guided other anglers through Northern New Mexico's waters for more than three decades. He's written three fishing books, been inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, and lit up television screens on programs such as Legends of Rod & Reel. But perhaps the greatest testament to Taylor Streit's success is his son Nick—a championship fisherman in his own right and the current owner of Taos Fly Shop.
Nick has guided trips alongside his dad since he was a teenager, and —along with a full staff of expert anglers—the two continue to lead fishing trips that catch brown trout, rainbow trout, and other fish species in waters such as the Rio Grande and the lower Red River. For their most-dedicated customers, they run a fly-fishing school. Their beginner programs teach basics such as how to cast a line, whereas intermediate classes teach anglers how to read a river's water. Back on dry land, Nick also sells flies, fly rods, and other fishing gear.
Florent and Hervé Lescombes carry on winemaking traditions created by six generations of vintners in the Lescombes family. The winery’s 120 acres of vineyards stretch across the high desert, where the temperate climate and fertile soil help produce 7–10 tons of grapes per acre. After maturing, the grapes travel back to the winery, where state-of-the-art equipment transforms them into more than 70 different wines, including Blue Teal and DH Lescombes. On weekends, live jazz acts play at St. Clair’s four local bistros, which serve French country dishes and gourmet fare. St. Clair's wine festivals invite patrons to crush grapes between their toes and try to catch falling sparks on their tongues at fireworks shows.
The Spot Caf??s kitchen is stocked with locally sourced produce, meats, and cheeses?all of which chefs fashion into omelets, burritos, and more. When 11 o?clock rolls around, the chefs use their stock of ingredients to make shaved Boar?s Head pastrami sandwiches and baskets of fish and chips. The caf??s half-pound Angus burgers, which tuck into seven different breads including Texas toast and green chile rolls, are topped with fried eggs and jalape?os. Come dinner, salads mix lettuce with fried chicken tenders or toasted sesame seeds, and pair nicely with a glass of wine or beer. Customers can order food to-go or dine inside the caf? bedecked with paintings by artist Lloyd Neal Brown and available for purchase or 99-year lease.