Pizzeria Espiritu's founding chef Tom Berkes formulated his pizza dough recipe around Santa Fe's unique altitude, tweaking each thin crust and thick crust pie to cook just right. In addition to specialty pies and calzones brimming with fresh toppings, Pizzeria Espiritu plates old world favorites including pastas drenched in cream sauce and oven-baked salmon. At lunchtime, sandwiches and individually sized pies make for more satisfying midday meals than anything you could find under your car seat.
Osteria d’ Assisi's chef and owner Lino Pertusini learned the dark, delicious magicks of Italian cooking from his chef father in Lake Como, infusing his passion for gourmet flavors and presentation into every dish on his menu. Guests can begin weighing down their linen-draped table with baby shrimp and crisp, golden calamari rings dipped in a spicy tomato sauce ($10.95). The fettuccine verdi alla Carolina ($18.95) dresses its chicken breast in a summery sundress of spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and a cream sauce, and the agnello al rosmarino con mostarda ($34.95) spices a grilled rack of lamb with rosemary, mustard, and thyme, then bathes it in a red-wine sauce. Osteria d' Assisi can finish on a decadent note with the tiramisu dei dolgi ($7.50) and a chaser of Frangelico-infused cappuccino ($8.50).
Lorenzo’s Italian Restaurant's culinary whizzes craft a menu of family-style Italian fare from traditional and progressive, fusion-inspired recipes. Old World Italy and New Mexico seductively tango like mismatched police partners throughout the grilled chicken fettuccini Alfanso, festooned with sausage and green chili ($14.25 for full order). A dozen dynamite pasta preparations grace the dinner menu, as well as grilled rib-eye steak, served with mushrooms sautéed in merlot and a side of fettuccine alfredo ($23.25). Lunchtime yields a crew of 18 pizzas (starting at $11) to satiate stomachs, and half-portion lobster ravioli ($11.50) with lemon and butter sauce tickles tinier appetites. Lips sip on one of seven Italian sodas ($2.50), supplemented with whipped cream to mimic the experience of drinking a carbonated cloud.
Set in an 80-year-old adobe home in Taos’s historic district, Eske’s Brew Pub soothes parched patrons with a lineup of handcrafted beers, and a menu laden with traditional pub fare favorites. Sate carnal cravings with a lean ground-beef burger topped with cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles on a whole-wheat bun ($6.75). Or add New Mexico green chilis to the meaty meal ($7.25), igniting flavorful mouth arson solely for the purpose of quenching it with a fruity and refreshing Apricot Ale. The 10,000 Foot Stout blends tall tastes of caramel, chocolate, and roasted barley, evening out the girth of the Fatty burrito ($8.75)––a heap of beans, homemade mashed potatoes, feta, and cheddar ensconced in a wheat tortilla, and lavished with house-made green-chili turkey stew. Patrons looking to shave seconds off of their meal time can also opt to combine fare and fermentation into one super supper by sampling the grilled bratwurst-and-sauerkraut sandwich ($6.25), sinking teeth into a brewksi-soaked sausage served with braised sauerkraut, stone-ground mustard, mashed potatoes, and a french roll that's been given a stern talking to.
Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Back Road Pizza bakes and slices a menu of cheesy pizzas prepared with homemade dough and locally sourced ingredients. While each pie starts in the New-York tradition, Back Road adds a special cornmeal-coated crust filled with more flavor than plain pizza bases and a crunchy end to every slice. Savor mouthfuls of a specialty creation ($13–$25) such as the New Mexican, a fiery blend of green chile, red onion, and pepperoni, or the meaty Texan, conveniently hewn into handy wedge shapes or outlines of the Batmobile. Crafty consumers can assemble their own pizzas ($8.50+) using a list of more than 20 toppings and a highly focused imagination. Limited appetites can swap in a gluten-free crust ($10.50) for any pizza. Satisfy three-dimensional cravings with a folded calzone packed with up to three toppings ($8) or an oven-roasted chicken sandwich covered in green-chile aioli and baked open-face so chefs can see its smile and tell when it’s ready to serve ($9.50).
Nestled among the four cultural museums of Santa Fe's renowned Museum Hill, Museum Hill Café allows spectacular views of surrounding wildlife and mountain ranges—a vista that Examiner reporter Billie Frank lauds as one of the best in Santa Fe. Owner Weldon Fulton spearheaded the cafe after operating several restaurants in Southern California, adopting the mission of serving fresh, delicious food to both visitors and Santa Fe natives. Within the restaurant's sunlit and WiFi-saturated dining room, tabletops and bar stools linger beneath soft olive-green walls. Little plates of smoked duck flautas with mango puree and Asian shrimp tacos pair with wine and beer, and specialty coffee drinks couple with freshly baked chocolate French silk pie. In lieu of lackluster animatronic juggling seals, the restaurant entertains guests with the musical stylings of pianist Faith Page on Sundays during winter months, and hosts a variety of live performers on the outdoor patio on Fridays during the summer.:m]