I'm back from that rare event, a week without hypertext. Santa Fe, old friends, ruins, serious art, serious food. Paris, with cactus.
The key dish of the trip -- in which we threw sense and sensibility to the winds whenever mealtime approached -- was a plate of cheese enchiladas at Pasquales. Pasquales has been there forever, it's always been quite good, but these enchiladas were a revelation. A sauce with four different chiles, each of which could be tasted distinctly and separately. A very impressive chicken molé, too. Inspired by this level of complexity, I bought so many cookbooks from the Santa Fe Cooking School that our baggage home was overweight.
Coyote Café was very fine indeed. SantaCafe still does amazing calamari. Anasazi had a reinterpretation of frybread that bears no resemblance to any Navaho taco I've ever met but which contrives to suggest -- with its smattering of saltiness and spiciness and crispiness and a topping of roasted peppers -- why spending a whole day with a metate appealed to the inventors of corn. Tecolote still has wonderful blue corn and piñon pancakes.
The star meal was Geronimo at the end of a long day prowling the innumerable galleries of Canyon Road. Starting with seared foie gras -- not my usual style, but if you're going to try a Fabled Dish, best to do it where they know what theyr'e doing. Then, a tenderloin of elk -- sweet, perfectly cooked, spicy, just right. I don't much like venison, as a rule, but elk is their signature dish and when else are you going to try elk at a restaurant where it's not just a novelty? Besides, I'd been busting the budget all week, and it was a little less than the beef -- another sign of seriousness.