From cleaning trout at 10 cents apiece, to being contracted by Arizona Catering to cook for concerts and movies; from cooking trout, to owning several restaurants and being the Chef for Le Café Miche in Albuquerque (“one of the top ten French restaurants in the nation”)… Brett Lewis has “been there… done that” in the food industry. Even Ruth, his wife, worked for Brett in one of his restaurants. It was love at first sight and in due time, they were married and have stood by each other during the “ups and downs” of Life.
Growing up here, Brett watched Red River grow from when it was mostly swamp land by the river to what it is today – from when the road was first paved, curbs and gutters built, to the installation of street lights. His grandfather Leffy came here in 1932, when Brett’s father (Lester) was only three years old. He built the Lewis Ranch, a saw mill, a drag line that created a lake, cut ice and sold it out of their ice house. According to Brett, the first road from Red River to Questa (a wagon trail) was also built by him, along with the Black Mountain Playhouse (the first casino).
As a kid, Brett had a love of motorcycles and skiing that consumed him. Too young to have the strength to even lace up his own ski boots, someone had to do it for him and watch over him, as he would ski till his fingers were too frozen to unlace them. With his first job of cleaning fish for 10 cents, he saved it all up to buy a motorcycle that didn’t even run. You can imagine what his parents had to say about that. Motorcycles are still his favorite mode of transportation.
In 1979, Brett opened his first restaurant called The Homestead Steakhouse, which is where Capo’s now stands. After that, he went to Rio Costilla for a time to cook at a hunting lodge. Tiring of the sixteen mile drive on a dirt road everyday to get to work, he came back to Red River, where he remodeled an old cabin into his new restaurant called Brett’s Homestead Steakhouse (now the Lonesome Pine Pub). A few years later he bought his father’s old house and turned it into Brett’s Steakhouse, a local favorite till he sold it in 2003 and moved away.
Upon their return a few months ago, Brett and Ruth opened Brett’s House Bed & Breakfast in his parents’ home where they have created an inspired, tranquil space for travelers, delicious “Brett Food”, and hospitality at its finest. Come up and see them sometime! You’ll be glad you did!