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New Mexico has recently fostered a bumper crop of fantastic, creative, interesting new restaurants that have transported us to a state of culinary bliss. Our sharp-eyed (and sharp-toothed!) readers identified the juiciest morsels.


Rowley Farmhouse Ales
This southside gastropub captivated Santa Feans with its focus on complex, fruity Belgian-style ales and an ambitious menu of elevated bar food, like Korean-style chicken wings and duck pâté banh mi

Chef Fernando Olea’s upscale Mexican restaurant just off the Plaza is on fire with grasshopper tacos, pork-belly taquitos, signature moles, and gorgeous south-of-the-border cocktails.

El Nido
The city cheered when the chef behind the beloved Bang Bite food truck took over this iconic and too-long-empty Tesuque facade. The building is renovated, the vintage steakhouse menu replaced with trendy wood-fired pizzas, creative pastas, and rotisserie meats. (See recipe on p. 61.)


At her new project in Nob Hill, oft-lauded chef Jennifer James focuses on French classics but gives herself plenty of room to get creative, as with the “carrot dog,” a poached and grilled carrot that 
seems to mysteriously 
match, then far surpass, 
a hot dog.

This self-styled craft-beer kitchen serves 100 local beers and puts a hip spin on New Mexico favorites like whole-hog green chile stew and chile con Kobe beef.

Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria
Two new locations—one at Green Jeans Farmery (see story on p. 18) and another in Old Town—introduced this pie to audiences hungry for traditional pizza topped with house-made mozzarella and fired in a wood oven.


Common Fire in Taos is a cozy, creative gathering place at Quail Ridge Resort with an outstanding wine list, a changing menu that makes use of the giant wood-fired oven, and a jaw-dropping view of the mountains.

Tapas Tree Grill in Silver City is a global street-food adventure that quickly became popular for its huge portions (for tapas!) and multicultural mashups like Mediterranean lamb sliders and Vietnamese pork-stuffed crepes with 
pickled veggies and Sriracha mayo.

Smokey’s Roadhouse in Gallup spiced up the city with barbecued ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and smoky sausage spread over tables covered with butcher paper and served with a huge choice of beers on tap.

Pig + Fig in White Rock serves sophisticated breakfast and lunch in an unlikely spot (a strip shopping center near the shuttle to Bandelier National Monument). The signature sandwich combines honey-cured ham, Brie, and fig jam 
on sourdough.

Salud de Mesilla is a haven for the paleo, the gluten-free, and the gourmand. Don’t miss duck confit beignets dipped in warm maple syrup, fried chicken with jalapeño and bacon crumbs, and a nacho plate with corn chips or fried pork skins.

The Encino Firehouse isn’t just the best new restaurant in this Torrance County village (population 82)—it’s the only restaurant, which is part of the reason readers are so excited. The food is great, too: barbecue pork-belly sandwiches, burgers smothered with beans and chile, plus pizza and tamales.

Big-Night-Out Restaurants

Cheap Date