Rolling into the New Mexican village of Galisteo, 22 miles southeast of Santa Fe, is like traveling back in time. Dwarfed by high desert plains, the tiny town has dusty red dirt roads that wind their way among low-slung adobe houses, including the newly renovated Galisteo Inn. Each of its 11 affordable rooms is different, but all have rustic details such as soaring ceilings with raw vigas, handwoven cotton bedspreads, corner fireplaces, and well-worn floorboards. Shaded by cottonwood trees, the 300-year-old inn surrounds a grassy courtyard with a lap pool and a hot tub for those chilly desert nights. The cozy La Mancha Bar & Restaurant serves pineapple-infused vodka martinis, and in the restaurant, chef Enrique Guerrero whips up decadent portions of achiote-marinated shrimp and grilled honey-brine pork chops.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.