Anasazi Restaurant & Bar
In early 2006, Santa Fe's most celebrated chef, Martin Rios, left his post at the relatively prosaic Eldorado Hotel to take over the kitchen at the decidedly swankier Inn of the Anasazi. Since then, Rios has given gravitas to what had been an inconsistent restaurant: you'll see just how high the Anasazi's star has risen if you try snagging a weekend dinner reservation at the last minute. Rios adheres to classic French culinary techniques, but his ingredients draw heavily from Asia; his entrées include Hawaiian bigeye tuna lightly encrusted with a mix of shiso paste and mustard, and crispy pork belly with diver scallops in a silky almond-ancho chile mole. The dining room, with its high wood-beamed ceilings and thick adobe walls painted with abstract pictographs, reinforces the subdued, elegant vibe.
Tip: During warm-weather months, take an outdoor seat at The Patio, a laid-back spot overlooking historic Washington Avenue that serves a more casual menu of Rios’s small-plate dishes.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.