Sunday, November 17, 2019

Wine and Chile Weekend in Santa Fe

Professional Drinkers and Eaters
September is one of the best times of the year to go to Santa Fe and to celebrate the end of the summer.  There is the best foodie event west of the Mississippi, the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Festival  It is a celebration of great wine, great food, great chefs and the culmination a great festival at the Santa Fe Opera.  This year we teamed up with friends and family to celebrate the event.  We like to stay at La Posada because it is an elegant hotel with great ambiance and history that has a fantastic location and superb service
This year we decided to attend a Wine Dinner Event at Eloisa and join friends at the VIP section at the big Saturday festival at the Opera.
I rolled into town and had just started my Weight Watchers (WW) diet so I was worried that i would succumb to a food coma over the 4 days we were there.  But fortunately La Posada has a WW friendly breakfast menu so I was able to start the day with only burning a few points.  Santa Fe in the beginning of the fall is crisp and full of color and for those of you that have never been it is one of Americas most beautiful and historic cities.
Night one we went to one of our favorite spots Paper Dosa this is a highly thought of Indian
Paper Dosa
restaurant that focus's on Southern Indian Food and does it better than perhaps any restaurant in the US.  If you go to Paper Dosa you have to have the Dosa.  I went for the Green Chile Dosa with Sambar and Chutney. Sweet and Spicy! It was delicious,  To accompany the Dosa you have to have an ice cold beer.  Way to start our culinary adventure.  BTW I stayed within my 41 WW points.
Typical Santa Fe sunset
Several months back when we were visiting Santa Fe we made a reservation at Eloisa which is located at the first level of The Drury Plaza Hotel.  The menu is inspired by Chef John Rivera Sedlar who focuses on South American influences to his cuisine.  Wine and Chile Festival week host dozens of wineries partnered with Santa Fe's best restaurants, Michael David Winery was featured at Eloisa.  None of us were that familiar with this winery but we were pleasantly surprised with the high quality of all their pairings and the pours were plentiful.  This was not a dinner for a person on a diet so I took the night off.  The meal started with crab canapes and a delicious cocktail.  There were a lot of delicious small plates and I want to focus on my favorites

Sea Bass
Sea Bass on Risotto, the Sea bass skin was crispy and the fish was perfectly pan seared and was served on a lovely spinach and mushroom risotto with an Orange Buerre Blanc.  The Sea Bass was served with a crisp Chardonnay Lodi.  The second course was a smoked duck breast with a Bing Cherry demi on turnip puree with a side of heirloom carrots.  this was served with a hardy Cabernet Sauvignon "Rapture".  They were not through and brought out a New Zealand Lamb Chop, burgundy buerre rouge with Sweet potato succotash.  This was served with the Lust Red Zinfandel Lodi.  Everything was perfectly cooked, there was an abundance of great wine and drinks.  We all rolled out of there 3 hours later stuffed to the gill and wobbling a little for a short walk back to La Posada.
Wine and Chile Festival Queens
The big day had arrived for the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Grand Tasting.  This year we met our friends the Doumas at the Aspen Vista Terrace which is the private VIP area.  At the festival there are 75 restaurants serving unique tastes and 100 wineries serving their best pour.  We had early access so I felt like Joey Chestnut and literally ran out to the best food venues.  Geronimo, Restaurant Martin, La Casa Sena, Sazon, The Compound, Jambos, Amaya Arroyo Vino and many more.  After i got my fill i then focused on some great wineries including Jordan, Duckhorn, Caymus, Schug Trinchero and many others.  We had a great time we were all full within the first hour, I came to the conclusion there is no good strategy at these events almost all the food
and wine is good so I proved to myself I am no Joey Chestnut. 
The Santa Fe Opera is a great location, unfortunately the owners of this festival have decided to move it.  We will give the new location a try next year