The weather is turning colder yet in climately mild Santa Fe, New Mexico you can still stroll the streets in the evening, do a bit of window shopping and, when you get chilled, stop in for a world-class meal at a downtown restaurant.
Tomme a Restaurant
It was during such an evening that I was introduced to a new restaurant in Santa Fe. The proprietor was not new to Santa Fe and neither was the building. ”Max” also manages her namesake, Max’s, on South Guadalupe and they share the wizardry of Executive Chef, Mark Connell. Yet Tomme certainly felt like a completely new addition to the downtown Santa Fe scene.
Housed in an ideal corner location on 229 Galisteo Street at West Alameda, Tomme offers both indoor and outdoor dining. But it was chilly that night and I enjoyed the warmth and minimalist decor of the new Tomme. Awaiting my friends, I had a lovely glass of Malbec at their sleek bar and enjoyed the scenery through the immense windows.
The decor, in winter grey tones with a light wood floor, took me back to the restaurants of Portland’s Pearl District. Trendy, edgy and cool. I was enjoying this place. The wait staff added warmth to the open room as we chatted about the wonders of the Santa Fe weather.
We enjoyed perusing the menu. It wasn’t a huge menu but had all the offerings you might want – fish, steak, vegetarian and… even fried chicken. That challenged our mental creativity. How could Chef Mark Connell turn fried chicken into bistro fare? With the help of the wait staff we chose three appetizers to share and selected the entrees – fried chicken for two of us and pan seared Alaskan cod for the third, who obviously wasn’t as much in need of comfort food on this fall evening as we were!
Not having had the opportunity to dine at Max’s, a rather pricey restaurant, I was totally surprised at the creativity of the dishes that were paraded to our table. As far as appetizers went, the delectable “Pozole,” with braised pork shoulder, hominy souffle (a hominy souffle?) served in a New Mexico chile sauce with cilantro won our accolades for the night. We enjoyed all the chosen appetizers and thought that it would be fun to explore the tastes of others at a future visit.
Now for the fried chicken. It wasn’t any Colonel Sanders fare, that’s for sure! The crisp and tasty breading lightly covered the moist chicken which was carefully served over a sweet corn puree. It was accompanied by bacon braised greens and a whipped potato croquette. Excellent and tasty. And our friend’s cod was a special dish as well! We enjoyed in-house baked sourdough rolls and herbed butter with the meals.
We found the food to be creative, edgy and just plain good to eat. And the prices – the chicken entree was $16 and the Pozole appetizer was $9, made for a reasonably priced evening. Add to that, a nice little wine list with affordable wines by the glass, and you know we will return for more!
I wondered how it would be to sit there and watch a light snow out of those windows. I vowed to return in a few months to see for myself. It was a mild evening as I walked through the streets after dinner. The shop windows were enticing and music spilled from the bars and hotels. A visit to Santa Fe deserves a downtown hotel. You can explore the shops, the Plaza and dine at such wonderful places as Tomme, all within walking distance!
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary meal for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.