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PLACES AND SPACES
by valery amador



The Inn and Spa at Loretto

Spotlight on Santa Fe, NM

Romance (and the aroma of chiles) abound in the idyllic setting of Santa Fe. Somehow, I have begun to equate the hot fiery taste of New Mexico chile with the feeling of love. Could it be the romantic bed and breakfast that my husband Raul and I shared? Perhaps the adobe fire? Maybe the fact that we ran into our local neighbors, walking hand-in-hand around the Plaza, who just happened to be sharing a romantic weekend to celebrate their anniversary in the city they were engaged. Possibly it was the memory of standing outside of St. Francis Cathedral watching a young, married couple sharing their first moments as husband and wife. Who knows for sure, but I let myself be swept away in the moment and the magic that is Santa Fe.

Rich in sights, sounds, culture, lore, aroma and architecture, Santa Fe is infused with a rich tapestry to feed your senses; mind, body and soul. From sunup to sundown, this beautiful landscape enthralls visitors with local artisans, heavenly food, quant lodging, historic adobe architecture and luxurious spas. This city enjoys unique seasons that are infused with the culture and traditions that are New Mexico. Enjoying the backdrop and magic in this 'land of enchantment,' Raul and I walked-and-talked, shared-and-shopped.

Here are a few of our favorite adventures...

:: Delectable Delights

ristras

Baleen at Inn at Loretto
The adobe picture at the top is the lovely, Inn at Loretto. This luxury Santa Fe property boasts, "Serious food with a whimsical mood." Also, they have been hailed by Wine Spectator magazine with its Award of Excellence in 2004 and 2005.

El Farol
Combines classic tastes of Spain, Santa Fe and Mexico with a unique blend of art, dance, flavor and aroma. You will be able to choose some of the finest wines and sherries the world has to offer in an upbeat, rustic 1835 adobe where the walls tell stories of artists, poets, lovers, local history and beauty.

Julian's Restaurant
Nestled on a narrow street near the banks of the Santa Fe river, Julian's Restaurant has been voted "Santa Fe's Most Romantic Restaurant" by the readership polls of The New Mexican and The Reporter since 1998. Julian's features Italian meals that Travel & Leisure Magazine says Milan would be hard-pressed to match.

The Plaza Cafe
505-982-1664
This diner is THE perfect place for brunch! As the oldest restaurant in Santa Fe, Plaza Café is a gathering place for those who enjoy great Southwestern food, reasonable prices, and historical folklore. A balanced mix of New Mexican, American, and Greek dishes, with boxed lunches available for takeout. A Santa Fe tradition for more than 50 years.

 

SWIG
505-955-0400
Swig restaurant and lounge features an intoxicatingly decorated comtemporary interior, sensual ambient music and Asian/Global cuisine of Executive Chef Eric DiStefano.

The Compound Restaurant
With a heritage that is rich in history and regional influences, chef Mark Kiffin creates his menu around the true regional ingredients brought to the Southwest United States by the Spaniards. You are truly in good hands with Kiffin, the James Beard Foundation's "Best Chef of the Southwest 2005!"

The Inn at the Anasazi Restaurant
Our Executive Editor, Michele Weston, highly recommends this one -- she said, "The food is great and make sure to have a Silver Dollar Marguerita!"

The Shed
Serving real new mexican cooking since 1953, The Shed is conveniently located on Palace Avenue just east of the plaza. Look for the small, vividly colored wooden sign that marks the entrance.

Zia Diner
Chow down on local favorites cooked up by Head Chef, Ahmed Obo, a native of Lamu, Kenya cooked in New York City before moving to Santa Fe in 1994. He works closely with sous-chef, John Chipman, on the extensive menu and daily specials, using only the freshest ingredients and local produce.


:: Passion for Shopping

Double Take
Corner of Guadalupe and Aztec Streets
505-989-8886
Excellent source for art, clothing, furniture, linens, lace, glassware, jewelry, boots, hats, indian blankets, beadwork, pottery and more.

Gift-n-Gourment
Loved this place! Featurs a variety of New Mexico chile food products and a large selection of decorative and functional southwestern items.

Jackalope
Not to be missed! If you love to shop, you will LOVE Jackalope! You will find everything from pottery, rugs, handmade furniture, ethnic folk art, and much more from around the world. And make sure not to miss the 'prarie dog farm!'

Nambé
Known for award-winning, handcrafted designs in Metal, Crystal, Porcelain, and Colored Art Glass for the home.

Simply Santa Fe
72 East San Francisco Street
505-988-3100
Simply the best shopping in Sanat Fe! Simply Sanat fe offers 3 full floors of home furnishings, clothing, accessories, jewelry, foods, books and much more.

Sombria
Divine body and bath products from the American West. They offer natural products derived from local sources that are hand-crafted by local talent. Try the salt scub!

Tees & Skis
A great assortment of high quality, eclectic T-shirts
107 Washington
Santa Fe NM 87501
505-983-5637

The Chile Shop
The best place to find the richest and purest New Mexico chiles.

The Shop
A Christmas store, located just off the Historic Plaza. They specialize in handcrafted Christmas ornaments, Nativities and Santas by New Mexico Artists, many of which are made exclusively for The Shop.

Zago Papers
Exquisite Santa Fe location and atmosphere abound in this unconventional, very specialized paper store. Worth the trip!

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