The chef should be knighted.
One of the most romantic restaurants in Santa Fe, with its intimate dining rooms, candlelit atmosphere and bohemian chandeliers, 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar is one of the city’s hotspots. The restaurant has all the hallmarks of a French bistro, including white-linen tables, lace curtains, a chalkboard menu and an extensive French wine list. With an ambience of relaxed elegance, it feels like it could be on a thoroughfare in Paris. Seasonal dining on the garden patio opens onto the Old Santa Fe Trail street scene but the restaurant maintains its intimacy.
Owner and chef Louis Moskow has carved a name for himself in a town filled with rock star chefs, garnering accolades from Gourmet Magazine, Fodor’s Travel, USA Today’s 10 Best and Bon Apetit. He is an expert at pairing food with wine and hosts dinners matching celebrated wines of France and other countries. Wine Spectator bestowed their Award of Excellence to 315 for one of the largest and most well-conceived in the region. Ask Moskow if he’s got anything special on his reserve list and you could be in for a major treat, especially if you share his love of Pinot Noir.
Chef Moskow classically yet creatively prepares cuisine using only the freshest ingredients and is an herb master. Daily specialties on the ever-evolving menu might include squash-blossom beignets with local goat cheese or grilled boneless lamb loin with crispy polenta, spring vegetables and green peppercorn sauce. They cure all of their meats, such as their decadent duck prosciutto, in-house. What’s wonderful about 315 is that they manage to create dishes that are light and flavorful, something not always expected from French cuisine, and Chef Moskow is passionate about his ingredients. The basil-wrapped shrimp with apricot chutney and madras curry sauce is exceptional and unlike anything you’ve ever eaten. The mustard crusted rack of lamb with homemade Worcestershire Sauce and homemade pasta is one of their signature dishes. The yellowtail crudo with avocado citrus mousse, fennel and blood orange reduction is an exquisite balance of flavors and textures. Try a light duck soup–just the essence of duck long simmered to extract all of the flavors. The small grilled filet mignon with black garlic potato croquettes and a fantastic caramelized onion flan is a fabulous plate! Broaden your perspective with the beef marrow bone with a blackberry gastrique, something you do not see very often on a menu. If Moskow is excited about mussels, get them, even if that’s not usually what you’re crazy about.
In a city already known for great restaurants, 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar–with its novel combinations of inspired food, an award winning wine list and service that shines–will pull you in and could easily be the best meal you have in Santa Fe. It’s one of those places that just gets better and better. Wine and dine!
Sunday through Thursday, 5pm to 9pm, Friday and Saturday, 5pm to 9:30pm, at 315 Old Santa Fe Trail. (505) 986-9190, website.