Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed. – Mark Twain
Amidst the truths, half-truths, plottings and schemings of New Mexico politico and visiting dignitaries (which have included the likes of Bill Richardson and Mikhail Gorbachev), Rio Chama serves the finest prime and choice dry aged steaks, chops and seafood. Find a mix of intimate dining rooms with kiva fireplaces, a lively bar scene, courtyard dining and a relaxing patio bar, and, in 2006 Rio Chama renovated a room to add the Humidor, the only public cigarette and cigar bar in Santa Fe. Rio Chama combines great food, premium wine and spirits, warm ambiance, a friendly, professional staff, the color of politics you only see in New Mexico and dining options for all occasions.
Serving up savory steaks in a refined ranch atmosphere, this is one of Santa Fe’s most popular restaurants. The wine list here has been designed first and foremost with chef Russell Thornton’s menu in mind. You’ll find move than 840 wines with hundreds of selections from California, France, Italy and Spain, with ample and unique offerings from the rest of the world. The list pairs exceptionally with Thornton’s love of braises, roasts and grilled dishes as well as the culinary influences of New Mexico and the Southwest. The chef focuses on contemporary American cuisine with Southwestern influences, featuring the finest dry and wet aged steaks, prime rib, wild game and fresh seafood. It’s an eclectic menu you’ll enjoy working your way through.
Rio Chama is a good spot for a business lunch or a fun-filled evening and the patio is a bright spot during warm months. Lunch brings more formal dishes such as a lumpy crab draped over angel hair pasta. At dinner, the prime rib is a big hit, as is the filet mignon, both served with a potato and other vegetable. The bar menu offers a prime rib sandwich, a large serving of melt-in-your-mouth goodness. This is a steakhouse but the burgers on the bar menu are excellent. Try the truffle fries, and you treat yourself to the incredible Chocolate Pot.
The bar here romps during Happy Hour, when the booths fill up, martinis nearly overflow and reasonably priced menu items sate post-work appetites.
The Abiquiú Room features a private collection of Georgia O’Keefe photos taken by her personal photographer, Malcolm Varon, and has also hosted the Clio Awards Dinners for the past two years.
Rio Chama is located in Santa Fe’s oldest neighborhood—the Barrio de Analco, which literally means “neighborhood on the other side of the river,”just off the Santa Fe Plaza and near the state capitol. Stop in for the weekly Happy Hour, Monday through Friday, 4 o 6 p.m. and enjoy pecials on wine, house margaritas and house drafts! Visit their website.
414 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87501