Arroyo Vino Restaurant & Wine Shop

Arroyo Vino in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Source: AFAR.com)

Arroyo Vino in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Source: AFAR.com)

My parents celebrated their 47th anniversary during a recent visit to Santa Fe, so my bride and I treated them to a memorable dinner at Arroyo Vino to ensure happy memories (and to subversively reinforce their burgeoning interest in relocating part-time to Santa Fe.)

A ten minute drive from Santa Fe to the new Arroyo Vino is a treat. The space functions as a sleek, well-stocked wine shop and a delicious gourmet dining spot from chef Mark Connell. Expect a rotating menu of seasonal items… Wine lovers will take delight in the menu or shopping the store for their table’s bottle. (Source: AFAR.com)

Driving from downtown Santa Fe to Arroyo Vino during a sunset is so enchanting you risk missing your reservation. It’s not uncommon to see cars pulling over onto the shoulder to gaze and photograph the panorama.

Memorable Meal at Arroyo Vino

We soaked up the tie-dye sky but nevertheless managed to arrive at Arroyo Vino in time.

Our first welcome surprise was being greeted by the familiar face of the branch manager at our local bank. Santa Fe is famous for these wonderful crossovers! The subsequent parade of gastronomical surprises is best chronicled with photographs.

Arroyo Vino: Steamed Artichoke smoked oyster vinaigrette, comté cheese & potato fondue, preserved lemon, parsley

Arroyo Vino Steamed Artichoke (Source: virtualDavis)

Susan started out with a steamed artichoke served with “smoked oyster vinaigrette, comté cheese and potato fondue, preserved lemon, parsley”. Needless to say, she spoke less than usual and happily navigated the tender blossom.

I started with a decidedly gamier dish.

Arroyo Vino: Duck Confit Larb bibb lettuce, pickled red onions, cilantro, pea sprouts, Thai chilies

Arroyo Vino Duck Confit Larb (Source: virtualDavis)

I’m a sucker for wild protein, so the duck confit larb was an obvious choice. Served with “bibb lettuce, pickled red onions, cilantro, pea sprouts, Thai chilies”, I savored the interplay of rich duck and peppers, balanced against more delicate greens. The nest of pseudo-safron was actually shaved hot pepper.

My father’s colorful appetizer is also worth documenting.

Arroyo Vino: Charcoal Roasted Beet Tartare granny smith apples, horseradish, pickled mustard seed, pine nuts, goat chèvre

Arroyo Vino Charcoal Roasted Beet Tartare (Source: virtualDavis)

Art too handsome to eat? Hardly! This beauty is “charcoal roasted beet tartare”. Served with “granny smith apples, horseradish, pickled mustard seed, pine nuts, and goat chèvre”, this remarkably healthy opener charmed my father before I could beg a bite.

My main course was an especial treat since the crumbled black pepper wafer was gluten free. All too often I’m obliged to pass up similar decadences…

Arroyo Vino: Duroc Pork Tenderloin rhubarb, whole grain mustard, swiss chard, spring onions, black pepper tuille

Arroyo Vino Duroc Pork Tenderloin (Source: virtualDavis)

Glistening beneath a crimson drizzle of rhubarb puree, delicate morsels of Duroc pork tenderloin was seasoned with whole grain mustard and tossed with spring onions and swiss chard. The black pepper tuille balanced the succulent dish’s texture profile with a crisp crunch. Divine!

Susan’s appetite likewise tipped toward the decadent, but the quaint presentation was totally unanticipated.

Arroyo Vino: "Fish & Chips" brandade croquettes, black garlic, dill, horseradish, pickled celery, leek

Arroyo Vino “Fish & Chips” (Source: virtualDavis)

That photo-worthy dish is Arroyo Vino’s twist on “Fish & Chips”. Surprised? So was Susan. Happily surprised, I should add. The chef describes the tasty starter as “brandade croquettes, black garlic, dill, horseradish, pickled celery, and leek”. Not your usual pile of fried fish and French fries drizzled with malt vinegar. She was thrilled and eagerly consumed all three dainty delights without offering even a tiny taste to the rest of us.

I’ll wrap up with my mother’s summery main course, Petrale sole meunière.

Arroyo Vino: Petrale Sole Meunière spring garlic, english peas, lardons, hand rolled cicione pasta, local oyster mushrooms, beurre blanc

Arroyo Vino Petrale Sole Meunière (Source: virtualDavis)

Prepared with “spring garlic, English peas, lardons, hand rolled cicione pasta, and local oyster mushrooms” this dish aspires to glossy cover stardom on a swish foodie ‘zine. Swimming in beurre blanc and as terrific for the eyes as the taste buds, my mother offered resounding praise for this high desert twist on sole meunière.

In Vino Veritas

We opted for individually matched wine tastings paired to each of our courses. A thorough review is due our oenological accompaniments, but too enrapturing was the experience (and too long this post) for me to offer just complement. So I’ll defer this delightful task for my next visit.

For now I conclude with the final fireworks of our evening, exploding liquid truffles. No photo. Just a tingling memory and encouragement for you to include the treat in your next Arroyo Vino experience.

Visit Arroyo Vino

  • Arroyo Vino
  • 218 Camino La Tierra
  • Santa Fe, NM 87506
  • 505.983.2100
  • info@arroyovino.com
  • www.arroyovino.com

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