Georgia of Santa Fe: Fine Dining à la O’Keeffe

Georgia in Santa Fe

Last night we enjoyed our second memorable evening at Georgia ( in a week. Our first dinner – in the bar with friends – was delicious, but not only in terms of victuals and potables. Our server was the highlight of our outing. I’m sorry to have forgotten her name, but her smile, laughter and eagerness to ensure a perfect experience stick with me. The Manhattan was exceptional, calamari smoky and fresh, wine oh-so-fine, and braised short ribs out of this world.

Indeed our first experience was so enjoyable that we returned before the experience could fade in our memories.

Imagine a slightly nutty, balsamic and caper-spiked indulgence… A half portion would well have sufficed, but I devoured them all.

For round two we ate in the dining room with my visiting parents. The elegant minimalism (impeccably edited, not spartan design) of the bar is perfected in the dining room. Georgia O’Keeffe presides in black and white over a dining room she might well have concocted herself if she were still with us. I started with crispy Brussels sprouts. Sound mundane? Hardly! Imagine a slightly nutty, balsamic and caper-spiked indulgence… A half portion would well have sufficed, but I devoured them all. A Flintstone-worthy lamb shank served over spinach was tasty if 4x too large. But once again, I ate everything, new year’s resolutions be damned.

My review would remain incomplete without a nod to Grant, our enthusiastic and thoroughly charming server. A handsome twist on Jim Carrey (with a jigger of Max Headroom), his wine recommendation was the welcome mat for a delightful one man show that kept us laughing and joyful. Thanks, Georgia and Grant, for a perfect night.

Fine Dining à la O’Keeffe

Is Georgia really fine dining à la O’Keeffe? I’d like to think so. On the one hand, the decor offers a modern echo of the stark, simple, minimalist but handsome aesthetic that Georgia O’Keeffe favored in her New Mexico homes. As for the artist’s dining preferences, cookbooks suggest a similarly restrained palate. I have prepared some of the meals she apparently favored after a day’s work in Abiquiu or at Ghost Ranch, and while sometimes hardy, they are created with few ingredients and no fuss. Chef Brett Sparman’s dishes are superior to the quotidian fair that often passes for home cooking nowadays, but they are carefully edited and ingredient-forward. They are precise, not precious, and they are consistently delicious. I suspect that the restaurant’s namesake would have approved.

Georgia Q&A

Have I piqued your interest? Here is some helpful information to help transform that interest into a reservation.

Q: Where is Georgia located?
A: Georgia is located at 225 Johnson Street in Santa Fe next door to the iconic Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

Q: When is Georgia open?
A: Georgia serves dinner seven days a week beginning at 5:30pm. Georgia celebrates daily happy hour in the tavern between 4:00 and 6:00pm.

Q: Does Georgia offer outdoor service?
A: Georgia serves dinner on the patio in the summer and fall.

Q: Do I need a reservation?
A: While Georgia welcomes walk-ins, I would encourage you to make a reservation – especially during summer and holidays – to ensure that you can be accommodated according to your preferences. To make a reservation you can call 505-989-GEORGIA (4367) or book online through OpenTable.

Q: Does George permit pets on the patio?
A: Georgia welcomes leashed, well-mannered pets for patio dining during the summer and fall.

Q: Does Georgia have a website where I can find more information?
A: You can learn more about Georgia (and view more photographs) at

Any more questions? Add them in the comments and we’ll try to answer them or pass them along to Chef Sparman and his team.

Georgia Reviews

Dining at Georgia is memorable in all the right ways. But don’t just take my word for it.

Georgia reflects professional management from start to finish. For example,… drive right up to the entrance and a valet will park your car for you. No hassle involved and a gracious way to solve… [the Santa Fe parking] problem.

Georgia’s patio is one of Santa Fe’s nicest and the interior space is elegantly simple, in keeping with the artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s inspiration. (Albuquerque Journal News, August 29, 2014)

Top billing goes to the gluten-free spiced crusted tuna—a perfectly seared pair of tuna medallions topped with a Turkish anchovy, shaved radish, sprouts and a red piquillo pepper relish and with hidden caper surprises ($14). Chef Brett Sparman’s version of ubiquitous and mighty kale salad uses cranberries and hazelnuts plus a tangy, light and salty dressing ($11). I could have eaten a larger portion of either one for the main course. (Santa Fe Reporter, July 29, 2014)

There is a real absence in Santa Fe of the type of restaurant we wanted to create, that we think other cities have,” Lloyd [Abrams, co-owner] explains. “And that’s an in-town country club. A place that’s elegant and sophisticated, but where people can eat every week.” The idea is that when people come to Georgia, the staff and owners know not only their name, but also where they like to sit and what they like to eat. Service is upscale but personable, and the dishes are simple and approachable, so people will want to come in often. (Local Flavor, June 30, 2014)

Tired of the restaurant scene in Santa Fe, business partners Lloyd Abrams and Terry Sweeney designed and built Georgia — once home of the O’Keeffe Café — to inject life back into the local dining sector.

“This place is pretty unique and offers a level service that’s different from what people typically find in Santa Fe,” [chef Brett] Sparman said. “We really want to create a personal experience [for diners] … and help liven up the restaurant scene.” (The Santa Fe New Mexican: Taste, June 3, 2014)

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