Tamaya — Santa Ana Cafe

Fine Dining at The Duke City’s Premier Resort

Santa Ana Cafe Portale

Kivas

Kivas

Latest visit: May 29, 2013 
First visit: May 17, 2013

Jane and I wanted to spend our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary in a very special place where we could be pampered and fed like royalty. The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa won the honors. Good choice.

Todd Tijerina

Todd Tijerina

We ate and relaxed in three of the major restaurant areas: Corn Maiden, Santa Ana Cafe, and the Rio Grande Lounge. Each in its own special way was a treat — visually and gustatory. The service was impeccable: they could give lessons to some of the other fine-dining places around here.

Friday nights are special here. There is live music on the Santa Ana Cafe Patio. For our visit, we were treated to the fine sounds of the Todd Tijerina Duo —guitar and bass blues with fine vocals. Made me feel like I was back in Chicago. Good stuff.

Friday night is the Prime Rib Buffet night. Saturday might is usually the Chuckwagon Cookout night. Try them both. I sure;y will.

Four dishes at Tamaya made their way onto my Best Dishes of 2013 List, and the year is not yet over.

Bombay Sapphire Martini

Perfect Bombay Sapphire Martini

Dinner 

Martini 

I started my meal with a Martini. Not an ordinary Martini or a yuppie-style fruity Martini, but a carefully created straight-up Bombay Sapphire very dry Martini with a twist of lemon. I love the botanicals  (11) in this gin, and this cocktail was perfect.

And it was served in a proper Martini glass.

Fried Chile Strips

Fried Chile Strips

Green Chile Strips 

Crispy, NM grown chiles dusted with sundried local sweet corn and breadcrumbs, served with chipotle-boursin buttermilk dressing

So you thought you knew every way that Hatch chiles can be served? Well, this is new to me. Deftly breaded and lightly fried, the medium piquancy of the chiles leaves a hot and smoky aftertaste. Not a hint of oil, these morsels are perfect. I could easily make a meal of these.

This dish has already made its way onto my Best Dishes of 2013 List.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Pumpkin Seed Soup
minted yogurt and fresh citrus

Butternut Squash Pumpkin Seed Soup 

minted yogurt and fresh citrus 

Jane decided to order light this first night in order to save calories for what was to come during the rest of our three-day stay at Tamaya.   Soup and salad seemed appropriate.

This excellent soup is a tribute to the early inhabitants of the Santa Ana Pueblo. Squash and pumpkin were among their early crops. The version served here is beautifully spiced, rich and thick. A model for effective use of local ingredients.

Artisan Salad

Artisan Salad

Artisan Salad 

Arugula, spinach, red tipped endive , shaved jicama, tomato locally grown pistachios, organic Asiago “Moses” honey-sherry vinaigrette

If you think that salads are boring, you haven’t been here. This is one of the great appetizer salads that you are likely to encounter in New Mexico. Fresh, crisp, and wondrously delicious. The soup and salad proved to be sufficient for Jane’s dinner. She was indeed delighted.

Strip Steak

NM Heritage Grilled Strip Loin Steak

NM Heritage Grilled Strip Loin Steak 

Bourbon and molasses glaze, roasted fingerling potatoes, and  leeks

Perfectly cooked to a juicy medium rare, this excellent piece of NM Heritage grass-fed beef melts in your mouth. The bourbon and molasses glaze makes this one of the very best steaks I have had anywhere.

If you are in the mood for steak, don’t you dare go to one of those steakhouses. Come to Tamaya’s Santa Ana Cafe for a genuine gastronomic treat.

This dish has already made its way onto my Best Dishes of 2013 List.

 

Cheesecake

Anniversary Cheesecake

Cheesecake 

The servers and staff are really on the ball. Someone found out that Jane and I were here for the weekend celebrating our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary, and although we were full, as if by magic a comped dessert appeared before us. Of course we ate it, and it was fabulous, and the presentation was beautiful. Even more, a couple at a nearby table heard what was going on, and sent us two flutes of champagne. What a way to finish a lovely evening.  I love New Mexico.

 

Breakfast Buffet

Breakfast Buffet

Breakfast/Brunch 

There is an enticing ala carte breakfast menu with such items as Santa Ana Blue Corn Piñon Griddle Cakes, a Chicken Fajita Omelette, the ever-present Huevos Rancheros (Rolled tortillas filled with Jack cheese, topped with two eggs any style, cheddar cheese, olives, scallions, Bolita beans, hickory smoked sausage, breakfast potatoes), and much more. Since the breakfast buffet was included with our accommodation package, we did this. Three days in a row.

Breakfast from the Buffet

Breakfast from the Buffet

Breakfast Buffet  

Fabulous selection of hot items, fruit, cereal, pastries, coffee and juice

Buffets usually suck. Not here. Fresh fruit, hand-made to order omelets, waffles and griddle cakes, and a large plate of lox with the correct trimmings (capers, red onion, chopped hard boiled egg, and more). Pictured here is a plate of lox, a small croissant, a medium-size pancake, and some chicken sausage. We returned for some orange slices marinated in agave nectar and herbs. Best breakfast buffet in town.

We will return here as often as we can. this Cafe is exemplary in every way.

Santa Ana Cafe

Santa Ana Cafe

Outside Dining at the SantIn the Hyatt Regency Tamaya

(505) 867-1234

ZinBernalillo
1300 Tuyuna Trail
Santa Ana Pueblo,NM 87004

Website
Dinner Menu
Lunch Menu
Breakfast Menu
Wine List

Santa Ana HoursSanta Ana Cafe on Urbanspoon

This entry was posted in American, Breakfast/Brunch, Fine Dining, Honorable Mention. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tamaya — Santa Ana Cafe

  1. terry says:

    I just ate at the Tamaya resort and LOVED the Artisan salad. I have tried to duplicate it but have not bee successful. Have you had better luck? Any recipe ideas?

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