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The NYT had a "Going To" article about Taos in todays editions. With the Taos Solar Music Festival coming up soon, the "pseudo-hippies" will again descend on Taos. The weather is pleasant, and you can meditate outside in much less than the pressure cooker heat of late July.


El Monte Sagrado, a luxury resort, offers a green flavor to the guest. Laundry water is recycled through a series of pools, and eventually nourishes the Sacred Circle. The Kama Sutra suite ofers tantric designs and the fresh water of a dipping pond. Rates to to $1,095 per night.


Sheva Cafe (812 Paseo de Pueblo Norte) offers organic lamb stew, soy milk smoothies, and the bill is about $16. The Bean is a likely place to see Julia Roberts, who visits often when she's at her nearby ranch.


Joseph's Table in the Hotel la Fonda del Taos will run $60 with "plates that rival those in any of Manhatan's restaurants". Too perfect lobster and masa on creamed local corn, or polenta fries with gorgonzola creme.


Crystal and goddess worshippers are stil to be found among the Gucci worshippers. Yoga, and holistic healing are available in many places, and your negative patterns can be dissipated. (The article doesn't mention it, but I believe the heritage of the Kundalini center is the Mabel Dodge house. In the 1920s and 1930s, the property hosted DH Lawrence, and many other writers for extended periods. Lawrence is buried nearby.)


Taos Inn is another local favorite, the paper avers (I remember it as having very dark rooms on both of our visits) but you might be seated next to Robert Redford or Lauren Hutton. Alley Cantina is noted for its cheap Mexican beer, salsa, and music into the late hours.


If you're driving up from Santa Fe, both the High Road and the Low Road take you past a myriad of local weavers, metalsmiths, painters and other artists. Redford filmed parts of his Milagros Beanfield Wars movie in this area.


The leadoff picture is at the Pueblo de Taos, located about two miles north of the Plaza. The community offers interpretive tours of the Pueblo several times daily, and offers a view of their philosophy and relationship to the environment about them.





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  • 1 year later...

The Wall Street Journal has a short piece on Taos today. I wasn't particularly impressed with Doc Martin's on our 2004 trip, but I wasn't much impressed with the Taos Inn, either. It struck me as dark, brooding, and cave-like.


Where to eat: Michael's Kitchen is a no-nonsense eatery with generous portions and eye-popping pastries. The blueberry doughnuts are delicious (Tel. 505-758-4178). Doc Martin's at the venerable Taos Inn offers a gracious but casual setting and an exceptional wine list. Try the pepper-crusted buffalo strip steak and one of the many hearty cabernets (Tel. 505-758-2233). Joseph's Table at the Hotel La Fonda de Taos provides a more magical -- if pricier -- setting, with its butterfly-stenciled walls and curtained booths. Chef Joseph Wrede features a European-inspired menu but buys most of his products from local farmers (Tel. 505-751-4512).


Subscriber Link


Mabel Dodge Luhan House


Taos Inn


On the plaza sits the more refined but also historic Hotel La Fonda de Taos. Here you can view Mr. Lawrence's famous so-called forbidden-art paintings, banned in London in 1929 for obscenity (Rooms from $119 depending on the season, Tel. 505-758-2211).
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I have stayed at the Mabel Dodge Luhan house and that is where I will stay the next time I am in Taos. I enjoyed that it was close to everything yet out of the traffic.

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  • 4 months later...

A friend of mine recently returned from a few days in Taos, and raved about the elk carpaccio and buffalo rib-eye at the Stakeout Grill. Lovely place, with sweeping views and excellent menu.


I don't believe I've ever seen an automatic gratuity added for separate checks or use of gift certificates.






Stakeout Restaurant

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  • 5 months later...

The NY Times offers another survey of dining in Taos. They mention Lambert's in the intro, but there's no detail, so I added a link. It looks like a nice place, and the wine seems very fairly priced.


A handful of wintry dining rooms, then, all falling under the sign of the adz.


Joseph’s Table (108 A South Taos Plaza; 505-751-4512 www.josephstable.com), with its dark wood banisters and floor and multiple levels, could almost be some Colorado après-ski bar. There are even three silken boudoir-like alcoves that might be ideal for couples romancing after a day on the slopes. .....Joseph Wrede is an exceptionally gifted chef. It seems whatever he touches will wake up the senses. I’ve never forgotten my first bite of a caramelized risotto cake at the old spot eight years ago. With its portobello mushroom syrup and embedded hint of Parmesan, it was one of those moments when the culinary horizon expands. What was this golden-brown nugget of crunch and succulence? Whoever sautéed risotto after making it? I’d never had anything like it. And it’s still on the menu ($14), as sweet and intriguing as ever, along with other starters like warm pan-seared foie gras on little slices of French toast with a spicy pineapple chutney ($22), and sautéed kale and leeks offered as a warm winter salad ($9).


On a recent visit, after anguishing a little over whether to try the soy-cured duck breast ($32) or the pork tenderloin with drunken black beans ($32), we fell for two steaks: a formidable “American†steak au poivre with mushroom Madeira sauce ($39), and a New York strip with garlic balsamic demi-glace ($36). The first is three solid inches of filet mignon. How can such a hefty hunk of meat possibly be so weightless, and so beguiling? And the half-mashed blue-cheese potatoes that came with the other were also strangely light and airy. Both steaks were faultless, the one sweet and delicate, the other more robust. We finished with crème brûlée infused with bay leaf ($9), and chocolate quenelles ($6) — two fat twists of dense chocolate — and a sip of tawny port.


How many ways can you serve sausage? You can have a salad with a knackwurst sliced down the middle and grilled to a faint brown on the flat sides. You can add wurst to your pasta. And to your soup. Or serve straight with fries. There’s no end to the possibilities. And after a freezing morning on the vertiginous runs of Taos Ski Valley, you might feel you want them all. Nor would you be disappointed if you did, at the restaurant in the Bavarian Inn (Taos Ski Valley; 505-776-8020; www.thebavarian.net).


The best way to arrive at the Bavarian is on skis, as most lunchers do. To come out of the biting cold into the ornate wooden structure is like stepping into an Alpine fairy tale. Fat beams with big cracks, a tiled stove in the middle of the back wall — and not just some pint-sized wood-burner this, but a major architectural feature, the kind of behemoth a family of Russian peasants could have slept on. Above, various wooden sleds and sleighs perch on the beams and joists. It’s a cozy, bustling chalet. Among the crowd of thawing diners, dirndl-clad waitresses and waiters with lederhosen spin with frothy steins of ale, hot skillets and bowls of soup whose steam is cut by the mountain sun streaming in the windows.


The food here is exactly what a skier wants. Hot potato soup with a hint of sour cream and slices of bratwurst ($5 a cup, $8 a bowl). Thick, blood-dark goulash soup, with tender hunks of beef, lively with paprika (also $5 and $8). A basket of excellent sourdough rye bread. And spaetzle ($12.50 to $13.75) — something like miniature gnocchi that come in a hot heap resembling scrambled eggs, served on a scalding skillet held in a wooden frame. The weary skier is liable to revive at the first mouthful, proving once again that where cooking is concerned, the indigenous or endemic is generally best.



At the Trading Post Cafe (4179 State Road 68; 505-758-5089) in Ranchos de Taos you can sit at the long, high bar and watch it all. I love a restaurant confident enough to be informal while also being excellent; one that you can just feel is beloved of its regulars, and knows it. The Trading Post exudes the kind of confidence that makes you drop your cares at the door. The big bar behind which the chef works is a central feature, while at the back a prominent kiva fireplace has been etched to resemble a tree trunk. You could eat alone at the bar without the least self-consciousness. And regulars seated on the stools can slip in the odd request at the relevant moment. “No cream tonight, Chuck,†says one to the assistant chef on duty one night.


The split pea soup ($6 a cup, $8 a bowl) is a far cry from the sludge (of which admittedly I am a fervent devotee) served from urns in diners. This is delicate, quite thin, with fresh peas lurking in the bottom. The Caesar salad ($8.75 at dinner) with slices of roast garlic holds its own, as does the special of rib-eye and shrimp ($38) — four of them grilled on a little skewer — in a butter herb sauce just a shade too glutinous for my taste. The Swiss-Italian chef, René Mettler, has been here 14 years, and has won an array of glittering prizes on display in an alcove at the back, including one for ice carving in Ottawa.


The first trip I made to Taos this winter happened to be the first day of snow. A pelting of hail greeted us as we wound up out of the valley of the Rio Grande. The mountains in the distance were black and matte-like tar paper, and disappeared into a dense smoke of cloud. By the time we parked the car and made for the Taos Inn, whose front door is a great sheet of wood dented by adz-blows, the snow was swirling down. It was a great way to arrive.


Where the fountain in the hotel lobby now stands there used to be a well, and the lobby itself was once a plaza surrounded by adobe buildings, including the house of one Dr. Martin, allegedly the first doctor in the county, whose name has been co-opted by the hotel restaurant, Doc Martin’s (125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte; 505 758 2233; www.taosinn.com). For a snowy morning I can recommend the Kit Carson ($7.25) — poached eggs on sweet yellow yam biscuits smothered in earthy, smoky red chili sauce — with a bowl of papas y chile ($6.75) on the side. You feel you’re getting just what you need inside you, while outside, the world turns cold and silver.






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