Friday, November 15, 2013

Joseph's Table Opens in Santa Fe

The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn attracts foodies from all around the country who are enamored with Santa Fe's cultural offerings, art scene, and of course, the myriad of great restaurants.  We are very fortunate to have such an array of great restaurants in Santa Fe, including award-winning fine dining establishments such as The Compound, Santacafe, Luminaria and Geronimo's.  Then there are many ethnic options, from traditional New Mexican (The Shed, La Choza, Tomasitas) to Caribbean (Jambo Cafe) to Japanese (Shoko) and much more.

New to the Santa Fe restaurant scene is Joseph's Table, an intimate and romantic little establishment with a creative and innovate menu.  Chef Joseph Wrede had opened the original Joseph's Table in Taos, where it was very successful for many years.  He closed it several years ago, perhaps due to the hard economic hit taken by Taos during the recession, and moved to Santa Fe in 2011 where he worked at The Palace Restaurant and then at Tomme, which is now closed.

This past October Joseph's Table re-opened at 428 Montezuma, home of the now defunct Azur Restaurant.  The restaurant business is a tough one!  The menu features a wide variety of dishes, from Starters such as Rock Shrimp & Smoked Butter with Crispy Whole Wheat Phyllo and Sherry Wine Beurre ($14) or Grilled Polenta with Warm Chicken Liver Mousse, Parma Prosciutto, Crispy Shallots & Parsley ($12).  I dined there a few nights ago with friends and began with a Raw Vegetable Salad with Zucchini, Squash & Fennel with Butter Lettuce & Black Truffle Vinaigrette ($11).  I was expecting something with more raw veggies, given the description, but it was really a Butter Lettuce Salad with a few shavings of vegetables.  Tasty, but not what I had anticipated.  One of the highlights of our meal, in my opinion, were the French Fries, fried in Duck Oil, that we ordered for the table.  Delicious!  Also incredibly good rolls with herb butter. Yummy!

Main dishes include Local Lamb & Banana Yellow Curry Tagine with Lemon Coriander Jasmine Rice ($24), Organic Scottish Salmon with Corn Pudding, Sweet Potato Tamale and a Warm Tomatillo Sauce ($27) and Mustard Seed & Creme Fraiche Crusted Cast Iron Cauliflower, White Beans, Anchovy Tomato Sauce, Fried Capers & Green Dust ($18).  I opted for the Pumpkin, Kale, Corn & Local Chanterelle Enchiladas with Cotna Cheese, Spicy Green Rice & East Indian Spinach Puree ($22).  I found the combination of flavors to be quite pleasing to the palate, but it didn't knock my socks off the way I had hoped.

I really wanted to love the restaurant, having heard such rave reviews about Joseph's Table in Taos.  The interior is so warm and inviting, and I appreciate Chef Wrede's innovative menu.  Because of those two factors, I will go back again when I am not part of a large group, and will perhaps have a very different experience.  There were about 12 of us at the table, and I recognize it is hard to service such a large party.

Joseph's Table serves dinner Sunday through Thursday evenings from 5:30-10pm,  Friday and Saturday's until 11pm.

It was quite full when we were there on a Wednesday night, so I recommend calling ahead for reservations at 505.982.1272.


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