The grande dame of Santa Fe restaurants, Geronimo has been doling out high end culinary delights for years. Depending on whom you speak with the restaurant is either stronger than ever or a shadow of its former self. Such it is with critique, there is always room for dissension.
As The Monster waits for a table he sidles up to the bar and orders a drink. The Honey Mar-Tea-Ni with green tea infused vodka shaken with fresh lemonade, kissed with honey on the rim along with a Signature Martini complimented with lychee-lime foam.
The multiple rooms and bar show a bit of their age but are still white-tabled clothed affairs with art adorned walls and music that alternates between classy and Christmas kitschy.
To start, the Maryland blue crab cakes with caviar dill sauce, braised leeks and baby watercress salad. They are fine, though served lukewarm which is dispiriting. This restaurant should do better.
The Fujisaki Asian pear salad with bleu d’auvergbe “grilled cheese,” arugula, watercress, cashews and cider honey vinaigrette would be wonderful even as dessert, the waiter is spot on with this recommendation.
The sage and honey basted organic quail with butternut squash coulis, drunken figs, sausage cornbread stuffing and red wine reduction is simply Christmas on a plate. Quail is never a Monster favorite as it’s lots of work and little reward but this proves a second look at the bird should be given.
The fiery sweet chile and honey grilled Mexican white prawns with jasmine almond rice cakes, frisee’ red onion salad and yuzu basil aioli are a sight to behold, tremendously beautiful plating and a delight to eat. Spicy and sweet, this is a large portion that two can share comfortably.
The cous cous “risotto” and Asian pineapple chutney is rich and sweet and mind-blowingly good with the snap of the peas which makes the dish because the maple teriyaki Scottish salmon proper is well cooked but on the bland side. No matter, a dish is the sum of its parts and in this case it wins kudos.
For dessert, how about some mandarin orange “creamsicle” cake with orange soaked genoise, creme fraiche whipped cream and then a warm granny smith apple and pecan crostada with egg no ice cream and caramel sauce? Did not enjoy either in the slightest, one bite and The Monster tapped out, but they were Mrs. Monster’s choices and she finished every last morsel.
Here’s the rub. This meal is twice as expensive as any other in Santa Fe and it isn’t twice as good. It is on par with the better meals but at this tariff it is hard to justify not going to The Compound/Restaurant Martin/Terra for similar evenings at a fraction of the cost.
Why go? You love controversy.
Monster rating: 3½/5 Monsters
724 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501