May 20, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Santa Fe’s Cuisine Scene

So long to Bobcat Bite and The Legal Tender, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner & more

By Lynn Cline

Gourmet Girl

Lynn Cline is a former food editor and the author of two books – Romantic Days and Nights in Santa Fe and Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1915-1950. She also loves to cook, when not dining out.

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Photo: Brian Moe

Goodbye to Bobcat Bite

One of Santa Fe's most venerated eating establishments is closing its doors June 9 to the dismay of green chile cheeseburger lovers everywhere. In fact, since the news broke that Bobcat Bite will close due to a dispute with the landlord, the lines at the restaurant have grown even longer, and the kitchen has run out of hamburgers by 6 p.m.

The sad new is true, it seems, but the good new is that John and Bonnie Eckre, who've owned the iconic restaurant since 2001, plan to reopen in a space downtown with a brand new name. They'll still serve their famous green chile cheeseburgers, but we just can't call them Bobcat Bite burgers anymore. Rumor has it that they'll open an as-of-yet-unnamed restaurant in Garrett's Desert Inn on Old Santa Fe Trail. Will the landlord continue to run Bobcat Bite with different people at the helm? Stay tuned…

So Long to the Legal Tender?

In other closing news, the Legal Tender in Lamy will shut its doors at the end of the month, after the owners of the historic building housing the restaurant, the Lamy Railroad & History Museum, decided it was an incompatible fit with the museum.

The Legal Tender is such a cool place with a rich history that dates back to the days when a Harvey House hotel stood across the street, serving the passengers of the railroad. And in recent months, it had become a lively spot once again with live music and a family-friendly ambiance. According to legend the place is haunted, which only enhanced its appeal. A petition is circulating to keep the Legal Tender open. If you'd like to sign it, click here.

Savor the Flavor

New Mexico has some of the most unique, distinctive ingredients in the world, from chile and posole to blue corn, beans and grapes, and we have the country's oldest wining growing region.

To celebrate our culinary heritage, the nonprofit Delicious New Mexico partnered with the Museum of International Folk Art to sponsor the inaugural Savor the Flavor event on June 2. A delicious way to celebrate New Mexico's culinary heritage, with cooking demos and tastings, a wine and beer tasting, outdoor horno cooking demos and booths with food samples from Senor Murphy, Heidi's Raspberry Farms, Choco Canyon Chocolates, Celina's Biscochitos, Lusty Monk Mustard, Mamu Asian Dipping Sauces and more.

The event includes a book fair featuring New Mexico cookbooks and authors reading about their favorite food. Including Bill and Cheryl Alters Jamison, Deborah Madison, Candace Walsh, Dave Dewitt, Bill Dunmiere, Irene Sanchez, Andrea Feucht, Barb Awalt and Sharon Crayton. The day's schedules include a demo of sweet and savory cooking techniques with Rocky Durham of Santa Fe Culinary Academy that take place at noon and 2 p.m.

From 1 to 4 p.m. beneath Museum Hill Café’s portal, you can taste the wines of New Mexico and South America as well as locally brewed beers. Enjoy delicious passed foods inspired by New World Cuisine prepared by chef and café proprietor Weldon Fulton.

Dine at Museum Hill Café, where the lunch menu will reflect New World cuisine made with ingredients from New Mexico food growers and suppliers.

Delicious New Mexico, a statewide non-profit dedicated to creating a strong and sustainable food economy through the growth of food businesses. Savor the Flavor is presented in conjunction with the Museum of International Folk Art's current exhibit "New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Mate y Mas," which has drawn crowds delighted with the historical focus on chocolate, mate, and more, For more info, click here.

Local Organic Meals on a Budget

Local Organic Meals on a Budget kicks off its third season of cooking classes June 19 at the Santa Fe School of Cooking, with a program that focuses on seasonal ingredients. Participating chefs include Harry Shapiro and Peyton Young of Harry’s Roadhouse, Roland and Sheila Richter of Joe's Dining, Erin Wade of Vinaigrette and Andrew Cooper of Terra at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantada.

Classes are held on the third Wednesday of each month through December at 5:30 p.m., and participants will taste the meals prepared and receive recipes. You'll learn how use seasonal ingredients to create delicious dishes, strategies on stretching food, and tips, tricks and techniques to enhance the at-home cooking experience.

The first class on June 19 features Tracy Ritter, executive chef and culinary director at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. She is considered an expert in nutritional cuisine with an emphasis on Southwestern flavors, and her Southwestern cuisine was featured on the cover of Bon Appeti's "Guide to the Best Restaurants in America" and in a six page feature in Art Culinaire magazine.

Kitchen Angels, the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute and Home Grown New Mexico pooled their resources and expertise to offer these classes, which teach participants how to create a filling meal for four people under $20.

This year LOMB features a new and expanded website. In addition to the schedule of classes and chef bios, the site now includes tips on gardening, food preservation and a wide variety of recipes using local, season ingredients.

Here's the schedule for this season's classes:

6/19 Tracy Ritter – Santa Fe School of Cooking
7/17 Roland & Sheila Richter – Joe's Dining
8/21 Ryan Gambel – The Palace Restaurant
9/18 Erin Wade – Vinaigrette
10/16 Harry Shapiro & Peyton Young – Harry’s Roadhouse
11/20 Andrew Cooper – Terra at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado
12/18 TBA – Holiday Entertaining 

For more info, click here.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

You may still have time to grab a reservation at one of the hottest summer dinner parties in town, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, where a host of who's who in Santa Fe throw open their homes for dinner parties cooked by some of Santa Fe's finest chefs. You won't know where you'll be dining until just a few days before the event and you never know who you may end up sitting next to—a celebrated artist, a Nobel prize winner, a famous author...

This year's event takes place June 22 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Following their dinner parties, guests head over to the Scottish Rite Temple for a dessert throwdown that includes offerings from Dulce, La Casa Sena, the Santa Fe Culinary Academy, Inn at the Anasazi and La Posada.

The evening is a fundraiser for the Santa Fe Community Foundation's Community Leadership Fund. Click here for more info.

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