June 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Summer Food Fun: Sunset Hotspots and a New Sports Bar

"Dinner parties, sunset hot spots and a new sports bar for Santa Fe..."

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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Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Just a few tickets remain for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, a food-lover' event that brings diners into the homes gardens and studios of some of Santa Fe's most notable community members on Saturday, June 23 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The dinner is followed by a dessert competition featuring some of the city's top chefs, held at the Museum of International Folk Art.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner pairs the intimacy of a private dinner party with world-class cuisine prepared by some of the finest chefs in the city. Diners won't learn of  their dinner destination until just a few days before the event. Who will cook their dinner? Will it be a celebrity chef from Hawaii or a local culinary star? Will you be seated next to a Nobel laureate, a famous artist or a community pillar? Be prepared to be surprised and delighted by your evening.

The event is presented by Avalon Trust to benefit the Santa Fe Community Foundation,  For tickets and additional info, visit www.guesswhoinsantafe.org

Sunset Hot Spots

Now that summer is unofficially here, welcomed with burgers and steaks cooked on the grill for Memorial Day, it's time to get outside and enjoy these gorgeous days. One of the best ways to appreciate the natural beauty of Santa Fe is to relax on an outdoor patio and drink in the sunset, as well as a margarita. Here are some top places for sunset viewing in and around the city:

La Fonda Bell Tower

Located at the top of the La Fonda, a former Harvey House Hotel, the Bell Tower Bar overlooks the city as well as surrounding mountains. Grab a seat up here on the fifth floor and you'll feel like you're on top of the world. You can order a cocktail from the bar,  open seasonally, and then watch as the setting sun splashes the sky with brilliant shades of gold, purple, pink and blue. Located on The Plaza. www.lafondasantafe.com/dining/bellTower.html

Harry's Roadhouse

A beloved restaurant located on a country highway, Harry's offers amazing vistas of the sunet from the front patio, where you can relax with a margarita or other thirst-quenching libation and watch the spectacular show in the sky Once you smell the barbecued ribs, buffao burgers and homemade pies, you'll decide to stay for dinner. Located at 96 Old Las Vegas Hwy.  http://www.harrysroadhousesantafe.com/

Coyote Cantina

Perched above street level with a view of the mountains, the cantina is a hot spot in summertime. The menu is inventive the drinks delicious and the sunset watching is great! Savor Tacos El Pastor, juicy burgers and signature cocktails. Located at 132 W. Water St. http://www.coyotecafe.com/cantina.htm

El Cañon a The Hilton

While there's no rooftop view here, this lovely little nook overlooks the St. Francis Cathedral Basilica and other downtown buildings, which turn a deep shade of red and gold during sunset. You can try flights of wine and savor sandwiches, soups, quesadillas and more. Located at 100 Sandoval St. in The Hilton. http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-mexico/hilton-santa-fe-historic-plaza-SFEHIHF/dining/index.html

Museum Hill Café

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and Friday evenings for dinner, the Museum Hill Café serves up daily specials including salmon salad, mushroom taquitos, burgers, sandwiches and more. The views are stupendous, looking on high over the Jemez Mountains, and the café offers beer and wine and live entertainment on the outdoor patio Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m. Located at 710 Camino Lejo. http://www.museumhillcafe.net/index.html

Apothecary Lounge at the Hotel Parq Central in Albuquerque

I recently stayed at the very swank Hotel Parq Central in Albuquerque, a new boutique hotel that occupies the former hospital built in 1926 for the Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. The Apothecary Lounge, with a rooftop terrace on the fourth floor, affords astounding views of the city, lit up at night, and of the Sandia Mountains. The cocktails are vintage, including a few classics from the Prohibition era., and the menu features sliders, antipasto plates, chicken satay and other light food. If you're brave, ask the staff about the building's ghost stories. Located at 806 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque. http://hotelparqcentral.com/apothecary-lounge/

Santa Fe's New Sports Bar

Check it out, Santa Fe sports fans! A new sports bar has opened downtown in the old Swig space, and it's custom tailored for watching ball games, the Summer Olympics and other athletic competitions.

With 22 television sets, as well as video games, pinball machines, pool tables and photo booths, Stats is geared toward the serious sport fan. The menu features fried oysters, burgers, Frito pies, chicken wings, egg rolls, tempura wasabi shrimp and several salads. Lunch and dinner are served daily, as is Happy Hour, featuring drink specials. The bar occupies 9,000 feet in a space most recently occupied by Koi, with 7,000 feet on the top floor and 2,000 on the ground floor.

Stats is owned by Eric DiStefano, chef and owner of Geronimo and the Coyote Café's chef; Sara Chapman, one of four co-owners of Coyote Café; KISS radio disc jockey Dana Cortez; and music promoter/disc jockey Meritt Reiland. Stats Sports Bar & Nightlife is located at 135 W. Palace Ave. For more info, call 982-7265.

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