Monday, March 28, 2011

Exotic India Comes to Santa Fe

As I am particularly fond of the world of dance, I recommend that guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn  plan to attend the upcoming performance by the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble.  The dancers, back by popular demand, will return to the Lensic Performing Arts Center on April 8.

The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, presented by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company,  brings ancient Hindu sculpture to life.  Spectators will be enchanted by the sensual moves of Odissi, the oldest of the Indian classical dance forms.  The elegance and stunning beauty of this all-female dance troupe from southern India will captivate you with their interpretation of sacred Indian ritual.

Says Dance Magazine, “The ensemble mesmerized a sold-out audience with its artistry, energy, technique and beauty!”

Make the evening a complete experience of Indian culture with a pre-concert dinner at the nearby India Palace Restaurant.  The menu features delicious tandoori offerings, spicy vegetable dishes, tender naan and wonderful chai, all very reasonably priced.  The restaurant is located just a few blocks from the Lensic at 227 Don Gaspar Street.

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble
Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, NM
Friday, April 8, 2011
Tickets are $20-$72 and may be purchased by calling 505.988.1234 or online at

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Japanese Cultural Festival

The dramatic and traumatic events in Japan have been part of the daily breakfast conversation at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn over the past two weeks.  Many of us have been wondering what we can do to help out, and here is an event that will both help the Japanese people and broaden your cultural horizons.

Be sure to attend the Japanese Cultural Festival on Saturday, April 2 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.   The festival will include a demonstration by award-winning Calligrapher, Chosho Yabe along with musical performances by  Master Taiko Drummer and Grammy Winner, Koji Nakamura and Distinguished Koto Artist and Grammy Winner Yukiko Matsuyama. There will also be demonstrations of Japanese archery, tea ceremonies and karate, along with vendors selling delicious and authentic Japanese cuisine.

Absolutely all of the admission fees will be sent directly to the Japanese Red Cross.
Admission is a mere $2 for adults and entry is free for children ages 12 and under.
You may also donate directly to the Japanese Red Cross at

Santa Fe Community Convention Center
201 W. Marcy St.
Saturday, April 2

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beethoven, Courtesy of The Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus

Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn attracts music lovers who come from around the world to enjoy Santa Fe's multitude of cultural offerings. Sunday, March 27 brings an opportunity to hear Beethoven's dramatic Symphony No. 5 along with Cherubini's Requiem, presented by the Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus, with a guest appearance by the UNM Concert Choir.  Steven Smith will conduct.

While Cherubini is largely forgotten today, he was held in high esteem by Beethoven who referred to him as 'the greatest living composer'.  Cherubini's Requiem was one of Beethoven's favorite works (he considered it superior to Mozart's) and it was played at his own funeral.

The afternoon concert will be held at the Lensic Performing Arts Center at 4pm.  For a richer experience, plan to arrive early for the free preview talk at 3pm.

Tickets are $20-70 and may be purchased online at or by calling 505.988.1234.  Admission is half price for children ages 6-14 with an adult ticket purchase.

Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 W. San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gardening 101

A number of our guests at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn choose us because of our garden settings, and many others are avid gardeners themselves.  In fact, many of our guests will actually take a trip to Payne's Nurseries or Santa Fe Greenhouses to stock up the plethora of drought tolerant plants to be found at these wonderful nurseries.

Gardening in Santa Fe is not for the feint of heart, what with our intense heat and dearth of water, but help is on the way.  Payne's Nurseries is offering a series of Spring Workshops on everything from Intuitive Garden Design to Organic Gardening to How to Cultivate Roses.

These workshops will take place every Saturday at 11am, beginning on March 19.  Not only are they free, but participants receive a 30% off discount card to use on the day of the workshop.  Payne's has two locations, with workshops taking place at one OR the other.  March workshops will take place at the North store, while April workshops will occur at the South store only.  Whether you are gifted with a green thumb or not, this is a fabulous opportunity.

Payne's Nurseries
715 St. Michaels' Drive  505.988.9626
304 Camino Alire  505.988.8011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Santa Fe History on Sale Now!

What with free wi-fi at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn, more and more of our guests opt to travel with Kindles and iPads rather than books.  However, nothing can replace the weight, smell and feel of a real book.  For you book-lovers out there who also want a souvenir of Santa Fe history, here is your golden opportunity.  From now until March 31, 2011 The Palace of the Governors Book Shop is selling over 1,200 books from their stock of fiction, biography, history and children's books.  The books are priced as low as $1, though better titles are up to $20.

The museum is also a great place to learn about the history of Santa Fe, from the Spanish Colonial Period (1540-1821), Mexican (1821-1846), U.S. Territorial (1846-1912 through statehood (1912).  You may also want to check out the extensive collection of photo archives (over 800,000 prints, negatives, post cards, etc) documenting the history of New Mexico.

An added bonus - your purchase at the Palace of the Governors helps support the Museum of New Mexico and artists from around the world.

Palace of the Governors
On the Plaza
Open 10am-5pm Tuesday through Sunday ('til 8pm on Fridays).
Open Mondays as well from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Admission ticket also includes access to the History Museum..

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

From Woodstock to Santa Fe - Arlo Guthrie Live at The Lensic

All you ex-hippies and woulda' been there hippies, here is a chance to see icon Arlo Guthrie, live at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on April 2.  Santa Fe in one stop of many on the current tour "Journey On", which began in October and runs through May 2011.  Guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn fortunate enough to be visiting Santa Fe on April 2 will surely want to get tickets in advance.

Guthrie, who rose to fame in 1967 with the release of "Alice's Restaurant", is best known for his folk songs with strong social and political commentary.  In the subsequent decades he has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.  A gifted songwriter and story-teller, Guthrie is also accomplished at playing guitar, harmonica, piano and a dozen other instruments. 

Joining Mr. Guthrie on tour are Abe Guthrie (keyboards & Vocals), with Terry A La Berry (drums), Bobby Sweet (electric guitar & vocals), Jody Lamppro (bass & vocals) and for their third time on tour with Arlo, Jeanne, Annie and Marie Burns (The Burns Sisters) will provide back-up vocals.

Tickets are available by phone at 505.988.1234 or online at
Ticket prices range from $20-$45.

Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 West San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM
April 2

Friday, March 11, 2011

St. Patrick's Day in Santa Fe

After briefly contemplating the idea of serving green pancakes at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn on St. Patrick's Day, I decided they would look to unappetizing for an early morning meal.  Nonetheless, all ye lads and lassies looking for a St. Pattie's Day celebration in Santa Fe can head over to the Zia Diner for a taste of the Irish.  On March 17th The Zia will be serving a full Irish menu:  Corned Beef and Cabbage, Mussels in Ale Guinness Stew; Colcannon Potatoes, Irish Soda Bread, Baileys Cheesecake and Guinness Chocolate Cake.  To wash down this traditional fare,  choose between Guinness on draft, an adults-only Irish Coffee Milkshake or straight up Irish Coffee.

A St. Patrick's Day celebration would not be complete without lively music.  As you eat, drink and get merry, you will be regaled by the Railyard Reunion Bluegrass Band, playing from 5pm on.  Not exactly the real deal in terms of traditional Irish music, but after a few brews, perhaps it won't matter...or you won't even notice.

Zia Diner
326 Guadalupe Street
Santa Fe, NM

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tired of Chile? Check out Ze French Bistro

We at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast Inn are very enthusiastic about the annual New Mexico Restaurant Week.  With 54 top-notch Santa Fe restaurants participating this year, all offering multi-course menus from $25/couple to $40/person, this is a great time to get out and try some restaurants you might not otherwise get to.

I took the family last night to Ze French Bistro, wanting to take advantage of their three course menu at $20/person.  What a treat!   Between the four of us we had a range of dishes.  My daughter Madeleine had an organic greens salad with candied pecans, pears and blue cheese that was most delicious.  My salad choice was a warm goat cheese on whole wheat bread on greens - yummy.  Madeleine's twin, Jack, started with a plate of smoked salmon, blinis and creme fraiche that he devoured.  Ted started with the traditional onion soup, which was superb.

The entree selections were varied, including duck, salmon, mussels and more.  I happily chose the salmon, which was cooked to perfection with a roasted fennel topping and a light Bearnaise  sauce.  The rest of the family all ordered the mussels and french fries, but they didn't compare favorably to the succulent mussels we have enjoyed at Cafe Paris.  Some guests from the inn were dining at Ze French Bistro as well last night, and they gave rave reviews to the duck.

As for dessert, the children each ordered the Pear Melba Sundae, and that was a huge hit.  A huge parfait of fresh pear, ice cream and mounds of whipped cream. Luckily I got to dig in to some of theirs, as I was not wild about my Warm Pear Crumble.

All in all, I highly recommend Ze French Bistro.  Some things on the menu are far better than others.  The good are amazing, while the not-so-good are just that...not-so-good.  I would also prefer a more intimate and cozy setting than this rather cavernous room adjacent to the Garret's Desert Inn.  Still, hard to beat $20/person for tasty meal.  Over time I will learn what to recommend highly and what to stay away from.  This will be the first visit of many meals at this traditional French bistro.

Ze French Bistro
311 Old Santa Fe Trail

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Compound Celebrates Restaurant Week

Guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn tend to give rave reviews after dining at The Compound Restaurant and here is yet another reason to jump for joy.  The Compound, normally not known for low pricing, is offering a great deal during Santa Fe's annual Restaurant Week, March 6-13.

This upscale establishment has created an inspired three course menu for just $40/person.  Considering the widely acclaimed cuisine of chef Mark Kiffin, its elegant setting in an historic adobe compound off Canyon Road, and the very reasonable pricing of this menu, I highly recommend reservations this week at The Compound.

To get your mouth watering, here is preview of the upcoming Restaurant Week menu:

First Course:
Warm Spinach Salad  with Wild Mushrooms OR
Crispy Fried Pacific Northwest Oysters with Tartar Sauce OR
Made to Order Tuscan White Bean Soup with Pork Sausage, Escarole, Sun Dried Tomaoe, Soffritto Broth

Main Course:
Seared Atlantic Salmon with Capers, Parsley, Lemon and Sauteed Spinach OR
Duck Confit with Roasted Root Vegetable Farro and Medjool Date Compote OR
Wild Mushroom Carnaroli Risotto with Parmesan Cheese

Dessert Course:
Bittersweet Chocolate Torte with Whipped Creme Fraiche and Chocolate Tuile OR
Blood Orange Trifle with Olive Oil Semolina Cake, Pistachio Brittle and Pomegrante OR
A Trio of Housemade Sorbet (flavors change daily)

The Compound Restaurant
653 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lunch at the Tune-Up

1115 Hickox Street
Open 7am-10pm, Monday-Friday
8am-10pm Saturday and Sunday

I just had a marvelous lunch at The Tune-Up Cafe,  a very casual, warm and friendly joint serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast will need directions for this place, as it is a bit off the beaten track.  The location, however, is yet another facet of its charm.   My guess is that it was voted as the 2009-2010 Restaurant of the Year by The Santa Fe Reporter as much for its ambiance and lack of pretentiousness as for its tasty food.  From the minute you walk in and are greeted with a beaming smile and a cheerful hello, you feel welcome and at home.  This cannot be said for many restaurants these days.

The menu is quite varied, from local favorites like enchiladas and quesadillas, to an array of El Salvadoran fare.  The chef, Jesus Rivera, is originally from El Salvador. The Tune-Up is also famous for its hearty green chile burgers (traditional, buffalo or brown rice nut burgers) with hand-cut fries.  I selected the luncheon enchiladas with green chile - my tummy and taste buds are delighted.  A flavorful green chile and super-fresh corn tortillas made for one of the better plates of enchiladas I have had in awhile.

Most dishes on the menu run from $6.50-$9, with some dinner entrees running slightly higher.  The most expensive item on the menu is an organic flat-iron steak for $14.50.  For tasty food in a comfortable environment, The Tune-Up can't be beat.

Open 7am-10pm, Monday-Friday
8am-10pm Saturday and Sunday
1115 Hickox St
Santa Fe, NM