Monday, January 31, 2011

Romantic Dining this Valentine's Day in Santa Fe

The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast is typically running at 100% occupancy over Valentine's Weekend, with guests enjoying the sunny blue skies of Santa Fe winter days, snuggling in front of a fire in the evening and dropping into our heavenly beds of feather and down.  No need to break the bank this Valentine's Day at one of Santa Fe's pricier restaurants - Ze French Bistro, offering delicious and authentic French cuisine, is offering a Valentine's Special Dinner Menu.  Savor a full three-course meal for only $35!

You will want to call right away to make reservations.  Santa Fe restaurants tend to be very busy on Valentine's and a deal such as this will be very popular indeed.  Ze French Bistro is located in Santa Fe's historic downtown, so weather permitting, you can enjoy a romantic stroll around the Plaza after dinner.

Appetizers:
Smoked salmon with blinis and caper creme fraiche OR
Fresh brushetta and mozzarella layered on whole wheat bread OR
French Lentil soup with smoked bacon

Entrees:
Stuffed Dover Sole "Vol au vent" with baby vegetables and Sauvignon blanc sauce OR
Baked Atlantic Salmon and Champagne beurre blanc, leeks fondue and herb roasted fingerling potatoes OR
Seared duck breast with gratin Daughinois and orange ginger sauce  OR
Grilled beef tenderloin "Bearnaise" or "au poivre" with french fries

Desserts:
Decadent Heart-shaped chocolate fondant with fresh raspberries OR
Peach and pear Melba ice cream Sundae

Ze French Bistro
311 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, NM
505.984.8500

Saturday, January 29, 2011

London's National Theatre 'Live' at The Lensic

Guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast will take great delight in the performance if King Lear, Live in HD at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.  The performance will be broadcast direct from the Donmar in London's Covent Garden and shown at 7pm on February the 3rd.  The Lensic is one of 300 theatres worldwide which has the privilege of broadcasting this Shakespearean tragedy.

This production of King Lear at the Donmar (a theatre which seats only 250 people), starring Sir Derek Jacobi, is one of the most keenly awaited Shakespearean performances of recent times. Exploring the very essence of being, King Lear is one of the greatest works of Western literature. 

Tickets are $22 ($15 for students) and may be purchased online at TicketsSantaFe.org or by phoning the Lensic Box Office at 505.988.1234.

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

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Best Burritos in Santa Fe

We serve up some very tasty Southwestern Breakfast Burritos at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast and are happy to share our recipes for all breakfast entrees.  However, if you happen to miss our Breakfast Burrito Day or want additional local flavor, I highly recommend The Santa Fe Baking Co.  Not only is the menu full of local flavor, the ambiance is pure and funky Santa Fe style as well.

My family and I just enjoyed a fabulous meal there, each of us having different versions of their New Mexican burritos.  For starters, you can choose from the Breakfast Burrito, a Chicken Burrito, or a Vegetarian Burrito.  Next you can decide whether you want green chile, red chile or Christmas (a bit of both), and then whether or not you want to add beans, avocado, eggs or any other specialty orders.  Each burrito is priced at about $6.50, making for a very affordable meal. In addition to burritos, you can choose from numerous tortilla wraps, quesadillas, omelettes, waffles and more. There is also a juice bar and a delicious array of pastries to choose.

You don't have to take my word on this - Santa Fe Baking Co. has won the "Best of Santa Fe" contest for the past seven years - the last three years have seen them win first prize.

Santa Fe Baking Co.
504 West Cordova Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 988-4292

Saturday, January 22, 2011

From Russia with Love - Swan Lake at the Lensic

The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast Inn attracts lovers of the arts all year long as Santa Fe is such a mecca for music, fine art and dance.  On Monday, January 31, Santa Feans have the opportunity to see the classic "Swan Lake", performed by the world-renowned Russian National Ballet.  On Tuesday, February 1, the troupe will perform the acclaimed "Romeo and Juliette". 

Both performances will take place at The Lensic Performing Arts Center and are scheduled to begin at 7:30pm.

While the company does not perform with a live orchestra, and is not on the same level with The Bolshoi or The Kirov Ballet, they still dance with Russian passion and energy that is revered the world-over.  Ballet lovers will certainly want to take in one or both of these performances.

Ticket prices range from $20/36/48/72 and student discounts are available.
Tickets may be purchased by phoning 505.988.1234 or online at TicketsSantaFe.org.

The Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 West San Francisco Street

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Delightful Wine Tasting in New Mexico

Most people do not immediately think of New Mexico in conjunction with fine wines, but there are actually twenty-five noted vineyards in New Mexico, six of which are in the vicinity of Santa Fe.  Many of our guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast have enjoyed tours of at least one of these vineyards, though I don't know of anyone who has toured all six at a time.  Perhaps hiring a driver would be in order if you had such a plan.  It is important to remember that alcohol is two to three times more potent when you are at 7000 feet above sea level, as we are here in Santa Fe.

The first New Mexico vineyards were planted from cuttings brought by Spanish missionaries about 400 years ago.  Along with these colonists came Franciscan monks who needed wines for their daily mass.  Initially they were forbidden from producing their own wine, however since it was such an arduous and lengthy journey to get wine from Spain, the Church finally relented and began allowing the monks to produce their own wines.

The six wineries in and around Santa Fe are the:  Estrella del Norte Winery, Santa Fe Vineyards, Wine of the San Juan, Vivac Winery (currently getting certified as organic), The Black Mesa Winery and La Chiripada Winery.  These vineyards are generally open for tours and tastings from 10-6, though you will want to check, as hours can change during the winter months and Sundays.  For something unusual, you may want to check out The Falcon Meadery for a taste of mead, a wine made from honey, said to be 'the nectar of the Gods'.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Exhibition for Lovers of Spanish Colonial Art

The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast Inn, whose architecture and decor attract lovers of Spanish Colonial art, will thoroughly enjoy the new exhibit at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.  The exhibit, titled "Collecting New Mexico: The Forgotten Cady Wells", will be on view from January 22, 2011 through August 28, 2011.  Modernist painter Cady Wells (1904-1954) was one of the foremost collectors of New Mexican historic art during the 1930's and 40's.  This exhibition showcases how his collecting not only influenced his own art, but influenced the way museums and collectors came to view Hispanic Art.

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art
750 Camino Lejo
Santa Fe, NM
Open Tue-Sun from 10am-5pm
1 Day Pass is $8 ($4 for NM residents)




Saturday, January 15, 2011

Vegetarian Delight at Santa Cafe

Santacafe, a landmark restaurant delighting Santa Fe palates since 1983, is offering a real treat this weekend.  On Saturday or Sunday evening, you are invited to feast on a three-course vegetarian dinner for just $30!  The historic adobe building is located just four blocks from The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast, an easy walk or a quick drive for our guests.  The restaurant begins dinner service at 5:30pm, allowing for a leisurely dinner for concert-goers or those preferring an early night out.


The menu is as follows:

Appetizer
Soup du Jour OR
Watercress Salad with Candied Pecans, Fresh Pears and Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Entree
Spinach Crepes filled with Spanish Goat, Fontina and Cotija Cheeses, Wild Mushroom Ragout, Roasted Tomatoes and Sauteed Rapini
Dessert
Any Dessert from their tantalizing menu!

Santacafe
231 Washington Avenue
Santa Fe
Reservations Recommended: 505.984.1788

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Santa Fe Chocolate Trail

Santa Fe is known for many things, not the least of which is the Old Santa Fe Trail, a trade route connecting Santa Fe to the east, which saw its first traffic in 1821.  Fast forward to 2011, where visitors from both east and west are hot on the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail.  Many of our guests at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn have made a point of visiting all four of these fine chocolatiers during their stays. 

Just three blocks from the Hacienda Nicholas is The Kakawa Chocolate House, located at 1050 Paseo de Peralta.  This artisanal chocolate house features an incredible array of exotic truffles which are hand dipped and rolled daily using dark chocolate and a variety of local organic herbs, fruit nectars and infusions from ginger to lavender.  These truffles are not inexpensive (ranging in price from $4-$5 each, though a box of six is a deal at $18) but well worth the expenditure.  
 
Kakawa also takes hot chocolate to a new level.  Dedicated to using authentic historic recipes, dating as far back as 1000 BC for their drinking chocolates, they offer Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican Mayan Aztec drinking chocolate; 1600's European drinking chocolate, Colonial American and Colonial Mexican drinking chocolates.  Swiss Miss will never satisfy after this experience in hot cocoa!

Another of my favorites on the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail is Todos Santos, also just a few blocks from Hacienda Nicholas at 125 E. Palace Avenue.  This shop, tucked inside a garden courtyard, exudes Santa Fe quirkiness and charm.   Perhaps their most unusual offering is the selection of hand-carved 'silver-covered' chocolate milagros, which would make a unique gift for any chocolate lover on your list.  For yourselves, try one of their handmade chocolate truffles with flavors ranging from rose to grapefruit to toffee. 

Also on the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail are C.G. Higgins Confections and The Chocolatesmith.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Great Dining Deal at 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar

"Where to eat?" is a daily question for guests at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn.  The quest is to find a great meal at a price that won't break the bank.  Here is a deal that I will be recommending - the $18 prix fixe meal at 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar.  The bistro style restaurant, located just a few blocks from the Plaza, has been serving classic French food in Santa Fe since 1995.  This incredible special will be going for another ten days, with two different menus.  Yes, it is always good to eat plenty of chile while in Santa Fe, just should you need a break from the local fare, 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar will delight your palate.

From now through January 11:
1st Course
Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Herb Croutons
2nd Course
Grilled Petite NY Strip OR
Seared Ahi Tuna with Baby Greens, Green Beans & Bearnaise Sauce
3rd Course
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chantilly Cream


January 12 through January 18
1st Course
Green Beans Tossed in Tarragon Vinaigrette with Red Onions over Baby Greens
2nd Course
Grilled Pork Chop OR
Seared Tilapia over Herb Risotto with Green Peppercorn Sauce
3rd Course 
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chantilly Cream

315 Restaurant & Wine Bar
315 Old Santa Fe Trail
505.986.9190

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Start the New Year with Peace & Tranquility

Thanks to the ongoing work of the Upaya Zen Center, guests at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast have the opportunity to incorporate some meditation and/or dharma talks into their vacation time in Santa Fe.  The Upaya Zen Center is a Zen Buddhist practice and educational center dedicated supporting a sincere and dedicated practice community, compassionately engaged with the real world.

Meditation takes place at the zendo three times a day.  Choose between the morning 7-8am sit, a brief mid-day sit from 12:20-1pm or the 5:30-6:30pm session.

There is also a dharma talk every Wednesday evening at 5:30.  On January 19, for example, you can be enlightened by Roshi Joan Halifax and Evan Thompsen discussing "Continuous Practice, Continuous Mind". 

Guests are asked to wear dark clothing and to avoid wearing shorts or sleeveless tops.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Alvin Ailey II Comes to Santa Fe!

Alvin Ailey is one of my most favorite dance companies in the world.  I am delighted to let our guests at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn know they will have the opportunity to see their stunning junior company on February 7.  The performance, presented by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, will take place at the Lensic Performing Arts Center , for one night only, at 7:30pm.   As this is only the second time the company has come to Santa Fe, you will want to book early to ensure good seats. 

Company founder Alvin Ailey formed this second company almost 40 years ago as a performing and touring vehicle for 12 of the most gifted student dancers of the Alvin Ailey School.  You will have the chance to see some of the most exciting choreography and dance in America today.  Ailey II's Artistic Director since 1974, Sylvia Waters, is a former Ailey member herself.  She has developed the company to become one of the most popular and innovative young dance companies in the country. 

Tickets range in price from $20-$72 and may be purchased by calling 505.988.1234 or booking online at TicketsSantaFe.org.

Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 West San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM
Saturday, February 7
7:30pm

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stunning Textiles at the Folk Art Museum

The Santa Fe Folk Art Museum is my favorite local museum and the one I recommend most often to our guests at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn. It is a fascinating museum for visitors of all ages (I often took our twins, Madeleine and Nicholas, once they got to be about two years old) as it has the largest collection of folk art in the world.  One never tires of this museum as they are constantly changing exhibits, showcasing pieces from their own extensive collection as well as curated exhibits from borrowed collections.

Along with traditional folk art, toys and miniatures, the museum has a tremendous collection of textiles.  That is the focus of Material World, on exhibit from now through August 7, 2011.  You will marvel at the 138 items, ranging from ceremonial garments to common household articles.  These particular pieces are rarely shown to the public.  The museum actually owns 20,000 various such items which are stored in the building's 57 enormous closets.  Visitors and locals alike will want to take advantage of this rare viewing opportunity.

Museum hours are from 10am to 5pm (closed Mondays until June).
Admission is $9 for non-New Mexico residents, but if you are planning on visiting several museums, I recommend buying the museum pass.  For $20 you can purchase a four-day pass which will give you access to five fabulous Santa Fe Museums.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

London's National Theatre - Virtually in Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a mecca for visitors interested in art, music and dance.  Listening to breakfast conversations at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast Inn indicates those interests range from purely classical to the most contemporary styles.

On Thursday, January 13 the Lensic Performing Arts Center will present an HD broadcast of the London National Theatre's production of Bill T. Jones' FELA!.  Viewers will be treated to a night of Afrobeat musical rhythms, exciting dance and provocative theater.  FELA! is a true story based on the story of the Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.   His blend of funk, jazz and Afrobeat rhythms impacted listeners on a global level.  The production, a combination of music, dance and theater, won three Tony Awards in 2010, including one for Best Choreography.   wholly unique hybrid of dance, theatre and music.


Tickets for this exciting evening of entertainment are $22 ($15 for students with i.d.).
Screening begins at 7pm.
Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 W. San Francisco Street

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hansel & Gretal - Fun for All Ages

The Santa Fe Concert Association presents "Hansel & Gretal" this coming weekend as part of their series of Free Community Opera Performances.  Audiences will be delighted by this charming yet sinister tale, along with the fabulous music of the Santa Fe Chamber Orchestra (conducted by Joseph Illick) and local dancers and actors.  The performance will take place in the landmark Scottish Rite Center, built in 1911 as a replica of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.  The theater boasts the magnificent antique stage set I have ever seen, consisting of multiple panels of hand-painted woodland scenes - perfect for the production of "Hansel and Gretal".

The Scottish Rite Center would be an easy walk for our guests at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast Inn, though most guests may prefer to drive, given the winter weather we are currently experiencing in Santa Fe. There is ample parking right next door to the event.

As the event is free, I recommend getting there early.  Seating is first-come, first-seated, and the auditorium is fairly small and intimate.

7pm Friday and Saturday, January 7 & 8
2pm Sunday, January 9
Scottish Rite Center
463 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe

Monday, January 3, 2011

Breakfast wit O'Keeffe

Many of our guests at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast Inn are intrigued with the art of Georgia O'Keeffe and this Monday, January 3 is a great opportunity to learn more about this subject.  You will miss our famous Blue Corn Pinon Waffle breakfast, but will enjoy a continental breakfast (pastries courtesy of the beloved Santa Fe Baking Company) at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum from 8:30-9am and then a talk by Jackie M, Director of Education and Public Programs about how to “Teach with O’Keeffe: Interpreting O’Keeffe’s Legacy through Museum Learning Initiatives.”

The cost for this talk is a mere $10, with seating limited to the first 70 people.

After this informative talk you will no doubt want to tour the current exhibition, O'Keeffiana: Art & Art Materials - The Artist and Her Approach.   There is no additional fee to enter the exhibit once you have paid for the talk.

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
217 Johnson Street
Open Daily 10am-5pm