We went out to a restaurant! We haven’t been to sit down at any restaurants in a long time. We decided that we would eat on the patio of El Farol. I haven’t been to El Farol in years. The new owners have done a nice job of making El Farol a place that we will go back to. We met up with a good friend who told us that El Farol was open.
With masks, we went to the patio. We arrived at 5:30ish. It was a beautiful day to be outside in Santa Fe. The patio is a lovely setting. The tall trees made for a wonderful backdrop. It felt like we were on a vacation. Our waitperson was Jose and he did a wonderful job of helping us navigate through the menu.
We decided on tapas. El Farol reminds me of being in Spain so that was a fitting choice. We started with drinks. I had the prickly pear margarita(11). It was the perfect drink for a night on the town. The paloma (12)was a tall and tasty cocktail. I liked that it was served in a large glass. I got a taste and really thought it was a good drink. Our friend had a Bloody Mary (8)that had all kinds of olives. This presentation was expertly done. I don’t drink Bloody Marys so I didn’t even want a taste. It did look delicious.
We were offered a warm roll to start. That was a nice start to the meal. It set the tone for me. The roll was warm and delicious with plenty of butter.
For our Tapas, we started with the Gambas alAjillo (15)( Shrimp, garlic, chili and olive oil)which were gluten free. How can you go wrong with such a delicious combination. The chili flakes on top made the dish. I liked this attention to detail. We also had the Alcachofas (12.50)(marinated & grilled artichokes with a Balsamic reduction) which were also gluten free. Next came the coles de bruselas (10)( Brussels Sprouts without the bacon but with the balsamic reduction. The coliflor fita (12)(flash fried caulifower florets, smoked paprika aioli and lemon zest) which is also gluten free. This was an absolute star. It was so perfectly fried that you would forgot that it was fried. The smoked paprika aioli really added a layer of flavor to this dish. It was fantastic! But the dish that really blew me away was the Aguacate (10.75)(flash fried avocado with pico de gallo and lime Crema). This dish was so good that we had two dishes for the table. It was a complete surprise. I thought it was going to be greasy but it was perfectly cooked. This was a pure delight!
Our friend had the Lanza de carne (13)(Angus Beef Skewers with pearl onions and heirloom cherry tomatoes with a chimichurri sauce. It looked so good. We were told it was as good as it looked. It was amazing!
For dessert we had the crema catalana(8) which is a traditional custard with brandy apricot preserves, sweet orange and olive oil torta and candied almonds(you can also get the gluten free option). This was a very beautiful and delicious dessert. As well as the churros(8) on chocolate which were the traditional fried dough dusted with cinnamon and sugar with a rich drinking chocolate and whipped cream. It looked delicious as well!
I had the helado and sorbete(8) the double version. There was a large scoop of sea salt carmel ice cream with an equal large scoop of Mango sorbet. I couldn’t belive how large the serving size was. I am used to getting ping pong sized scoops. This was fabulous! The mango sorbet really tasted like fresh mango!
Jose, our waitperson, was very professional and added to the enjoyment of our meal.
It felt odd to be eating and wearing masks but for now we will have to get used to this phenomenon. El Farol is open from dinner from 5 to 9pm. Reservations can be made through their website. El Farol is also know for their Flamenco performances. We just came for the food. But next time…