Santa Fe Buzz: February 2012

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, February 2012

Basically, it’s everything you ever wanted to know about cookies. From the author of Cookie Swap and Ultimate Cookies comes a class with a name that should send us all into an anticipatory sugar high: “Baking and Decorating the Ultimate Cookie.” Julia M. Usher covers top-coating, dipping, outlining, flooding, marbling, sanding, beadwork, rubber-stamping, wafer-papering, stenciling, and appliqué work like embossed fondant and painting. This is serious, folks. See what I’m talking about at Don’t miss it from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Las Cosas Kitchen Shoppe & Cooking School (181 Paseo de Peralta). 877.229.7184. Class costs $85.

Agnes Martin came into fame in the contemporary art world in 1958 New York. But Martin’s work began long before, in the nearly 20 years she spent developing her aesthetic in Taos. In honor of what would be Martin’s 100th birthday, The Harwood Museum of Art and the University of New Mexico are partnering to bring Ages Martin: Before the Grid to the public. The 30 paintings and drawings in the exhibition were gathered from both private and public collections by curators Tiffany Bell and Jina Brenneman, and many of them have never been shown before. Spanning the ‘40s and ‘50s, the works provide a glimpse into a phase in Martin’s career that is often overlooked. Catch it starting Saturday, Feb. 25, through June 17. 238 Ledoux, Taos, 575.758.9826.

We told you in November that the Inn and Spa at Loretto made Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for Top Hotel. Now the Inn has also earned an impressive 91.4 rating from readers in the magazine’s 2012 Gold List Elite, and it’s the only hotel in New Mexico to garner a place on the list. Eight million votes were cast for the 511 hotels, resorts and cruise lines that rank the best worldwide. Congratulations, Loretto! 211 Old Santa Fe Trail, 866.582.1646,

You know something that’s always welcome? New cupcake shops. Taos has got a brand-new one Downtown called Dazzling Delights, and it’s got an assortment of flavors that change out weekly. Find the likes of red chile chocolate, blueberry delight, orange cinnamon and vanilla mint chocolate. Go check it out and get yourself something sweet. Beware: It’s closed Sunday and Monday. Look for weekly flavors at 216 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Suite D, 575.758.5000.

Whether you’re motivated by the victory garden resurgence, the locavorism craze or just plain common sense, if you want to get your hands into gardening, here’s how. Aimed at beginning gardeners, the Santa Fe Master Gardener Association is sponsoring Gardening 101. Learn about water-wise plant selection, soil building and preparing, composting, watering and all other kinds of novice know-how. It’s Saturday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living (505 Camino de Los Marquez). Pre-registration is required, and a place in the class will cost you $40. 471.4711,

If you’re looking for authentic Mexican cuisine, there’s a new place to tickle your taste buds. La Cocina de Doña Clara just opened up on Airport Road. Nopalitos (cactus) gorditas, lengua (tongue) tacos and cabeza (pig’s head) burritos are available to sate your nostalgia, or your curiosity. But then there are also breakfast quesadillas, huevos rancheros and tortilla soup for the less adventurous in the crowd. Rest assured that whatever side of the gastronomic spectrum you land on, the food’s going to be great. 4350 Airport, 473.1081. 

The New Mexico Collects: Private Treasures exhibit at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art is so popular, the museum has decided to extend it through Sunday, March 11. If you haven’t already, go see the 30 pieces on display from 10 private New Mexico collections. The mediums of the pieces vary, from a massive colonial textile likely woven in the Cuzco or Lake Titicaca region of Alto Peru to a group of intricately carved ivories from the Spanish Philippines. The only piece in the collection that was commissioned is by renowned Spanish Market artist Victor Goler. In this carving, Goler has crafted the ascension of Christ by two angels. 750 Camino Lejo, 982.2226.

Fans of nia and yoga will be happy to learn about some additions Studio Nia Santa Fe has made to its weekly lineup. First, there are four new 7:45 a.m. nia classes, along with a special discounted monthly pass to accompany them. Kundalini yoga classes have also expanded to three days a week, and BodyFlow has bumped up to twice a week. Most exciting, though, is a visit from L.A. guest teacher Randy Miller, who’ll be at the studio from Feb. 10 through 12. Miller will present a series of workshops on the conscious dance practice influenced by Soul Motion. If you have no idea what any of this is, check out the studio’s 7 days for $7 promotion and see what all the fuss is about.  851 San Mateo, 989.1299,

Until now, Garbo’s Restaurant has only been open to members of Rainbow Vision Santa Fe, a private club. The fun news for non-members is that the establishment has just launched a guest membership program that will allow people who don’t live at Rainbow Vision to dine at Garbo’s. And why should you care? Because it’s delicious. And since the menu changes weekly, there are always plenty of new dishes to be discovered. Guest memberships are $2 a month. Add the Starlight Lounge to the mix for $5 a month. Want everything? Get a full fitness center and spa membership, too, and bring the whole thing to a grand total of $45 a month. 500 Rodeo, 428.7777.

So, you do realize that Sunday, Feb. 5, is the Super Bowl, right? Of course you do. Joe’s knows it, too, and the bar’s hosting a Super Bowl party. Watch the game on a hi-def TV with all the staples—homemade pizza rolls (with pepperoni, pesto and tomato), chicken wings, jalapeño poppers, ribs, burgers, and chips and dip. If you’re not already a regular at Joe’s, here’s something neat you should know about it: Sure, it’s also diner that serves breakfast through diner as well as a mean Sunday brunch, but it’s also committed to serving food from local farms. So go cheer on your team in style, and with a clear conscience. 2801 Rodeo, Suite A-5, 471.3800,

Feb. 21 is Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras). Celebrate your last day before fasting (or not) in creole fashion with a special menu at Blue Corn Brewery’s Southside location. Not only will Blue Corn’s Chef David Sundberg put together a host of creole-inspired offerings, the restaurant will also feature live bluegrass from the Katy Joe Creek Band and a bevy of beer specials. Get buzzed, get full, get happy. It all goes from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Just in case, you may want to make reservations. 4056 Cerrillos, 428.1800.

Yes. It’s all in the name: Mi Amor Chocolat Artisan Café & Chocolate House. Really, this magnificent creation needs no further explanation, but I’ll give it to you anyway. Christon Holtzman has taken up shop in the former Subway space in Eldorado’s La Tienda center and filled it with treasures like: Mi Amor Chicken de Chocolat (rustic roasted chicken cooked in a dark chocolate and red wine sauce); baked shrimp wrapped in rosemary ham; frittata with spinach, piñons and green chile; and, of course, Mexican drinking chocolate with flourishes like marcona almonds, red chile powder and chocolate barks. The eatery also has pizza, sandwiches, salads, muffins, croissants and, well, more delightful options than we can mention here. Frequent this place frequently. 7 Caliente, Eldorado, 466.1442.

If you read the Santa Fe New Mexican, you’re probably familiar with cartoonist Ricardo Caté. His cartoon “Without Reservations” has been running in the paper since 2006. In addition to putting out his art, Caté has a radio show, teaches GED classes at Kewa Pueblo and is a stand-up comic and filmmaker. This Monday, Feb. 13, he’s also giving a talk at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian library for the Friends of the Wheelwright Museum Lecture Series. Titled, “That Was My Last Cough: The Humor and Cartoons of Ricardo Caté,” the talk starts at 2:30 p.m., with refreshments at 2 p.m. Wheelwright Friends are free and guests are a mere $5. 704 Camino Lejo, 982.4636.

Theater Grottesco presents STORM, a play that is hard to describe. Grottesco says it’s “about environment,” and that it probably is. But through partnering with the Out of Context orchestra, the musical element to the show is also somewhat improvisational. This, coupled with projections of stenography and abstraction along with realistic images, makes the work sound less like a traditional play and more like a unfolding experiment. Go for the mystery. 551 W. Cordova, Suite 8400, 474.8400.  

As co-owner Brian Bargsten says of his shop, “Arroyo Vino is a wine store that sells spirits, not a liquor store that sells wine.” That philosophy seeps through every detail in Arroyo Vino, from the all-wood racking, hardwood floors and granite countertops that make the place feel special to the kinds of wines Bargsten and partner Mike Mabry put on the shelves. Although Bargsten’s last gig was as the wine director for Las Campanas, he makes it clear that Arroyo Vino offers a large price range that can work with any budget. “We have some great wines for $8 to $10,” he says, adding that any wine they offer that’s under $20 is “extremely well-chosen” to give customers a great value. Mainly, Bargsten looks for wines that “are good examples and expressions of the type of varietal and place that they come from,” he says. So far that’s added up to more than 400 different wines in stock. Perhaps most enticing, though, is Bargsten’s eagerness to help customers find the right fit. He and Mabry gutted the building when they first bought it and rebuilt it as an environment that would inspire discussion. It’s all just 1.9 miles west of Hwy. 599, at 218 Camino la Tierra, 983.2100.,