- The Short Order
A brightly lit, spacious room inside La Fonda, La Plazuela lives up to its name, with tables set around a central fountain, soaring clusters of potted trees, and a skylight high above. Chef Lane Warner includes Northern New Mexicandishes such as rolled enchiladas and chile rellenos, locally sourced lamb chops, seafood, and vegetarian specialties on his menu. Appetizers and side dishes, right down to the beans and posole, are good, and inventive salads can also be a treat when they’re not overthought. The service is unusually warm and efficient. This is a good place to bring out-of-towners to experience our city’s cooking and decorative traditions — as well as its restaurant prices. Two tacos for $18? But those tacos are very good. Recommended: pork carnitas, roasted-corn-poblano chowder, grilled pear and baby-spinach salad, lamb loin chops, carne asada, and flan.
- Check, please
Dinner for three at La Plazuela at La Fonda:
Chickpea and goji berry salad $ 13.00
Pear and baby spinach salad $ 11.00
Pork carnitas appetizer $ 10.00
Lamb loin chops $ 28.00
Baby back ribs $ 16.00
Petite filet mignon $ 32.00
Glass, 2009 Gruet Cuvée Gilbert pinot noir $ 10.00
Glass, 2012 Muga rioja $ 11.00
Strawberry shortcake $ 8.00
Blueberry pie $ 6.00
Flan $ 7.00
TOTAL $ 152.00
(before tax and tip)
Lunch for two, another visit:
Cup, roasted-corn-poblano chowder $ 6.00
Frisée and apple salad $ 11.00
Carne asada $ 16.00
La Plazuela combination (pork tamale,
cheese enchilada & chile relleno) $ 17.00
TOTAL $ 50.00
(before tax and tip)
- 3 CHILES
Ratings range from 0 to 4 chiles, including half chiles.
This reflects the reviewer’s experience with regard to food and drink, atmosphere, service, and value.
Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014 5:00 am
Entering La Plazuela at La Fonda is like leaving a lantern-lit cavern and emerging into the sunshine. The ceiling soars toward the skylight two stories above. A stone pool containing a burbling fountain is flanked on two sides by the twisting trunks of towering potted ficus trees draped with tiny white lights. The room is separated from the surrounding corridors by divided-light windows, the frames colorfully painted with chiles, sunflowers, birds on the wing, perched owls, butterflies, and other whimsical designs. The wooden tables that surround the fountain are solid, the Mission-style chairs padded and comfortable. Even at nighttime the effect is spacious and grand. One of the city’s most intriguing dining rooms, it’s an atmospheric place to bring visiting friends and family or to go if you need a reminder of our city’s decorative traditions.
The menu is also well suited for out-of-towners, though it doesn’t specifically cater to them. Executive chef Lane Warner — can it be true that’s he’s been with La Fonda for 20 years? — offers a range of traditional dishes, such as rolled enchiladas and New Mexico lamb chops, along with seafood, ambitious vegetarian entrees (a grilled cauliflower “steak” with sautéed leeks and shiitakes), and an unexpected chickpea and goji berry salad with Mandarin orange slices and an apple-cider vinaigrette. The wine list is serious and includes bottles from New Mexico. Both your steak-loving uncle and your vegetarian cousin will be happy.
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Friday, April 18, 2014 5:00 am.