Short takes

A snapshot of recent reviews

Cottonwood Kitchen at Tesuque Casino

7 Tesuque Road, just past the Santa Fe Opera off U.S. 84/285

You’d be forgiven for expecting the typical casino-dining experience at Cottonwood Kitchen, the swanky restaurant at the newly opened Tesuque Casino. But the primary similarity this restaurant bears to its kin is discounts and specials, with a killer Lounge Social Hour, as well as deals for Player’s Club members. The menu ranges from stalwart salads to spins on typical bar food and more upscale dishes like roast chicken, seafood, and prime rib. While some dishes are a bust, others are deliciously memorable. And the patio has one of the most stunning views in town. Recommended: “Meat Candy” ($12); Buffalo chicken tenders ($15); French dip ($15); Santa Fe nachos ($14); prime rib ($32).

— Laurel Gladden, July 5

Anasazi Restaurant, Bar and LoungeRosewood Inn of the Anasazi

The Anasazi’s bar and dinner menus offer an array of choices that range from downright poor to meh to surprisingly good. You’ll find the usual regional suspects here — chips, salsa, nachos, burgers, and Cobb salad — along with roast chicken, lamb, and salmon. But the most interesting dishes are born of the kitchen’s alchemical effort to merge traditional Southwest and East Coast ingredients and sensibilities. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s wonderful. Recommended: Green chile buffalo burger ($20); seafood pozole ($25); spring pea ravioli ($32); Native American prime striploin ($48).

— Patricia West-Barker, June 21

Loyola’s Family Restaurant

4500 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque; 505-268-6478;

Loyola’s Family Restaurant has a striking, almost cartoonish silhouette that brings to mind Albuquerque’s Route 66 heyday. Opened by Loyola Baca 30-something years ago and now run by Baca’s daughter, it’s the sort of place where the vibe is pure urban Mayberry, the employees act as though they know you, and the food (including breakfast all day) is prepared with tender, loving care. Recommended: chips and salsa ($2.95); Sarah’s Special ($9.79); Super Burrito ($10.19); Pobresito ($7.29); single pancake ($3.15); bowl of chile with beans ($6.99). — L.G., June 7

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