73 West 71st Street
New York, NY 10023
The décor of Sante Fe is understated, with sand colored walls, a few ethnic artifacts and white tablecloths, but that's not why people visit this popular eatery in NYC. It's all about the food—contemporary Mexican cuisine.
The friendly staff greets you when you come in and you're immediately served your typical chips and salsa; except the dish at Sante Fe taste more delish than usual. At first sight, this home-made tomato and onion salsa seemed watery, but once I tasted a mouthful of a tortilla chip with the complimentary dip, I realized the flavors were super fresh and the citrus juices were pungent but not harsh. (It was so good I suggested they bottle it!) The crab cake appetizer (that also comes as an entree) is a must-have. It was more lump crab meat than breading, which is always a plus for true crab lovers, and the smoky tomato puree with the crema verde really took it to another level—it melted in your mouth!
The fish tacos, one of the daily specials, were wrapped in a soft tortilla and were very fluffy—which was a nice contrast for a dish that can usually be oily. It also had perfect touch of spiciness from the light chipotle cream sauce. The braised short rib tacos were tender and flavorful, as if they were marinated and slow cooked over time. Although, they came in a soft tortilla, you can tell the meat was very tender.
Dessert, however, is not Sante Fe's strongest point. My suggestion? Skip it and head to neighboring Magnolia's Bakery, which is just across the street.