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Life has definitely gotten in the way lately and we realized this past weekend that we hadn’t been out to a nice dinner in months! We are still trying to find our favorite Mexican food restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We have several places that we like, but we haven’t found one yet where all of the boxes are checked each time we go!!
We wanted something different so I turned to Yelp for help!! Yelp has never let me down, and I love to look at the pictures that people post from different establishments!! And, there it was– Piano Bar and Italian food!! The Yelp reviews were a bit mixed as to the quality of the food, but everyone agreed that the music was worth the trip!! We were intrigued so we made reservations!
One doesn’t normally think Italian when thinking of Santa Fe so Vanessie is a great surprise!! Housed in the lobby of the boutique hotel by the same name, Vanessie is a must stop while in Santa Fe!! Or, better yet, stay here! It’s in a great location!!
Greeted by friendly staff when we arrived, we were led into a very cozy dining room and bar area. The grand piano is the center of attention, but the two fireplaces flanking the room add so much to the experience!!
We had time to order right before the music started! Here is what we got:
First, We ordered the Pane Bianco– I thought we were ordering white bread with oil and a few bits of beef- Oh my gosh, it was covered in bistecca- the menu said bistecca drippings, but this was not just drippings!! The toast was so thick and grilled in butter- heavenly!!
Next, we ordered the grilled romaine salad. For some reason, I don’t have a picture, but it was delicious!!
Then- the main course!! Dr. T ordered a pizza. I gushed over it so much, he gave me a slice to try!!! I loved it. I couldn’t decide between the Salmon Polenta or the Shrimp Pasta. Our waiter said his favorite pasta was the shrimp so I ordered that. My only negative of the whole night was the shrimp. Too few shrimp and too much lemon for my taste!! But I still enjoyed it!!
Cava instead of Prosecco on this Italian menu!! It was very good! All wine is 29.00 a bottle so that makes it easy- just order what you really want. They also have wine by the glass!!
We ordered the flourless chocolate cake for dessert!! Another hit!!
Right after we ordered, the pianist, Doug Montgomery started entertaining. And– was it entertaining!! He’s funny, attentive and very talented ( masters degree from Julliard!!). We so enjoyed him! Requests took up the whole two hours of his set!! It was the typical piano bar music. We all sang along to “Sweet Caroline”– so much fun!!
One of the waiters is a professionally trained singer from Spain!! He was great!
A few reviews I read mentioned that the menu was a bit expensive. It is not excessive– Especially by Santa Fe standards. We had a very nice evening out and spent more than we would have at a Mexican food place, but it was more than dinner. It was an experience!! A great experience. We could easily have split a pizza and had a great time too!!
I highly recommend Vanessie for your next visit to Santa Fe. You won’t be disappointed!!