Casa Chimayo New Mexican Restaurant
Honoring Tradition in the Food of New Spain
Casa Chimayo, in Santa Fe New Mexico, is a family owned restaurant with a unique vision - to promote the history and culture of Nueva España through their culinary heritage, honoring their ancestors with every dish on the menu. Every ingredient contributes its own unique flavor to create the taste experience, and every taste is part of a story; of how the Spanish traversed the ocean looking for gold and the fabled city of Cibola. How they came to the New World, known as Nueva España; melding with the native population of Tlaxcala and Aztec Indians, to become known as Españoles Mexicanos. And finally, how they travelled along the El Camino Real, all the way to Northern New Mexico and beyond, to become the people they are today. The unique, authentic cuisine of Casa Chimayo is described by the owners as "Comida De Nueva Espana", or Food of New Spain. Their goal is to highlight the influence that Spain has had in Northern New Mexican history, culture, arts, music and, of course, food!
About Family and Tradition
"Growing up in Chimayo was an experience not to be forgotten. Our grandparents, aunts and uncles taught us our traditions and culture. Grandpa put us to work planting chile, corn and calabacítas when we were just a little bit taller than the chickens running loose around the farm.
"Our families helped to make the Chimayo chile famous. The green chile is roasted and peeled for there is no better way. The red chile is picked off the plant when it is dry. Every year on Thanksgiving we celebrated at the adobe home of our great-grandparents. Aunt Mercedes Trujillo prepared a feast: chile, beans, enchiladas, morciallas, carne seca, pan, tortillas, flan, sopa and more. All our cousins, aunts and uncles were there. The foods were prepared with lots of love, and here at Casa Chimayo, our customs and traditions continue through the foods of our childhood."
A Contemporary Take on Traditional Foods
The people of Northern New Mexico, in particular Chimayo, take their chile very seriously. Casa Chimayo is no exception! They take great pride in the fact that they dont use chile grown in Hatch, nor is it purchased from a food purveyor. Don Timoteo insists that the chile used at Casa Chimayo be grown locally, and that it is prepared using methods that Nuevo Méjicanos have used in this area for over a hundred years.
Casa Chimayo Chile En Nogada - A fresh poblano pepper is stuffed with lean beef, apples, pears, apricots and spices which have been slow-simmered. The pepper is then draped in a creamy walnut sauce, and adorned with pomegranate seeds and cilantro.
The Aztecs served tamales to the Spanish when they came to Mexico. The word tamale is derived from the Nahuatl word tamalli which means wrapped food. Tamales are made with maize (corn dough), which is spread on a corn husk, then filled with a variety of ingredients. Casa Chimayo's chef likes to use pork, chile, corn, beans, squash, chicken, cheese, and even fruits and nuts in their various fillings. Making tamales is a labor of love. Each tamale is individually hand-made in a labor intensive process; once filled, the maize is rolled inside the corn husk, then steamed over very low heat until cooked through.
Legend has it that Montezuma welcomed the new god Córtes at a banquet, where the Aztecs served móle to honor his arrival. Casa Chimayo makes a dark red mole sauce using a mixture of various chile peppers, chocolate, nuts and spices. The result is a rich, thick sauce which evokes a seductive blend of flavors that is distinctly new world. At Casa Chimayo, you will find it on the menu with grilled chicken, or the plantain móle enchiladas appetizer.
Grandma Helen has a sweet tooth, but Stellas Natillas is her favorite! This is a very traditional dessert found only in Northern New Mexico. It is made with eggs, milk, and cornstarch, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla bean. While the ingredients may appear simple, the end result is a seductive, silky pudding that soothes the soul. Oh, and its gluten-free too!
And to Accompany Your Meal
The bar at Casa Chimayo features some local items in bottled and draft beer, as well as their wine. Beer selections include Santa Fe Pale Ale, along with a nice selection of Mexican beers such as: Negra Modelo and Pacifico, among others. Try ordering a bucket of mini Sol, Dos XX, or Corona to enjoy with your friends while you soak some rays and relax out on the patio! Don Timoteos favorite is the Day Of The Dead Blonde beer, made by Tecate.
If you prefer wine, you will find some fine selections: both a chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon from the Ponderosa Winery, located in the Jemez Mountains of Northern New Mexico. And if you feel like something some sparkle, you cant go wrong with a bottle from Gruet, another fine local winery. Feeling a little more adventurous? Then you might want to try one of the great cocktails concocted by the Casa Chimayo bartender. The local favorite is the house margarita, followed closely by the chile-infused margaritas. All of the cocktails at Casa Chimayo are made using premium wine-based products, along with fresh fruits, juice and other natural ingredients. You wont believe how smooth the margaritas are; and they pair so well with hot, spicy New Mexican food!
Casa Chimayo Featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives
Whether you choose one of your favorite New Mexican dishes authentically prepared, or a Casa Chimayo specialty of the house, you'll savor the love that goes into every delicious creation. Come taste why Chef Guy Fieri chose Casa Chimayo from among hundreds of restaurants across America to be featured on the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives "Aces of Authenticity" segment.
Casa Chimayo New Mexican Restaurant
409 West Water Street
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Visit the Casa Chimayo New Mexican Restaurant Website