Yesterday's second visit to Eloisa for lunch in Santa Fe was mind-blowing. Chef John Rivera Sedlar's lifetime of experience and fondness for strong flavors is evident from the first bite. We had a cold chile relleno with peas and a pea sauce (as a salad); teeny pastrami blue corn tacos with sauerkraut, and a farmer's market eggplant and mushroom sandwich with an anchovy aloli and arugula salad with sesame oil and paper thin slivers of summer squash. The flavors are bold and very fresh, reflecting his years as a restauranteur in L.A. The menu is delightfully unique in Santa Fe, a town renowned for Southwestern flavors that after a while can all taste alike to this eater.
Chef Sedlar was in the house (and I'm told usually is even at lunch). We chatted about his gorgeous, understated, contemporary new restaurant (located in the Drury Plaza Hotel but not managed by them), his unique menu and his appreciation for talented and skilled restaurant workers in Santa Fe. ELOISA was just named one of the 21 best new restaurants in the US by Eater and is a must for all serious foodies. Wow.