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From lunch at Zuly's Cafe, https://www.chowhound.com/post/zulys-... , I pushed on to my overnight in Taos. I recommend highly choosing the low road route when driving north into that town. In late May, the opening vista on leaving the mountain pass about 10 miles before reaching Taos looked like a sage-green ocean divided by the canyon of the winding Rio Grande with glistening snow capped peaks in the distance. Truly breathtaking.
After checking in at my hotel I headed to The Love Apple for dinner. It was packed on a Thursday night, making me glad I'd called for a reservation the day before. The outdoor patio had not yet opened for the season.
With a cubby of the 2016 vintage right next to me, I felt like I was sitting at the Domaine Tempier table. The wine list shows the 2014 for $95, but not the 2016 vintage. I didn't order any wine, as the by the glass selections didn't grab me. Also I was holding off on much alcohol while adjusting to the altitude.
The restaurant was sweltering hot inside. My hotel room thermostat reached 78 degrees and the restaurant was definitely warmer than that, enough that I was definitely "glowing". And at some point the staff opened the front door to try to cool the place off. That's not a good ambient temperature for storing wine.
Still, I did enjoy the food. I started with the soup of the day, $6 for a cup, that was as big a serving as a bowl would be back home. This was a spinach and local smokehouse bacon bisque finished with herbed goat cheese. If the server had not mentioned bacon, I don't think I would have identified it. Maybe it gave it a little more umami. The pureed spinach base was quite iron-y and metallic and could have used more dairy to moderate that.
The wild rainbow trout from Idaho baked on a corn husk, $17, was really good. The fish skin adhered to the husk. The menu description said this was seasoned with lime herb butter and finished with chipotle cream. Not sure about the latter, and the herbs were mostly snipped chives. But it all tasted good and the fish was not overcooked. The promised quinoa piñon fritter was missing. The salad greens were so fresh and delicate, but too bad they were put on a heated plate.
Cash or check only. I got out of here for $30, worth it. Despite the slip-up with salad on a hot plate and missing ingredients, the cooking was competent if not exceptional.
The Love Apple
803 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
Taos, NM 87571
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