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“This is going to sound a bit jaded,” chef Hosea Rosenberg warned, “but the best and truest green chile is only grown in Hatch, New Mexico.”
These are fighting words in Colorado, where we have a fierce devotion to our own Pueblo chiles and the thick, often orange-hued Den-mex brand of green chile stew. But Rosenberg (of Blackbelly fame) was born in Taos, and his new north Boulder restaurant, Santo, is an unapologetic celebration of New Mexican flavors. “It’s bringing a taste of New Mexico to Colorado,” Rosenberg says.
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Under Rosenberg and chef de cuisine Arun Moghe’s watch, the Land of Enchantment’s classic fare gets a modern, farm-to-table spin. It’s also exceedingly approachable for vegetarians and the gluten averse—a must in Boulder. Of course, there’s a thick, chunky green chile stew with slow-cooked pork and San Luis Valley potatoes, but there are also sides of smoother green and red chile sauces (both vegetarian) for general smothering purposes. There’s a “smashed” green chile cheeseburger made with grass-fed Carter Country Meats beef, but there’s also a meatless mushroom option for the blue corn enchiladas and a red chile posole made with a smoked vegetable broth and bolstered with winter squash. Chiles—most of which Rosenberg sources from Hatch, New Mexico—are the pervasive theme, from house-made fresh salsas to Anaheim pepper syrup in the Taoseño cocktail to desserts like green chile apple pie and green chile cheesecake.
As with the food, the space marries old traditions with new. Famous Taos santero Leonard Salazar’s hand-carved saints adorn the space, along with photos (some black and white, some color; all shot in New Mexico) from Boulder-based artist, Stephen Collector. The polished concrete floor and custom-made Zia light fixture’s dangling Edison bulbs above the bar lend a contemporary vibe.
Santo will open for dinner on Saturday, November 18, with lunch and brunch service on the horizon.
1265 Alpine Ave., Boulder, 303-442-6100