SANTA FE, N.M. — The Galisteo Bistro is a gem of a place: quite small and intimate, given to eclectic fare with interesting twists. Who imagined it possible to make something like a cracker out of eggplant? But each dish has its roots in continental fare, decidedly on the rustic side, despite the bistro’s gourmet transformations.
Smacafam? The word turns out to be Italian patois for “hunger killer,” and the bistro’s rendition is a sturdy stew, but so elegantly prepared you might not guess its association with northern Italy’s Carnival festivities.
We sampled dinner recently and came away smitten. The eggplant “crackers,” by the way, are listed on the tapas menu as “grilled eggplant,” and served up with tomato jam and Parmesan cheese ($11). The thinnest of eggplant slices were toasted up crispy brown, and plated with a dollop of thick, savory-sweet tomato confection and curls of parmesan.
We sampled the bistro’s version of Caesar salad ($14) and found it well above average. The standard romaine had been chopped, tossed with a house-made Caesar and topped with a few white anchovy filets, house-made croutons and many of those impressive Parmesan curls. If you love these aggressive flavors as much as we do, this is the Caesar for you.