SANTA FE, N.M. — No, not the French Impressionist painter. Not that Cézanne. Sazón, the snappy restaurante nuevo cocinar del Mexicano on Shelby Street, with a name that when translated from the Spanish has any number of meanings depending on the context – seasoning, flavor, ripeness, maturity. (The Urban Dictionary translates the term: “A mixture of spices typically orange that comes in little packets and is secret weapon of Spanish food.” Huh? Who knew?)
You gotta love a restaurant that has “Mezcaleria” and “Tequileria” in its headline – a drinking establishment with a food problem? – and just inside the door and down a step to the right the bar is classically umbrous and intimate in warm woods.
Sazón promotes a number of adventures in mixology and a world-class back wall of tequilas and mezcals (including Ron Cooper’s Del Maguay mezcal, with profound Ken Price labels), and a selection of nearly 100 wines from throughout Europe and the Americas (they’ve a penchant for wines of the Valle de Guadalupe region of northern Baja). In short, serious stuff – and with a very good looking bar menu, you might not make it into the main room.
If you do, be prepared. Not quite over the top Fellini-in-Mexico shimmering mirrors, a glittering Guadalajara chandelier, over a dozen striking lamps situated throughout, Frida Kahlo portraits, mural-sized paintings. So dramatic you half expect to see George R.R. Martin directing proceedings. (And hey, wait a minute. Isn’t that the man himself in larger-than-life red-suspendered splendor holding court at a corner table full of revelers? It is.)