Sunday brunch on the Anasazi Restaurant patio: feast on Argentina-style barbecue

Chef Juan Bochenski left the Anasazi on December 31, 2015. We wish him well.

We love when life is serendipitous and a fool’s errand turns into lemonade. One of our faithful Santa Fe informants sent a Facebook message that the TV show Bizarre Foods was shooting in the Plaza. We went to check it out. On our way down Washington Avenue the aroma of grilling meats wafted to our ever-vigilant noses. The Anasazi Restaurant’s Executive Chef, Juan Bochenski a native of Argentina, had set up a parrilla, an Argentine-style grill on the restaurant’s patio and was offering grilled dishes for Sunday Brunch.

Chef Juan Bochenski Anasazi Restaurant Santa Fe Steve Collins

Anasazi Restaurant’s Executive Chef Juan Bochenski on the restaurant’s front patio with his parrilla, photo/Steve Collins

Since there was no TV crew to be found on the Plaza. We headed back to the car. On the way we stopped to chat with Chef Juan about his new endeavor. We learned that he’d started grilling last summer for on special occasions: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and summer holidays. The experiment was successful so the restaurant ordered two custom-made the parrillas. A special hand-operated crank on the grill raises or lowers the cooking grate to add fuel and to control the cooking temperature. Bochenski is turning out some delicious fare including Argentinean-style short ribs and Pollito al Limon made with free-range baby chickens. Here’s a link to the brunch menu. Chef Juan sources from local growers and producers when he can.

Anasazi's parrilla menu photo/SteveCollins

Anasazi’s parrilla menu photo/SteveCollins

Because Steve is a big grilling fan (he writes a monthly column for National BBQ News) the two chefs talked grilling. We even got a few tastes. They were delicious. We’ve been fans of Chef Juan’s cooking since we first tried it three years ago. This spring he introduced new menus to go with the restaurant’s revitalized concept: a smaller, more intimate dining room (it went from 92 to 40 seats) as well as a larger lounge and a tequila table.

Hotel restaurants have historically had a bad reputation. The old perception that the food is unimaginative and even stogy persists. In many cases that’s far from the truth. Today, some of the best restaurants in the country and even the world are in hotels. Some of Santa Fe’s most unappreciated restaurants are in hotels. Anasazi Restaurant at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi is one of them.

Chef Juan and his parrilla will be out on the Anasazi Restaurant patio grilling up a storm on Sundays and summer holidays into the fall (weather permitting). Hours are from 11am to 2:30pm. If you’re walking down Washington Avenue on a Sunday and the rich aroma of cooking meats entices you, stop in and try these delicious grilled offerings.

 

 

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