The first time we dined at Lambert’s of Taos we didn’t know anything about the Taos dining scene. It was a strange November night almost 17 years ago while we were spending the night in this quaint northern New Mexico town. It was time for dinner and just as we were leaving our vintage motel, the lights went out – all over town. Typically, when the lights go out, restaurants close. But, Lambert’s was still serving. At the time, the restaurant was in an adobe house on Paseo del Pueblo del Sur. They had a gas range and candles and they were going to make their customers happy. I had their signature lamb and I remember that it was delicious.
Fast forward to 2014. We were heading to Taos for two nights and wanted to try the new Lambert’s. We were long overdue. The restaurant moved to 123 Bent Street, the historic building that was home to the Apple Tree Restaurant for years, in May 2013. It was a good move. Lambert’s got a better in-town location, more space including an upstairs area that houses their new Treehouse Bar and Lounge.
It was a warm, late spring night, a few days before the Summer Solstice, and the enclosed patio seemed like the place to be. Except for a few mosquitoes, it was. Executive Chef Ky Quintanilla has done a great job with the seasonal menu. We perused the offerings and listened to the nightly specials. The dishes we ordered reflected his love for buying fresh and local. The crusty bread was delivered to the table along with butter and roasted garlic. The faux Oysters Rockefellers sounded great and Steve ordered them. This vegetarian dish, made with oyster mushrooms from Freshie’s in Velarde, south of Taos, instead of shell fish was both witty and delicious. I ordered the Grilled Radicchio salad which also had Bibb lettuce, tomatoes and red onion. It’s usually served with Champagne/blue cheese vinaigrette, but as I can’t eat cheese I substituted the tomato/basil vinaigrette that’s served with the organic mixed green salad. It was delicious.
Though I was tempted by their signature Rack of Colorado Lamb, I’d eaten lamb the night before and went for the halibut special. It was seared than oven finished, served with a pineapple salsa, mango/guava puree and sautéed farmers’ market vegetables which included roasted baby turnips, ramps, other veggies and a touch of bacon which took them over the top. The dish was supposed to be served with cilantro/honey rice. I asked to have wild rice substituted; the request was graciously met. Steve ordered another special: the grilled wild-caught king salmon which was accompanied by a tomato beurre blanc sauce, wild rice and a melange of grilled vegetables which included radicchio and asparagus.
Lambert’s has a tempting dessert menu, but we were so full we skipped dessert. Filled and happy, we went out into the beautiful evening and headed back to our lodging,
We were guests of Lambert’s of Taos. Their generosity did not affect this post in any way.