Chef John Sedlar returns home to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Eloisa - Santa Fe NM

By Hope S. Philbrick

Locals in Santa Fe, New Mexico seemed more than the usual amount of excited about the newest restaurant in town, Eloisa. So naturally, I had to check it out.

Lucky me, I ate there twice.

Once simply wasn’t enough.

Eloisa, located inside the Drury Plaza Hotel, is the latest venture of acclaimed Chef John Rivera Sedlar, who grew up in Santa Fe and also spent three years in Seville and Zaragoza, Spain. He’s traveled throughout Mexico, Latin America, and Spain to study Latin food traditions and is the creator and founder of the first Latino food museum in the United States, Museum Tamal. He literally wrote the book on Modern Southwest Cuisine.

Sedlar has been named one of the Top Ten Chefs in America, received a Culinary Arts Hall of Fame Award, and made the Food & Wine Magazine’s Honor Roll of American Chefs.

His new venture Eloisa, named to honor his grandmother, features modern southwest cuisine and craft cocktails. The menu is inspired by the cooking of Abiquiú Pueblo and painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Dishes are expertly prepared and artfully plated.

“My grandma Eloisa Rivera was the first person to teach me how to cook,” writes Chef John Sedlar at the start of his new menu. “Indeed, women have always formed the foundation of New Mexico’s culinary heritage. Abuelas. Madres. Tías. Hermanas. Their hearts and their hands have been in every dish associated with New Mexico. Among the world’s great cuisines, New Mexican cooking is undoubtedly the most elemental. Fiery chiles. Earthy beans. Ethereal corn. Celestial water from the acequias that irrigate the ranchos. Our cocina celebrates Grandma Eloisa, all Southwestern women, and their satisfying, down-to-earth foods.”

The vibe inside Eloisa is energetic (bordering on frenetic) and a happy anticipation hangs in the air, fueled by diners and eager-to-please staffers. While servers throughout the dining room and chefs in the open kitchen never seem to stand still, there’s a hyper-focus on ensuring guests’ needs are met.

Tortillas Florales @ Eloisa - Santa Fe NMSquash Tamalli @ Eloisa - Santa Fe NM

Tortillas florales ($7), housemade nixtamal tortillas, are dotted with edible flower petals and served with Indian butter (a smooth, spicy guacamole). The dish proves that simple can be sublime.

Squash tamalli ($11) packs an acorn squash with red chile pork, goat cheese and masa. This may be the best thing ever—and if you’re on a budget this starter and a cocktail make a wonderful, satisfying, light dinner.

blue corn chicken @ Eloisa - Santa Fe NMCarne Adobada @ Eloisa - Santa Fe NM

Blue corn chicken ($23) is an interesting study in textures with pan-seared chicken, grapefruit sauce, blue corn tortilla and blue corn bread. It’s not too spicy so if you’re unsure about your tolerance for New Mexican heat, start here.

Carne Adobada ($21) is a soul-satisfying and mouth-tantalizing sous-vide kurobuta pork chop, chimayo chiles, frijoles blancos (white beans) and quelites. It’s spiced perfectly for full flavor with no toxic heat.

Room 311 @ Eloisa - Santa Fe NMMixologist Dede Roybal’s cocktails are well-balanced and innovative. Don’t miss “Room 311,” a scrumptious blend of Four Roses bourbon, Banana Giffard and orange zest.

Dine at Eloisa and you’ll feel like you won the taste bud lotto.

More Information…

228 E. Palace Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Santa Fe Tourism

New Mexico Tourism

– Photos © HSP Media LLC

HopeP_144Hope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. She’s reviewed restaurants for several Atlanta-based newspapers and magazines for more than 12 years. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty.


  1. Thrilled that you profiled a native son of Santa Fe here. Another reason to visit! @CityofSantaFe

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