Pranzo Italian Grill | Everyone's A Critic

Review by Craig Jack

We moved permanently to Santa Fe from San Diego several months back. We had lived here in the early 2000’s and decided in 2019 to build a house and make Santa Fe our new permanent home. Our neighbors like to explore and try new restaurant experiences and based on our previous dinner at Pranzo we felt this was a good restaurant to introduce them to. We loved this restaurant 5 years ago when it was located in the old Sanbusco Market Center. Steven Lemon reopened Pranzo in the Shohko location on 321 Johnson Street in August. The new location is everything we love about Santa Fe. The building has historic character and represents the history of the region. As you walk in it is like walking into one of the historic homes of Santa Fe with it’s substantial plastered adobe walls and weathered vigas, you get this great feeling of warmth and coziness. One of the main features is a fantastic bar that seats up to 16 folks that either can drink or dine or both.

The menu is tight and features some of their original signature items, they have added a few new items that take advantage of local ingredients including Chile and locally purveyed vegetables and meats. I am a sucker for anything Chicken, so I ordered the Crispy Chicken Thighs with White Beans, Roasted Fennel and Polenta. This is a traditional Italian Country dish, the Chicken was cooked perfectly and the skin perfectly seasoned and crispy.

Santa Fe Foodies Food Reviews
Crispy Chicken Thighs with White Beans
Santa Fe Foodies Food Reviews
Linguine con Salsiccia

My only recommendation is that the Fennel could be roasted more so there is caramelization. This is a big meal. So if you have an appetizer or order their great breads, most likely you will be bringing some of this home, which is great because it tasted even better for lunch the next day.

My wife and friends decided that if you are at an Italian restaurant you need to go traditional so they ordered Pranzo’s homemade pasta dishes. These dishes are also substantial so plan on bringing your appetite because they are great and hard to stop eating until you have wiped up all the sauce with their great bread. I had a bite of the Linguine con Salsiccia. I like heat and this dish delivered with hot sausage and roasted peppers. The pasta was cooked perfectly. It was rich, savory and really satisfying. I always like a meal that sits on your taste buds for a while as it allows you to extend the meal experience.

Pranzo has a great cocktail and wine menu, we enjoyed a bottle of the Tatone Montepulciano d’Abruzzo which was well priced and played well with our meals.

The table finished the evening and decided to split desserts with a Crème Brûlée and Tiramisu which were great. The Crème Brûlée had a nice caramel spoon tapping top that went great with the Latte. Both times we have gone the service has been terrific, our server Gabriel did a great job and made the evening very comfortable. We will be back again.