Radish & Rye | Everyone's A Critic

By Cheryl Bergeron


Pictured From Left to Right

  1. Brussels Sprouts with Rooster Lime Sauce and Buttermilk Dip

  2. Roasted Beets with Arugula, House Labneh and Pinon Vinaigrette

  3. Green Chile Corn Chowder with Smoked Marrow Bone

  4. Pan Fried Trout with Green Chile Corn Bake and House Tartar

  5. Grilled Beef Ribeye with Duck Fat Fingerlings and House Worcestershire

  6. Pan Seared Salmon with Autumn Salad and Cider Dijon


The genius of John Prine welcomed our party of three into Radish & Rye, and the Americana soundtrack of the evening unfolded from there, often seeming to keep tempo with the meal itself. The restaurant was pleasantly dim, lit by the soft glow of candle lanterns throughout the dining room. Even on a Wednesday evening the place was packed with a stylish crowd and great people watching at every turn.


We kicked off our night with a trio of the house’s riff on a Manhattan cocktail, the Abuelito, made with caramelly Buffalo Trace bourbon, full-bodied Carpano Antica vermouth and peppery Ancho Reyes liqueur. With a presentation made for Instagram, this drink treats your senses to a leathery whiff of tobacco smoke that perfectly complements the drink’s well-crafted flavor profile. “Abuelito” translates to “Grandpa,” and it indeed brought on nostalgia about sneakily opening my own grandfather’s humidor to take in the scent of its contents.


Radish & Rye offers so tempting choices that we were finding it hard to commit to an order. Our server Adam knew the menu down to the last detail. Having personally eaten everything on it, he answered our questions and set us up for a successful experience. His enthusiastic service throughout the evening was flawless.


For our first course, we ordered the brussels sprouts, roasted beets and Radish & Rye's signature green chile corn chowder. The sprouts were crispy on the outside and tender inside, with a nice acidity in the sauce. The accompanying buttermilk dip added a creamy mouthfeel that made the dish. The beets were fresh and bright, balanced by peppery arugula, piquant labneh and a light pinion vinaigrette. The green chile corn chowder, served with a smoked beef marrow bone, was the star of this course. The decadent marrow, scraped into the already rich chowder, was a divine experience worth every calorie. Adam offered the even more hedonistic suggestion of drinking a shot from their fine bourbon selection out of the bone. Maybe on a future visit.


Next up were three gorgeous entrees: pan fried trout, grilled ribeye and seared salmon. If you’ve ever rolled New Mexico trout in cornmeal and thrown it in a hot pan, you know it’s hard to improve on tradition. Radish & Rye does it with a crispy, flavorful coating that revealed a moist and delicate fish underneath. House made tartar sauce provided a tangy foil, while a side of the chef’s green chile corn baked added a richness to the plate that paired perfectly with the light, flakey trout.


Adam recommended medium temperature for the ribeye, giving extra time for its marbled fats to caramelize. This gave me some pause until it arrived perfectly juicy with plenty of reddish pink in the meat. The wood grilled preparation added extra flavor, which I preferred on its own without the house made Worcestershire sauce. The steak was served with herbed fingerling potatoes coated in silky duck fat. No need for butter here.


The chef’s salmon dish combined flavors and textures in a surprising way. I would never have imagined I’d enjoy a warm filet on a cold salad; now I’m dying to order it again. The salmon was seared to medium rare and served with light cider Dijon sauce, presented atop an “autumn salad” of apples, pecans, pickled cauliflower and winter squash. It was the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and we loved every bite.


The dessert menu was short and sweet, presenting three options, each created to pair with a special bourbon. Though we had to pass this time, we will be back and will try our best to save room for that experience. With inspired seasonal cooking served in a lively, casual atmosphere, Radish & Rye will always be on my restaurant playlist—a beloved track that I hope to repeat often.

 

Cheryl and her husband Dan relocated to Santa Fe from St. Louis, Missouri, after a long love affair with New Mexico.