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“Wine Tasting and Dinner”
Review of Ancient Spirits Bar & Grille - CLOSED

Ancient Spirits Bar & Grille
Cuisines: American, Southwestern
Restaurant details
Reviewed May 31, 2013

This is one of our favorite restaurants and very near to our home. Although only open for few months, Claude has created an imaginative menu that excels most local fare. Two items from this special menu merit particular attention, the Mexican Red Snapper Tiradito and the Prosciutto Encrusted Pork Tenderloin. The red snapper was marinated in a bloody maria broth with avocado carpaccio and salsa fresca. A truly wonderful appetizer. The pork tenderloin was the crown jewel of this meal. Chorizo stuffed tenderloin, encrusted with prosciutto, crispy bacon, potato puree with a wild mushroom bordelaise. The selected wines was very good and Claude provided an entertaining and very informative description of each one. We look forward to the next tasting and dinner with great anticipation.

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Thank steve42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 - 11 of 11 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2013

New Mexico can be an unpredictable place. Often, things may not be what they seem in this land of enchantment. So it is with Ancient Spirits. Drive through the nondescript entrance, park in the gravel parking lot and find your way to the front door of what seems like a modest accessory building to the neighboring Santa Ana Star Casino. Once inside you can wonder if you are still in the same building. Spacious and beautifully appointed, the interior offers what I can only describe as sophisticated Southwestern decor, without being pretentious. Open and airy with an inviting patio, the exterior belies the interior.

Sitting at the bar with my wife, as is our usual habit when visiting a restaurant for the first time [or should that be every time], we were greeted promptly and pleasantly. If one can't get good service at the bar, then flee and never return. Never rushed by our bartender, we felt relaxed and comfortable. We ordered our drinks and perused the menu, which offered its self described "Contemporary Southwestern Cowboy Cuisine". We applied the "if they can't do the basics don't bother with anything else" test. My wife ordered the smoked brisket tacos that come accompanied with black beans and rice. The three nice size tacos served with fresh avocado, salsita fresca and jalapeno aioli were flavorful and the brisket had good flavor. Unfortunately, the black beans and rice were a bit bland. Having lived in South Florida for years where "Moros y Cristianos" is a staple, they could have use a bit more cilantro in comparison. I went for the cheese steak, beef tenderloin with peppers, onions, cheese (of course) and green chile on a fresh soft bun. Served with house fries, it was full of flavor with great grilled taste and very satisfying.

So will we go back, happily surprised to find such a comfortable, enjoyable place practically around the corner? Absolutely! (Need to see what's going on in their wine shop.)

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    • Atmosphere
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1  Thank LastSaneAmerican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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