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Vanessie of Santa FE
Ranked #104 of 555 Restaurants in Santa Fe
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: American, Southwestern, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Drinks, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Guadalupe
Transit: Rail runner Guadalupe station
Description: "Nowhere else has better basics - straight-ahead steak, lamb, fresh fish, chicken & gargantuan mounds of onion loaf - than this Continental-American Steakhouse; but fantastic food is not the only draw - the festive atmosphere includes a way cool, crowded piano bar..." If great continental food in fine dining and casual dining with friendly atmosphere and world class live entertainment are your priorities, come to Vanessie. Fireplaces, exciting art, spaciousness, and lots of live music make Vanessie a local favorite.
Santa Fe
Level Contributor
86 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2008

Depressing!!!!‎ - hankmail505‎ - Today
We used to love Vanessies, in fact a couple of years ago we thought it was one of the best places in Santa Fe. Then sadly, something changed. Instead of the energetic and varied audience with some talented people sharing the mike, the atmosphere has become like a visit to a nursing home. An elderly female relative(?) of one of the piano players has become the unwarranted center of attention and turned off and turned away many of the people who used to frequent Vanessies. It is now like going to a really bad wedding with someones aged Aunt acting mostly silly on stage. Certainly it is NOT what most people came there for and it has kept most of the people we know away since someone unwisely made this woman a fixture. Talented and entertaining she is NOT.
So, until things get back to actually being entertaining (if they ever do?) Beware of the "Assisted-Living" atmosphere at Vanessies these days.

23 Thank hankmail505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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233 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
48 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Cant recommend”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2008

Venessies was recommeded to my husband and me for a great place to be for New Years Eve during our two night romantic getaway. Always a fan of trying new places, I was excited to try but quickly that I should have stuck with my favorite Santa Fe restaurant, Gerominos.

Upon entering, the classic pianist was playing Petula Clark music. That and the rest of the early 60's music quickly said this is NOT the place to be for us. We are mid 40's but I would say we were at least 10-15 years younger than anyone in there. Probably a bad recommendation from our hotel.

SO, I decided to actually put that issue aside and try to enjoy the restaurant as .... a restaurant! We were fortunately put in a back room after the frantic hostess finally sat us, but I was happy because I couldnt hear the music. Since this was a pre-order menu, I just had to ask for a bottle of wine. Our bartendar came back and told me they were out of stock of Stags Leag! I had to inform him that I hadnt asked for that and he ran back to find my wine.

Appetizer - crab cake - lots of mayo, got one bite. Second, corn chowder soup (waiter told me it was a lobster bisque) tasted like sugar corn soup. Dinner: Surf and Turf - EXCELLENT!!! High scores. Dessert: tiramasu and a chocolate torte thing - FROZEN!! Neede to thaw out. I asked if there was any bread half way through dinner and the waiter realized he hadnt given anyone in the room any bread and ran frantically around. He had been working since 7am after I asked him if he was having a bad day.

At the end of our meal, our bill was $470 for two with an $85 dollar bottle of wine. (This included a 20% tip that they added).
Way too much money for the quality that was delivered!

So, If you love 60's sing along piano I would highly recommend it! If service and food is at the top of your list, call me and I will recommend some of my other Santa Fe favorites.

25 Thank docjennings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunny and Hot Arizona
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Wasn't Impressed”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2007

I also read the reviews and made a reservation for last Saturday night. We arrived at 8 PM and what is really strange is you walk into the piano bar area but the hostess area is in another room which you need to find on your own. The restaurant is huge with different rooms. We are in our 40's/50's and that is definitely the age group for this restaurant. We were seated in a back room and could barely hear the piano player. We ordered our drinks and our food and had to wait quite a while for our first course which the waitress got wrong - my husband ordered soup but received a salad. I ordered a cesar salad which wasn't anything spectacular. Since my husband ordered the elk tenderloin from the specials menu, we were also served some onion "rings" which were ok. For my main course I had ordered the spinach/cheese ravioli's which were room temperature bordered on cold and my husband's elk was lukewarm but tasty. The restaurant is beautiful but we will not ever eat there again.

26 Thank prather62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
122 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Fun music, decent food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2007

We ate there the evening of Friday, Sept. 7.
We did not eat in the piano bar; we ate in the front room of the restaurant where you could hear the piano. There is also another room that we were told is quieter.
There were 2 different piano players while we were there. Both sang show tunes and it was fun to listen to them.
The food was good but not great. Service was excellent.
We both started with salads. The Caesar and the garden tomato with mozzarella. Both were nice.
We both had elk for the main course. It was disappointing. More like pot roast.
My husband had the apple pie for dessert. It was also disappointing, very hot but when it cooled, he said it tasted like a pie from the market.
The restaurant had been rated #1 in Santa Fe and I would not rate it as that. It was a fun place to go and perhaps if we had ordered other main courses, we would have rated it higher. Perhaps our expectations for the food were too high.

1 Thank ScubaWife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Leave your dentures at the door”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2007

We made reservations at Vannessie based on its ranking on Trip Advisor (#1 for Santa Fe). The piano bar sounded like a relaxing way to end a day and the steak-and-potatoes menu seemed failsafe. We made a reservation and walked over from our hotel. The scene that greeted us looked like a cruise ship dinner show for retirees. The piano music and singing blared out the doors and we didn’t see anyone close to our age (late 20’s). We instantly decided that this was not what we’d had in mind and cancelled our reservation. Perhaps it was a case of misplaced expectations, but this is more of a show-tunes sing-a-long than the elegant, relaxed atmosphere we were hoping for.

28 Thank eava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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