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“Piano bar, fine, but don't bother with the restaurant”

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: Romantic, Special occasions, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Drinks, Late Night, Dinner, 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.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
207 reviews
155 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“Piano bar, fine, but don't bother with the restaurant”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2010

The atmosphere is nice and the music from the piano bar is very good. But we ate in the restaurant and would not go again.
The service is sloppy and uninformed. Server did not know how the food was prepared and did not seem interested in finding out. Genereally at a restaurant of this level when you order a steak they ask you if it is prepared to your liking. Not here. Food was dropped off and you have to chase someone down (literally) to get them to come back to the table when the food is not prepared correctly.
Menu is very disappointing. Very little creativity (ex. The lamb is "grilled" period. Waiter-"I think they throw a few spices in there, not sure." Seriously???!) Crab cakes were basic and had a somewhat fishy taste.
So while folks on TA may point you toward the piano bar for drinks and entertainment, I say get your meals elsewhere.

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16 Thank TravelTalk2
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
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
83 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Great Piano Bar!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2010

My husband and I ate at Vanessie's on Friday, October 29, and we had a great time! We arrived just after 6:00 p.m. when Doug Montgomery was playing. We stayed until he finished his set at 8:00. Doug was entertaining, and the service was excellent. We ate in the bar, but we were able to choose from the bar menu (reasonably priced though limited) or the restaurant menu (entrees range from $18-36). This place is popular with locals, and it draws an older, professional/retired crowd. Parking is free and not too difficult to come by (which is a plus in the downtown area). We so much fun that we ate there again on Saturday night!

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1 Thank Scout1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach
Level Contributor
200 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 194 helpful votes
“the piano bar is fantastic!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2010

My husband and I decided to try out the piano bar despite some oe th enegative reviews sayin git was for "spinsters" since we were havign dinner nearby. We are in our sixties and found most guestas to be about the same. We had a great time with Doug at the piano...hes' a great entertainer and a wonderful musician...in fact, it was so much fun we came back the next nite and it was just as good! The service is very attentive without being pushy and there's parking. We did not have dniier there so I cannot comment on that part of the place. We will definitely return on our next visit to Santa Fe!

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1 Thank ConnieLongBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yankton, South Dakota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great experience Saturday evening at the Piano Bar!!!!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2010

We are in our late 50's and travel often to Santa Fe and do like to stop by Vanessie of Santa Fe's Piano Bar/Lounge when we are in town.
Saturday evening we stopped in and Doug Montgomery one of the house pianists was performing with Tony a violinist. The crowd was younger than usual maybe averaging in their 40's.. The music from Porter, to Gershwin to show tunes was fantastic and even better than usual.
Vanessie of Santa Fe has one of the best good piano lounge in the country!!! We highly recommend it.... We like their coffee wonderful and manhattan's
The restaurant in the room adjacent to the piano lounge area is adequate and not our favorite.


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5 Thank slipstick65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Superior experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2010

The staff, food and overall experience at Vanessie was nothing short of superior!

This summer, my husband and I celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary at Vanessie in Santa Fe. It being a piano bar, I emailed the restaurant a couple weeks prior and explained that I wanted to surprise my husband with a tribute-- a song played at our wedding ceremony. Not only did the manager quickly reply, but she said the piano man would LEARN the song specifically for us.

On our visit, we were met by a gracious hostess who congratulated us on our special occasion and gave us complimentary champagne. Our meal was delicious and the surprises kept coming with a gratis dessert afterwards. Indeed, the piano man kept good to his word. He played "our song" and made an already entertaining night (with a large, jovial crowd) even more memorable and spectacular.

I cannot say enough about the staff. They were amazing! My husband and I travel quite a lot in the U.S. and internationally, and nowhere else have we been treated so exceptionally. It felt like we were back at our wedding, celebrating with friends and family.

If you are in Santa Fe, go to Vanessie! It is a MUST. We will certainly be back again and again.

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2 Thank SB1416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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