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“Did not meet expectations”

The Compound Restaurant
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Ranked #33 of 567 Restaurants in Santa Fe
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $50
Cuisines: Southwestern, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Historic District
Cross street: Paseo de Peralta
Description: Mark Kiffin, celebrated chef, owner, and author of the Compound Restaurant, has won the James Beard Foundation award as one of America's Best Chefs. The Compound is Santa Fe's premier restaurant with Chef Kiffin's acclaimed seasonal Contemporary American cuisine derived from Santa Fe's rich heritage of regional and Mediterranean influences. The New York Times, Gourmet magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Wine Spectator have all selected the Compound as Santa Fe's favorite. Equally impressive is the attentive, highly knowledgeable and friendly staff. Chef Kiffin's menus focus on the exclusive changes in seasons such as hearty braised dishes in the fall and winter using apples, pears and cider from local harvests, osso bucco and porcini risotto while in spring and summer feature fresh local vegetables and naturally raised organic lamb and delectable strawberries.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Did not meet expectations”
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Four of us had lunch at the restaurant. We arrived at noon when the restaurant opened and were among the first people there. We were seated promptly. About ten minutes later our drink orders were taken and we were presented with menus. This was a social occasion so we were not in a hurry. However, our meal order was not taken until about 12:30 pm and we finally got our meals at 1:00 pm about an hour after arriving at the restaurant. This kind of delay is not really acceptable if someone is on a tight schedule. The waiter was polite but rushed and did not provide much information. I had the hamburger and found it to be delicious. The other items ordered by my three friends were less satisfactory. The chicken schnitzel consisted of a flattened piece of chicken smothered in an unidentifiable sauce. Another friend ordered a type of crab salad that turned out to be minuscule. We all thought that the food was overpriced and the price for wine and cocktails was egregious leading to a massive bill in which the moderate amount of alcohol consumed cost far more than the food. The ambience of the restaurant while acceptable was not what one might expect in what is often touted as Santa Fe's leading restaurant. The décor was much dated and looked cheaply done. Unfortunately, Santa Fe has many restaurants like the Compound in which the restaurant is vastly overrated by food critics and others for whom snobbery is more important than the meal. One thinks in this regard of the neighboring Geronimo's with its snooty atmosphere and high prices. If you want a good meal in Santa Fe there are many places where the food is better and the service prompter and the price of the food and drinks is more reasonable. This is a place for dowagers who lunch and who are not much interested in what they eat.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
10 Thank Laura D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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739 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
newbury
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Sorry but a bit disappointed”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We just returned from a 10 week trip thru the SW and we decided this being our last night we thought why not go to a well reviewed upscale restaurant in a town with no shortage of fine dinning options.... I can tell u the start was perfect as the small bar has agreat tender who works some magic into a person who knows, concocts, and enjoys margarita's.... The crowd that hovers around this intimate bar make this a perfect little gathering spot.... This unfortunately was the high light wishing we would have graciously left ... We didn't.... Don 't get me wrong about the service here as it is excellent.... But the main attraction the food was average at best.... The bread basket should have tipped us off...bland and tasteless without any variety...... The halibut came Luke warm and the lamb chewy and over cooked.... In retrospect we should have sent everything back as when u choice fine dining... It should be just that..... By the way and one more thing.... With all the great art in Santa Fe and especially in this neck o the woods why not display some on the otherwise drab walls that serve as the back drop to this well reviewed restaurant.... I can tell u I do not like writing reviews like this...... But when u drop two bills for two u expect some special....

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
11 Thank tomtravelernewbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“a classic Santa Fe place”
Reviewed April 30, 2013

We have eaten at the Compound many times over the years, and it remains one of our top choices for special occasions. The restaurant is one of Santa Fe's special places architecturally, having been designed by Alexander Girard, and fortunately changes in ownership over the years have left the most significant features--the art, the calligraphy, and the pure white walls. The menu has changed, but the changes have been good. We ate there last evening with friends, and had a delightful evening, as usual. The place was packed. In the old days Santa Fe was quiet in April. Times have changed--reservations are now essential. The waiters were more than a bit rushed and might have been understaffed. We asked for simple salads, and the results--Boston head lettuce with tomatoes (it's not yet the season) and parmesan cheese--were good. The salmon entree was very well done, although a few more vegetables would have been good. My husband picked the strawberry shortbread for dessert. He liked it, I thought the shortbread too dry. But overall, it was a good evening.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank travelingrudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, WI
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Don't believe your own press”
Reviewed April 29, 2013

We ate there with a good friend from the area, and felt terrible that he had spoken so highly of it, and it wasn't. They weren't that busy, but the waiter was rushed, the service was spotty, and when I ordered the lamb, he told me he had just sold the last one. The highlight was that it took over an hour to get our food, and we watched other who came in after us eat and leave. The food wasn't that good - the chicken was overdone and the salmon was lacking. I might try it again, but I doubt it.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
12 Thank Bill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A special meal on Canyon Road”
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Set off from the main road, the Compound is an elegant spot for dining. We had lunch there on a not so crowded fall day, and every dish was simply stunning. Who would have thought that super scallops could be found in the desert?! A slightly tardy course resulted in a free glass of wine. The atmosphere was also very relaxing.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank bobbyg66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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