Above: The food at Paloma, like the cocktails, is Mexican-inspired. Photograph by Gabriella Marks.
Nathan Mayes, the 31-year-old chef and partner at Paloma, in Santa Fe, is fanatical about where he sources his ingredients, many of which are from New Mexico and all of which are fresh. “It’s good for everything,” he says of seasonally, locally harvested foods. His menu features contemporary Mexican-inspired fare, like squash blossom enmoladas, short rib adobo, and tacos with hand-pressed whole-corn tortillas. The entrées are small and will cost around $20 and up, without the traditional New Mexican fillers, but the food is simple, high-quality, and delicious. As is the agave-focused cocktail menu: The Negroni Oaxaca is made with Vida mezcal, Vermut Rojo, and Campari, and the Diablo has Xicaru Joven mezcal, lime, cassis, and ginger. The space, which opened in August 2017—located between the Plaza and the Railyard District—has a modern aesthetic. It’s cozy and a little eccentric. A patio housing the restaurant’s garden opens up in the summer.