Julia, a Spirited Restaurant and Bar at La Posada de Santa Fe, New Mexico

La Posada Santa Fe Real Food TravelerAfter a long day of travel, stepping into the color washed, art-filled lobby of La Posada de Santa Fe revived me immediately.  A quick walk past sage green plantings and gently whirling kinetic sculptures, took me to my room where I promptly changed for dinner, meeting my friends at Julia, the hotel’s signature restaurant. With a name so unusual, I immediately asked my server to explain.

Julia Foie Gras Real Food Traveler

Who could resist Chef Hall’s foie gras with grilled apricots?

Julia, he said, was Julia Staab, a local legend and the original occupant of the Palace Street mansion, which is still part of this beautiful, now sprawling hotel. which is still part of this beautiful, now sprawling hotel. After marrying Abraham Staab, a prosperous merchant, Julia entertained locals and dignitaries in grand style. The Staabs moved into their home in 1882, raising six children in opulence.

It’s said that this fashionable lady loved her home with such a passion she never left it. And in the years since Julia Staab’s death, many ghostly sightings of her have kept this legend alive. Today, she is the muse–and namesake–for  La Posada’s newest restaurant headed by Chef Todd Hall.

Chef Todd Hall Real Food Traveler

Chef Todd Hall comes to Julia with a background in French cuisine and a love for Southwest ingredients.

New Chef, Casually Elegant Menu

Todd Hall’s love of local Southwestern ingredients and his background in fine French cuisine pair well for a menu that’s fancy, but not fussy. If Julia’s ghost is around, the aromas emanating from his kitchen would surely lure her out.

Seared Foie Gras and Grilled Apricots? I’m still dreaming of it — the charred sweetness of the fruit and the silkiness of the foie gras were meant for each other. The Kale Salad with Cashews and Blueberries was a new take on one of today’s favorite salads, especially served in a Robiola Cheese Shell. (One day for lunch, that was all I had. Paired with a wonderful Chardonnay, it was perfect).

salmon with succotash Real Food Traveler

Leslie says she dreams about this fantastic wild salmon with crazy succotash.

Dover sole Julia's Real Food Traveler

Whether it’s Dover sole, wild salmon, or rack of lamb, you can’t go wrong at Julia’s.

Dinner was Wild Salmon with Corn Succotash and Poblanos. The salmon, Chef Hall told us, was sustainably caught. The poblanos came from a local source, of course. And although I couldn’t imagine anything more, we ordered the artfully constructed Dark Chocolate Ganache Pueblo along with the Warm Apple Tart. We silently indulged in flaky pastry and fragrant apples as we deconstructed the charming little pueblo, loving every rich bite.

Warm Apple Tart Real Food Travler

This warm apple tart was a sweet end to the meal.

The menu has a tempting mix of meat dishes, fish preparations and vegetables with the spices Santa Fe is known for.

Glowing Art, Dark Wood, A Welcoming Fireplace

 Julia's interior Real Food Traveler

The ambiance of Julia is almost as wonderful as the food.

Julia is located just steps from the lobby. It’s small and intimate, atypical of a hotel restaurant. There’s a large high-top table for livelier groups and comfortable tables generously spaced around the room for small to medium groups. Low light from the fireplace and Santa Fe style candelabras with big white pillar candles make the guests look their best.

And if you’re lucky, it will also illuminate the wafting ghost of Julia to her very best advantage. —Story by Leslie Long, RFT Contributor; photos courtesy Julia

If You Go
Julia, a Spirited Restaurant and Bar
La Posada de Santa Fe
330 East Palace Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Leslie Long

Leslie Long is a New York-based travel and lifestyle writer and photographer with a love of authentic places off the tourist track. She and her family often cross many state lines and travel far and wide in search of fabulous food and indigenous restaurants. She enjoys baking pies, growing as many herbs and vegetables as she can in containers ,and the constant pursuit of things that are wonderful and new.

4 thoughts on “Julia, a Spirited Restaurant and Bar at La Posada de Santa Fe, New Mexico

  1. Gus Bergman

    I was just in Santa Fe recently and regret that I missed this place. The food sounds like it is delicious and I love the folklore and history. Thanks for exposing me to a new restaurant that I can visit next time I am there

  2. K.D. Leperi

    Unfortunately, Chef Todd Hall left Julia’s right before Christmas of 2016. My son and I had dinner at the restaurant…with a very different, and somewhat disappointing experience.

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