Since it opened in 1989, the Artichoke Café (424 Central Ave. SE, 505/243-0200, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5:30–10 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 5:30–10 p.m. Sat., 5:30–9 p.m. Sun., $25) has been top on locals’ lists for a dinner treat, largely because the husband-and-wife owners have varied the menu with the times without seeming desperately trendy—influences come from all over the globe (five-spice rubbed duck, pumpkin ravioli with ricotta), but dishes remain simple and unfussy. The blue-tinged dining room is simple without being austere, and the crowd is varied. Reservations are recommended—the 60 seats fill fast even on weeknights.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition