Super serendipitous supper

It was a working weekend, with company here from “the city different.” The plan had been to get out to dine early, avoiding the weekend crowds, and then to go on to listen to Johnny Gimble at Threadgill’s. Work wound up late, so late that the first, second, and third dining choices were out of the question. A genius among us suggested Cafe Josie, new to all of us, and we were fortunate enough to secure what seemed to be the only table available. The menu appealed to the residents of the high-altitude landlocked Santa Fe. Why not one of us had dined there in the near decade since it opened where the old Swedish Hill used to be is a complete mystery. We all relied upon the sea for delectation. Scallops, lobster, oysters, and various fish came to the table in what all agreed were states of perfection. Nobody was willing to share anything, so I can speak only of my plate, described thus: pepita redfish with mango habanero butter, pepita and spice crusted and served on poblano rice and cotija black beans with tomatillo chile, ancho chile, spicy pepitas, and fresh vegetables. The vegetables were carrots and snap peas. All was just exactly as it should be. The waitstaff is completely professional and we were pleased with the recommended wine, a sauvignon blanc from Chile. The acoustics are on the rackety side. The illumination comes from spots and tealights. The crowd had a substantial dressup-date component. The portions were not skimpy. Flavors and combinations were inventive and savory, without any of those misguided attempts to add sweetness where it does not belong. I’m looking for an excuse to return as soon as possible, perhaps to try the lunch menu. As we passed Threadgill’s, we could see the beergarden stage and hear what was probably the last number. But we were happy anyhow.

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