Vanessie is in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This eatery is found in a hotel of the same name. It has become one of the most popular spots to dine in the area over the 30 years it has existed. It offers fantastic food, as well as live entertainment each night.
I reserved a quiet table with which we were nicely accommodated, but I also mentioned it was a birthday dinner, which was not acknowledged in any way. The server was busy and rushed, and we felt like we were in a local diner where we were supposed to hurry. We asked about bread with our wine while waiting on the meal, but they don't serve any. My husband's meal was very good, and mine was okay. It seems the dining room plays second fiddle to the piano bar. The piano bar is delightful and we stayed to enjoy it a bit after dinner, but we did want the quiet dinner first. In any case I don't know that we will return. For the price we expected more.
Vannessie's management is trying to move to a upscale Italian restaurant from being a long time piano bar. Rather Rocky start thus far. Seem to have terminated most of the customer friendly staff in favor of a more rigid, less friendly format. Most customers go there because of Doug Montgomery, an outstanding entertainer, or for Bob Finnie, and just tolerate the food. It will be interesting to see if they will ever be able to compete with the many really fine restaurants in Santa Fe, so guess we will have to wait and see on that unlikely possibility. The several times we have been there since the change, only one meal has been up to our standards. Maybe they need to find a chef who can improve the food quality, and soon.
My wife and I enjoyed a fantastic trip and spent two evenings in the bar/restaurant. Food was great and Richard the bartender gave us great recommendations on other places to check out during our meetings in Santa Fe. The food, atmosphere and piano player were fantastic. Great place with great food, drinks and service.
We had a wonderful experience at Vanessie! We ate in the bar so that we could enjoy the piano player. It was the same menu as the dining room and everything was phenomenal!! The piano player was truly the icing on the cake too. He was entertaining and mesmerizing! What a fun evening out!!! You can't miss this place if your in Anta Fe! Be sure and go when the pianist is there, but I believe it's most nights out of the week. We were there on a Thursday evening. You MUST go!!
We were served water right away but that was it. The server never came near us and after 20 minutes we left. The table of 5 next to us received the same (non) treatment and was very upset. I don't know what was wrong, but something was seriously wrong. The one server we could see could only do one thing at a time and spent most of her time in the kitchen or somewhere out of sight.
We arrived early to enjoy the notable piano bar entertainer. The Open Table reservation was available on time. The Dining Experience was outstanding. A different pianist was in the bar after dinner and we were able to enjoy dessert and additional entertainment.
Food was well prepared, and served. The wine list is very good with a great by the glass list. Service was good, staff very friendly. If I'm back in Santa Fe I will return.
Service and food were great. Food portions were more than adequate. After dinner we thoroughly enjoyed the piano bar. The performer was excellent.
Visited Vanessie with my mom while I was traveling for work. Nice atmosphere, service was great, food also great. Enjoyable piano music at night
Very good service, good value, excellent food and menue
We've dined at Vanessie several times now & for the most part, we are always very happy with the food Last night we were frustrated by the service. Both the bar area and main restaurant were almost empty when we arrived. The back room was being used for a party of perhaps 20-25 people.
The woman who greeted us, though concerned about making my 83 yr old mother comfortable, spoke so quietly it was nearly impossible to understand her. She seemed confused about where to put us though we had a reservation and the room was almost empty. Another woman indicated we should sit where we'd like. We were given menus and it then took 15 minutes before we were acknowledged again. A waiter came and took a drink order, then disappeared. More time passed and a different waiter came to take our drink order. We explained it had been taken, but that we would love to order. Our drinks finally arrived shortly after that. We then sat there for about another 1/2 hour before finally getting the attention of the hostess and asking for bread. Our appetizers, however, arrived shortly after that-- and before the bread. The chips w/3 sauces got mixed reviews. The chips appear to be homemade. The guacamole was excellent and the salsa was good. The chile con queso looked and tasted like it came out of a jar.
Main courses included the always excellent lamb chops and roasted chicken. The baked potatoes were perfectly prepared, the spinach- usually delicious- was unseasoned and overcooked. We ended the meal with delicious cream brulee. While our waiter was helpful and professional, he was stretched too thin. With a large party in the back room, management should have had more help. We were there 2 hours and 15 minutes. Most of that time was spent waiting.
I really do need to mention that if anyone in your party has trouble with stairs, Vanessie may not be the spot for you. To enter the restaurant, you need to get up several cement stairs-- not an easy feat for my 83 year old mother.
Our food was exquisite visually - and even more so gustatorially! We swapped tastes of everything & agreed that each morsel was wonderful. I had beet and goat cheese salad. Shaped like a muffin with chopped red beets on the bottom, goat cheese in the middle layer, and chopped yellow beets in the top layer. Greens on the side gave an artistic accent. Beautiful. And delicious. My onion crusted sea bass was moist, flakey, and the best fish I've ever tasted! We all delighted in the sounds of piano & cello from the piano bar and at the end of the meal moved there to enjoy it up close. My friends & I were thrilled by the experience.
Can't say enough about our night at Vanessie. We were looking for a place with music and found V. It exceeded our expectations. Service was superb and the food was excellent. The music of Marc Yaxley and Julie was exceptional and we stayed until the end...cheering all night. We'll go back!!
I invited my husband for his birthday to Vanessie's. He has treated me in Italy and France to some wonderful restaurants and I wanted to reciprocate. Vanessie's is a gem in the desert! He thoroughly enjoyed his birthday dinner. Our grown daughters and boyfriends were invited, and the total bill did not make me fall out of my chair. We had a wonderful experience as far as food, service and beverages. The piano bar was awesome and fun!
We tried Vanessie for Easter Brunch. It clearly was not their strong point stretching the staffs abilities. The dining area is beautiful, quiet, elegant ambiance. They might have done better with carving stations and/or better lighting at the buffet. As is was the nicely prepared lamb and roast beef were unappetizing in utilitarian shafing dishes. We will try Vanessie again for dinner, but will pass on future holiday buffet style attempts.
Sleepy, but good food. Not great for a younger crowd
Food was good as was the service. We were in the dining room and the pianist/singer was in the lounge. Wow!! He was fantastic. We will go back but this time we will get a table in the lounge for the entertainment.
Eating at Vanessie is an important part of being in Santa Fe. I've been eating here for at least ten years and love it. I especially enjoy hearing Doug Montgomery when he is in town
We dined on rainy, cool weeknight thus a small crowd. Staff was anxious to please and our dinner was very good. Both my husband and I were pleased with our meals. He had a shrimp pasta entree and I, rotisserie chicken. The music from the lounge spilled over into the dining room but still able to have conversation. Overall great experience.
Fish special was fantastic. My wife had chicken, that was also excellent. Onion loaf is too big for two people.
Vanessie is a very nice restaurant. The service is excellent and the piano bar is fun.
We went for Valentine's Day and the menu was extremely limited and very expensive. It appeared there was a premium on the items because of the date. The service was not what you'd expect for fine dining and the server tacked on a 20% gratuity on the total bill when there was only two of us! We were staying at the hotel so we did eat in the bar the following evening. A much better, more appropriately priced menu.
Although the food was great and we've eaten at Vanessie on several occasions; we did notice their prices have gone up considerably. If you're willing to pay for the ambiance, this is the restaurant of choice.
Some reviews have been critical. We found the staff to be excellent. Sea Bass was the special on that night, and it was excellent. Spent time in the piano bar and had a lot of fun. Met some really nice local people.
If you come to Santa Fe and you do not stop by the Vanessie for drinks and the Piano Show, you have made a big mistake. The locals are out in number to enjoy the Piano Music of Doug
Montgomery on Sunday Nights! The locals and the Bartender Lisa made us feel like regulars.
We had delicious drinks and enjoyed the comraderie between Doug and the audience. We
came back the next night and another gentleman played after Doug. He was also awesome
and we recommend them both. The food is delicious, service great and the Music makes
the whole experience!!! PS. We stayed at the Vanessie and the rooms are lovely, walking
distance to the Square and the continental breakfast delicious and included in the rate!!!
Highly recommend it all!!!!
The bar is very popular, with jazz and local crowd. The dining room is lovely, but the food is average.
We returned to Vanessie due to a marvelous meal a few months prior. The meal was inconsistent this time. The lamb chops were smaller and not really cooked to order, but they still tasted great. The calamari was not hot, so the coating was not crispy. The grits and sautéed spinach were both excellent, but one in our party ordered the sautéed mushrooms and felt they were inedible. Her beef rib was marvelous. Our waitress must have been new. She did not seem to know the answers to questions, she walked away when we were talking to her at one point and overall did not provide the attentive service we felt we had last time. Please note there were few diners in the restaurant, so it was not that she was busy. We will return based on the positives of the evening and hope that the experience will be more like our previous visit.
Had dinner with friends, and we were delighted. The food, service, atmosphere were great. We're just sorry we didn't discover this place sooner!
Left before being seated. Waited 15 minutes at hostess counter and no on came to seat us.
Doug Monthomery on the piano, good drinks and great food...what more can you want? Highly recommend Vanessie's for a fun evening out