Martyr’s Steakhouse, located just off the plaza at Martyr’s Lane, is known for their signature steak dishes and great Margaritas. But they also serve a great lunch.
Owner Dennis Coco bought the property, formerly a private residence, 6 years ago but spent two years in careful renovation before opening for business in 2013. The result was a lovely interior with the original ambiance of the building preserved, including the ceiling and floors. In summer there is an outside dining area with plenty of shade, and in winter the inside is warm and inviting.
The afternoon light floods in through lace curtains and the walls are graced with the works of local Taos artists. We are greeted by the friendly staff and seated near a window in the front room.
Chef Rudolfo Vigil II made a lovely Cream of Beef and Mushroom Soup, rich but delicate and garnished with bright green chives. The soup is available by the cup or the bowl, and is a great choice for the diner on a budget or in a hurry.
Next, the Caprese Salad. Bright red tomatoes on a bed of greens, with slices of Mozzarella Cheese on each tomato slice and a garnish of pesto on the side. It is a flavor combination of summer, but due to the freshness of the ingredients and the talent of the chef it was just as good in February.
Finally, dessert! Pastry Chef Dexter Swazo outdid himself with the Flourless Chocolate Torte, a simple name that belies a veritable work of art in chocolate and cream. More than enough for two, it was almost hard to dig into it because it was so beautiful, but we managed it somehow.
Chef Vigil is a native Taoseno, but went to school in Santa Fe and worked there for several years before returning home to Taos. He worked under the previous chef for some time before becoming the head chef.
There are other good choices on the lunch menu as well, including a good selection of sandwiches such as the Rueben and the chicken club. There are some classic salads such a Caesar and a Butter Lettuce Wedge. You can get a cup of soup and a green salad for a light lunch and there is always a special for $10.99. And if you are really hungry, Fish and Chips or Steak Frites should do the trick.
If you come to Martyr’s for dinner, there is a full bar and a substantial wine list. And it is not all beef, though many come for the signature Rib Eye, Prime Rib, or Filet Mignon. If you feel like branching out, try the Breast of Duck or the Ruby Trout. And don’t forget to leave room for dessert. Besides the Flourless Chocolate Torte you may want to tuck into a Meyer Lemon Cheesecake or a Chef Farkash’s Crème Brulee. To this you may add a nice glass of port for a complete culinary experience.