By Taos News staff
Yes, believe it or not, there is life after a day of conquering the slopes.
It’s called après-ski, — invented by the Nordic — and nothing punctuates a day of carving up the groomers or pounding through the trees better than a friendly place to put your feet up, reach for the munchies and down a favorite beverage.
With that in mind, here’s a look at where to head to after a day at Taos Ski Valley:
192 at The Blake. Nibble on a shared plate of calamari and parsley aioli during après ski or order up a manzo flatbread (carne asada, blue cheese, arugula and caramelized onions) or a seared rare Ahi tuna to refuel after a day on the slopes. Pair the body fuel with a carefully curated glass of wine or a signature après-ski cocktail. A communal kiva fireplace and counter seating at the open kitchen keep it cozy and casual.
The Bavarian. Renowned Alpine eatery is a favorite for anyone who ends up at Lift 4 with a thirst. On the newly enlarged deck, giant German beers flow via a wait staff bedecked in lederhosen and dirndls. Dive into Bavarian staples of goulash, weinerschnitzel, sauerbraten and spätzle.
The Blonde Bear Tavern. Inside the Edelweiss Lodge & Spa, the Blonde Bear’s cozy bar and soft-chair lounge has a settled, days-end atmosphere. There’s a metro feel — executive chef Jon Mudder is a true New Yorker — with the requisite cocktails, wine list and “refined European Alpine cuisine.” Après-ski flows right into the Blonde Bear dinner hour. Freeskier magazine named The Blonde Bear Tavern the Best Aprés Ski in the state of New Mexico.
Hondo Restaurant & Bar at Snakedance Condominiums. Après-ski runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., on the first floor of the ski-in/ski-out Snakedance condos by Lift 1. Step through the unassuming entrance and find a back-lit bar, fireplace, big screen TVs and comfortable dining space. Prime Happy Hour prices draw in visitors and local alike – as do the affordable appetizers.
Hotel St. Bernard’s Rathskeller Bar. It’s been at Taos Ski Valley since 1960, run by French Olympic ski racer Jean Mayer. True to its name, this watering hole feels underground – a cellar well-lit and noisy, a nice mix of locals and visitors at a dozen bar stools, tables on the floor or just standing around. Après-ski specialities include flavored hot toddy and classic margaritas, followed by the hotel’s famed European cuisine. Musicians most every night during the season and daily après-ski drink specials.
Rhoda’s. Named for Ernie Blake’s wife — the first lady of Taos Ski Valley — Rhoda’s is a boot stomp away from Lift 1. An off-the-slopes crowd is tempted by Northern New Mexican favorites or from a menu long on choices including the award-winning pork sopapilla. From the bar comes killer margaritas, craft cocktails and regional micro brews.
Stray Dog Cantina. Nestled at the very base of the mountain, this hangout has been around since 1989. A couple of large-screen TVs show all sports, and a cadre of locals come and go. The blue corn chile rellenos are to-die-for; so are the red, green or Christmas sauces made from scratch. Bartenders like to pour fruit-infused cocktails and margaritas with a punch.