Place Category: DiRoNA Awarded Restaurant
The Compound Restaurant has a heritage rich in history and regional influences. Before its incarnation as a restaurant, this adobe home was the centerpiece of a group of houses on Canyon Road known as the McComb Compound.
In the earlier part of the 20th century, when Santa Fe was far away from the rest of the world, movie stars, industrialists, and socialites visited, where they enjoy a secluded getaway. Eventually, Will and Barbara Houghton acquired the main house and converted it into a restaurant. It was their decision to bring in designer Alexander Girard, who gave The Compound Restaurant its distinctive look. Girard is best remembered locally for The Compound Restaurant design and his generous donation of more than 106,000 pieces to Santa Fe’s International Folk Art Museum.
A recognized leader in Southwestern cuisine, Chef Mark Kiffin has chosen to create and focus his menu around the true regional ingredients brought to the Southwest United States by the Spaniards. When a group of Spanish settlers from Mexico City founded Santa Fe in the late 16th Century they forever altered the course of cuisine in the Southwest. The first Spanish settlers brought many food items that were not indigenous to the region such as cattle and wheat. As Santa Fe was at the end of the 1500-mile Camino Real from Mexico City, its Plaza eventually became the trading center where cattle were traded and a new variety of seeds were sold for harvest. It is from these New World influences, along with the influences of the Mediterranean, that Kiffin has created his dishes as Contemporary American Cuisine.
The Compound reopened on May 30th, 2000, and has since received many local and national accolades. Chef/Owner Mark Kiffin has embraced the restaurant’s history and continues to preserve a landmark tradition of elegant food and service while celebrating an enlivened atmosphere.