"The gimmick is a cute “spotted donkey” theme, with lots of funky
artwork featuring the furry beasts. But the menu is serious stuff, offering creative and well-crafted specialties like spicy
Oaxacan bean soup with pork hocks; a delightful meatloaf fashioned of veal, pork, beef and green chilies; and juicy
beer-braised beef tacos with borracho beans. Some ingredients are local, like the Cedar River Farms beef and La Canasta
tortillas, and everything is made from scratch, natch. Credit chef Eric DiStefano, who hails from Santa Fe where he runs a
sister operation...Yes, Spotted Donkey is a terrific place to grab an ice-cold margarita
and a plate of nachos. But these are designer margs with fresh fruit, thank you, and gourmet nachos piled with drunken black
beans, pulled pork, Serrano chilies, roasted tomato and tomatillo salsa, cheddar, manchego, Monterey Jack cheese and
Mexican crema. Views of the surrounding desert are as gorgeous as the fashionably garbed clientele."
"..The upscale animal theme is a
very clever concept and quite fitting for this tony, touristy area of town...As owners of three very successful restaurants in Santa Fe, Skoglund and his partner,
Robert Hall, know that a good gimmick often is what it takes to get customers through the door.
But happily, they also know that once we sit down, the food had better be as attention-grabbing as the decor. And this is excellent stuff,
utilizing quality ingredients like fresh (seasonal) Hatch green chiles, organic chicken and most everything made from scratch...."
Carey Sweet-The Arizona
Republic, October 2006