Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm is a pastoral oasis on Rio Grande Boulevard in Albuquerque. Peacocks provide security and lavender fields surround many of the rooms. The tranquil setting is ideal for visitors looking to relax and recharge. The verdant property is not only a beautiful getaway for visitors, it is a popular location among locals for hosting events and weddings.
A 10 million dollar renovation was completed in 2017, increasing the number of guest rooms to 50. They renovated the old Creamland Dairy barn, converting it into a state of the art kitchen, dining room and bar. They expanded the acreage dedicated to lavender, which is Los Poblanos’ signature crop. The lavender is distilled onsite and utilized in their line of lavender spa products as well as incorporated into a variety of dishes at Campo, the new restaurant space.
The land in this area has been a resource for humans for 12,000 years, beginning with the arrival of Paleo-Indians. As these hunter-gatherers developed a more settled, agricultural lifestyle, they built pueblos to accommodate their growing population. The multi-story stone or adobe dwellings were essentially the world’s first apartment complexes.
The Tiwa people settled in the area around 1250 AD. By the time the Spanish arrived in 1540, there were about 20 Tiwa Pueblos stretching 60 miles along the Rio Grande. The Spaniards settled in the area, establishing 17 estancias (ranches), until the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 forced them to flee to El Paso for twelve years. They resettled the region in 1692.
A 70,000 acre Land Grant was created in 1694 for Diego Montoya. The grant, stretching from the crest of the Sandia Mountains to the Rio Grande, was reissued to Elena Gallegos in 1712. Her descendants subdivided the property to the extent that it was treated as a communal land grant when it was re-adjudicated by American authorities in 1893. Much of northern Albuquerque was built on the former land grant, including Los Poblanos.
Rooted in History. Planting Seeds for the Future.
The original ranch on this property was established by Ambrosio and Juan Cristobal Armijo. Their land holdings stretched from the banks of the Rio Grande to the base of the Sandias. Their descendants sold the property to Albert and Ruth Simms in the 1930s. The Simms turned it into a model experimental farm and it became the headquarters for the original Creamland Dairy.
The Rembe family purchased 25 acres of the property from the Simms family in the 1970s. Armin and Penny Rembe raised their four children in the ranch house, which is now the Historic Inn. Armin’s sister, Victoria, her husband and their five children, moved into the 15,000 square foot La Quinta building, which was designed by John Gaw Meem in the 1930s. Meem was a famous architect, credited as the pioneer of Santa Fe style.
When Victoria and her family relocated to Ireland, Armin and Penny scrambled to find a way to preserve the property. They turned their home into a B & B and reopened La Quinta as an events space. Armin was still working as an oncologist so Penny became the driving force behind the business. Her concern has always been preservation of the property, which is a theme echoed by her son, Matt Rembe, who is now the executive director of Los Poblanos.
Matt has expanded the operation in a variety of ways, always with an eye towards balancing the core values of preservation, sustainability and community. Los Poblanos’ motto “rooted in history, planting seeds for the future” is more than words. It is a core theme in how they treat their customers, how they engage their community, and how they approach each aspect of their business, from the inn, to the farm store, to the kitchen of Campo.
The Cuisine at Campo
The restaurant at Los Poblanos, Campo, is helmed by James Beard finalist Jonathan Perno, an Albuquerque native who developed his culinary chops in some of the best restaurants in San Francisco, Vail and London before returning to Albuquerque and joining forces with the Rembe family. Jonathan’s focus on developing relationships with local farmers and drawing on the bounty available in the fields around the property are a good fit with the Rembe’s dedication to preservation and community.
Jonathan and his staff can frequently be found in the fields, harvesting herbs and vegetables for the kitchen. Adherence to the tenets of “Field to Fork” dining are not a function of philosophy, marketing or current trends for Jonathan. Procuring the freshest ingredients is simply the foundation of good food as far as he is concerned. With multiple awards and accolades, both locally and nationally, crafting incredible cuisine is Jonathan’s forte. He was an integral part of the recent restaurant renovation, adding a wood fire hearth that serves as the centerpiece in the kitchen and provides the basis for his new menu.
Given the importance, and abundance, of lavender at Los Poblanos, I asked Jonathan to share one of his lavender recipes. He went a step further and provided the recipes for a full meal. Those recipes are provided below.
Honey Lavender Glazed Chicken Breast
- 4 de-boned chicken breasts with skin
- Honey lavender glaze at room temperature (See recipe below)
- Potato coulis (See recipe below)
- 1 bunch of Kale, washed and cut into ½ inch ribbons
- 1 medium red onion, pickled (See recipe below. Prepare one to two days ahead)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter (for the kale)
- Pre-heat the oven to 375.
- In a large sauté pan heat the oil until it starts smoking. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place in the pan, skin side down. Cook for 2 minutes on medium-high heat, then turn the heat down to medium for 6 minutes.
- Place the chicken in the oven and let cook for 6 minutes, skin side down. After 6 minutes flip the breast over and baste the skin side with the lavender glaze. Cook in the oven for 4 minutes. Baste again and cook for an additional 8 minutes (depending on the size of the breast). Pull the chicken out of the oven. Baste one more time. Allow the chicken to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- While the chicken is cooling, heat another large sauté pan. Add the butter and heat until melted. Add the prepped kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the kale until nicely wilted, about 5 minutes, stirring the entire time.
- Place about 3 oz. of the coulis (see recipe below) on the plate. Add the sautéed kale.
- Arrange the pickled onions on the dish for a bit of color. Add the chicken. Drizzle the pan drippings over and around the dish.
Lavender Honey Glaze
Servings: Makes enough for 2-3 recipes
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 Tbsp crushed lavender buds
- ¼ cup honey
- 1/8 lb soft butter
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Combine the lemon juice, honey, lavender buds, salt and pepper in a small sauce pan.
- Warm and stir in the butter until combined well.
The glaze can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Pickled red onions
- 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced into half moons
- 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- Cut the onions. Rinse under cold water and drain.
- Combine the onions, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil.
- Shut off the heat and allow it to set in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving. Best if made two days before needed.
- 2 large Russet potatoes (washed)
- 3-4 cups of heavy cream
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp virgin olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss the potatoes in a bowl with salt and pepper. Place on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper and roast for about 1 hour or until tender. Allow the potatoes to cool for about 5- 10 minutes before peeling and slicing them.
- Bring the cream to a boil separately and pour it into the sliced potatoes. Add salt to taste and whisk together until smooth.
- Cover with plastic and allow it to cool for 30-minutes.
- Strain through a fine meshed sieve and cover with plastic so it doesn’t form a skin. Set aside until ready to serve.
Campo has a private dining room, and a small, outdoor patio overlooking lavender fields. The lavender blooms in late June/early July. Brunch on the patio in late June comes with a free side of aromatherapy bliss.
Please leave your recipe modifications, or any questions that you may have, in the comments.
4803 Rio Grande Blvd N.W.
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107
Set among 25 acres of lavender fields, enormous cottonwood trees and lush formal gardens, Los Poblanos is one of the most magnificent historic properties in the Southwest. The property was designed in 1932 by the region’s foremost architect, John Gaw Meem, the “Father of Santa Fe Style”.
Los Poblanos combines 50 guest rooms, a working organic farm and world class cuisine. The natural beauty, comfort and privacy of Los Poblanos provides guests with a memorable experience in a truly relaxing environment. It is also an ideal setting for meetings and special events.
Campo is a casual fine-dining experience featuring the purest field-to-fork menu in the Southwest. Located at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, their Rio Grande Valley Cuisine is rooted in seasonal organic ingredients from their fields, as well as from longstanding relationships with local farmers and herdsman.
To make a reservation: 505-338-1615
The Los Poblanos Farm Shop takes pride in hand-crafting quality, meaningful products. The shop features artisan lavender products made from the organic lavender grown in the fields and distilled on the farm, including culinary lavender. In addition to their products, they sell items by other local businesses.
Contact the Farm Shop: (505) 938-2192