Post-Fire Richardson's Just As Good As Pre-Fire Richardson's (Plus, There's a Patio)

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Well that was worth the wait.

Ever since Richardson's burned down at its former location on the corner of Bethany Home Road and 16th Street over two years ago, I've had to get my New Mexican cuisine on at its pint-sized sister restaurant, Dick's Hideaway -- until now.

Last month, Richardson's (which has been around since 1988) rose from the ashes and moved up the street -- at the southeastern corner of 16th Street and Maryland -- right smack dab next to its other sibling restaurant, the Rokerji.

Fans of the restaurant will love what's changed, but mostly, what hasn't.

For starters, the interior, save for being wider, looks nearly the same: leather booths, stone and copper accents, woven rugs on the wall -- even the blackboards listing the evening's specials in colored chalk seem like they've resurrected themselves from the ashes. And the lighting hasn't varied much either. Save for a single window in the front, it's as sinfully dim as ever.

Perhaps even better news is that the menu is the same. All the good stuff is still there, like grilled gumbo shrimp quesadillas, carne adovada simmered in red chile sauce, and two of my favorites: New Mexico Enchiladas with green chile sauce and the scrumptiously spicy blackboard special, green chile Stroganoff.

And now, unlike its previous location, if the room at Richardson's is full-up with folks, two other options exist right outside the door. Guests can walk a few steps to score a seat at the Rokerij (similar food as Richardson's, but with smaller plates) or simply enjoy a cocktail on a very nice outdoor patio that separates the two restaurants and features a fireplace, lots of flora, and a full bar.

When busy, parking can be a bit of a cluster. But that complaint is minor compared to the plus sides of the post-fire Richardson's. I'm glad it's back in business.

What do you say, Richardson's fans? Have you been to the new, post-fire location? What did you think?

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