A friend invited me to a private dinner party at RASS MANDAL. What, I asked him, is Rass Mandal? My friend Richard's home and a vacation rental property  in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, he replied without further explanation. 

Curiosity got the best of me, so I did a bit of research  before wending my way to this enticing-sounding dinner party.  This, to my absolute delight, was what I found...

Photos courtesy of  Rass Mandal

Beautiful doesn't even come close to describing this wondrous compound surrounded by 10-acres of luscious pine forest with extravagant views and star-studded night skies that will take your breath away. 

But the interiors of this exquisite home are what captured my heart. As I stepped inside, I was immediately transported to another world. Everything glowed and I was engulfed in a kaleidescope of color, shadows, beautiful furnishings, and art.  

The Mandala Room with sweeping marble floor...

Our hostess caught in a moment of splendor..

Rass Mandal was originally designed and constructed by a direct descendant of the daughter of Emperor Akbar of India (1542 - 1605), sister to Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal.

Every detail is beautiful - not overdone...just enough.

The magical hallway leading to the bedrooms...

That's the stage..now onto 

T H E    D I N N E R   P A R T Y

The dining room is just off the Mandala room and seats twelve. The table was set beautifully and the open kitchen just beyond was abuzz with private Chef Mark Oppenheimer  doing a bit of culinary magic.

The first course arrived...

Blood orange and burrata salad with coriander
 seeds and lavender flowers - the textures and flavors were amazing.

Herbed roasted asparagus waiting to be plated...

 Grilled lamb shanks with a rosemary/garlic/anchovy sauce on white cannellini beans with porcini mushrooms. Lovely...

And, the grand finale...a trio of lemon blackberry polenta cake, dense chocolate cake and a mound of ethereal whipped cream.

Thank you Leslie and Richard for sharing your beautiful home 
 and for the gorgeous dinner.

R A S S   M A N D A L

Santa Fe, New Mexico


Chef Mark Oppenheimer



  1. Sounds your guest had a great vacation.

  2. Truly an amazing dinner party! Loved interiors of this venue. Totally fabulous! I am going to host my birthday party next month and have booked one of party venues in Los Angeles. Hoping all will like my arrangements.