Dining -- fine dining -- in the Estes Park area has always been a problem for us. We love to spend a couple of nights in Estes once or twice a year, but are frequently disappointed by the local dining venues. Finally... a truly wonderful experience! (Note: neither I nor Caron have any personal or professional connection to the establishment or its ownership.)
We spent several days leading up to Christmas in Estes, and were able to get a 6:00 reservation at the Fawn Brook on fairly short notice. It took us a little over 30 minutes to get to Allenspark, driving part of the way in moderately heavy snow and on icy and snowpacked roads.
The Inn is the quintessence of cozy, rustic charm, with scarcely a dozen tables. From start to finish, the service was spot-on; we were never forgotten, and never rushed.
Our meal started with freshly-baked bread, with a delicate note of lemon, and accompanied by geranium-infused butter. Nice. We decided to forego appetizers. Caron ordered the blackberry-peach soup (yogurt-based and served cold) while I went straight to the petite salad of field greens, with a wonderful, light vinaigrette dressing. We were both very pleased, and beginning to hope that we'd finally found truly fine dining, if not exactly IN Estes Park, at least a reasonable distance away,
Caron ordered the Lobster Curry, while I chose the Steak au Poivre, a favorite of mine. Both were prepared table-side by Will, the fellow who will be assuming ownership and operation of the Inn, having worked there with owners Mieke and Hermann for many years. He described each ingredient as it was added to the pan.
Finally, our entrées were served. Caron and I are both in our 50s, and have eaten in many fine restaurants over the years. This was one of those special nights, one of those meals we'll remember for many years to come. Both dishes were simply outstanding. Her curry was slightly sweet, but it didn't overwhelm the lobster. I may have had better steak au poivre, but Will's certainly ranks among the very best.
Yes, the Fawn Brook isn't cheap, but one often gets what one pays for. We got a delightful, very memorable meal a few days before Christmas... an early Christmas present to ourselves!