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“Sad things have changed over time” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Craftwood Inn - CLOSED

Craftwood Inn
404 El Paso Blvd, Manitou Springs, CO 80829-2310
719-685-9000
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Doing business, Special occasions, Romantic, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Mayfair
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Sad things have changed over time”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

I've eaten at craftwood in four previous times over the past 6 years. Each previous experience was favorably memorable. Last night's dining experience was a huge disappointment.

To put it simply, the only food I enjoyed eating was the bread with butter.

The appetizer we selected had pheasant, red deer, and macademia crusted ostrich. The pheasant was fried in a "shake and bake" seasoning was served lukewarm. Had it been served at a more appropriate temperature, I'm sure it would have tasted better. The red deer was tough and lack flavor. The ostrich, a previous favorite of ours, was overcooked and had the texture of shoe leather.

Unfortunately, we had ordered our entrees at the same time as our appetizer and ddn't wish to change our minds. I chose the ostrich and my wife chose the red elk. The ostrich was less overcooked than the appetizer but lacked any flavor. It took about 10 minutes for a waiter to come by after serving the entree and I begged for some salt to disguise the bland and greasy flavor of the ostrich. My wife, who is not a wine drinker, forced herself to eat her red deer with the help of generous portions of red wine to help down the otherwise old shoe leather passed off as red deer.

Craftwood Inn: WHAT HAPPENED? Your ostrich used to be so tender it'd melt in your mouth. Your deer used to be so tender and perfectly cooked.

I wish I had checked the reviews before I had dined there. Next for my wife's birthday, I think I'll take her to Golden Corral. Their meats are better tasting and better quality......

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

127 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    72
    26
    20
    9
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Sarasota, Florida
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Used to Be Worth the Cost”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

The Craftwood used to have wonderful, unique food that kept us coming back year after year. This time we visited in September and were very disappointed. The service was fine, although the waiter wasn't sure of things he should have known if indeed he did work their the two years he claimed. The biggest disappointment was the food. The pork ribs were so tough they were inedible and the pork belly was a raw, gelatinous mass. When we sent it back, they sent out a new dish with the same problems only this time the ribs were cold and tough. Needless to say, the Craftwood went from our favorite restaurant to one we will never visit again.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Fine dining in a lovely mountain setting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

The Craftwood Inn is an upscale restaurant serving Colorado dishes like Elk Medallions, Bison Steak and wild game, among other things. We had the 4-course dinner, which included soup or salad, a delicate sorbet, any entree off the menu and dessert. My husband and I went with a visiting German friend. We all found our meals to be excellent. The waiter was attentive and helpful without being intrusive. We loved the ambience of the place and the mountain view through the window. All this does not come cheap. It's great for a special occasion, when you want to be pampered and enjoy an evening of fine dining, but be prepared for the hit to the wallet.

Visited June 2012
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Arvada, Colorado, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Not what is used to be.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

This was our fourth trip to the Craftwood and it is obvious that is not the restaurant it once was. From the moment the disheveled looking busboy haphazardly poured our water, the place felt different. Our five o'clock shadow clad server approached as I was looking over the wine list and when I said I was going to have a red wine, he asked me if I wanted something sweet. A sweet red wine? I am pretty sure I didn't see Manischewitz on the list. Besides, I said I was looking at having a red wine and did not request his assistance in selecting one. The wine, when brought to the table was too warm, definitely over 70 degrees which emphasizes the alcohol. The first two courses were placed with no explanation of the sauces or components in the dishes. The main issue came when my trio of BBQ pork was served. The "seared" pork belly has not been seared and a nice, thick layer of unrendered fat graced the plate. The boar chop, which was supposed to be braised for 12 hours was literally too tough to bite through. The only decent item was the chorizo stuffed tenderloin which was not hot but rather lukewarm. I commented on the state of the chop and pork belly and after an extended period of time, replacements were brought. The pork belly was prepared exactly the same and the chop was cold in the middle; I even had the server place his finger on it and he agreed. They offered to buy us desserts but since my wife was getting her entree free for her birthday, I said that it was not necessary. What bothers me is that at no point did a manager or supervisor approach our table. I am a sommelier and supervisor at one of Denver's premiere fine dining restaurants and would certainly have visited the table, if not served the replacement dish myself, in order to ensure the guest was taken care of. Sorry Craftwood, you were once our favorite restaurant but you have fallen out of favor by your own doing.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua, Hawaii
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great Atmosphere and Interesting Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

This is a great place to experience Colorado flavors - including elk, bison, etc. We had a sorbet made of chai and local herbs. It was fantastic!

Visited September 2011
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