To be clear: Elk Mountain is hardly a destination spot. But if you live in Laramie or Rawlins, or if you find yourself on Interstate 80 between Laramie and Rawlins, you might be tempted to make a short excursion off the highway to check out this little city and its historic hotel/restaurant. Decades ago the Elk Mountain Hotel was a destination spot, with music by some of the most famous entertainers of the day. After years of hard times the hotel was restored pretty much to its original Victorian elegance. An English couple bought it a couple of years ago. Susan is a European trained chef who offers as large, sophisticated menu. The main courses we had were unusual and top notch, if a bit expensive (a duck dish and a lamb sirloin). The carrots that came with the meal were amazing. Desert was a mixed experience: the almond tart was dry, but the chocolate creation satisfying and filling!
But here is the rub, for an expensive and elegant (for Wyoming) establishment there were annoying shortcomings and contradictions: the waitress was friendly but seemingly untrained and lacking in knowledge about the area and the food; tables were covered with paper; salad dressing was served in the little plastic cups you find at low priced chain restaurants; it took a long time for wine to arrive, and when it did, the red wine was in a white wine glass; chef Susan came out to chat with us about the food and her experiences, but her husband refused to show us any of the hotel rooms even though there were hardly any guests in the place; we ordered cappuccino and got something like coffee with milk. The excuse was the steamer wasn't working--OK, fine, but then don't charge for cappuccino!
So all in all, a fine meal, worth the hour and half trip to get there, but not the great experience we had hoped to enjoy.