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“Not As Good As It Could Be”

The Historic Elk Mountain Hotel and Restaurant
Price range: $20 - $45
Cuisines: American, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romantic, Large groups, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: The hotel was established in 1905 and is known as 'Wyoming's hidden gem' despite being located just 3 miles off Interstate 80 between Rawlins and Laramie. The Victorian era hotel has 12 beautifully decorated en-suite rooms and a full service fine dining restaurant serving dinner prepared by our Cordon Bleu de Paris trained chef (and owner). The hotel is situated in 10 acres of meadow and woodland alongside the Medicine Bow River. Open year round, subject to the vagaries of the famous Wyoming weather!
Glendale, California
Level Contributor
249 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Not As Good As It Could Be”
Reviewed August 3, 2013

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.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank joerussin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HistoricHotel, General Manager at The Historic Elk Mountain Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
I am sorry your experience was not as good as you expected, we always strive to be the best we can be. The night of your visit we were 2 staff members down, one in the kitchen and at the last minute our regular server called insick so the lady who served you was new to the area, inexperienced and generally works breakfast. She should have changed the price for the coffee, but must hve got flustered as she had been instructed to just charge for a coffee, but the coffee itself is top class Arabica and it would be the froth that was missing, lattes are generally same price. I make no apologies for the bistro paper and the plastic cups are for sanitary reasons so that guests can add as much or little as they wish to their salads.
As for showing you rooms, sorry our policy is not to show rooms when guests are in residence, and although you did not see many guests, some were absent visiting family in town so were not in the dining room. Our guests pay for privacy and that is what they get. Sorry we could not accommodate you at the time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    59
    6
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    2
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Poor service, expensive overpriced food: big disappointment!”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Telephoned to make a reservation at 6:30 or 6:45. I was informed they had a table available at 6 PM. When we arrived at 6:00 we found no other customers and no one else arrived until 7 or later. We began our meal by ordering a $34 bottle of wine which costs $12 retail. The waitress unscrewed the cap on the bottle and set it on the table. The waitress did not pour the wine or provide a cooling bucket. She apparently thought she was bringing a bottle of beer to our table. The food was comparable to what you would expect at a Howard Johnson's. I experienced stomach problems later that evening. Deserts were fairly basic and all overpriced. In summary, don't believe the hype about dining in a historic hotel. Try Saratoga or Laramie for a good meal.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Laramie2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HistoricHotel, General Manager at The Historic Elk Mountain Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
We are very sorry that your experience was not what you expected as we strive to be as good as we can in this remote place. The night you came we had told you that the barman had had an accident and was not available for cocktails. Your server was not 21 and by law is not allowed to pour the wine which although screw top is a Charles Krug and not cheap. It came from the cooler, but if asked we would have happily provided a wine bucket.
As for the food, I remember talking to you when I had a moment of respite in the kitchen, but no comment was made, so we were unable to correct any mistake you think we made. The desserts are all made in house and although I like Howard Johnsons, chains cannot afford to made sorbets in house or thier own hot chocolate sauce, nor do they run extablishments that are 50 miles from the nearest population mass and supermarket.
We are a small remote country inn and our dining room caters mostly to hotel guests who are sometimes tardy, and outside guests are worked in around our hotel guests, so I hope that clears up the timing issue.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, Colorado
2 reviews
“No decision....everything is homemade....breakfast and dinner”
Reviewed July 2, 2013

Loved it all. Trip advisor makes it very time consuming to make a post....I won't do it again...too bad....this place deserves every good word ever written about it.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank BarbaraXXX1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HistoricHotel, General Manager at The Historic Elk Mountain Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Thanks for your kind words, it was a pleasure to meet you and glad we were able to meet your expectations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sun Valley
Level Contributor
31 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Even Better with a NEW, Refreshed Menu!!!”
Reviewed June 19, 2013

We wanted to get some "at altitude" bike training done and have some GREAT FOOD, so off we went to The Elk Mountain Historic Hotel and Restaurant where we could do both! To our surprise Susan announced that the Menu had been "refreshed" and some new items had been added. We got to have two nights of dining before we had to return to Sun Valley!

I was impressed with the Classic Caesar Salad, Grilled Rib Eyed Steak, and the Indian Spiced Lamb Sirloin! Patty was impressed with the Filet of Founder with Crab and the Vegetable Risotto Primavera ('light, tasty, and the vegetables were cooked to perfection!").

I noticed that the new items came in at a slightly lower price point. The only way I can review those items is to return and order them until I get through the list! Susan has added some Duck & Chicken items as well as new choices in both the Meat items, and the Fish & Seafood items. All items looked very interesting!

The Restaurant at The Elk Mountain Historic is a DO NOT MISS experience! Many thanks to Susan and Arthur for the food and hospitality! We will be back as soon as possible!!!!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Doctor83353
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rawlins, WY
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great idea”
Reviewed March 28, 2013

The lunch was very uncomplicated. There was a good variety of choices in the "buffet". I'm calling it a buffet for lack of a better word. It was better than a traditional buffet and really had a home cooked feel and taste. Plenty of dessert choices as well.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank J-Kfoodies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HistoricHotel, General Manager at The Historic Elk Mountain Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Thank you for your kind words on the special lunch buffet we put together for your group. Unfortunately we do not offer lunch as a general rule because the small size of our town cannot support it and we have a very small staff so we concentrate on dinner and organized groups, outside of our hotel guests that is, as the dining room is really a service to our guests who are 50 miles from the nearest restaurant.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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