We ate here for our 40th anniversary and found the food, service, and setting all equally excellent. As other reviewers have noted, the restaurant has a log cabin feel, but is quaint and quiet enough for intimate conversations. The host gave us the choice of a romantic table for two on a loft overlooking the main dining room, or a table by a window overlooking a cute little boulder-surrounded yard with birds and bunnies and the "Twin Owl" rock formation in the distant. We choose the view.
The service was spot on. The host, water boy, and server (Heather) all shared with us their favorite choices. The menu was quite large and the choices legion, but we had to make a choice. So, we went with ...
For starters, the Berry Brie en Croute (French Brie stuffed with dried mango, pineapple, cranberry & apricot ... all wrapped in flakey puff pastry and served with fresh fruit and baguette slices). Other reviewers have complained about the fruit, we found the whole combination delightful, balanced, and very tasty.
We followed this with a "Classic" Caesar Salad (crisp romaine lettuce, croutons & shredded parmesan tossed in our homemade caesar dressing), but I would not say their homemade dressing was "classic." It was tasty and creamier than classic, but not classic.
My wife had the Filet MacGregor, described as the "House Special: Hand-cut tenderloin filet, served over a balsamic demi-glaze, topped with bleu cheese, pistachios and bearnaise. Served with oven roasted rosemary potatoes." Although cooked to order, and quite large, at 8 ounces, it was a bit tougher than we expected. Not the best filet we've ever had.
However, my choice, the Colorado Elk Medallions, we're exceptional. The exquisitely tender "Denver leg of elk medallions" were served with balsamic onions, a scrumptious sweet potato puree, and a side of nicely sautéed veggies (green beans, carrots, and zucchini). The meat had absolutely no "wild taste" and was stunningly tender. I'm not sure I've ever had a better elk dish, and I've had quite a few.
We also enjoyed a side of green chile/white cheddar mashed potatoes, which were unique and quite tasty without being "hot" or "too spicy."
We paired our entrées with two excellent wine suggestions from Heather: a Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon (2010) and a Luigi Bosca Malbec (2011). Both were excellent matches for the food and good values.
We saved room for a delicious chocolate mousse cake.
All-in-all, our best and favorite dining experience this week in Estes Park. We will be coming back.
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