Entries in ‘Restaurants and Dining’ Journal

Monterey, California Restaurants

Friday August 1, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 4 Comments

"Joyce Vineyards" carmel, california

Enjoying Joyce Vineyards wine at Carmel Beach, California

Monterey County restaurants may come and go, but wining and dining in this California coastal community never goes out of style. I know this from first-hand experience, as my parents retired to the fairytale Carmel-by-the-Sea in Monterey County and made a hobby out of dining out. There are endless amounts of things to see and do in Monterey, with new wineries and restaurants opening as fast as sardines swimming in the Pacific Ocean.

I like nothing better than to pour a glass of Pinot Noir and kick back on the deck, looking out to the ocean. My husband prefers beer and with names like “Belly Up Blonde Ale” and “Stout Resistance” who could resist trying a growler (that’s a hefty sized beer) from Peter B’s Brewpub inside Monterey’s Portola Hotel & Spa?

 
 
 
 

"Peter B's Brewpub" sausages

House made sausages at Peter B’s Brewpub, Monterey


 
Monterey Brewpub

Start dinner or happy hour with a jumbo Bavarian pretzel, Monterey Bay Calamari and a beer flight sampler, then move on to house made sausages, served alongside warm German style potato salad, slaw and stout mustard from Peter B’s Brewpub in Monterey.
 

"C restaurant" seafood

Fresh seafood The C Restaurant & Bar


 
Fresh seafood in Monterey

Seafood lovers will find happiness at the C restaurant & bar, housed inside the Intercontinental Clement Monterey on Cannery Row. This luxury hotel offers Monterey Bay views from hotel rooms, the restaurant and bar. Try the lobster bolognaise, grilled arctic char or a grilled vegetable sandwich utilizing local produce. I would be happy sipping a glass of wine by the outdoor firepit, watching the sea otters glide by.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Steps from the Intercontinental Clement is the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Children and adults will find entertaining and educational exhibits on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

While it may seem strange to aquarium guests, fresh fish (and other items like pizza and salad) are served inside the Monterey Bay Aquarium at Cindy’s Waterfront restaurant. This is where I learned about the importance of seafood sustainability, through the Seafood Watch program, a continually evolving guide to sustainable fish. Every respectable restaurant and fish monger should adhere to the Seafood Watch guidelines; our world and certainly our oceans would be better for it.
 

"Bay of Pines" restaurant

Bread pudding at Monterey’s Bay of Pines


Monterey nightlife

The Bay of Pines serves American organic cuisine – think salad greens from Salinas valley, organic chicken pan seared with diced tomatoes, Kalamata olives and spring artichoke served with a new potato puree or sauteed shrimp splashed with a cucumber organic vodka cream sauce. Bay of Pines is also the go-to place for live music in Monterey.
 

"Passionfish" sea scallops

Passionfish in Pacific Grove, California for seafood

Pacific Grove dining

Passionfish is one of my favorite restaurants in Monterey County. A local favorite based in Pacific Grove, California, this is the place to dine for fresh, sustainable seafood, served with a passion.
 

"Beach House" Shrimp, "Pacific Grove"

Beach House Firecracker Shrimp, Pacific Grove


 
I had high hopes for Beach House restaurant in Pacific Grove, as the Ocean View Blvd. location, looking out to Lovers Point Park and the water is fabulous. I was tempted to order the salmon, but passed on the fish, marketed as “creative brand certified organic salmon,” as it was not listed on the Seafood Watch program as wild. Instead, I opted for Scampi Monterey served with fresh pasta in a light cream sauce. The crispy firecracker shrimp is a tasty appetizer for the light appetite or sharing with the table. I need to re-visit Beach House next time I’m in the area.
 
"Big Sur Roadhouse" California

Big Sur Roadhouse, serving California cuisine with a New Orleans twist


Big Sur dining

I can never get enough of Big Sur, so when I had the chance to dine at Big Sur Roadhouse, I was excited. Not only is the Big Sur location charming, the patio, with its unique outdoor fire pit table, is colorful and inviting. The personable New Orleans Chef Matt Glazer combines California cuisine with a New Orleans twist. Try the red beans and rice, Big Sur seafood gumbo, a muffaletta sandwich (pictured above) and save room for a Cajun-inspired dessert.

Overnight in Big Sur

If you plan to vacation in Monterey County for several days, be sure to make reservations with Glen Oaks, the owners of Big Sur Roadhouse, Adobe Motor Lodge and the adorable Oak Tree Cottages – no televisions, no pets, no smoking, no problem.
 

crabcake "Quail Lodge" Carmel Valley

Edgar’s crab cake Quail Lodge, Carmel Valley


Carmel Valley wine & dine

Finally, what’s a visit to Monterey Bay without a trip into Carmel Valley? As I mentioned, my parents retired to Carmel back in 1980. When they sold their Carmel Valley condo and bought a house with an ocean view, I lamented leaving the sunshine of Carmel Valley – first world problems, I know! I’m a wannabe Carmel resident living on a freelance travel writer’s salary – these two do not go hand in hand.

Insider Tip

Quail Lodge and Golf Club – where my husband and I held our wedding reception many moons ago – is one of the best value hotels on the Monterey Peninsula. Great rooms and a location that can’t be beat, guaranteed romance. They also serve really good crab cakes at Edgar’s Restaurant.

What are your favorite Monterey County, California restaurants? Article and all photos, except Passionfish scallops, by Food & Wine Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau for restaurant review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Colorado Springs Dining: Broadmoor Restaurants

Friday June 27, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 0 Comments

"Penrose Room" chandelier

Magic happens under the Penrose Room chandelier at The Broadmoor

If I had to pick where to eat my last supper, it would have to be at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. With 19 restaurants, cafes and lounges on the Colorado property, I’d be able to keep my dining options open and wander from restaurant to restaurant like a never-ending progressive dinner. Colorado Springs dining at Broadmoor restaurants offers something for everyone, from vegan options to housemade charcuterie, fresh baked artisan breads, some of the best barbecue in the Colorado Rockies and hand crafted truffles. Let the feasting begin!
 

"Ristorante Del Lago" breakfast

Breakfast at Ristorante Del Lago by Cheyenne Lake


Broadmoor’s Ristorante Del Lago

Designed by restaurant architect Adam D. Tihany, Ristorante Del Lago, located on the ground level of Broadmoor West, reminds me of dining on Italy’s Lake Como. The open air restaurant and bar with its exposed wood beams, terra cotta tile and indoor/outdoor fireplace creates a welcoming atmosphere to break bread with friends and family. To drink up the flavors of Italy start with Sanguinello Campari, Limoncello and blood orange cocktail for $11.75. Check the website for current pricing and menu items.
 

"Summit" restaurant "The Broadmoor"

Summit wine bar

Broadmoor’s Summit

Located adjacent to Broadmoor Hall, Summit restaurant feels like a cocktail party followed with dinner at your best friend’s house. Inspired by Colorado Springs Pike’s Peak, architect Adam D. Tihany blended wood, glass, metal, leather and fabric to give this American brasserie a contemporary feel.

Start your meal with a glass of Summit Sangria featuring Absolut pear vodka, Belle de Brillet liqueur, honey syrup and pomegranate juice with Mendoza Malbec $11.75 followed with a Wagyu beef burger from Eagle’s Nest Ranch, Colorado topped with Maytag blue cheese, radicchio, apple slaw and Summit fries on the side.
 

Charcuterie "Summit restaurant"

Charcuterie platter, Summit restaurant, Colorado Springs, CO

La Taverne at Broadmoor

Located in the Broadmoor main lobby, La Taverne has had a foothold at this Colorado Springs resort since 1939. La Taverne is a restaurant for classic cocktails (I’m looking at you Zombie!) steak lovers and carnivores of all types – they have seafood, too. I ordered the Colorado rack of lamb and was rewarded with my local selection. Our group of four began the meal with the shellfish platter of Maine lobster, shrimp, oysters and smoked mussels. Carb-lovers take note, our party couldn’t keep our hands out of the bread basket. La Taverne also features an ever-changing pie of the day.

Johann Willar, Broadmoor head baker extraordinaire, is a third generation baker from northern France. Willar creates beautiful breads, brioche and buns that are lovingly hand crafted for the entire Broadmoor campus in his bakery.
 

Broadmoor Baker "Johann Willar"

Broadmoor Baker Johann Willar

Another unsung hero is Broadmoor Chocolatier Ana Musia. Musia works magic with her wide array of chocolates – from Felchin – the work horse of the chocolates, to the creamy milk chocolate Valrhona Bahibe. When asked to name her favorite creation, Musia was hesitant to single one out, “I touch a lot of the desserts at The Broadmoor.”

For me, I couldn’t decide between the chocolate crunch bar served at Summit or the peanut butter truffles available for purchase at Espresso News.
 

Broadmoor Chocolatier "Ana Musia"

Broadmoor Chocolatier Ana Musia with peanut butter truffles

Play at The Broadmoor

A six lane bowling alley and game room might keep kids and adults happy in foul weather, but I’ll opt for horseback riding in Pikes Peak national forest anytime. Play restaurant, located in Broadmoor West, will bowl you over with Southwest vegetarian chili, Hawaiian flatbread or burgers and dogs.

I didn’t have a chance to dine at Penrose Room, the only five star, five diamond restaurant in all of Colorado, the English pub Golden Bee or the recently opened Natural Epicurean. As I said, Colorado Springs dining options offer an endless progressive dinner opportunity at Broadmoor restaurants. This isn’t my last supper at The Broadmoor…I’ll be back!
 

flatbread "Play restaurant"

Hawaiian flatbread from Play at The Broadmoor

Insider Tip

If barbecue is your preferred method of cooking you simply must attend Barbecue University with Grill Master Steven Raichlen. This three day interactive grilling course at The Broadmoor will have you re-kindling your connection with your inner caveman in Colorado Springs.

If You Go:
The Broadmoor (855) 634-7711
1 Lake Avenue
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906

Article and photos by Food & Wine Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of The Broadmoor for restaurant review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Historic Broadmoor: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Friday June 20, 2014 at 6:06 AM | 20 Comments

"Broadmoor" Colorado Springs

Historic Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO

The historic Broadmoor reins supreme as the grand dame of Colorado Springs in Colorado. The resort holds the titles of the longest running Forbes five star and AAA five diamond property in the country – they have held this distinction since The Broadmoor’s official opening on June 29, 1918. Located on 3,000 acres with three golf courses, 779 rooms, 19 restaurants, cafes & lounges and a Forbes five star spa, the historic Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado radiates luxury.

Broadmoor Wilderness Experience

Situated in Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor serves as an upscale base camp for outdoor explorers and sports enthusiasts.

While I’m not the golfer in the family, The Broadmoor offers several top-notch golf courses on property. In the summertime, complimentary golf clinics are offered certain days of the week, as are complimentary tennis round robins. While not exactly a wilderness experience, the kids (and kids at heart) might want to take a spin on Cheyenne Lake in a paddle boat. Check with the concierge for further details.
 

Golf course view from Broadmoor Spa

Golf course view from Broadmoor Spa


 
I have made a promise to myself that I will return to The Broadmoor with my husband to experience The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley. This exclusive ranch property is just a 30 minute drive up the mountain from The Broadmoor. Surrounded by the majestic Pike National Forest, the all-inclusive ranch offers fly-fishing, hiking, biking and horseback riding in beautiful Colorado Springs. Cloud Camp, an all-inclusive 54 guest resort that sites on the site of the original Cheyenne Mountain Lodge, is another Broadmoor Wilderness Experience I have yet to try.
 


 

"Broadmoor" "Penrose Room"

Dining at Broadmoor’s Penrose Room

 
Broadmoor restaurant dining

I mentioned in another post that dining at The Broadmoor is like one continuous progressive dinner party. If you like barbecue and enjoy hands on cooking classes, you’ll want to sign up for Barbecue University at the Broadmoor. I could be cut off from the outside world and be perfectly content living off The Broadmoor with its 19 restaurants, cafe and lounges. As long as I’m left behind with the head baker, chocolate maker and spa director, I know I’ll be in good hands.
 

"Broadmoor" Spa

The Spa at The Broadmoor

 
Spa at The Broadmoor

Speaking of good hands, my massage therapist, Deanne from Mississippi, delivered a 50 minute session of deep tissue heaven to my body. Make sure to pack a swim suit and arrive early or stay late to take advantage of the co-ed indoor and outdoor swimming pools and outdoor hot tub. Additionally, there is a steam room, sauna, aromatherapy room (recommended for acclimating to the Rocky Mountain altitude of 6000 feet above sea level) and fireplace lounge. The co-ed mountain view room and terrace, looking over the golf course, is a great place to relax and recharge before your spa treatment.
 

"Broadmoor" hotel room

Broadmoor West Premier King


Broadmoor West renovation

The Broadmoor resort is composed of several hotel buildings; Broadmoor Main, Broadmoor South and Broadmoor West. Walking to different parts of the resort is easy via the Cheyenne Lake Bridge. There is also 24/7 complimentary shuttle service available for hotel guests.

During my stay, the Broadmoor West had recently undergone a complete renovation. My lovely premier king, room #4443, with Juliet balcony and view of Cheyenne Lake, rented for $465 per night (check the website for current rates). Pets are welcome at The Broadmoor with a charge of $50 per pet, per night (maximum two dogs per room.) The pet fee includes special Broadmoor bedding and pet food bowls, as well as a treat for your four-legged friend.
 

"Broadmoor" hot tub

Soak in The Broadmoor hot tub



Broadmoor resort fee

Love them or hate them, resort fees are here to stay. The Broadmoor $32 daily resort service charge includes wireless high-speed internet access, local telephone calls, daily newspaper, Fitness Center access & two daily fitness classes, incoming faxes, Little Theater movies, in-room beverage service, daily housekeeping and nightly turndown service, bottled water and arrival gift. Being from California, where we are experiencing drought conditions, I was a little miffed to see that sheets and towels were changed on a daily basis. Housekeeping quickly fixed my environmental dilemma, replacing my hand written note requesting my bedding not be changed with a pre-printed no sheet-changing card.
 

"Cheyenne Lake"

Paddle boats on Cheyenne Lake at The Broadmoor

Insider tips

The Broadmoor is a member of Historic Hotels of America. The historic Colorado Springs property offers complimentary art and history tours on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Western art aficionados take note, as Broadmoor owner Mr. Philip Anschutz owns one of the largest collections of Western art. Horticultural tours are offered seasonally on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. Golf clinics are offered free to hotel guests on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow @TheBroadmoor on Twitter.

If You Go:

The Broadmoor  (855) 634-7711

1 Lake Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of The Broadmoor. All opinions and experiences are my own. I’d love to hear about your visit to the historic Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.