The dining scene in downtown Colorado Springs encompasses everything from tapas to tacos to tiramisu. But when you are planning a special occasion dinner, you’ll find a choice of downtown venues with elegant ambience, ultra-attentive service and, of course, fine cuisine. Here are our Top 5 Picks for fine dining in downtown Colorado Springs:
Take in the panoramic views of downtown Colorado Springs at The Pepper Tree , 888 W. Moreno. The venue was named one of the “100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America” by Open Table. The Pepper Tree receives high praise for its fine steaks, extensive wine list and the exceptional service by the tuxedo-clad wait staff. It’s a classic menu with a retro feel. Start with standards like oysters on the half shell or escargot, and favorite main courses that include Colorado rack of lamb with mint demi-glace and chateaubriand for two with bearnaise sauce. Opt for cherries jubilee or bananas Foster for a flaming tableside dessert presentation. Open for dinner Monday to Saturday 5 to 9 p.m.
Dramatic Tableside Presentation
Enjoy classic cuisine with old school flair at Joseph’s Fine Dining, 1603 . 8th St. Owner Joseph Freyre knows fine dining; he served as maître d’ at The Penrose Room for over a decade. Case in point: Joseph’s signature dish The Famous Pepper Steak, pan-seared tenderloin with marinated mango chutney, flambéed tableside with French brandy. Diners rave about Joseph’s Hot Spinach Pernod Salad and bananas foster, offered up with similarly dramatic presentations. Open for lunch weekdays, and for dinner Monday to Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m.
Charm, Chops…and Martinis!
How about a nice martini, a jumbo shrimp cocktail for starters and a 16 ounce New York Strip Steak? Head to Mackenzie’s Chop House, 128 S. Tejon St. Chef Espiridion “Pete” Moreno has been preparing choice steak, chops and fresh seafood at Mackenzie’s for more than 14 years. Enjoy one of over 40 creative martinis in an intimate atmosphere. For dessert? A dessert martini, of course! In Almond Joy, Heath Bar or Razzberry. The location in the historic Alamo Building offers charming, clubby ambience as well as a patio dining option.
When you are in the market for romantic ambience and some terrific classic bistro fare, you can’t miss with Carlo’s Bistro , 1025 South 21st St. The menu from chef and owner Carlos Echeandia features artisanal, sustainable and organic ingredients. Try the fabulous Filet a la Oscar topped with blue crab meat and tarragon hollandaise or some incredible seafood like lobster fra diavolo, king crab and Crawfish Étouffee. The charming Carlos’ creativity and personal touch make Carlo’s Bistro a local favorite. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m. A nice bonus: Carlo’s offers half price bottles of wine on Wednesdays.
Topping our list of fine dining establishments is The Penrose Room. This supremely elegant venue is located at the top of the historic Broadmoor Hotel. The Penrose is Colorado’s only Forbes five-star, AAA five-diamond restaurant. Its delightful mountain views and superior, attentive service make it a truly special setting, one that Zagat termed a “prestigious and posh dining experience.” The Penrose Room menu features upscale continental fare. Elegant starters include duck foie gras with black winter truffles and Hawaiian hearts of palm. Patrons enjoy creative main courses like spice roasted venison with sugar-pie pumpkin and filet of sablefish with pear-vanilla puree. A Chef’s Tasting Menu is also available. Open Tuesday to Saturday 6 to 9 p.m. for cocktails, dinner and dancing. The Penrose presents live entertainment from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM from the Penrose Trio.
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