Monday, January 22, 2007

Dining critic candidate No. 19

Summit Not Up To Its’ Peak

The Broadmoor’s latest restaurant, the cosmopolitan Summit, is not quite up to peak. We were highly impressed upon our arrival by the Valet’s prompt scamper on such a cold night and the warm, friendly welcome by the Hostess and staff. The restaurant is beautifully yet casually decorated in warm hues and soft lighting, and despite its location at the Broadmoor, it’s not a bit snooty or pretentious—casual attire, even nice jeans won’t get you tossed out on your ear!

Our waitperson, Crystal, arrived immediately and proved to be extremely knowledgeable about both the wine list and the menu. The wine list was not too lengthy (about 60 bottles) and had a good range of choices at all price levels, with about 20 wines offered by the glass. After a lively wine discussion with our waitperson, we learned that the Summit offers mostly Pacific Northwest wines, Charles Court specializes in California wines and the Penrose Room prefers French wines, but you may order wine from any of the Broadmoor’s restaurants for your dining pleasure. Crystal, who is studying to become a sommelier, was extremely helpful in choosing the perfect wine to complement our dinners. The menu is “al a carte” and three courses for two people should average from $80.00 - $125.00 without alcohol. Not terribly painful!

The service was attentive, pleasant and perfectly paced--the “peak” performance you would hope for and expect of a restaurant that wants to compete for one of the area’s best.

The Summit’s contemporary gourmet menu is fresh with inspirational cuisine. Well-done menu descriptions of the dishes grab your attention. You can choose from a special list of seasonal creations or the Summit’s signature dishes, or mix and match. We started off with appetizers; I ordered the seasonal bacon-wrapped shrimp and my husband had the signature seared tuna carpaccio. The presentation and sauce on my shrimp was excellent, the shrimp were good-sized, but a little over-cooked and chewy. The tuna was excellently prepared—barely seared, thinly sliced, and presented with a bright green asparagus garnish for interest and color, although wonderful, it wasn’t a very large portion--my husband licked the plate clean!

Next, up—salads. My husband was pleasantly surprised by the untraditional Caesar salad. It was made with fresh baby greens rather than the typical, boring romaine, and was adorned with several silvery, white anchovies. I wanted the seasonal beet salad but wasn’t enthused about the strong blue cheese. The waitperson didn’t bat an eye saying they would be more than happy to prepare it without the cheese—I like that in a restaurant—flexibility! The colorful salad of diced fresh beets in little “boats” of endive leaves was simply elegant. To make up for the lack of the blue cheese the salad was presented with a side of grated Parmesan.

I stayed seasonal by opting for the butternut squash ravioli over the very tempting choice of a hangar steak and fries and was richly rewarded. The ravioli may have been a hair overdone, and the squash filling a little on the sweet side for my taste, but a delight overall. My husband’s signature roasted halibut was gastronomic eye candy to view as it was presented but was over cooked and dry. Both seafood dishes we tried were overcooked to the point of dryness for the halibut and toughness for the shrimp. As the Broadmoor’s advertised “best” and newest restaurant this was a real disappointment. Perhaps it was Chef Bouquin’s night off, or just an off night.

The true disappointment of the evening for me, however, was the dessert. I ordered the crème brulee, my favorite dessert of all time, and although the presentation was spectacular, the crème brulee was the worst I have ever slid past my tongue. It was presented in a shallow, wide dish and was only about ¼-inch thick, grainy, hard, and tasted like a hard-boiled egg yolk. A few spoonfuls were more than enough and it went uneaten. On the other hand, my husband’s apple tatin with caramel sauce was superb. He once again cleaned his plate and loved the apple chip with a good-sized dollop of whipped cream on the side. The topper of the night came when our car was already warm and waiting by the door when we left!

Overall take: The service, from valet to valet, and everything in between was flawless. With just a little closer attention to the individual dish preparation, this latest Broadmoor restaurant should rise to the Summit!

Phone: 719-577-5896

Address: 19 Lake Circle

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30-9:30; Friday-Sunday, 5:00-9:00. Closed Mondays.

Parking: Valet Parking at no cost to guests (except gratuity).

Rating: One to five stars, with five being flawless, one a place to avoid

Overall ****

Ambience *****

Service *****

Food ***

Price ****


Anonymous Submission Reviewer said...

This review has a delicate bi-polar attitude about it that completely damages its credibility. Excellent atmosphere and location details, good food descriptions and good pricing and hours are marred by constant vulgar imagery and the need to compliment the restaurant after explaining how bad the food was.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This review only goes over what they ordered, and not what else is available.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't make it past the title. What does "Its'" mean?

1:03 PM  
Blogger Warren Epstein said...

FYI. "submission reviewer" is not associated with the Gazette.

10:18 AM  

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