When searching for Colorado Springs restaurants, it’s helpful to know that the The Broadmoor, a Five Star, Five Diamond resort, has more restaurants on grounds than some smallish towns. There are a total of nine and that’s without counting the on-site cafes and lounges. Their Penrose Room, sitting atop the South Tower, has Five Stars and Five Diamonds. Both Charles Court and Summit have each been awarded Four Diamonds. That’s an impressive standard for one property.
Summit, dubbed an “American Brasserie” by the resort, was designed by internationally renowned hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany. Taking his inspiration from the majestic mountains that provide The Broadmoor’s backdrop, he came up with a stunning, contemporary counterpoint to the hotel’s early 20th century main building. Summit’s stone-flanked entrance suggests the opening to a mineshaft. The curved exterior with its wall of windows pays homage to the mountains beyond.
Guests enter Summit via the bar where the focal point is the towering, revolving wine turret with its 500 wines carefully selected from the world’s great wine regions. The adjacent glass-walled wine cellar houses 3,500 bottles offering over 300 different wine selections. Besides a good list of “accessible” wines, 35 are available by the glass, there’s an emphasis on local, seasonal micro-brews. Their innovative, signature cocktails also are seasonal and use liquor from Colorado micro distilleries.
Summit offers guests a relaxing dining ambiance. The menu is divided between Summit Favorites and seasonally changing fare garnered fresh from all over the United States. Whether it’s Maine diver scallops in spring, heirloom tomatoes in summer, Colorado sweet corn in early fall or root vegetables in winter, the chef looks for the best foods on offer for the season and designs the menu around them.
Mac and Cheese, an appetizer offering under “Summit Favorites,” is a contemporary take on a comfort standard. The addition of lobster, oyster mushrooms, bacon and goat cheese yields a sophisticated and decadent variation on this American classic. Summit has graciously shared the recipe with us. You can prepare it at home on a chilly winter night or any other time a fit of nostalgia hits.
Mac and Cheese
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 lb. of chanterelle mushrooms
6 oz. smoked bacon
1 qt. milk
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
2 cups extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 lbs. cooked lobster meat
1 1/2 cups (5 slices, crusts removed) fresh white bread crumbs
1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
2) Drizzle vegetable oil into a large pot of boiling salted water.
3) Add the macaroni; cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
4) Clean chanterelles; sauté over high heat with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes.
5) Cut the bacon in small pieces; cook over medium to high heat in a large sauce pan until crispy.
6) Drain the fat and heat the milk in that same saucepan, but don’t boil it.
7) In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour.
8) Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk.
9) Still whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth.
10) Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 pinch salt, the pepper, and nutmeg.
11) Add the cooked macaroni, cooked chanterelles and lobster and stir well.
12) Place the mixture in 6 to 8 individual gratin dishes.
13) Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs.
14) Sprinkle on the top of the pasta in the gratin dishes.
15) Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.