It's Got Game
Bison burgers and casual fare will be served at lunch.
Picture this: You’re sitting by the fireplace in a cozy cabin of a restaurant, a sampler of enticing wild game dishes on the menu, and a crashing waterfall just outside the door.
You’ve arrived at 1858 – not only the year, but also the newest restaurant in The Broadmoor’s coterie of eateries. Restaurant 1858 is located at the back of the canyon at Seven Falls, one of Colorado’s oldest natural attractions, and it fills a niche that’s been empty lately in the Pikes Peak region’s dining scene: wild game.
Well, that’s not exactly accurate. It is game, but it’s not wild. It’s all farm-raised and inspected to meet USDA standards. But most people still consider elk, venison, pheasant, boar and the like to be “wild,” since most of it is raised on acreage, not in pens. Farmers augment the animals’ wild diets with such offerings as sweet clover or acorns.
And the menu will include many other influences, says David Patterson, executive sous chef for The Broadmoor and the guy in charge of the new dining venue.
The restaurant is designed with a “gold rush” theme – reflecting the influx of immigrants and Easterners who came west that year looking to get rich. The menu will feature dishes from that period of the Eastern and Southern U.S. – the Carolinas, Virginia and even Patterson’s native Kentucky. You may spot some Creole dishes, too.
We’re talking corn bread, buttermilk biscuits and Parker House rolls. We’re talking fruit cobblers and pies – “a little down-home flair,” he says. And we’re also talking about a Southwestern influence.
“We’re going to make a wild boar green chile – our own version of green chile,” Patterson says.
Much of the menu will be prepared on a wood-fired grill. That signature smoky taste –from pecan, cherry and apple wood – will infuse not only the meats, but also the vegetables. The grill can be raised or lowered over the coals, depending on whether there’s a steak to be charred or a chicken to be smoked.
Patterson plans to access local farmers and ranchers to get the best pork, beef, chicken, lamb, trout and produce to create the 1858 menu.
“I want to use as much local as I can,” he says. And he wants it to reflect the past, but with a contemporary twist.
Restaurant 1858 will serve lunch and dinner – lunch more casual, dinner more upscale.
“If we have smoked chicken on the dinner menu, we might have a pulled chicken sandwich on the lunch menu,” he says.
The décor of Restaurant 1858 also harks back to an earlier time, with dark wooden beams and hardwood floors, stone, cast iron touches and native American artwork.
The new restaurant will seat about 110 people, but has a cozy ambience.
“It reflects our sense of place,” Patterson says. “In all, it will look and feel like Colorado.”
To make a reservation, call 855-440-2462.
THEY’VE GOT GAME, TOO
A handful of Colorado restaurants specialize in “wild” game dishes. They include:
The Buckhorn Exchange, 1000 Osage St., Denver. 303-534-9505. Colorado’s oldest restaurant has every animal you can imagine mounted in taxidermy glory on its walls. And some of them are on the menu, too, including rattlesnake, elk, bison and quail.
The Fort, 19192 Highway 8, Morrison. 303-697-4771. Just west of Denver, near Red Rocks Park, a re-creation of an old Western fort offers a menu featuring unusual and tasty preparations of bison, elk and quail. The 1830s-inspired menu also includes duck, lamb riblets and Rocky Mountain oysters, as well as wild boar sausage. They also pickle their own jalapenos.
The Metate Room in the Far View Lodge at Mesa Verde National Park, 800-449-2288. Both the meats and the accompaniments reflect the region’s heritage. They present corn, squash and beans (grown hundreds of years ago by the ancestral Pueblo Indians) in unique and creative ways. The menu changes every year, but they offer such things as grilled quail on a bed of red chile polenta or a bison rib-eye with cilantro butter and green chile mashed potatoes.