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Fine Dining at The Broadmoor’s Romantic Penrose Room

Chef de Cuisine Maxwell Robbins’ Divine Tasting Menu at the Broadmoor’s Romantic Penrose Room!

Maxwell Robbins, Chef de Cuisine at The Broadmoor‘s award-winning fine dining signature restaurant, the Penrose Room, has impeccable credentials.  A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Robbins interned under culinary legend Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, and subsequently spent almost seven years honing his skills at world-renowned restaurants Per Se in New York City and French Laundry in Napa, the two top establishments of Thomas Keller, the only U.S. chef who has ever earned two 3-star Michelin ratings in the same year.  Awesome training, with a strong focus on classic French, seafood, and contemporary innovative cuisine.

The elegant and romantic  Penrose Room at The Broadmoor Resort

Denis and I recently met Chef Robbins in the magnificent kitchen of the Penrose Room where he served us house-made charcuterie and pâtés, accompanied by fresh figs and house-made chutney and breads along with local and imported cheeses and wines.  Superb!

The Penrose Room at The Broadmoor Resort features live entertainment

After a fascinating conversation about his passion for cooking, we readily understood that this passion encompasses an intense devotion for the finest of ingredients, local, domestic and imported.  The Broadmoor’s own gardens and greenhouses furnish Chef Robbins with a huge assortment of fresh vegetables and herbs while he relies on the talents of the many local purveyors he has cultivated for his fish, meats and dairy products.  So, when he invited us to come the next evening for a tasting menu at the Penrose Room, we knew we were in for an unforgettable experience!

The Penrose Room at The Broadmoor Resort offers stunning views and a fabulous art collection as well as superb food and romantic entertainment

Before I relive the glories of Chef Robbins’ tasting menu, let me set the stage for you …  The only Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond restaurant in Colorado, the Penrose Room offers the authentic evening-on-the town experience which Denis and I love.  Imagine an elegant and spacious restaurant in a beautiful, old-world setting, which, despite its size, has a charming and romantic ambiance and produces superior haute cuisine while offering superbly attentive service, a large dance floor, and live entertainment featuring a singer accompanied by a pianist, a guitar player and a drum player.  Another rarity these days, as too often for a romantic evening out, we have to choose between first class entertainment or first class food and service.  Plus, the music selection is as impressively suited for dancing as it is for background music to create an ideal ambiance for guests who wish to converse while savoring a fine meal.

The Penrose Room at The Broadmoor Resort … the first dancers of the evening!

Envision windows lining the walls on two sides of the restaurant, featuring truly awesome views of the Colorado Rockies.  Spectacular to behold with the sun still shining, but even more dramatic during the glorious sunset.  We sat and sipped our champagne and oohed and aahed over these breath-taking views of the  “purple mountain majesties”.

The Penrose Room at The Broadmoor Resort features a fabulous art collection

Once the sun set, our viewing pleasure continued as we turned to admire the magnificent art collection on the walls, a Broadmoor special feature which we enjoyed throughout the entire resort.  Of course, we also were enchanted as we watched the couples enjoying themselves while dancing, as undoubtedly, the live music is a major attraction for the clientele who readily arise from their chairs and take to the dance floor, entertaining us spectators while they clearly enjoy themselves.  Truly delightful, from the quickstep and swing to cha cha and mambo and more.  Of course, from time to time, when the singer and musicians hit upon one of our favorite songs, Denis and I moved happily from the table to the dance floor.  Even more delightful!

Now, for the culinary action, and the skills of Chef Maxwell Robbins take center stage …

Our tasting menu began with an amuse-bouche.  Traditional you might say, but “simply traditional” is not in Chef Robbins’ vernacular.  After all, first impressions can make or break an experience.

Amuse-bouche of Horseradish panna cotta with confit chicken leg, pickled onion gelée, pearl onions and Dijon mustard

This amuse-bouche of Horseradish Panna Cotta with confit chicken leg, pickled onion gelée, pearl onions and Dijon mustard presented an explosion of flavor and texture in my mouth.  Simply heavenly.  Truly divine.

What a pleasant surprise when a second amuse-bouche arrived!  potato custard with chives to embolden the dish and home-made potato chips … delicious!

And I was just beginning to ponder what would follow for the appetizer when, much to my surprise, a second amuse-bouche appeared, this one a delicate Potato Custard with Chives to embolden the dish, and home-made potato chips for the always exciting crunch and pop of salt in the mouth.  OK, I am smitten.

Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut ​Champagne to accompany the Canapés appetizer

As the sun began to set, our sommelier presented us with a Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut ​Champagne, a smooth velvety blend of pinot meunier, pinot noir and chardonnay.  Just dry enough to harmonize perfectly with our appetizer of four Canapés …​ ​Crab Toast with avocado mousseline, Select Osetra Caviar Parfait with smoked salmon pudding, hen egg mousse, hard​-​boiled hen egg, capers, pickled red onions, and a horseradish mousseline, Deviled Egg of egg terrine with black summer truffle egg mousse, and Citrus-cured Wild Atlantic Striped Bass with lime gel and marinated Broadmoor garden cucumbers.

our appetizer of  four Canapés …​ ​Crab Toast with avocado mousseline, Select Osetra Caviar Parfait, Deviled Egg with black summer truffle egg mousse, and Citrus-cured Wild Atlantic Striped Bass

We toasted the Broadmoor and our extraordinarily talented chef, and we dove in.  Message received.  Our Chef’s passion permeates his food and inspires extremely innovative creations with heavenly textures and divine flavors.  Our favorites from this amazing foursome?  Mine was the Caviar Parfait, while Denis’ was the Crab Toast.

Provençal soupe au pistou à la Max!

​Chef Robbins continued to surprise and enchant us throughout the rest of the evening.  Our soup course featured a light and fresh take on the traditional Provençal soupe au pistou“pistou” being French for the Italian “pesto”.  Robbin’s refined & elegant interpretation of Soupe au Pistou put the emphasis on fresh basil purée infused with a generous amount of ​saffron and olive oil and featured a mirepoix of garden vegetables, including celery stalks and leaves, baby squash and leeks in a light tomato and saffron bouillon with a hint of roasted garlic and fresh baby basil leaves.  A magnificent tribute to basil & saffron … Soupe au Pistou à la Max!

Impeccable service of the Penrose Room at The Broadmoor

Accompanying the soup was a full-bodied, refreshing and elegant Pinot Gris from Villa Wolf  in Germany with fresh herb and floral notes that paired perfectly with the basil and saffron highlights of the soup.

Ahi Thon au Poivre, naval orange supremes, naval orange mostarda, citrus sabayon sauce

Our fish course was a spectacular Ahi Thon au Poivre, which once again reflected Chef Robbins classic French training as well as his personal, innovative style.  Seared with orange & lime salt and accompanied by ​naval orange supremes, red ​veined​ sorrel, citrus sabayon sauce and ​naval orange mostar​d​a … essentially candied fruit with mustard seeds and horseradish to provide​ just the right touch of sweetness​ ​and heat … this dish is a panoply of tastes and textures that totally satisfies.

With its great minerality and herbaceousness and bright and refreshing components such as lime zest, the Hippolyte Reverdy ​Sauvignon Blanc from the Sancerre region in the Loire Valley accentuated the pepper components of the tuna as well as the citrus components of the sabayon sauce.

hand-cut Tagliatelle, Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce,  Australian summer truffles

Next was an extraordinary rich and decadent pasta dish.  We savored every last bite of the Hand-cut Tagliatelle with its creamy Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce and sublime Australian summer truffles.  Yes, “Australian”!  Chef Robbins explained that the Australians have been perfecting their cultivation of these magical mushrooms so that now, Australian truffles, priced very favorably, are strong competitors to those from France.  Impressive!  A full-bodied 2014 Napa Valley Far Niente Chardonnay provided just the right amount of acidity and toasted oak undertones to complement the woodsy essence and balance out the richness of this divine dish.

Organic Poularde, Amaretto Jus, Creamed Corn, Colorado Palisades Peaches

The meat course was an amazing roasted free-range Organic Poularde​ from the fabulous ​Green Circle Farm​s of D’Artagnan.  As sweet and tender as any poulet de Bresse we’ve enjoyed in France, this “fatted hen” was finished off with a divine Amaretto Jus and accompanied by Creamed Corn and Colorado Palisades Peaches sautéed at the peak of their season with a touch of mango for added sweetness.   Superbly complemented by a lively but light and deliciously fruity yet still dry 2012 Dutton Goldfield Zinfandel from​ Morelli Lane Vineyard in Russian River Valley,​ CA.

Tarte Flambee à la Max & Graham ‘s Aged 20 Years Tawny Port … Heavenly!

For the cheese course, Chef Robbins presented us with his version of a Tarte Flambée … an Alsatian specialty that typically is comprised of a thin crust with crème fraîche or fromage blanc, thinly sliced onions and bacon lardons.  Chef Robbins’ take was a thin cracker-like crust topped with bacon, caramelized onion chutney, date, triple crème cheese, a touch of endive salad dressed in olive oil and lavishly finished off with the super Australian black summer truffles.  To pair this divine melange of textures and sweet, savory and woodsy flavors with Graham ‘s Aged 20 Years Tawny Port was simply … heavenly.
Rum Coconut​ Lime puff pastry with lime gelée and lime chantilly was served as “a transitional course moving into dessert”, but it easily masqueraded as an enchanting dessert all on its own.  Light and airy, and capturing the delightful essence of “lime,” we consumed it in no time.

Berry Pound Cake, crusted in coconut, topped with a lime crémeux and almond tuile, Pandan leaf ice cream, raspberry gelée 

The official dessert course followed next … Berry Pound Cake with blackberries, strawberries & raspberries, crusted in coconut, topped with a lime crémeux, almond tuile, ice cream made of Pandan leaf, a plant native to Southeast Asia, and finished off with Crème Chantilly and raspberry gelée.  A true chef d’oeuvre!  Quite an innovative combination of flavors that work marvels together with the variety of textures, from creamy to soft to crunchy.   And like so many of the preceding dishes, from the amuse-bouches on through the transitional dessert, a new original culinary experience that excites and pleases!

2014 Chateau Roumieu Sauternes

Accompanying our dessert extravaganza was a 2014 Chateau Roumieu Sauternes from Bordeaux with a delicate elegance, tropical fruit notes, and  just the right touch of sweetness.

Les Mignardises

As we savored the Sauternes, Les Mignardises arrived for La Grande Finale.  These “petit treats” were made of the finest ingredients, including Valrhona chocolate from France.  Were we still hungry? … No.  Could we resist them?  …Absolutely not!

The Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Throughout this truly divine tasting menu, we experienced how Chef Robbins pursues his passion with devotion, innovation and great artistry.  Full of energy and enthusiasm, he has the expertise and talent to utilize his innovative skills and his love of unique ingredients, course after fabulous course, to personalize his dishes and achieve the level of surprise, excitement and satisfaction he loves to attain.  Pure pleasure for both the Chef and his guests.  Thanks to Chef Robbins and the elegance and charm of the Penrose Room, with its romantic entertainment, inviting dance floor and superb service, we enjoyed an exceptionally blissful evening.  One last dance, and we will be back! 
Many thanks to The Broadmoor and to Chef Maxwell Robbins for this spectacular evening.   As always, our focus at BonVoyageurs is on the joie de vivre we experience when we travel, and all opinions expressed in our articles are our own.
Stay tuned to for our writings about other Countries of the World as we share our joie de vivre from around the world. Luxury escapes, cruises and city breaks to Québec City, New York, Washington, Buenos Aires. In Europe and the Mediterranean, places like Paris and Nice in France, Florence, Rome, Napoli and the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israel. In Asia, countries like China, India, Nepal and so much more!

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Fine Dining at The Broadmoor’s Romantic Penrose Room


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