The Craftwood Inn in Manitou Springs was built in 1912. Its rich heritage stems from the artists and craftsmen of the time. This beautiful English Country Tudor building became home to restaurants starting in 1940.
General Manager EJ Kelley now guides the cuisine and atmosphere of The Craftwood Inn along with Brother Luck, its renowned and highly decorated chef. Chef Luck takes the opportunity to meet with all of his guests and to explain the intricacies of his sophisticated cuisine.
We started with the Craftwood Inn Tapas featuring Pheasant Confit Arancini, Smoked Duck Sausage, and Wild Game Meatballs. All of these appetizers are sumptuous, but the Duck Sausage rose to the top as it has a little more of the savory fat that makes the duck tender and juicy.
For salads, both the Roasted Beet Mosaic with Herb Chevre, orange segments and toasted Pistachios in an herb emulsion and the Spiced Apples and Fresh Figs were light, fresh and a wonderful combination of flavors.
The Butternut Squash Bisque is a must have for those who love bisque. This creamy soup is topped with a Creme Fraiche and just melts in your mouth. It is creamy and rich, but yet not too filling-which brings us to entrees.
The Craftwood Inn is known for its use of high end wild game and exotic meats. EJ combs the globe to find rare delicacies to serve as specials. We tried the Rocky Mountain Elk with roasted apple risotto, crushed hazelnuts, fontina, wild mushrooms, arugula and a dusting of Nutella powder. The Elk is tender and juicy seared to perfection. The risotto is a wonderful compliment to this great cut of meat.
The Nilgai Antelope is served over white cheddar whipped potatoes with roasted butternut squash, caramelized brussel sprouts (a table favorite) and black olive dust. The Antelope is surprisingly tender and mild. It has a unique, yet succulent flavor and is part of a truly comprehensive dish.
The Bison Short Ribs are a very popular item and with good reason. Served with grilled candied yams, torched marshmallows, pickled root vegetables, and chef Luck’s root beer molasses, this dish is beautiful to look at and beautiful to eat. This dish was loved by all for its succulant, fall of the bone, bison and the wonderful compliment of the molasses. We were most impressed by Chef Luck’s deft hand in combining exotic meats, sauces and accompaniments in order to create complete and wonderful dishes.
If you have not tried or been to The Craftwood Inn lately, FoodieClicks very highly recommends that you spend a romantic evening there.