Thursday, November 11, 2010

UPDATE: Il Postino ready to deliver

Posted By on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 9:56 AM

The Wyndham Hotel Group finally got around formally announcing their expansion into Colorado Springs with a press release this morning.

For those new to the project, the release details the specifics of the actual building as well as the expanded dining options that will follow the recently opened Il Postino.

Here are some excerpts:


Located at 8 S. Nevada Avenue, the Mining Exchange, a Wyndham Grand Hotel is set in four historic buildings dating from the early 20th century, including the 110-year-old Mining Exchange, which was built in 1900 by Winfield Scott Stratton and served as the primary stock exchange for the western United States. The property, owned and operated by Mining Exchange Group, LLC, is currently under development and is expected to open in the second quarter of 2011 ...

The hotel’s design, from owner Perry R. Sanders, Jr., and Colorado Springs-based Bobby Hill Designs, will infuse historic architecture with modern accommodations. The Mining Exchange building will serve as the hotel’s main building, housing 57 of the hotel’s guest rooms. To reflect their original grandeur, each of the historic buildings is being renovated, including the Mining Exchange building’s unique, solid granite exterior perimeter walls, which have been uncovered and exposed inside and out.

The luxury hotel’s 119 guest rooms, including two presidential, 12 grand and 35 junior suites, will be elegantly appointed with hand-crafted furnishings, flat screen televisions, 12-foot ceilings, travertine and granite floors and matching, custom granite countertops throughout the room and bathroom.

Upon entering the hotel, an ornate walk-in vault will be the focal point of the lobby. X300, the property’s on-site restaurant, will serve an impressive variety of 100 beers, 100 wines and 100 tapatizers™, or small, tapas-style plates. Guests will also have in-house access to Il Postino, an Italian restaurant featuring Mediterranean dishes, located in the Independence Building, Colorado Springs’ first post office, on Pikes Peak Avenue ...

The Art Deco-style Municipal Utilities Building will be connected to the hotel by a skyway and will provide over 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. The space will feature two board rooms, three ballrooms, on-site meeting planner’s office and fully functioning broadcast studio.

The hotel’s convenient location puts guests within close proximity to Colorado Springs’ top attractions, including the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, one of the nation’s three U.S. Olympic Training Centers, the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters and the nearby United States Air Force Academy. The picturesque city sits at the foot of Pikes Peak, one of America’s most famous landmarks, where visitors can ride a cog railway, hike the peak’s 14,000-foot summit or view stunning red rock formations at the Garden of the Gods Park.

——— PREVIOUS POST, 2:34 P.M., MONDAY, OCT. 18 ———

I just spoke to Mining Exchange Hotel partner Perry Sanders Jr., who confirmed that he has just finalized a franchise agreement with the Wyndham hotel chain, earning its prestigious Wyndham Grand title for his new Nevada Avenue venture.

Here's how the company describes the "grand" title:

Wyndham Grand Collection is the crown jewel of the Wyndham family. Situated in key destinations around the world, each Wyndham Grand Hotel is a one-of-a-kind experience with a compelling local flavor.

The new, full name for the upcoming hotel will be: The Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel.

Sanders calls the move "a very big deal ... this is an exclusive flag that's very difficult to get."

Sanders and team spent more than a year working with Wyndham on this, he says, noting that his crew had also been courted by just about every other major hotel chain. The hotel group had to send out an international inspector to "walk every square inch," checking aspects such as ceiling height and amenities. Hotel service must meet a minimum of four-star quality to achieve the grand title.

"I'm so excited about this," says Sanders. "Now we've got an 800-pound gorilla on our side."

——- ORIGINAL POST, 12:25 p.m., MONDAY, Oct. 18 ——-

I attended a small, soft opening celebration/dry-run at Il Postino this past Saturday night, the day before service opened to the public.

Il Postinos modern lights are one of the dining rooms coolest features. The space is very warm and pretty.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Il Postino's modern lights are one of the dining room's coolest features. The space is very warm and pretty.

The venture is the first phase of the Mining Exchange Hotel to open; click here to take a look at the venture about a month before its opening.

Mining Exchange Hotel partners Raphael Sassower (left) and Perry Sanders Jr. sported plenty of excitement over Il Postinos opening as phase one for the larger hotel project.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Mining Exchange Hotel partners Raphael Sassower (left) and Perry Sanders Jr. sported plenty of excitement over Il Postino's opening as phase one for the larger hotel project.

Something seldom if ever seen on an affordable fine dining menu: icons for which sports these dishes pair well with, calorie counts and vegan, vegetarian and gluten- and lactose-free symbols for easy ordering:

Screen_shot_2010-10-18_at_10.00.23_AM.png

Through a door past Il Postinos open kitchen, youll find a banquet room that will also serve as a new art gallery with periodic shows. The angel in this photo was attending a masquerade ball in the space on Saturday night.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Through a door past Il Postino's open kitchen, you'll find a banquet room that will also serve as a new art gallery with periodic shows. The angel in this photo was attending a masquerade ball in the space on Saturday night.

Do you know this face? Jenny worked for Raphael when he owned the Warehouse, and has since done stints at Amuze Bistro and Slaytons. Shes now managing at Il Postino, which includes the creative development of the outfits wine list.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Do you know this face? Jenny worked for Raphael when he owned the Warehouse, and has since done stints at Amuze Bistro and Slayton's. She's now managing at Il Postino, which includes the creative development of the outfit's wine list.

Also unique, the higher-price entrée section of the menu is one of the smallest and half of the dessert list is gluten-free:

Screen_shot_2010-10-18_at_9.59.44_AM.png

Chef Jeff Gebotts Rosemary Citrus Shrimp Skewers, served skewered on a rosemary twig next to a hot chili orange dipping sauce.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Chef Jeff Gebott's Rosemary Citrus Shrimp Skewers, served skewered on a rosemary twig next to a hot chili orange dipping sauce.

Since this was a special invite to a soft opening, it is not fair to make any public critique on Il Postino's food or service at this time. We'll reserve our criticisms and praise for our standard, formal review down the road. So for now, let these photos do the talking ...

The gluten-free carrot cake with a light cream cheese frosting.

View Il Postino's full-size PDF menu below:
MenuOne.pdf
MenuTwo.pdf

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