Friday, November 18, 2011

The Great Pumpkin visits The Broadmoor

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Thanks to a last-minute invite from The Broadmoor, I attended last night's Venetucci Pumpkin Ale party in the West Lobby Bar that we told you about in yesterday's Side Dish column.

The star of the show was of course Bristol Brewing Company's beer:

Its pretty fair to say that Im the most sought after bottle of beer locally.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • It's pretty fair to say that I'm the most sought-after bottle of beer locally.

It was nice to see Venetucci farmer Susan Gordon in attendance, along with folks from the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. The foundation oversees the farm, which is the recipient of proceeds from the beer's sale each year.

Also awesome was to see a totally young crowd — early 30s, tops — comprising the remainder of guests. The fair, $35 ticket price (considering unlimited eats in addition to a 22-ounce bomber per person) clearly made the Broadmoor more accessible to that younger demographic. (Though in fact, the West Lobby Bar boasts a pretty affordable menu all the time now.)

No, its not Shugas or V Bar or The Rabbit Hole ... these young people of Colorado Springs are filling out the West Lobby Bar at the Broadmoor.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • No, it's not Shuga's or V Bar or The Rabbit Hole ... these young people of Colorado Springs are filling out the West Lobby Bar at the Broadmoor.

The atmosphere was appropriately casual for the imbibing of beer, with chef Greg Barnhill cooking at a small service station set up in the lobby's corner.

Barnhill, in tribute to the beer but also because he's a normal user of Venetucci meat and produce on Charles Court's menu, included other fresh ingredients from the farm in his cooking.

In sautéed shrimp and scallops with vegetables, he incorporated Venetucci herbs, and in another light, lovely stir-fry of sorts, the star ingredient was house-made sausage from Venetucci pork.

After going from table-to-table serving a steaming spiced caramel popcorn finished with liquid nitrogen, he again reached for the minus 320-degree liquid (favorite play toy of many chefs that are into molecular gastronomy) and for all who cared to watch up-close, he hand-whipped some pumpkin ice cream with a blend of typical pumpkin pie spices and a kick of whiskey. Fun and tasty performance.

Chef Greg Barnhill whips together a Venetucci pumpkin ice cream with the fun aid of some liquid nitrogen.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Chef Greg Barnhill whips together a Venetucci pumpkin ice cream with the fun aid of some liquid nitrogen.

Pick up next week's Indy on Wednesday, Nov. 23 (out one day early because of Thanksgiving), and turn to our Dine & Dash column for a glimpse of a plate off of the West Lobby Bar's newly released menu. It's probably the last item you'd expect to find at a five-star hotel.

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