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Plate's international cuisine beckons diners to Briargate

click to enlarge Heres lookin at you, chef. - 2007 PETER FECTEAU

I am a Briargate-phobe. Getting on I-25 from downtown and heading through the perpetual Woodmen interchange construction barriers to Briargate Parkway is my idea of hell.

Nothing, really, could draw me to Briargate except for the promise of a new restaurant, especially one as eagerly anticipated as Plate World Cuisine, brainchild of Walter Iser and chef Ryan Blanchard of Walter's Bistro. Talk of Plate's excellence far preceded its existence.

So, to make the trip go down easy, I journeyed to Plate on a Sunday around noon, when construction workers had the day off. Brunch at Plate was a casual affair, with families scattered about the main dining room. A magnificent framed view of Pikes Peak glowed through the front windows, making the place a good choice for either a quiet, leisurely brunch over the Sunday newspaper or a special gathering.

The choices on the Sunday brunch menu reflected, to some degree, the international scope of the dinner menu contemporary stylings of New American, Italian, French, Spanish/Latin American and Japanese fare. A traditional Caesar salad with white anchovies, lobster bisque and a pan-roasted salmon with lobster Newburg sauce, in fact, mimicked the dinner menu. But when it came to ordering, my sons and I opted for more traditional brunch dishes.

Our appetizers, modestly priced at $5 and $6, were a cold smoked salmon plate with buckwheat blini, crme fraiche and scrambled eggs; and Plate's signature blueberry muffin French toast. The salmon was exquisitely smoked with a smooth texture, and the eggs were fluffy and light; the blini was more a soft pancake that lacked the buckwheat bite. The entire plate would have benefited from more than a decorative drizzle of the crme fraiche. The French toast tasted exactly like a blueberry muffin and came with warm maple syrup a nice sweet bite to prime the taste buds.

From the entres, I chose a spinach, portobello mushroom and Boursin cheese omelette with home fries ($8). The omelette got high marks for ample stuffing big slivers of sauted portobella, bright green spinach, barely wilted, and lumps of creamy Boursin but middling marks for texture (the outside egg layer was a bit rubbery). One son ordered apple cinnamon pancakes with bacon ($8), a sweet plate of large, fluffy spice pancakes topped with warm apple compote, served with fresh whipped cream. The only deficit was one that hindered all of our dishes: It needed to be served a bit warmer.

The star of brunch was the steak and eggs plate ($12), a succulent piece of beef tenderloin with two well-prepared poached eggs, bathed in lemony Hollandaise, served alongside home fries and a garnish of crispy marinated green beans. Every element of this plate was superb, and we all agreed that the home fries were unique roasted first, then briefly fried for a crisp brown outer bite.

Briargate or not, I'll likely visit Plate again. Maybe I'll even get brave enough to venture to the hinterland at night and sample that dinner menu.

kathryn@csindy.com

Plate World Cuisine

9420 Briar Village Point #140 (just off Briargate Parkway), 475-8000, platecolorado.com

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch, 5-9 p.m. for dinner.

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