Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Real World

My apologies for my absence this last week, but Valentine's Day and my lovely spouse's birthday fall within the same seventy-two-hour span and demand my full attention. It's worth it. But it puts a dent in my attention to the digital world.

I will say though, for my thousands of readers in Colorado Springs (I could be overestimating that by 999 or so), there's a new restaurant on the block that is going to be a success and then some. Plate Cuisine opened back around November and it is, by far, the best thing going on the north end of town. We've been there for drinks and made dinner of the appetizers from the bar menu while tucked into a cushiony corner with friends and racking up a respectable bar tab. And Wednesday, we visited for Valentine's dinner, having made reservations a month ago. I can't recall having had, ever actually, so exquisite a meal for so reasonable a price.

We began (well, okay, I began with Woodford Reserve, it having recently begun to rival Russell's Reserve as my favorite bourbon, since a friend recommended Woodford during a rum tasting a few months ago at The Blue Star) with appetizers of lobster bisque for her, Ahi sashimi and seared foie gras for me. We followed that with a jicama salad with cilantro/habanero dressing for her and a more mundane yet delicious traditional Caesar with white anchovies for me. Normally, we would have ordered different things as a main course and shared, but neither was willing to budge from the Chilean Sea Bass in an ever-so-delicate lobster cream sauce, which turned out to be the right call, since neither would have really wanted to sample or share had the other ordered something else. For dessert, a chocolate torte and a classic creme brulee with coffee was a perfect finish. The entire meal was complimented by glasses of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay (there are few wine cellars in Colorado Springs to rival The Blue Star's, and Plate's doesn't begin to, but the cooks--ah, they're really on a par, I think, and Plate may even have an edge). The more I think of it, the more impressed I am with this new kid on the Colorado Springs culinary block. I've paid twice or three times as much for meals in Napa or Sonoma that weren't a whit better, and maybe not so good. Plate Cuisine wins my highest recommendation.