Visitors to Colorado Springs don’t have to go far for a sumptuous meal. The city has many fine restaurants, including four in the north end of town. Check them out next time you’re in the area to visit the U.S. Air Force Academy or hike in Garden of the Gods.
Another newcomer to the dining scene is MoZaic at the equally new Inn at Palmer Lake. An indoor waterfall and mountain views capitalize on the Colorado atmosphere.
Standard menu items range from steaks (treated in unexpected ways, such as rib eye crusted with Parmesan cheese), to some unusual dishes, such as the ultra-rich wild boar ravioli. Gourmet vegetarian dishes also are menu standards.
“We wanted to create a comfortable, non-pretentious but classy restaurant,” says owner Al Fritts. “We also wanted to offer a mix on the menu that would appeal to both conservative and adventurous diners.”
MoZaic, 443 Highway 105, Palmer Lake; (719) 481-1800; restauranteur.com/mozaic. Dinner entrees range from about $14 to $29.
One of the longtime restaurants is The Margarita at Pine Creek, which for more than 30 years has offered daily surprises to diners. The restaurant has no set menu. Every day, the dishes are different, based on what’s fresh and available — locally grown, if possible. The name sounds like a Mexican restaurant, but, rather, it reflects the architecture, reminiscent of an old hacienda.
Soups and salads are offered for lunch, as well as such items as butternut squash gnocchi with gorgonzola cream and the occasional Southwestern dish. Dinner includes three prix-fixe menus; diners can opt for three or five courses. There’s usually a beef entree, a seafood or fish entree, and a third that is crafted by the chef, often featuring poultry or wild game. Vegetarians are always accommodated, too. Almost everything is organic and super-fresh.
Owner Pati Burleson says: “If it were possible, we would use only things grown in Colorado. Eric (Viedt, the chef) is so interested in using organic. It’s all just better — and better for you.”
Margarita at Pine Creek, 7350 Pine Creek Road, Colorado Springs; (719) 598-8667; coloradoeats.com/margarita. A three-course prix-fixe dinner is about $28; five courses cost about $35.
The Marigold Cafe & Bakery sounds casual — and it is, until you look at the menu. The food is definitely upscale. You can get a scrumptious breakfast, lunch or dinner here for a reasonable price.
Try the amazing lamb or perfectly cooked and seasoned steaks or fish. Sauces are the specialty of French-born chef Dominique Chavanon, and the French bread may be the best in town, thanks to his wife and master baker Elaine. The owners oversee both front of the house and the kitchen every day.
Save room for one of Marigold’s delectable desserts, including the double or triple chocolate mousse tortes and a fresh fruit tart with pastry cream. Top it all off with a pretty impressive wine list, and you have a memorable dining experience.
Marigold Café & Bakery, 4605 Centennial Blvd., Colorado Springs; (719) 599-4776; http://www.marigoldcoloradosprings.com/index.html. Dinner entrees range from $16 to $28.
Linda DuVal is a freelance writer in Colorado Springs.
From the Editors: We spent a heap of time making sure this story was accurate when it was published, but of course, things can change. Please confirm the details before setting out in our great Centennial State.
If You Go
Located at the Inn at Palmer Lake. The moZaic Restaurant serves classical European Cuisine with a nuovo flair.
443 Highway 105, Palmer Lake; (719) 481-1800; http://innatpalmerdivide.com/dining.html
Hours: Lunch Tue-Sat 11 am to 2 pm, Dinner Tue-Thurs 5 pm to 9pm, Sunday Brunch 9:30-1:30
The Margarita at Pine Creek
7350 Pine Creek Road
Colorado Springs CO 80919
The Marigold Cafe & Bakery
4605 Centennial Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
(719) 599-4776 phone
(719) 262-9521 fax
Marigold is open Monday – Saturday for: