Located in Colorado Springs.

Spendy but wonderful. We went there on Friday night to celebrate Ray being out of the house, more or less. A lot of the people I asked about the place hadn’t been there or hadn’t heard of it, which seems like a shame. It’s the painted building just off the east side of the Cimarron bridge.

The place really was a warehouse, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that it was so big inside, but it did. A more-or-less normal dining room is off to the left, with a large, open room on the right for large gatherings. The walls are covered with art, some of it just plan eh, but a lot of good pieces. A few things I’d consider buying if I had the cash–a cubist nude by Stephanie Clair, an impressionist landscape of a factory blowing off steam–Lee liked others. The one we both agreed on, what looked like a Native American buffalo hide, without the hide and not nearly so busy, didn’t have a price or an artist’s name on it. A guy that looked like either the owner or the head chef thanked us for looking at the pictures; apparently most people don’t feel comfortable wandering around and gawking. Or just don’t take the time.

I ordered a strawberry salad with a balsamic reduction and the roasted cranberry-orange pepperduck. Lee had a salad with feta, cranberries, and cashews and the peppercorn-crusted rib eye. We both had beer. I tried to order a Guinness, but they didn’t have any–didn’t have a beer list, as a matter of fact. I asked them to bring something similar, and the waitress said what it was, but I don’t remember the name, and it wasn’t anything close. Too bad; a Guinness would have been perfect.

Lee’s food was good, but mine was better.

The balsamic reduction was the consistency of blood, only darker. It tasted like pepper and anise* and was so strong I had to stop to eat some bread midway through. I’d never had duck before (Lee doesn’t like it). I ended up at a point where I had to budget the existing space in my stomach and had one hushpuppy like an onion ring without the slippery onion, a few roasted tomatoes, three slices of squash, and a small pile of cranberries left. I chose to suck the meat off the duck legs instead (although I did track down a few of the cranberries before I left off). Whether that means I like duck or I just like really good duck, I’ll leave it to you to decide. I would have rather had pomegranate seeds than cranberries, because of the season, but the cranberries worked almost as well.

The service was somewhat slow, but 1) there was a banquet going on in the next room and 2) we didn’t notice. Our waitress didn’t mess around–polite but not obsequious, over-cheerful, or pushy. My only gripe was the lack of beer list.

Lee said, “We should tell Dave and Margie about this place.” Which, to me, says pretty much the same things.

*I looked it up on the menu. It was Sambuca.