New Year at the Sundance

Lisa and I both wanted to bring in the New Year in a special way. We knew we’d spend it together but wanted a unique experience. We both had enjoyed the Sundance Dining room in 2015 and so decided to greet 2016 in the same way. Here’s how it went.
Lisa dressed up like she does and I wore something other than a t-shirt so we were ready for a special time. It was reservation only so I reserved a table for us at 5:30 that evening. If there was one thing I would improve about the Sundance Dining room experience it would be automated reservations or someone to answer the phone on a more regular basis-a small detail. We arrived just a bit early and were shown to a table.

The menu for the evening included hors d’oeuvres, a main course and dessert. Lisa later described the whole meal to her mother and I thought it was descriptive enough that we should use snippets of their conversation to describe the meal. Here’s Lisa; “The appetizer we ordered was crustini bread w/elk tenderloin on it. The appetizer consisted of 5 crustini slices with elk on top, a strip of red bell pepper and a sprig of chive. This was laid out on a narrow plate.” Lisa and I shared the Crustinis and they were awesome. The Elk had such a deep, complex flavor and the contrast of the tender meat with the crusty bread was awesome. Taste is obviously an important element to any food but consistency is also part of the experience. The contrast in consistency makes me really think about what I am eating plus it slows me down enough that I more fully enjoy the taste.

I am going to make a slight breach in etiquette and speak about the dessert prior to the Entrée. It was Crème Brulee. Not too sweet and so perfectly presented in a simple mason jar. I crave simple, well-balanced flavors and the Brulee delivered. Lisa and shared it.
Most meals I eat out of our home are good. However, I rarely think about the meal longer than the time it takes to again become hungry. This was a meal that sustained my mind much longer than the time it sustained my body. The heavy lifting for this sustenance was performed by the entrée. Here again, I will rely on Lisa’s description of the meal to her mother. “The entrée we both ordered was filet mignon w/salmon. It looked like a round pyramid. It began from the bottom with truffle mashed potatoes. Laid across the potatoes were 4 spears of asparagus, on top of that sat the filet mignon w/the bacon wrapped salmon. A blackberry butter sauce was drizzled over the top of the salmon w/2 big blackberries on top.”

Okay, here’s how I eat steak. I place a fork into the steak at angle to the grain and cut along the backside of the fork so I get the most tender bite. I tried this with the filet but kept rotating the filet and made my cuts at unfavorable angles. No matter what I did, it was perfectly tender. The Sundance makes steak perfectly as it is dark on the outside then quickly fades to gray and finally a light pink. The salmon was firm and delicious but what really tied it all together was the maple blackberry butter. I think a great chef must also be a pretty good scientist ad skilled at observation in order to take a flavor from each part of an entrée and then tie those flavors together in a sauce that is friendly to all participants on the plate. It was all so good. Lisa and I were amazed at the size of the blackberries and how these plump pieces of fruit made perfect sense on the plate.

I decided the write a second review of the Sundance the day after our meal. I was still thinking about the food the next day. It is that good. I suspect the cost is a bit more than you might typically pay but while the meal may last no longer than any other, the experience is long-lived and rewarding. I spend most of my life within the same 23 mile radius of space so to have this level of food within that portion of geography is very rewarding. Thank you Robin, Nathan AND STAFF for another great eating experience!

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