Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Inglenook

Every little Inglenook and Cranny

Finally!  We picked a restaurant that was not in downtown Denver!  Not only were we able to branch out and travel north of Denver to beautiful Loveland, Colorado but we were also able to share the experience with a group of Maniacs who live in Northern Colorado.  Thank you Carolynn, Karen, Rhawnie, Kerry, Heather, Jennifer, and Kim for joining us at The Inglenook.  You guys are awesome!

The Inglenook is located on Cleveland Avenue in downtown Loveland.  It can be easily spotted by a pair of adorable awnings that cover the outdoor patio proudly displaying the word "bistro".  It is locally owned which is something we love to hear, and we had the privilege of speaking to the owner of the restaurant, Rod .  He described the food as made from scratch, new American cuisine.

We asked Rod how he came up with the name Inglenook.  He explained to us that when it came time to name the restaurant, he gathered his family together and told them they could pick the name only if they followed a few rules.  Those rules were the following:  it could not be a proper name,  it could not be a word ending in the letter "S", and it could not named after a type of food.  This way, he could change the cuisine and menu whenever he wanted without restriction.  That makes perfect sense to us.

The restaurant is a smaller, intimate space with low lighting and beautiful, relaxing colors on the walls.  Upbeat, international type music plays in the background at a reasonable level allowing patrons to hold a conversation without yelling at each other.

In true MenuManiacs style, our party quickly grew from 6 to 9 unexpectedly causing the staff to move us around to a larger table by the bar.  We were not upset by this.  Cosmopolitans, shots of whiskey, and several glasses of Malbec made their way to our table to get the dinner started.  In addition to being the owner, Rod seems to do double duty as the bartender and we have to admit, the man makes a mean Cosmo!  Good job, buddy.

Appetizers were ordered with wild abandon.  Crab Cakes, Artichoke Dip, Shrimp and Mushrooms.  Undoubtedly the favorite pre-meal warm up was the olive tapenade and nita crisps.  Several people at the table were decidedly non olive but even they had to admit it was delicious.  A lovely blend of salty olives and a slight dash of citrus.  Fantastic!

Thai Spinach Salad
Several salads were ordered as well.  The Iceberg Wedge, The Thai Spinach, and House Salads were all wonderful; however, the most interesting and flavorful portion of the salad course was the Orange Jalapeno Salad Dressing which was very unexpected but delightful.

Seafood Newburg
The Inglenook has a nicevaried menu as far as main courses go.  Lobster Ravioli, Bistro Steak, Roasted Duck, Seafood Newburg, Pecan Encrusted Salmon, Beef Short Ribs and Inglenook Crispy Baked Chicken were all brought to the table to be fought over like it was a cabbage patch doll in the eighties.  (Look it up if you don't know what that means.  I'll wait.)...................OK.  We liked the Seafood Newburg the best because it had a beautiful, rich, creamy sauce that was out of this world.

Roasted Duck
Pecan Encrusted Salmon
Bistro Steak
Lemon Sorbet
Dessert consisted of Chocolate Caramel Cake, Lemon Sorbet, Bread Pudding, and Crème Brulee which wasn't on the menu but was a special of the night.  Those of you who have been reading our blog religiously know just how much we love, love, love crème Brulee.  After saying that, the favorite dessert for the night was their lemon sorbet.  Light and refreshing after a large meal.

Our server, Rachel was wonderful and handled all of us with grace and professionalism.  She didn't skip a beat when our group had to parade in a single line all the way through the restaurant to our larger table.  It says a lot when somebody can handle those spur of the moment changes without losing their cool.  Rachel, you were wonderful.  Thank you so much for a beautiful evening.

We closed the place down, people.  We really enjoyed the evening and are happy to say that there really are excellent restaurants that exist outside the Denver area.  The Inglenook is definitely worth a drive to Loveland to spend an evening exploring what this adorable Colorado restaurant has to offer.

To all our Maniacs that came out to share this experience with us, Rod, Rachel, and staff of The Inglenook, we thank you for a fantastic meal and exceptional evening.  You are all perfection.  We proudly give the Inglenook a fork.

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The Officially Unofficial Voting Legend
Take it with a grain of salt, we're not professionals.
Awesome place, we’ll shovel more food in our face!
It was okay. Not our favorite, but we’ll take another stab at it.
Didn’t make the cut.