The Steakhouse at Flying Horse satisfies the appetites of members, guests and a hungry public.
The Club at Flying Horse in Colorado Springs exudes elegance, and members enjoy a myriad of outstanding amenities, including a private main dining room. Around mid-November, the club opened The Steakhouse, a newly revamped dining room, granting dinnertime access to non-members. Finally, the public can enjoy beautifully balanced food prepared by the gifted Ketil Larsen.
Born in New York City, Larsen called the Denver area home when he worked in numerous restaurants in both front- and back-of-the-house positions.
In 1993, he moved to Colorado Springs, and took a position at Phantom Canyon Brewing Company, where he won awards and participated in many local galas and charity events. He also assisted in opening eight other brewpubs across the country, using menu items and recipes from his repertoire. Nine years ago, Larsen started at Flying Horse as Chef de Cuisine.
The sleek bar and entry at The Steakhouse at Flying Horse
“Things are booming up here,” he explained. “We want to give the people that live around here something to enjoy.”
The Steakhouse has its own entrance in the beautiful Tuscan-style clubhouse, and much of the outdoor patio has been enclosed, offering more seating with spectacular views of the Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course, Pikes Peak, and the Front Range. It’s a contemporary restaurant, and Larsen is excited to bring new ideas to his current position as Executive Chef.
For starters, the escargot isn’t the standard Bourguignonne recipe of snails cooked in red wine, garlic and butter and placed in store-bought ceramic shells. Rather, Larsen’s technique calls for Pernod and pan-cetta, white wine, garlic and shallots, served with a grilled baguette and a parmesan crisp.
Chef de Cuisine Ketil Larsen
The Roasted Artichoke, with parmesan and lemon butter sauce, rarely appears on a traditional steakhouse menus. The Crispy Garlic and Lemon Butter Calamari, lightly breaded for a crunchy, tender bite, arrives spiced with pepperoncini, cherry peppers and lemon aioli.
Here’s an insider tip: order the Shrimp and Crab Stuffed Tempura Avocado off the bar menu—it’s out of this world, as creative and delicious as it sounds, topped with spicy mayo drizzle and soy glaze.
And the Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio is a revelation. Instead of thinly sliced raw beef obscured by garnishes and wadded into a ball, Larsen uses capers and a coarse mustard aioli with some salt and shallots on each piece—roll your own, put it on a warm crostini and swoon. The Lobster Bisque with chilled shrimp and lobster relish is divine as well—less cream and sherry, more roux and puréed vegetables as a thickener makes for a perfect level of reduction and a serious lobster flavor profile.
For starters: Roasted artichoke with lemon butter sauce
“Trendy” salads are anathema to Larsen, but the Chopped and Shredded Salad is a murderer’s row of robust flavors—shredded Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, black kale, Romaine, carrots, scallions, apples, dried cranberries, brown sugar bacon, goat cheese, toasted sunflower seeds and apple vinaigrette dressing.
True to its name, the Steakhouse menu is heavy on steaks—great 16-ounce prime rib eyes and New York strips. You’ll also find a like-sized All Natural Bison New York Strip—lean but melt-in-your-mouth tender (order it cooked to no more than medium rare). There’s a stellar grass-fed filet mignon, and the 32-ounce porterhouse is a meal for two—unless you’re, well, me. At first, Larsen bought pre-portioned steaks; now the chefs cut their own. “We set the broiler for steaks at 1400 degrees, so we always get a fantastic char,” the chef notes. All-Natural Colorado Lamb Rib Chops and the Tomahawk Pork Chop are delicious options.
Seafood gets more than a nod with the 8-ounce Maine Cold Water Lobster Tail. Larsen doesn’t serve it—or any dish—with drawn butter, preferring a creamy lemon butter sauce—basically a beurre fondue, an emulsified blend of water and melted butter.
The peanut butter mousse wrapped in a chocolate ramekin
If you’re tired of farm-raised fish, try the Organic Shetland Island Salmon Fillet. Sustainably raised in lower-density pens in ocean waters near Scotland, it’s great pan-roasted. Larsen’s take on the Japanese classic Miso Glazed Black Cod has a sweet and savory taste and a texture to die for, baked until the meat flakes and served with baby bok choy, dashi and daikon.
Even the side dishes are innovative. The Creamy Grits are prepared with white cheddar and chives, and they’re perfect, tender…and Larsen’s kitchen secret, dammit. There’s an exquisite selection of homemade desserts. Few culinary feats make me happier than when a chef nails a crème brûlée, but it was topped by his Peanut Butter Mousse Cup.
The stunning full-service bar pours hand-crafted, reasonably priced specialty cocktails. I enjoyed a “Chairman of the Board” Manhattan, made with Breckenridge bourbon and garnished with a razz cherry—a cherry that’s dried, rehydrated with raspberry juice, and dried again. Zing! There’s also an extensive list of old and new world wines. Check out the awesome four-story spiral-staircased “wine tower,” where members can locker their favorite bottles.
“We’ve learned a lot in three-and-a-half months, and we’re going to get even better,” Larsen vows. That’s a high standard for a dining experience I’ll dub “grand Larsen-y.” The only crime would be to miss out on it.
More info: 719-487-2635 or flyinghorseclub.com
Chef de Cuisine Ketil Larsen