This wasn’t the same dinner environment we had experienced a decade earlier, when delicious meals created by Broadmoor Technical Center’s culinary students were served amid cafeteria surroundings.
Today the culinary program’s Broadmoor Bistro is an upscale restaurant full of curved walls, fine linens and windows onto a kitchen that would be the envy of any culinary professional.
And the food tastes equally good. When our boss invited us to dinner there, last week, we were happy to oblige.
Our server was welcoming and very willing to check on our menu questions when she didn’t know the answers herself. Customers filled many tables by the time we ordered. We sampled homemade bread and jam with whipped butter, while choosing two items, each, from the Picked Fresh menu.
My Arugula Salad plate featured a fig placed atop a small mound of smoked blue cheese, with cinnamon brioche streusel spread decoratively in-between, while the inventive Smoked Missouri Trout plate paired bite-sized pieces of trout with several pale pink beet pancakes as well as roasted baby beets, horseradish and a micro-green salad.
Several of us nearly swooned over the gorgeous Butternut Squash Soup — a velvety smooth dish topped with maple cream and a bright green peppercress. Roasted apple bits added punches of texture and sweetness. I reluctantly put my spoon down only to “save room” for my entrée.
It was worth the wait. Another warm and cozy offering on this chilly night, my Pumpkin Ravioli dish also featured braised rabbit and tiny, ultra-soft Brussels sprouts. Chardonnay mustard beurre blanc and a large helping of grated Parmesan added more flavor.
My dinner companion’s entrees included a healthy portion of Pan Roasted Sturgeon with skin on, served atop linguine and garden vegetables, in rich seafood beurre blanc with several small shrimp for accents — although our server told us, before taking the order, that black cod would be substituted for sturgeon this evening.
The woman beside me ordered Oxtail Stew. Her plate featured a large helping of mashed baby potatoes topped with deep brown stew and a handful of microgreens. Heirloom root vegetables and roasted cipollini onions also bathed in the Zinfandel-infused sauce. Others savored Seared Duck Breast, whose huckleberry-peppercorn syrup also flavored Heartland grains and broccoli raab.
Despite how full we all felt, dessert was a must, especially after seeing the dessert case beside the hostess desk as we entered the restaurant. One member of our party who avoids gluten ordered the flourless chocolate cake — and several of us followed her lead because of how good it looked in the case. We weren’t disappointed. Dense, fudge-like chocolate ‘cake’ sandwiched ultra-fresh-tasting fruit and berry compote.
Ordered from the menu, a small scoop of Bread Pudding arrived beside a large swath of stewed peaches, and a swirl of fresh whipped cream. Bourbon anglaise sauce added a touch of flavor. Sweet potato pie was another offering. Maple cream and ginger walnut ice cream also accompanied the crust-less pie.
By the time we departed, the five of us had dined and conversed for almost two hours and the time had flown. The only things missing from our evening were a hefty price tag and a glass of great wine to complement our meal.
Broadmoor Bistro serves the public on most Wednesday evenings throughout the school year. Reservations are strongly recommended. Meals are $30 and under, plus gratuity and tax.
Lisa Waterman Gray is a freelance writer based in Overland Park. She specializes in food and travel writing.