Plum Creek Golf Course has steadily been creating a reputation for more than just well-manicured putting greens. Somewhat of a local golfer’s secret, the Chop House at Plum Creek is becoming the go-to place to partake in eating an outstanding cut of beef. Intrigued by the growing buzz from friends, our interests were peaked to indulge in some surf and turf on the green.
Since it was parents night out, I wanted to make the best of our time, minus the usual tugging on my pant legs. Rather than heading straight to the Chop House for our anticipated dinner, we chose to first take advantage of the daily happy hour at the neighboring Plum Creek Grill (It shares the same building) from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Upon entering the grill, I was immediately impressed by the gorgeous views of Castle Rock. Unfortunately, all the patio tables were filled, so we nabbed some seats near the windows in the grill—which still lent a scenic view. The grill had a relaxing atmosphere that felt casual with a good mix of both golfing and non-golfing patrons. And the time of day presented us with a spectacular color show as the sun began setting in the backdrop of my drink sipping.
As happy hour came to a close, we paid our staggering tab of $9, and it was onto phase two of our date. We chose to break from the usual routine of table dining, taking two open seats at the corner of the bar. Quickly, we found out it was a good choice with the winning personality of our server/bartender permeating the air. Freddy was lively, but not overbearing, as he entertained us with his dry humor and display of catch phrases in both Italian and Russian.
In between our banter, we took his suggestion to pick Beef Carpaccio ($10) as our starter. As I read the description, I was especially intrigued by the incorporation of grana—-a cheese similar to parmesan–as well as the preparation of the capers, which came fried. Sounded great to me.
While waiting, we chuckled at how the soft lighting made us, and everyone else, look fabulously younger, while we passed the time chatting with nearby patrons about baseball on the television behind the bar. While some might assume the televisions to be distracting, they are both small and the sound is kept low, so it didn’t appear to be bothersome to those wanting to have a more romantic date. Simply ask for a table that doesn’t face a T.V.
The conversation continued to blossom and Freddy brought over a fresh basket of bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. The sliced bread tasted fresh with a nice touch of sourdough tartness. A few more minutes passed and our eyes we readily impressed by the arrival of a plate of skillfully sliced beef carpaccio.
Garnished with a handful of leafy greens, the artistic presentation of the hors d’oeuvre was drizzled with brown butter aioli and topped with scattered bits of red onion, fried capers, and shaved cheese. As hoped, the fresh diced onions gave a kick to the beef and the salty, crispy capers blended with the sweet sauce to create a savory flavor that melted the carpaccio in my mouth.
Devouring the last sliver, I picked up the menu to choose a main dish. Slightly full from the preceding drinks, bread, and appetizer, sharing a dish sounded like a fantastic idea. Though we had our hearts set on trying the rib eye, I did consider ordering the Alaskan Salmon atop herbed risotto. It had been a favorite meal on a previous visit!
Looking through the list, I could see that many of the expected fine dining favorites were present among the dinner choices. “We have a core menu of steak, pork chops, and seafood,” said Mike Bennett, General Manager for Plum Creek Golf Course. And many of the dishes can be slightly tweaked if needed. The kitchen is happy to try to satisfy most special diets.
But rather than veer too far off the path, we decided to stick to our guns and split the Dry Aged Rib Eye ($36)…with a side of lobster tail ($15). “The 28 day Dry Aged Ribeye is a must,” added Bennett. “We likely would recommend sharing a bottle of 2012 Smith-Madrone Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. On that evening, we passed on the bottle of wine, because we didn’t want anything else to take up the room we had been saving for the steak!
I was also eager to see how the rib eye and its accompaniments would be prepared by Chef Mike Hendricks. His skillful reputation had followed him from his previous position at the popular restaurant housed in the Bear Dance Golf Club in Larkspur.
To our surprise, the dinner we were sharing arrived on two plates, beautifully split right down the middle! The thick 14 oz. rib eye had been thoughtfully divided by the kitchen, along with the lobster tail, green beans and loaded potato (they gave us a loaded potato each). It was a very nice and unexpected touch!
As I cut into the medium-rare steak, I could see and smell that it was about to rock my world. Not only was every bite flavorful, from the rich quality of the meat, I could taste that the steak had the perfect amount of marbling to make the rib eye extra juicy. Hitting this one out of the park, it is easy to see why the rib eye resonates as the favorite cut of beef for many.
I then moved on to my plump half-lobster tail. Dipped in melted butter, each little morsel of meat danced from my fork to my mouth and made me smile with every bite. It was not over-cooked by any means and had a nice expected sea-salty taste. I also liked that the side of sauteed green beans still retained some crunch.
Last, though pretty stuffed, I moved on to try the loaded baked potato. As I knew might put me over the edge–with all the toppings butter, bacon, sour cream, and chives–I only took a few bites, to avoid getting over-filled on the mixture of comfort. Though it was deliciously tasty, I was happy that I had gone for the steak, lobster, and green beans at the outset of my meal.
Dessert was out of the question, on this occasion, but I have to share that this is not our first time to eat at the chop house. On a previous evening, I have saved room to order their cheesecake to finish things off. I can confidently say that both the size and taste rival the best cakes from the cheesecake factory!
For interested parties, we would recommend dining early between 4:30 and 5:30 to get immediately seated. If you can’t call at least a day ahead for a reservation. And for those dining with elderly parents or have a disability that requires being dropped off at the entrance, know that the parking lot might be a bit of a hike. Make sure that you have another person if needed, to park the car up the hill. There is a side walk for walkers or wheelchairs, however, it might be steep for some.
Our second visit to enjoy the Chop House at Plum Creek went off without a hitch. Our date was a nice getaway, with the beautiful scenery taking some edge off the day. The rib eye and lobster tail were impressively satisfying and the service was memorable–in a good way–as one would expect from a ‘fine’ dining establishment. For a party of two expect to pay around $100 dollars for the entire meal and try to get a sitter for the night…unless you want to hang at the grill, which is a second tasty option on the course.
The Chop House at Plum Creek
331 Players Club Drive
Castle Rock, CO 80104
(303) 660-2200 x 5
Summer hours of operation:
Thursday thru Saturday, 4:30pm to 9pm.
*Take advantage of their early dinner reservation promotion. All dinner reservations booked between 4:30 and 5:30pm will receive a FREE Appetizer OR ½ off bottle of wine from our select list with the purchase of two entrees.*