Worth the Trip: The Pullman

December 12 2011, 11:30 AM

Could the Pullman, a small 80-seat restaurant in Glenwood Springs, measure up to the expectations that being on Esquire's Best New Restaurants list demand?

For the most part, yes. This casual American spot by Mark Fischer (Six89, Phat Thai) sits in a historic building across from the train station. The lunch menu takes staples such as grilled cheese and pulled pork sandwiches and puts creative spins on them: The grilled cheese benefits from shredded short ribs, fontina, and tangy Dijon; the pulled pork arrives on a house-made English muffin and is layered with braised pears. The chicken banh mi, however, was disappointing in that the normally crisp flavors of funky kimchee and crunchy veggies were barely perceptible and were overwhelmed by the sesame seed bun. The bacon beignets—served with maple crema and scallion salad—were promising but fried in oil that was too hot, lending a burnt note to the already smoky starter.

Will I go back? Absolutely, if only for the perfect house-cut fries topped with a shaving of Parmesan and the stunning eggnog budino's (pictured) layers of salted caramel, pudding, and sweet cream. Next time, I'll opt for the bigger plates (namely, the autumn cianfotta with Parmesan broth) to see if Fischer's characteristically clean and bright flavors come through.

Bonus: A Denver outpost of Phat Thai opens in Fillmore Plaza on the 14th.

330 Seventh St., Glenwood Springs, 970-230-9234