Towering high above the city with epic views, dazzling decor, and innovative cuisine, Lumen8 Rooftop Social on the eighth floor of the dual-branded Springhill Suites and Element by Marriott is bringing a new dining experience to Colorado Springs.
More than simply a hotel eatery, this chic, upscale restaurant in the heart of downtown offers American contemporary fare that’s locally sourced and seasonally driven and a team dedicated to giving each guest the experience of a lifetime.
Enter this sleek, modern space with its floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping city views, and you can feel it: an engaging staff, soft mood lighting, and tables perfect for conversation over small plates and shareables. Steps away, the rooftop patio adds unobstructed views of the front range from Pikes Peak to Garden of the Gods, made even more dramatic at night with glowing firepits, multitiered lighting, and bubbling globes.
“There’s no other place like this in the Springs,” says Chris Starkus, director of food and beverage for Lumen8. “We are the highest rooftop patio with food and beverage service that has outside access in Colorado Springs.” And the entire downtown from Weidner Field to the Pikes Peak Center and beyond lies at your feet waiting to be explored—and with validated parking no less. “We want to be your conduit to that experience downtown.”
But How’s the Food?
Say you’ve been climbing with the family at CityROCK, and they’re hungry for a casual meal. Come on up for a thick, juicy burger and an old-fashioned root beer float with handmade ice cream.
Maybe you and your friends are off to an event at the Pikes Peak Center, and you’d like some nibbles before the show. Start out on the rooftop patio and dine on oysters and champagne, then return after curtain call for dessert and some after-dinner drinks.
If it’s date night, and you’d like to impress that special someone, Starkus and his team are happy to oblige. “It excites us,” he says, “when you come in and say, ‘Everything looks so amazing, can you put something together for us, maybe three or four courses with wine?’ We’ll create a customized mix-and-match menu especially for you.”
This commitment to creating the best guest experience extends to the food they serve. “Sourcing matters,” Starkus says. “You are what you eat, and you have to know where your food is coming from.” The farmer salad has seasonal greens from Good Steward Farms in Peyton, and the crispy oyster mushroom with truffle remoulade is from Microvora in Colorado Springs. “We know the owners. We have relationships with them, and these relationships help influence what we put on our menu. When I’m creating dishes for people to share, I see the faces of the farmers, ranchers, and fishmongers who’ve brought food to the restaurant because we’ve been there and tasted their food. And that’s why we want to share their stories on the plates here at Lumen8.”
Here’s a peek at some Lumen8 favorites: For the perfect appetizer to serve with a glass of Pinot or an innovative take on a dessert cheese board, try the goat cheese truffle with goat cheese from Haystack Mountain Creamery in Longmont. A round of goat cheese nestles on a spread of chile jam. Mixed with a scoop of honeycomb and served on a crispy lavash cracker, it’s simply irresistible.
Light and refreshing, the Colorado striped bass crudo, farmed in Alamosa by Colorado Catch, is served tartare style. Citrus aquafaba and chile oil add creamy, spicy notes. And, for a larger shareable, you can’t beat the 12-oz. buffalo flank steak from Rock River Ranches in Wray. Cooked to order, it’s sliced, garnished with breakfast radishes and blue cheese crumbles, and served with a spicy oregano chimichurri sauce.
Lumen8’s Colorado green chili takes an old favorite and gives it a gourmet twist. The secret ingredient: pork belly. “It’s the love, the essence,” Starkus says with a smile. “Then, we showcase an almost French technique of cooking, from searing and roasting to braising.” Topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro, it may just become your new favorite.
The beverage program, under the direction of Dylan Jolly and Forrest Jackson, offers fresh juices, playful takes on well-known classics, and seasonal one-of-a-kind creations, using local distilleries and breweries. For an updated classic cocktail that checks all the boxes, try the Colorado sour. They take Woody Creek bourbon from Basalt; add egg white, lemon juice, and simple syrup; then top it off with a visually stunning cabernet sauvignon float.
Looking for a summertime cocktail with a tropical vibe? The Polynesian Holiday lives up to its name. This tangy mix of pineapple rum, serrano-infused agave, and mint has a spicy kick. With the addition of farm-fresh serrano and Fresno chiles, you’ll be feeling those salt-sea breezes.
“No matter where you’re coming from or why you’re in the Springs,” Starkus says, “we want to be inclusive of everything you are bringing to the table, and we will customize your experience as much as we can to make sure you can have that experience of a lifetime.”