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Reviews are in: Windows is a winner

Kelly A. Shue

Created date

February 23rd, 2015
picture of a restaurant at Ashby Ponds
dc_0315_apl-windows_web.jpg

 

“Windows is not just a name for our new restaurant; it also suggests a ‘window’ into the world of fine dining,” says Alexzandria Batey, service manager of Ponds’ newest dining establishment. 

Windows, located in Willow Crossing, Ashby Ponds’ newest residence building, provides a new dining alternative for community members featuring a seasonal, cooked-to-order menu, numerous appetizer options, and daily specials. All meals are exquisitely composed and presented on fine china in an elegant setting.

“We’ve received favorable feedback from both our new and existing community members,” says Kera Wooton, director of dining services. “They note their appreciation for the décor, the intimate setting, the service and staff, access to the View bar located right outside the restaurant, and most importantly, the food.”  

“Windows is a very well-done, upscale dining option,” says resident John Oliphant. “The daily specials are a good option for those willing to try something new. Everyone raves about the soups. I appreciate the option to go to Windows and know there will always be something there that my wife Nancy and I will enjoy.”

An Erickson Living first

Windows is the first Erickson Living restaurant to offer cooked-to-order selections prepared from a fixed seasonal menu as well as daily specials, including a fresh catch and a chef’s creation. In addition to the standard soup and salad appetizer selection, guests at Windows enjoy options such as Mediterranean calamari, homemade chips with caramelized onion dip, or mussels scampi.

“It is our hope that by involving residents in the preparation of their meals, they will enjoy a more personalized dining experience and opportunity to enjoy distinctive entrees they may not have had the chance to experience before,” says Chef de Cuisine Kevin Kilhefner.

“We have dined at Windows about five times already,” says Bruce Vernor. “The tenderloin and the skewered steak were very good. We appreciate the broadening of our meal selection.”

Guests at Windows may choose to enjoy an entrée, sandwich, or salad, including the popular smoked chicken and poached pear salad featuring arugula with poached pears, feta cheese, cranberries, and smoked pulled chicken tossed in a homemade honey balsamic dressing. 

Those looking for a larger dinner can choose from the Windows short ribs, stuffed shrimp, grilled petit filet mignon, or citrus scallops. 

“I recently ordered the pan seared scallops and asked that the chef cook them just about a minute or two longer than he ordinarily would,” says Nancy. “They were absolutely perfect when served. In fact, I sent a note commenting that the scallops were the very best I have had since Digby Bay, in Nova Scotia. They were large, tender, and juicy. Simply perfect.”

Kilhefner also personally creates unique daily specials, some of which receive such high accolades from community members that the meals become permanent menu items. This was recently the case for the rainbow trout stuffed with crab, spinach, corn, and tomatoes. Topped with a savory scallop cream sauce and served over sour cream mashed potatoes, it was quickly in high demand. 

Getting involved

Before the restaurant opened, residents were invited to a sneak peek tour of the restaurant and kitchen. Following the restaurant opening, Windows hosted its first behind-the-scenes tour, including an information session on appetizers and beverage options with Kilhefner and a kitchen walkthrough as the culinary staff prepared for the dinner service. 

“The tour concluded with the residents sitting in on the server pre-shift meeting,” says Wooten. “This was a great opportunity to hear the messaging that the servers receive prior to each dinner and the ways in which we do our best to ensure a memorable dining experience for each of our guests.”

For their part, residents simply dine at Windows to see that these efforts have paid off. 

“Windows provides an upscale dining venue right here on campus,” says Nancy. “The detailed attention given to the presentation of the dishes sets the tone for a special dinner out. There is no need to travel elsewhere. And the quality of the entrées is excellent—a real treat.”

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