Where to Eat
The Fort (Steak house)
Situated in an authentic adobe fort in the foothills west of Denver, this restaurant dishes up haute variations on pioneer cuisine—elk chops with huckleberry gravy, bison smothered in green chiles, Rocky Mountain oysters—with equally delicious views of the Mile High City.
19192 Highway 8, Morrison; 303-697-4771. $$$$
Frasca Food and Wine (Italian)
It’s worth the half-hour drive from Denver to Boulder to experience what could well be Colorado’s finest restaurant—but be sure to reserve a table weeks ahead. This celebration of the foods of Friuli, in northeastern Italy, is owned and operated by two alums of Napa Valley’s fabled French Laundry.
1738 Pearl Street, Boulder; 303-442-6966. $$$
This intimate neighborhood eatery annually ranks among Denver’s very best. Its chef and owner, Frank Bonanno, changes the menu every month, but his signature lobster macaroni and cheese is a mainstay.
225 East Seventh Avenue, Denver; 303-832-4778. $$$
Summit at The Broadmoor (Continental)
Each of the Broadmoor’s restaurants is impressive, but this latest one outshines them all. Adam D. Tihany, who designed Per Se in New York, outdid himself here, with a fourteen-foot-tall wine turret that suggests the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb car race. Creative dishes such as the monkfish osso buco aspire to similar heights.
19 Lake Circle, Colorado Springs; 719-577-5896. $$$$
Sweet Basil (Continental)
For more than twenty-five years, locals and visitors alike have packed Vail’s centrally located temple of inspired cuisine. One bite into either a Colorado lamb T-bone or the ginger-and-peppercorn wild salmon will tell you why.
193 East Gore Creek Drive, Suite 201, Vail; 970-476-0125. $$$$
The esoteric name of this stylish Aspen restaurant refers to the alignment of heavenly bodies, and you’ll remember it for its celestial fusion of French, Asian and Southwestern flavors. Recent entrées on the seasonal menu have included pan-seared elk tenderloin and Hawaiian ahi.
520 East Hyman Avenue, Aspen; 970-925-3700. $$$$
The Winery Restaurant (Steak House)
This Grand Junction institution occupies an old firehouse and serves succulent steaks, chops and seafood amid an atmosphere of wine barrels, red brick and stained glass. The wine list represents the best vintners in the region; the Two Rivers Port makes the perfect finish to a meal.
642 Main Street, Grand Junction; 970-242-4100. $$$