Colorado Summer Vacation / Restaurant Tour
This summer, my girlfriend and I will be coming out to Colorado for a wedding and afterwards, we plan to visit some of the best restaurants in a few different cities.
I have been to Colorado before, but she has not. Although, I haven't really been to too many "fine dining establisments." I have done some research already of the places I'd like to go and some of the food there. We are from the east coast so I would really prefer to sample "Colorado" food or stuff I won't easily find in CT. For example, I love filet migon, but I probably wouldn't get it out there because I can get it anywhere, unless it is done in a very interesting/different way. Restaurants that serve game would be nice or some delicious Colorado Lamb. Anyway some of my possible stops may include:
Denver: Restaurant Kevin Taylor
Boulder: The Flagstaff House
Colorado Springs: Craftwood Inn
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated, but we probably won't be traveling south of Colorado Springs or north of Fort Collins so please keep that in mind. Thank you!!!
For Game and some "interesting" atmosphere, the Buckhorn Exchange or The Fort would be good choices. Roja in Denver, just got the Diamond 4 star rating and has a wonderful lamb entree. The kitchen in Boulder or the Black Cat, both have very fun, festive menu's, but I am not sure I'd say that you'd be guaranteed anything specific to Colorado. Snooze for Breakfast is fun and the Bump and Grind is very entertaining, lol, for weekend Brunch.
"Colorado cuisine" is served in good restaurants all over the state now, esp in summer when local produce is in. Game (elk, venison) and Rocky Mountain trout are iconic proteins.
Can't go wrong w/ the restaurants that you have selected, but remember that Colorado is no longer provincial and has restaurants serving cuisine from the corners of the world -- some of it very, very good. A search of Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs will reveal other recommendations as well.
If you are Colorado Springs and have more than one dinner, you might also try want to head west on US 24 to the Black Bear in Green Mountain Falls. Some Colorado Hound (I can't remember who, but s/he will most likely post here) hates the place (part bar, part fine dining), but's it's very Colorado mountain-ish a very short distance from the state's 2nd largest city. Also, if you have deep pockets try the Penrose Room (AAA 5 diamonds) or Summit, both at the Broadmoor on the southwest end of Colorado Springs.
In Boulder, Frasca (nationally acclaimed, Friuli cusine/wines owned by French Laundry alums), L'Atelier (very creative Euro-international fare) and Arugu;a (northern Italian and very good) are also possibilities. Denver is awash w/ excellent restaurants. As noted, just search this board for "Denver," and you'll have a lot of reading to do.
FWIW, I grew up in Connecticut too but left shortly after Noah got off the Ark. When I moved here (after Mass, NYC, Hoboken) 20 years ago, a good Colorado meal was a steak and a great meal was a big steak. Now there's a whole lot more. See some Hounds' fave metro Denver restaurants at http://culinary-colorado.blogspot.com and http://denveater.typepad.com -- both written by expat Easterners.