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Durango and Telluride

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I am a huge foodie from Chicago, and I will be travelling to Durango and Telluride over the labor day weekend. For such a short period of time, which places should I absolutely not miss??

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  1. On Main Street in Durango.
    Fabulous restaurant in the historic downtown area, with bar and restaurant. We liked the relaxed ambiance - totally professional but with a great atmosphere and groovy decor.

    Snufflehound minor enjoyed (and she's very fussy) - a Mahi Mahi fish dish (a Panamanian fish) panroasted in brown butter with gnocchi, grilled asparagus and kalamata olives with a vinagrette butter and poached snowcrab and basil $29.
    This was beautifully cooked and not dependent upon the butter for the richness. The dish used lovely seasonal ingredients and the gnocchi was clearly made by the chef. Beautifully balanced was the decision.

    I went for (what must be) the chef's signature dish - Seafood with saffron Cappellini $37
    Half a lobster tail braised in butter with sea scallops, wild salmon, shrimp, snow crab, roasted peppers and calamari in a tomato fennel saffron broth.
    The seafood in this dish was beautifully prepared (the lobster just fell out of its shell,) cooked and presented. Served in a tomato saffron and fennel broth, it had more of a bisque depth about it as opposed to just a broth. The dish also included a bulb of fennel and vermicelli - the perfect pasta accompaniment . Cream to finish over the top. As you will gather this was hugely rich but utterly delicious and the best dish that we tasted during our 3 week roadtrip through Colorado and the Southwest.
    The bisque reduction base was finished with butter and cream. It was just so perfectly balanced. It would have been really easy to overdo the amount of saffron and drown out the delicate flavours. We just kept on uncovering different layers of flavour and groaning with delight!

    Our delightful server also recommended the ideal white wine to accompany these dishes Hernando Cortes Napa Sauvignon Blanc.

    Can't report on the dessert course as we were both completely sated, and really felt that to have dessert would have diminished our enjoyment of these fabulous mains.

    Durango has many eateries, bakeries, coffee shops and restuarants. We enjoyed ourselves at Steamworks for a casual lunch, and the coffee from Durango Coffee, and didn't have the time to try The Mahoghany Room at the Strater Hotel, but please don't miss Cosmo. It's worth a special trip to Durango, and even some fellow travellers we met who lived in Denver said how excellent it is, and seemed to think that there might be a sister restaurant in Telluride.

    You'll leave completely sated with a soppy grin and the self-satisfaction that you've discovered somewhere very very special. Enjoy

    1 Reply
    1. re: Snufflehound

      Re "some fellow travellers...seemed to think that there might be a sister restaurant in Telluride."
      The original Cosmopolitan is in Telluride. It was established by Chad Scothorn, previously chef at Chadwick's in Beaver Creek. He opened the second Cosmo in Durango. Chris Crowl became executive chef and might now be either a partner or owner. It's also one of my faves there.

    2. Seasons of Durango is absolutely amazing! You should definitely try it out. It has a really nice atmosphere, great service, and a menu that changes regularly depending on what is fresh. I am a big Manhattan foodie, and I loved this place. I have been twice.

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      Seasons of Durango
      764 Main Avenue, Durango, CO 81301

      1. The seafood with saffron cappellini sounds enticing. Thanks for the detailed and descriptive input! Will definitely give cosmo a try. Any thoughts on places with a more "wild west" feel?

        1 Reply
        1. re: drlloyd

          The Ore House, downtown, is nearly 40 years old and has a definite Western ambience. You be the judge about how "wild" it feels. Another option is The Palace, down near the trail station.. It is run by Oprah Winfrey's former personal chef. If you enjoy food + entertainment, you might like Bar D Chuckwagon suppers -- not first-rate food but kind of fun.

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          Ore House
          147 E College Dr, Durango, CO 81301

        2. Cosmo in either town is a sure winner.

          In Telluride - Allred's, The New Sheridan, and Rustico Ristorante are all worthy of a visit.

          In Durango -
          GUIDO'S FAVORITE FOODS Authentic Italian trattoria.,[our favorite Italian, closest to NY Italian other than my house] excellent take –out, gelato, groceries too 1201 Main Ave., Good prices.

          THE KENNEBEC Café, west of town, on the way to Mesa Verde NP- our favorite place to eat; Mediterranean and American Hwy 160 west, Hesperus,. Reasonable prices too!!

          THE HAMILTON CHOP HOUSE $$$$another foodie worthy place with gorgeous views, north of town, heading towards ski area Glacier Club at Tamarron, 40290 Hwy. 550,

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          Rustico Ristorante
          114 Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435

          New Sheridan Bar
          231 W Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435

          1. Forgot links:

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            Kennebec Cafe & Bakery
            4 County Road 124, Hesperus, CO 81326

            Guido's Favorite Foods
            1201 Main Ave Ste 102, Durango, CO 81301

            Hamilton Chop House
            40290 Highway 550, Durango, CO 81301

            Allred's Restaurant
            Gondola Station Saint Sophia c/o 565 Mountain Village BLVD, Telluride, CO 81435

            1. Never eaten anyplace with a destination dessert before but their pannacotta was unbeleivable. LIght, complex, full of different flavors all complementary.
              We drove over from Dolores, CO, the building, patios, staffing, and food/wine were all great. My husband had the lamb (he loved it) I had the crab cake salad with shaved fennel.....also great. Good wine, good dessert, just a super place. Will not miss the chance to try other things next time we're in Four Corners Area. Well worth the 40 mile round trip and the $$$..

              3 Replies
              1. re: khyugpa

                @khyugpa - sorry, I can't figure out which restaurant you are talking about?

                1. re: khyugpa

                  Kennebuc Cafe, Hesperus
                  sorry, I thought the restaurant name would appear above my review!
                  Destination Dessert posting from above....

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                  Kennebec Cafe & Bakery
                  4 County Road 124, Hesperus, CO 81326

                  1. re: khyugpa

                    Ah, well I completely agree. One of our favorite go-to places in the area. Glad you liked it as much as we do.