Going Gourmet in Steamboat
Published on 12/07/2020 by Brad Luth
Six Steamboat Springs Fine Dining Experiences To Please The Most Discerning Palate
When you think Steamboat, fine dining is probably not the first thing to come to mind. However, we’re lucky enough to have several world-class chefs who call Steamboat home and restaurateurs to help them bring their creations to your table in an upscale atmosphere.
Steamboat’s fine dining scene features creative takes on American cuisine with a multicultural flair. And if you’re looking to dine on the highest-quality food but don’t relish putting on your full dress uniform in order to do it, you’re in luck when it comes to fine dining in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
*Note that since these establishments change their menus frequently, the menu highlights listed may not be currently available.
1855 Ski Time Square Dr, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 • 970-871-0508 • http://cafediva.com
Ask a Steamboat resident where they would go for dinner if money was no object, and you’re likely to hear, “Café Diva.” The intimate setting combined with food that sends you into a Zen-like state makes the Café Diva dining experience unparalleled in Steamboat Springs. What started out as a tiny wine bar serving just appetizers has certainly taken its culinary game to the next level as one of the best restaurants in the Steamboat area.
Chef Kate Rench likes to sprinkle the menu with entirely unique creations fostered from cultures around the world as well as twists on American classics. From starters like peanut butter and pork belly sandwiches, and wild mushroom parmigiana-chestnut risotto, and duck confit empanadas through to desserts like panettone cupcakes and the Dusty Miller, you can be assured that your meal at Café Diva – and the wine that went with it — will be the talk of the plane ride home. It’s like a European bistro with Colorado flair!
911 Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 •970-879-1919 • http://harwigs.com
Stroll down Lincoln Street and you come to a genuine Steamboat landmark. Built in 1886, the Harwigs building is one of the oldest structures in town – but you wouldn’t know it from the fresh, creative menu you’ll find at the majestic restaurant inside.
In fact, the menu changes every month. However, you might be lucky enough to sink your teeth into root beer pork tenderloin, abalone mushrooms with compressed tomato, smoked quail, or seared cobia. The kitchen is a team effort here, with JJ Jenny and Ryan Hoth taking care of the food. Owner Jamie Jenny and Mike Lang make the wine selections, and what a wine list it is – it spans over 700 varietals! For an added layer of sophistication, indulge in the good life with a feast in Harwig’s wine cellar, a private dining room with space for up to twelve guests.
127 11th St., Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 • 970-870-0681 • http://thelaundryrestaurant.com
Yet another historic building that now hosts one of Steamboat Springs’ finest restaurants, The Laundry is not exactly in the same mold as the other places we’ve listed here, but it’s so unique, we didn’t know where else to put it. If you’re looking for adventure on the menu after an adventure on the mountain, you found it. A fine après-ski spot, indeed!
The menu consists of small plates throughout, so everyone can sample each creation. You may encounter: Ttaro fritters with lime and garlic; cured pork shoulder and house-smoked cheddar with pickled vegetables, stone-ground mustard, and fig relish; lobster pot pie; fried kale; bison ribs … you get the picture. Laundry’s libations focus on cocktails. You’ll find a bevy of creative potions made with high quality and often local liquor. Enveloped in exposed brick, the dining room of this upscale “gastropub” has many nooks in which you can be seated if you prefer a quieter, more intimate dining experience.
Aurum Food & Wine
811 Yampa St, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 • (970) 879-9500 • https://aurumsteamboat.com
Seasonal, New American dishes paired with cocktails and wine, served up in a contemporary, scenic space. This refined yet relaxed naturally-inspired eatery features waterfront outdoor dining, rooftop patio dining, a large bar, dining room, and spacious deck seating on the Yampa River. Enjoy stunning, illuminated views of the Howelsen Hill Ski area each night, which goes well with the popular Smoke & Fire Margarita
Don’t miss the legendary Happy Hour, where alfresco dining around the fireplace is a great way to start the evening. Standard staples from pork ribs and burgers flank the menu alongside Latin Street Tacos, crispy curried cauliflower, as well as land and sea favorites from buffalo and lamb to duck, salmon, and bass. Owner Phillips Armstrong has committed his lifetime to restaurant work, getting to know the industry from every angle. His passion for the culinary world and Steamboat culture combine at Aurum Food & Wine, as well as his other area restaurant, Table 79 Foodbar where elevated comfort food takes center stage.
701 Yampa St, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 • (970) 879-7167 • http://www.e3chophouse.com
When you want the scenery and vibe to impress as much as the menu, E3 Chophouse is a must! This family-owned restaurant overlooks the Yampa River. Founded by brothers Adam, Andy and Jeff LaRoche in 2013, the steakhouse is an extension of the family’s E3 Ranch, headquartered in Fort Scott, Kansas. All the meat served at the steakhouse come from the Kansas ranch in Kansas, making for an authentic ranch-to-table dining experience.
Feast on American standards or coastal favorites, complemented by the suggestions of the on-site sommelier. Menu highlights include delectable hors d’oeuvres like Truffle Fries and shareable Charcuterie to mouthwatering entrees from land and sea like Colossal King Crab Legs, Ribeye, and the Grilled Elk Tomahawk Chop.
Creekside Café & Grill
131 11th St, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 • (970) 879-4925 • https://www.creekside-cafe.com
Dinner isn’t the only meal that can have a little class. Just check out the cozy, vintage Downtown Steamboat Springs’ café in the historic Soda Creek building! Enjoy peaceful creekside seating available for all day breakfast, lunch, and brunch, as well as a rustic indoor dining room.
Known for tasty griddle cakes, a mean breakfast burrito, and a divine assortment of eggs benedict creations paired well with award-winning Bloody Marys, Creekside Café & Grill uses locally-sourced ingredients from area farms whenever possible. For a genuinely unique treat, try the Wafflelaughagus and wash it down with a sparkling mimosa!