Going Gourmet in Steamboat

Published on 01/24/2014 by Brad Luth

Four Steamboat Springs Fine Dining Experiences To Please The Most Discerning Palate

When you think Steamboat, fine dining is 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 restaurants all feature creative takes on American cuisine with a multicultural flare. 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. Note that since these establishments change their menus frequently, the menu highlights listed may not be currently available.

Here they are in no particular order – except #1.

Café Diva

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.

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 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.

The Scoop:

1855 Ski Time Square Drive, 970.871.0508, http://cafediva.com.

Bistro C.V.

Here’s another Steamboat gem with a chef who enjoys mixing it up. Located on Lincoln Street downtown, Brian Vaughn’s menu lets you choose to go tapas style, traditional, or some combo of the two.

Standouts here include chicken chorizo pot pie, fish tacos, blackened cod, and of course, lamb, a Colorado favorite. Choosing from the food menu, though, is only half the battle. The Bistro boasts a tremendous wine list, which won it The Wine Spectator’s 2013 restaurant award.

The Scoop: 345 Lincoln Ave, 970.879.4197, http://www.bistrocv.com.

Harwigs L’apogee

Stroll down Lincoln Street a little further, and you come to a Steamboat landmark. Built in 1886, the Harwigs building is one of the oldest structures in Steamboat – 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 list it is – it spans over 700 wines.

The Scoop: 911 Lincoln Ave, 970.879.1919, http://harwigs.com.

The Laundry

Your stroll is not over! Another couple blocks down Lincoln lies yet another historic building that now hosts one of Steamboat Springs’ finest restaurants. This 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.

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. Though there’s exposed brick, the place has many nooks in which you can be seated if you prefer a quieter dining experience.

The Scoop: 127 11th St, 970-870-0681, http://thelaundryrestaurant.com.