Point your skis toward these on-mountain dining options
Here is a short (and extremely subjective) list of some of North America’s best on-mountain restaurants (in addition to Bon Vivant).
If you’re a budget-conscious skier, you might want to check the menus before sitting down, because there are options for every family and budget.
“The variety of rare options (available at Telluride) has definitely (contributed) to the expectations of the locals and the guests that visit the resort,” said Chris Wisocki, general manager of Culinary Services at Bon Vivant. “In my opinion, this has raised the bar in our industry and is what makes the whole Telluride experience a unique one that you would never forget.”
The increase in upscale restaurants is a response to increasingly affluent skiers and riders.
According to the National Ski Areas Association, in 2012–2013 more than 25 percent of all skiers and riders were age 50 or more and 54 percent of snowsport participants reported a household income of $100,000 or more a year, compared to 21 percent of the general U.S. population.
“What essentially we have done is change the way a large segment of our guests view a ski vacation, from eating-to-ski to skiing-to-eat,” said Stephen Roth, executive director of Culinary Services at Telluride.
■ Alpino Vino at Telluride Ski Resort — Great for a ski-in lunch at the outdoor heated wine bar or take the heated snow coach for the twice-weekly, reservation-only five-course candlelight dinner with wine-pairing.
The dinners are $125 per person, with a wine pairing extra. Price includes the snow coach ride.
Formerly a private house perched on a mining claim at 11,966 feet, the European-style restaurant boasts an extensive wine list as dizzying as the altitude. You’ll be happy you took the snow coach.
■ Allred’s — Telluride Ski Resort’s flagship restaurant, located midway on the free public gondola and offering spectacular day and night views of the town of Telluride. General Manager Mario Petillo and his staff offer fresh, farm-to-table cuisine and an impressive wine list.
■ Uley’s Cabin at Crested Butte — AKA The Ice Bar, which is just as it sounds — an outside bar carved out of immense blocks of ice. Near the bottom of the historic Twister double chairlift, the rustic-yet-charming chalet offers an eye-popping view of Crested Butte’s steep runs. Evenings at Uley’s include a sleigh ride under starry skies to a gourmet dinner.
■ Alpenglow Stube at Keystone — Located at the top of Keystone’s River Run Gondola, the Alpenglow Stube is considered the highest (11,444 feet) AAA Four-Diamond dining experience in North America.
■ Couloir at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort — Hop on the Bridger Gondola for the 7.5-mimute ride to the Couloir Restaurant, where the spectacular view from 9,095 feet offers most of Wyoming spread out before you, along with some of North America’s most-challenging skiing. The night-time gondola ride (with heated blankets) is memorable.