If you’re a foodie, you should check out the culinary gold mine in the mountain town of Breckenridge, Colorado. Every time I go there’s something new. I love trying and sharing my finds in Breck (and other Colorado mountain towns!) and did so in my “Silver Lining of Rich Roots: The Town of Breckenridge, Colorado” article I did for this winter season for Vail Resorts website snow.com.
On my recent visit, I got to try out a few of the town’s newest dining spots, along with popping into some of my favorites including Après at the Canteen. Another one of my favorites is Amazing Grace and yes, I had to go for a Veggie Deluxe sandwich – so good! I’m also a huge fan of the breakfast tacos at this natural foods eatery.
My friend Melissa, who lives in Breck, and I set out on a culinary exploration of the new places in town. First up was Legends Steak and Italian Restaurant. It’s the newest fine dining place in Breck. We got there about 5:30pm and some how managed to snag two seats at the bar. It’s brand new, so it’s packed. Both ready for a cocktail, we ordered the Legends Margarita with Herradura Tequila, jalapeño, cucumber, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and Grand Marnier then topped off with soda water and served in a tall glass. It’s not a knock out punch kick from the jalapeño, but more of a subtle heat on the backside of a sip. Since Melissa is from San Antonio and I lived there for 10 years, both of us are margarita aficionados. Both felt there was a little too much soda water. The margarita was good, but could have been a great margarita without the soda water topper. We split a couple of appetizers and a side dish. The Calamari Fritti with lemon and marinara sauces was yummy. The calamari is lightly fried and this dish is perfect for splitting. The disappointment was the Crab Cake Brushetta. Both of us tried two bites each and just couldn’t get past the saltiness. It was a real bummer since it’s a lot of lump crab meat served with tomato, avocado, and basil on grilled ciabatta. The bartender said several others had recently had the same comment. Hope they go a little easy on the salt in the future as it would be a yummy appetizer or light entree. The salad we split was wonderful. We went for the Burrata Capres with heirloom tomatoes, arugula, and basil drizzled with true vinaigrette and aged balsamic. The surprise was the Lemon and Asparagus Risotto. It’s a side, but we asked if we could add shrimp. Of course it’s the one part of the meal I didn’t snapped a pic, probably because we scarfed it down so fast. It was so good we suggested it get added to the appetizer or entree menu!
Next up on our culinary exploration was Artisan 206. Being a traveler, I was excited to sample the menu inspired by Artisan 206 chef Samir Mohammad’s travels. The food is globally inspired. Can’t call it brunch if you don’t partake in a fun cocktail! We both ordered the Poinsettia Mimosa with Korbel Brut, cranberry juice, blackberries, and lime. We both loved the festive cocktail. For starters, we split the Ricotta & Lemon Doughnut Holes. They’re dusted with raspberry sugar for a sweetness to balance lemon tartness. Personally, I would have liked more of a pucker up punch in these with more lemon than raspberry. Melissa went for the Roasted Veggie Frittata served with homestyle potatoes topped with grana padano cheese. I went for a ski town classic Grilled Cheese and Roasted Tomato Bisque. Both dishes were wonderful. My bisque was so good, I asked for the recipe to share, but was told by our server the chef was too busy to even come out at 2:30pm in a restaurant with only 3 tables at the tail end of brunch. That’s part of the reason for my mixed review of Artisan 206. The food is great but the service, well I guess I would call it quirky. When we inquired about a couple of items we got met with comments from our male server like “I don’t eat it since I’m watching my girlish figure,” and several references to his diet and workout routine. Not exactly comments two gals indulging in a Sunday brunch (after a great workout I might add!) want to hear. I did partake in a second cocktail and tried their Cucumber Bowl with Breckenridge Pear Vodka, triple sec, orange juice, and ginger beer. Of the two cocktails, the poinsettia mimosa was my favorite. Blame it on my Southern roots for picking the one created after a poinsettia!
The third new place we tried was for a late lunch. We went to the islands at Tiki Mana Island Grill. They feature Hawaiian cuisine and tropical tiki bar drinks. The location in the River Mountain Lodge on South Park Avenue gets you out of the hustle and bustle of Main Street. Of course we had to do the 2 or 1 Mai Tai special. It was fun (and funny) to get an island drink complete with an umbrella in a mountain ski town. Yes, I got more than one or two chuckles out of it while sipping my mai tai. We decided to split a couple of appetizers. First up the Coconut Shrimp. It’s the traditional dish of crispy coconut breaded shrimp served with sweet chili aioli dipping sauce. SO good! Both of us really enjoyed the Tiki Poke Tower made up of marinated fresh ahi tuna avocado, cucumber, and wakeme seaweed and served with spicy wonton chips. The Crispy Poke Tacos with fresh spicy ahi poke served in crispy shells and topped with cotija cheese, tomato, and tiki aioli sauce were delish too. We were on a yummy roll, until the Lawai Wontons stuffed with crabmeat and macadamia nut and served with a sweet chili aioli dipping sauce. They’re made with imitation crabmeat, and that was a let down. But, the other appetizers and Mai Tai took us on a delightful tropical journey in Breck.
I also have to share my new shopping finds in Breck. My new favorite boutique is Bear Claw Trading Co. To say I got in trouble in there is an understatement! I walked out with a couple of cashmere wraps and ponchos (for myself and for a couple of gifts), a beanie, a cool charcoal hat, and a Colorado made leather bracelet. I also fell in love with Wandering Daisy. It’s a wonderful shop filled with all sorts of whimsical gifts, home decor, art, jewelry and more. I found a wonderful one-of-a-kind painting on reclaimed wood by Picket Apart with a Bible verse I love painted on it. Don’t shy away from name brand stores! I was in need of a new pair of winter boots, and found two pairs at the Columbia store on Main Street – great service. Already put my boots to the test, but saving that for another blog. If you can’t tell, Breck is one of my favorite mountain town to eat and shop!