More about Telluride – The Food! (Dinner)

If you read the other post, you’ll know that I spent a week in Telluride with eight members of my family. As with any trip, one of the most important aspects is the food. I’m a little amazed to say, the food in Telluride is outstanding. Like any tourist destination, there are some serious traps in there, but if you avoid the potholes, you’ll eat really well.

On the first night, we asked the concierge where to go for dinner. What’s with these guys? Do they get payoffs from the least interesting, most expensive restaurants around? Why are they never reliable? Why are the places they recommend so sterile? So the guy (who was later driving the shuttle bus) recommended La Piazza which was nothing to write home about (you get the vibe about how lame this place is from their contrived website). Just to give you a hint of the tenor of the place, I asked for a Dolcetto on the wine list. “Sorry, sir, we’re out of that one. We do have this one” with a point to a wine far, far down the list. I asked for another wine, between the two, and was answered with a grin, “Ah, no, that is out also. Again, we do have this one.” First night of the vaca, so I took it. So much for that place, and the concierge. I hope he got his cut from the wine choice. I probably should make sure they didn’t rip him off too.

OK – our fault – concierges are useless, at least anyplace where you speak the language. To prove it, the food we’ve had since then has been truly exceptional. Not just on a vacation-in-a-small-town-in-Colorado way, but in a real, world-class way. Maybe not the French Laundry, but really comfortable, delicious, innovative food served in great surroundings with easy, friendly service.

CosmopolitanIn the Columbia hotel, in the town. Inspired American food (maybe really Californian food) with a big reliance on the meat of the West, but also with flown in seafood. I had three lobster corndogs that were great. We’re going back for seconds.

Second trip: the beignets were amazing! Lemony and light – really ideal! Funny enough, we had those at the next place too . . .


221 South OakProbably the best of the trip, and we consider than an honor given the other meals. In an old house in town, with a separate menu full of veggie options, there was no bad place on the table. Again, really great service (how do these places get good waiters in a seasonal vacation town?) paired with delicious food made for a memorable evening.

The Beignets at 221 South Oak

The Beignets at 221 South Oak

Allred’sThis place is on the mountain, at the gondola stop between town and Mountain Village. We’d heard it was good, with great views, from many people. We figured we’d get great views with overpriced food. The views were, in fact, great. You see across the valley, with the town below. It’s breathtaking. If the food were bad and overpriced, it would still be worth going, and I don’t really care about views. But the restaurant was a gorgeous building itself, and food, while maybe more towards the hotel dining room style, was really worth the expense, even without the views. It seems touristy until you go, but it’s worth it, no question.

Honga’sStrange to eat in a Thai/Japanese/Fusion place high up in the mountains, but we got over it pretty quickly once we tried the food. The lamb, especially, was delicious – really more middle eastern than Asian, but great. The bbq pork was also a winner, as were the fish dishes. The panang tofu, which I usually really like, wasn’t so hot there. But overall, this place is fantastic, and it’s on a totally different wavelength than the other places in town.

So those are the restaurants for dinner. Lunch is coming soon.

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