Munchie Updates for 2024

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Yampa Valley Kitchen food
Yampa Valley Kitchen food

Khaanaa! New Indian Restaurant Saffron Opens Up Downtown

Khaanaa…uh, that’d be Hindi for “food.” Fresh vittles from India and Nepal have come to town with the opening of Saffron Indian Cuisine at 425 Lincoln Ave. in the former home of Seasons on the Pond and El Rancho Mexican restaurant. Owners Bir Raut and Sanjaya Dahal bring 10 years of restaurant experience to town and hope to emulate the successful formula they’ve mastered at Cheyenne, Wyo.’s Indian Bistro and Durbar Nepalese restaurant for the past three years. Saffron will specialize in authentic, homemade meals, both spicy and sweet, from Nepal and India, as well as what it calls a “cool bar” with Indian cocktails, liquors, and such Indian brewhas as Taj Mahal and King Fisher. 

Otto Out, Brass in Downtown

Oui, Oui! New Eatery on Yampa Street

With downtown’s Otto Pint going the way of the Ottoman Empire and dissolving (bummer, it had a great Happy Hour), its shoes are being quickly filled by a new restaurant, operated by former Café Diva owner Paul Underwood and chef Ryan Fowler. Underwood, who recently sold his stake in Café Diva, has purchased its lease and opens Brass in December, offering a French and New American theme, “with a lot of healthy, affordable options.” Short for “brasserie,” French for a restaurant with a relaxed setting serving single dishes and other meals, the restaurant fills a void, Underwood says, that town has been missing. “I’ve done the fine-dining thing at Café Diva and didn’t need to re-invent that,” he says. “But there’s a chasm in town’s dining scene between lower-end casual fare and fine dining in terms of price and we wanted to hit that middle ground.” The price-friendly restaurant will feature a dedicated counter for ordering, streamlining service and preparation, as well as what Underwood calls an “awesome Happy Hour.” Count us in. www.brasssteamboat.com

Laundry Chef Earns Chef of the Year Award

You’re in good hands at the Laundry. Steamboat chef Nick Winden has been named Chef of the Year by the Colorado Restaurant Association. “We’re a family here at The Laundry and this honor is about everyone who works here,” says Winden, who grew up cooking and earned his culinary degree from Colorado Mesa University. One of four chefs from Colorado to earn the honor, the eight-year Laundry chef has also held chef duties at such restaurants as Canyon Chop House in Ft. Collins as well as Bistro c.v. 

Yampa Sandwich Co. Opens Two New Locales, Debuts Seasonal Sammies

Yampa Sandwich Co

One of town’s favorite sandwich shops, Yampa Sandwich Co., founded by New England high school buddies Peter Boniface and David Pepin, is spreading itself even farther—like a good schmear of mayo—opening up two new sandwich shops in Denver this fall. The new shops, located in Westminster and Ken Caryl Ranch, bring its total to eight, including five in Denver, two in Ft. Collins., and sandwich ground central here in Steamboat. The move also coincides with their debut of two new winter specials, the pork carnitas torta and short rib Bánh Mì. The torta features savory, slow-roasted pork carnitas on a baguette, topped with smoky chipotle mayo, cilantro crema, jalapeño, tomato, lettuce, queso asadero and a side of tomatillo salsa; while the short rib bánh mì features braised beef short rib on a baguette with tangy Asian pepper sauce, cilantro, pickled carrot, jalapeño and radish sprouts on top. “They should be great additions to our winter offerings,” says Pepin of the limited-time items.

Yampa Valley Kitchen Open for Dinner

Profiteroles made with pâte à choux, vanilla bean gelato, chocolate sauce
Profiteroles made with pâte à choux, vanilla bean gelato, chocolate sauce

Yep, Yampa Valley Kitchen at 207 9th St., is now spreading the its YVK love all day long, announcing that it is now open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 4:30 to 9:30 pm. “We’ve poured our hearts into crafting a menu that embodies our passion for fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and creative culinary experiences,” says the restaurant’s Rachel Turriff. “With a focus on reimagined classic dishes and cocktails that invoke a sense of nostalgia, we’re thrilled to welcome our guests into our warm, inviting ambiance and share this new chapter with the Steamboat community.” What to order? For apps, choose from such delicacies as chicken and duck liver pate N22, crab and jalapeno hush puppies and salmon tartare. For mains, choose from shrimp and grits; duck a l’orange (with Hayden Fresh Farm peking duck breast, confit duck thigh, tarragon lentils, pain purdue, bitter orange puree and orange supreme); and wild caught petrale sole (with leeks, glazed carrots, carrot puree, golden raisin beurre blanc, dill, chive oil); classic buttermilk fried chicken and more.

Powder and pepperoni: Antonio’s Pizza Joins Storm Peak’s Bus Stop on the Mtn

Antonios Pizza

There’s a new pizza joint on the mountain to refuel your powder-weary joints and muscles. Located at Storm Peak Brewery’s Bus Stop just steps from the slopes, Antonio’s New York Pizza is run by Antonio Jarana, who also owns Après Burger Bistro upstairs. Jarana learned to make them on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore as a teenager and over the last three decades he’s perfected his techniques as a pizzaiolo to come up with the ultimate New York-style pizza for his new venture. And they’re Mt. Werner big. Dine-in customers can enjoy large 18-inch or giant 24-inch pizzas made to order with a variety of toppings or grab a giant slice of whatever is hot and fresh from the oven. Rarely seen outside New York City, the giants are so humongous that it’s difficult to find boxes and insulated delivery bags large enough to fit them. Bonus: pair your pizza with your favorite brewha from Storm Peak. www.antoniospizzasteamboat.com

Mythology, Mtn Tap Team Up for Pairing

Mountain Tap Brewery and Mythology Distillery teamed up in November to offer a pairing with wares from both businesses, including wood-fired cuisine, craft beer and award-winning whiskey. “It went great,” says Mountain Tap’s Rich Tucciarone. “It was a great way to team up with another local business and do something special for our loyal locals.” The menu included Mountain Tap’s Macaroon beer cheese dip topped with bourbon brown sugar and served with a cocktail from Mythology’s Hell Bear American Whiskey and Mountain Tap’s Elkstone pilsner; a “dirty gin martini” salad, tossed in a “ginaigrette” citrus dressing from Mythology’s Foragers botanical gin, and fire-roasted pork tenderloin topped with a bourbon glaze, paired with Mountain Tap’s MacaRum Brown Ale and an Imperial Stout chocolate mousse (with Mythology’s syrah finished whiskey as an aperitif). And even Mythology’s whiskey barrels got into the action, with its staves fueling the wood-fired oven for flavor and Mountain tap’s Imperial Stout poured straight from a Mythology cask.

Harwings Opens Three Nights Per Week

Harwigs, a staple of the local restaurant scene for more than 40 years, has expanded its public service to three days a week Thursday through Saturday, while also continuing to host private parties and special events. Headed by executive chef JJ Jenny—whose father, Jamie, opened French restaurant Stubble Goose in town in 1980, which later became Harwigs L’apogee (known for its live lobster tanks)—the downtown eatery has a beautiful dining room and bar, as well as three private rooms for intimate and larger group settings. Swilin’ hint: Try the French onion soup, lamb sliders, escargot or oysters, and for dessert the creme brûlée. 

Aurum Goes Big

Aurum
Aurum

For local restaurant entrepreneur Phil Armstrong and his Destination Hospitality Restaurant Group, it’s not just Aurum, Element, The Periodic Table and Table 79 in Steamboat anymore. There are now Aurums in Snowmass, Breckenridge and, newest yet, Maui, as well as a new restaurant dubbed The Carlin (with Tavern Underground below) that just opened this summer in Breckenridge. “Our group’s mission is to create the best dining experiences in unique destination resort markets across the country,” maintains Armstrong, who, if you’re lucky, will come out and greet you at your table. “Our focus is to provide an enlightened hospitality experience that will ensure lasting memories for our guests.”

Primrose Wine Pairings

Want to sample wine with your fare? Primrose has popped the cork on its wine dinner pairings, held every month except November and May. “It’s kind of an underground thing and supper club vibe,” says owner Collin Kelley, adding that the pairings include five courses with five curated wines. “But they always sell out.” Kelley brings in winemakers from across the country to present the wines, which are paired with a surprise menu, and that they’re somewhat of a clandestine affair, with the next one often not announced until the current one. Swillin’ was unable to unearth a few this coming winter, however, with its “Pinot Posse” slated for Jan. 17 (“The granddaddy of them all,” says Kelley, featuring seven wines from seven winemakers from Napa, Sonoma, the Columbia Valley and more); a pairing with Failla wines on Feb. 13, featuring chardonnays, pinots and more; and a special TBD pairing on Mar. 12 to usher in springtime.