You’ve driven to dinner, you’ve walked to dinner, heck, you might have even taken one of those annoying electric scooters to dinner. But when was the last time you sleighed to dinner? Or snowshoed? Or snowcatted?
Our mountains hold a smattering of restaurants that, at least in winter, you can only reach via some unusual modes of transport. These spots, ranging from ultra-elegant cabins to makeshift yurts, are so remote that four-wheel-drive just isn’t going to cut it. At these restaurants, dinner is the reward at the end of the adventure. A welcome bonus following the enchanting feat of just getting there. And the magic factor of arriving via horse-drawn sleigh? Come on.
Once you’ve surrendered to the fact that it’s winter in Colorado, and yes, it’s going to be cold, you’re free to launch into the crispest, otherworldliest, giddiest culinary exploit you’ve experienced. Here, 11 spots around the state where you can snowshoe, ski, cat, mobile or sleigh your way to a very special dinner.
Maybe it’s too cold for the horses. Or maybe the ponies just pale in horsepower comparison to snowcats. But it’s the rugged, metal machines that will be leading your sleigh ride up to Ragnar’s for a five-course Scandinavian feast. Tear into duck, elk or lamb and dip into chocolate fondue before returning to your snowcat-drawn sleigh. If you drink enough of the house-made glog, you might even pretend there are horses and whinny. That would be fun for the other guests. Most Fridays and Saturdays; from $89.
Hazie’s Snowshoe Dinner
The Steamboat Gondola takes you up to 9,100 feet, but the rest is up to you. Snowshoe with your tour guide for about a mile, during which you’ll marvel at the moonlit scenery, learn about Steamboat’s history and/or curse whose ever idea this was. (Sorry!) After, sit down for your delicious reward at Hazie’s restaurant. Meet at Steamboat Sports at Gondola Square; Fridays and Saturdays, through March 28; $95.
Four Points Lodge
Your enclosed (read: heated!) snowcat awaits just steps from the gondola. Zip on up to Four Points Lodge, where floor-to-ceiling windows and northern Italian fare compete for your attention. Pro tip: Choose both! You can enjoy both the views and the food. Open for dinner Thursday-Sunday; from $109.