Best Restaurant- Rocky Mountain Region

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | July 12th, 2010 | Restaurant News

Moving east from the Pacific Hawaii region, Think Tasty now heads to the Rocky Mountain region.  Encompassing Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, we will share our top ten picks from the many that were submitted.  For the next ten days, readers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite place.  Voting will end at 5:00 pm EDT on Thursday, July 22nd, and the winner will be announced on Friday.

1. 1515 Restaurant, Denver, CO

1515 Restaurant is located in the historical neighborhood of LoDo in Denver. Nestled at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains, the restaurant fosters an intimate dining experience based on the accomplished Restaurateur Gene Tang and his dedication to service, Chef Chuck James’ focus is on original cuisine and the restaurant’s commitment to sustainable practices.Executive Chef Chuck James is gaining notoriety for his vision and table fare while preserving a socially-responsible mission. His strict use of locally-available meats and produce and grown on-site herbs helped 1515 Restaurant receive recognition as one of the top 50 sustainable businesses in Denver. But it is his unique cuisine which has gained the attention of the masses.

2. The Cabin Restaurant, Park City, UT

Enjoy one of the finest dining experiences in Park City. The Executive Chef prepares the best in creatively inspired New American cuisine. The menu includes a new selection of salads, steaks, chops, fresh fish and delicious desserts. To compliment this exceptional menu, we offer an award winning wine list recognized by Wine Spectator and a cocktail bar that’s sinfully great (pun intended). Cozy up next to a fire or bask in semi-private seating, it’s all available there.

3. Deadwood Social Club, Deadwood, SD

Deadwood Social Club manages to be a local fixture in the middle of Deadwood’s tourist-drenched Main Street, partly because it’s a little out of the way: up a narrow stairwell, away from the crowds looking at Wild Bill Hickok tributes in the Saloon No. 10 downstairs. The décor is a strange blend of 19th-century frontier Victorian and northern Italian, which reflects the menu: Tuscan-inspired pastas and vegetables with beef and bison steaks from local ranches. The wine list (more than 100 the last time it was checked) is a distinct bonus.

4. Elephant Bar, Albuquerque, NM

At the bar, service is fabulous – courteous, efficient, they do not hover or ignore. The staff seems genuinely interested in your dining pleasure and experience. Ambiance is jungle related but modern. One lunch of note is the coconut crusted shrimp, known by some as the best shrimp ever eaten. The lamb is also adored, as it melts in your mouth and is seasoned perfectly. Presentation of the meals on the plate is nothing short of artistic. A restaurant patron also noted that their daiquiris are exquisite.

5. Luminaria, Santa Fe, NM

Luminaria is celebrating its 2nd anniversary at The Inn and Spa at Loretto.  At Luminaria, Chef Brian Cooper’s signature dishes highlight the best of American cuisine with Santa Fe flair, including, award winning tortilla soup, chile crusted shrimp with house made fettuccine, smoky ancho seasoned steaks and a number of locally sourced dishes. Enjoy a glass of wine under the stars on the patio softly lit by lanterns. Luminaria received Wine Spectator’s 2009 Award of Excellence.

6. The Palace Restaurant, Durango, CO

The Palace Restaurant is a Durango landmark and tradition for over 40 years. Located in the original historic Palace Hotel, the restaurant retains the elegant character of late 19th century Western architecture and design. Chef Paul Gelose strives to retain the authenticity, creating a casually elegant and fun atmosphere complemented by a menu that is both modern and timeless. Whether sipping margaritas on the patio on a warm summer day or enjoying a center cut filet by the fire in the dining room on a cold winter’s evening, you will experience comfort, delicious and well-prepared food, and attentive service.   Just taste their Chicken and Dumplings with Cranberry Compote and your taste buds will vote!

7. Pirogue Grille, Bismarck, ND

Pirogue Grille specializes in Midwest prairie cuisine, using local fruits, vegetables and meats. Featured items include locally raised bison, lamb and beef, and house-made venison sausage. Homemade chokecherry chocolate ice cream and Rhubartinis are two examples of popular, house-made seasonal specialties. The ambiance has a metropolitan feel featuring exposed brick walls, high ceilings and a rich walnut bar. A graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and Walt Disney World’s Culinary Management Program, chef proprietor Stuart Tracy previously was Chef de Cuisine at the Fairmount Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma, California, and Executive Chef at The Rivery.

8. Talisker on Main, Park City, UT

Talisker on Main is the first public offering from Park City’s preeminent residential developer and private club, Talisker. The restaurant is an opportunity for the public to experience a “taste of Talisker” through cuisine and unparalleled service. Talisker on Main opened January 2010 and translates to historic Main Street with American Artisan cuisine and unrivaled service. Under the culinary direction of Chef John Murcko, long-time beloved Park City chef, the restaurant serves dinner nightly. Interior design by Denton House Interiors presents an unexpected Park City occurrence, with four distinct dining areas (dining room, wine room, outdoor patio, and living room).

9. Westbank Grill, Jackson Hole, WY

Westbank Grill is a modern American steakhouse at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, featuring an equally exceptional menu and atmosphere. Located in Teton Village, its signature dishes are made with locally sourced ingredients and include succulent items, such as Wyoming Buffalo Rib Eye with Sun-dried Huckleberry Sauce and delectable homemade desserts, such as Banana Foster, Vanilla Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream with Walnut Nougat Crunch. Westbank Grill is nestled at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and features a cozy indoor fireplace, year-round outdoor heated seating on the terrace and breathtaking mountain views.

10. Wine Cellar Restaurant, Rapid City, SD

Wine Cellar Restaurant is a casual fine dining restaurant that features European & Californian cuisine at its finest! The food is made to order with the freshest seasonal ingredients. They have an extensive wine menu with over 70 wines by the bottle and over 50 available by the glass. They also have an outstanding selection of imported and domestic beer. Wine Cellar Restaurant is situated in beautiful historic downtown Rapid City in one of its many historic buildings. The hardwood floors and 12′ high tin ceilings encompass their intimate dining room complete with linen table clothes, fresh flowers and a host of candles. In their wine bar, they have a 12′ custom made pinewood bar with a brass foot rail and an impressive view of their wine collection.

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Please note that there are strict regulations on voting. Additionally, our system audits for fraudulent votes.

  1. Errin Kent says:

    The Palace is the BEST! I love the Crispy Duck with honey and almonds; and the house salad and rolls are to die for!

  2. Duff says:

    Ambiance, variety and value make the Palace a winner every time I go. True Durango feel there.

  3. Amber Johnson says:

    I vote for the Palace!

  4. Fran B. says:

    I absolutely enjoy an opportunity to take guests to this unique and chic spot in Bismarck when in the area! It is wonderful to share a little bit of the unique Dakota cusine whether it is a little bit of the sauteed bison medallions, a salad with snippets of goat cheese and walnuts and either a rhubarbtini or strawberry-rhubarb ice cream for dessert! Quite the delight on the prairie!

  5. Julie Holligan says:

    I love The Palace has a great Sunday Brunch with New Orleans cuisine. The best brunch in Durango.

  6. hope says:

    Palace all the way!

  7. Ginny Chambers says:

    I vote for the Palace in Durango, Co. It is a wonderful restaurant and Chef Paul Gelose has an amazing menu.

  8. grace goss says:

    I vote for the Palace! It is the best!

  9. […] Restaurant polls is meeting interesting chefs and discovering amazing restaurants.  Through the Rocky Mountain poll I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Paul Gelose of The Palace Restaurant in Durango, Colorado.  […]

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