Dinner at Alpino Vino, the highest-elevation fine-dining restaurant in the United States, is a unique experience that begins with a modern sleigh ride and a glass of prosecco.
If you’re a fan of Bravo’s Top Chef and caught Season 15, set in Colorado, then you’re familiar with Alpino Vino at the Telluride Ski & Golf Resort. Sitting at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, which makes it the highest-elevation fine-dining restaurant in the United States, Alpino Vino is the site of a baking challenge that saw chef Chris Scott eliminated from the show. Baking is a challenge at such heights, which is why executive chef Nicola Peccedis and his team do not bake bread on premises. They have it delivered fresh from town.
But, as the elevation alone indicates, they also deliver a one-of-a-kind experience: a setting that evokes the craggy, fairy-tale landscape of the Dolomites, an Italian Alps range.
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Lunch is a casual service that includes a deck facing the Wilson Range, perfect for a glass of wine and grilled cheese sandwich, says Andrew Shaffner, resort wine director and Alpino Vino’s general manager. “It goes perfectly with ski in-ski out.”
Dinner begins with a modern sleigh ride — blankets and all — via an enclosed snow coach and a glass of prosecco greeting. It continues with a rich five-course gourmet Italian menu at $150 per person, with optional wine pairing service for an additional $75. Last season’s menu included house-made spinach ravioli with wild mushrooms and a Parmesan fonduta (a silky sauce the color of the edge of a sunset) accompanied by a 2016 malvasia red from Vignai del Duline in Friuli, Italy. The wine’s fruit-and-nuts bouquet and its lingering, dry finish offer matching and juxtaposing notes to the warming, woody dish. Its earthiness was bolstered by a sunrise-golden beet soup topped with black truffles paired with a berry- and minerals-characterized 2014 chiavennasca from Lombardy. Wagyu, red snapper, a cheese course, and tiramisu also made appearances last winter.
“It’s a charming, high-end experience,” Shaffner says. “It is a fairy-tale experience.” This is truly the stuff once-upon-a-times are made of.
For more information on Alpino Vino, visit the Telluride Ski & Golf Resort website.
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Photography: Courtesy Alpino Vino/Telluride Ski & Golf Resort
From the April 2019 issue.