Best Deck or Patio: Sauce on the Blue
Every year, the Italian restaurant takes home a multitude of awards in the Best of Summit contest — most notably winning the coveted Best Restaurant in Summit County each year since 2018.
“We don’t take that for granted. We continue to strive to take care of our customers, and I think it shows,” said Tim Applegate, managing partner.
This year was tough on every restaurant in Summit County with occupancy restrictions due to the pandemic, but Applegate said they concentrated on “what we can do and not what we can’t.” Part of that was increasing space on the outdoor patio by 50% and adding more live music.
“We are all jonesing for Red Rocks or a live music performance,” Applegate said, adding that he wanted to give people more of a chance for that opportunity by offering live music.
The restaurant set up an elevated stage outside, which allowed distancing between the musicians and patrons. When not in use for music, tables were added to the stage to provide even more outdoor seating overlooking the Blue River. The goal was to keep everything as far apart as possible to make it comfortable for people, Applegate said.
The restaurant redesigned its kitchen to deal with an increased influx of to-go orders — adding new appliances, equipment and even an extra staff member to keep up with the demand. This winter, Applegate said they plan to add four high-end yurts on the patio with radiant floor heating that will seat six to eight people, an idea that originated even before the pandemic. With yurts overlooking the Blue River, Applegate said it would open up the unique dining experience to anyone.
With all of the new regulations, Applegate said the most important thing to him was keeping his customers and staff safe.
“All of this has been a challenge, but my staff has worked so hard,” he said. “I think I have one of the best front-of-house and kitchen staff in Summit County. … They are making less money than last year and yet they work twice as hard.”
In 2020, Sauce on the Blue took top honors for Best Deck or Patio, Best Italian Restaurant, Best Restaurant Silverthorne and Best Restaurant Summit County along with second for Best Wine List and third for Best Bar.
The restaurant is at 358 Blue River Parkway No. H in Silverthorne.
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