Bring fine dining home with Breckenridge’s elevated takeout
Delivery or takeout is often associated with pizza, burgers and other fast food that might not sate discerning palates. It’s true that chefs and owners may find it too difficult to adequately package or preserve a finely plated dish. It can also be hard to emulate the ambiance of an award-winning restaurant at home or in a vacation rental.
Yet that doesn’t mean elevated takeout meals can’t be found in High Country destinations such as Breckenridge. Here are three options for those who aren’t comfortable dining at a restaurant, can’t get a coveted reservation or simply want to relax with a night in.
Blue River Bistro
970-453-6974, 305 N. Main St., BlueRiverBistro.com
Blue River Bistro has always done takeout, yet the coronavirus pandemic changed the way it thought about the service. Owner Jay Beckerman said staff members analyzed every item they served and wouldn’t offer it to-go if they couldn’t present it in a way to match the on-site dining experience.
That meant mussels, escargot and creme brulee were out, but Beckerman said the culinary team made adjustments in packaging so other menu options, like the braised buffalo short ribs and the shrimp and sausage pasta dish, traveled well.
“For example, if you have a salad with protein on it, that warm protein wilts the lettuce,” Beckerman said. “So we wrap the protein in aluminum foil and place it on the side so the salad would still be crunchy and the cucumber would still have texture and the protein is still warm.”
Additionally, the Sakura pork chop or Gold Canyon beef tenderloin are cooked a little less than usual because they’ll cook a little longer in the box on the way to the destination.
The restaurant won a Best of Summit Award for its takeout, and Beckerman said staff handles the situation seriously because servers don’t have the luxury of checking in on guests mid-meal. Blue River Bistro wants the food to be perfect when it leaves the restaurant and perfect when it arrives home.
“I feel like it is a public service of a sort,” Beckerman said. “Dining options in Breckenridge are limited, and we feel that we can support our community and our locals by serving our food on a demand basis so they can take it home to enjoy it, as well.”
Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon
970-453-9948, 109 Lincoln Ave., BriarRoseChophouse.com
Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon specializes in aged beef and fresh, wild game served alongside cocktails poured at a bar that dates back to 1883. While in-person dining is the preferred method to sample the oysters on a half shell, steak tartare, lobster tail and more, everything on the menu is available for takeout.
“We have a really nice, dry-aged, bone-in bison rib-eye from a ranch in South Dakota,” General Manager David Lipka said. “We have elk and wild game sausage, and this winter, we’re going to bring back our buffalo short ribs. Those are really fun items that people expect to see in a mountain town.”
What sets Briar Rose apart is its butcher shop that allows people to purchase raw steaks to prepare at home to their liking. A 6-ounce Harris Ranch beef filet can be bought for $32, while a 16-ounce Harris Ranch prime New York strip costs $50. The meat is packaged with finishing salt. Lipka said those taking food to go can re-create the steakhouse experience by adding family-style sides like shishito peppers, asparagus and potatoes.
Grab a bottle of wine or a specialty cocktail to wash it all down. Pre-bottled drinks are also available, such as a Mountain Manhattan that can serve three people for $36 or six people for $65. The restaurant’s Old-Fashioned, aviation and cosmopolitan are also batched for multiple people.
970-771-3944, 103 N. Main St., CarboyWinery.com
The Breckenridge location of Carboy Winery — which also has establishments in Denver, Littleton and Palisade — has its entire food menu available for takeout as well as that of its neighbor, The Gold Pan Saloon.
Chris Butler, the general manager and co-owner of Carboy and Gold Pan, said the tapas-style shared plates make Carboy a great choice for family gatherings or dinner parties. For filling snacks, grab the balsamic-glazed ribs, bison carpaccio, tacos made with wine tortillas or the burrata, which is paired with heirloom tomatoes in the summer and beets in the winter.
Add in the flexibility of Gold Pan’s more casual items, like burgers and chicken fingers, and guests can leave satisfied with something for everyone.
Ordering by phone is preferred for pickup. Delivery request can be placed online through the local service Warrior Xpress, which Butler said the restaurant partnered with due to its reliability. Cocktails and Carboy’s signature wine are also available for takeout; however, wine flights remain a tasting room exclusive.
Dishes are plated in various boxes that give staff the freedom to separate and partition ingredients — such as brown mustard for a meat board or seasonal puree for cheeses — to preserve the presentation.
“It allows us to plate it almost the same way we would plate it in the restaurant,” Butler said. “… It’s important that if someone orders a meat and cheese board that we’re not just throwing the ingredients in a little to-go container.”
This story previously published in the winter 2021-22 edition of Explore Breckenridge & Summit County magazine.
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