Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Restaurant Review: Allred's, Telluride, CO

Perched high on the mountain at the St. Sophia gondola station between Telluride and Mountain Village, the view from Allred's alone might be worth dining here, even if you couldn't eat a thing on the menu. Fortunately for the GF crowd, the restaurant proves especially accommodating. They use no thickeners in their sauces and soups, much of the menu is naturally gluten-free, and perhaps most comforting of all, General Manager Carrie Smith is gluten-free. She and her staff can help you safely navigate the menu en route to an elevated GF dining experience. Granted, you'll pay for that experience. Allred's can be pricy. But the view plus the food make it a must-dine destination when in Telluride.

Olathe Sweet Corn and Montrose Tomato appetizer

Like many higher-end restaurants these days, Allred's is sourcing much of its menu locally. It doesn't necessarily market itself as farm-to-table, but it's in that spirit. Which is maybe best embodied by an Olathe sweet corn and Montrose tomato appetizer I had during a recent visit. Every ingredient on the plate was hit-you-over-the-head fresh and absolutely delicious. Now, keep in mind that by the time you're likely skiing in Telluride this winter, such local, seasonal ingredients won't be in season. So an appetizer like this won't likely be on the menu. But it will surely be replaced with something appropriately seasonal and tasty.

Olathe Sweet Corn soup with wild harvested local mushrooms

Asparagus. 'Nuff said

Sides, such as the asparagus, are served family style, which makes it great to order a number of things and share.

Elk loin

I never pass up an opportunity to have a truly great piece of elk, and Allred's didn't disappoint. The loin was perfectly seared on the exterior, while remaining raw in the middle, like a fine piece of sushi-grade tuna. Several sauces on the side complemented the meat, but didn't overwhelm the lean, delicate flavors of the elk.

Apricot panna cotta

Finally, to conclude a very long and leisurely meal (the best way, I'm convinced, to enjoy Allred's), dessert consisted of the apricot panna cotta with a white chocolate mousse. All I'll say about it was that it tasted like an apricot creamsicle. Heavenly.

In the end, Allred's was the kind of dining experience where - having fully soaked in the view, and having spent several hours making my way through numerous courses - I left with a single sentiment: delightful.

- Pete

3 comments:

glutenfreeforgood said...

Wow, that is my kind of meal, although I'd have to share that big chunk of elk. I'm a "condiment-sized" meat eater. I've been to Allred's and agree, it's a high altitude, fine dining experience. And don't you love it when one of the main players lives the GF lifestyle. Makes it so much easier to get your point across and like you said, "most comforting." Food (like your corn and tomato appetizer) is so much better when it's only traveled a short distance to your plate. That appetizer looked amazing, as did that apricot creamsicle-style dessert.

I love Telluride! Have been going there since I was a little kid (I hate to admit -- before the ski are was even there).

Great, informative post. Love the local angle!
Melissa

peterbronski said...

Hi Melissa... Thanks for your comment! Yeah, the elk was a generous portion. I didn't finish it, which I felt a little bad about because a) it was so good, and b) it was elk. I agree...love Telluride. Can't wait to get back there this winter. (By the way, I've been having more beets and cherries these days, though I still don't own a VitaMix!)

Cheers, Pete

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