Artfully Presented Dishes at Blue River Bistro in Breckenridge, Colorado

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No matter the season, the Blue River Bistro is the perfect ending to a day on the mountain. The restaurant combines casual and sophistication to create an attractive atmosphere, where you’ll still feel at home in jeans.

Location: Blue River Bistro located at 305 N. Main Street in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Menu: This 100-seat modern Italian-American restaurant located on the Blue River serves bistro fare.

Wheat shafts on the menu indicate gluten-free options. Your server can also make suggestions for dishes that can be prepared gluten-free.

Vegetarians will also find a hearty meal. One example,  Keema is a flavorful vegetarian option. The dish is slow cooked lentils, tofu, chilies, tomato, cilantro, and red curry over jasmine rice.

Make your server aware of any food allergies, as they make every effort to accommodate.

Thoughts: The setting is a casually elegant dining setting with modern, clean lines. Casarietti modern abstract art compliments the sky-blue walls.

The food fits in perfectly, as artfully arranged as the décor. Our server presented a complimentary amuse-bouche of ahi tuna tartar combined with cilantro, cucumber, and just the right amount of sesame oil. The combination served on a fried wonton cracker, came arranged in the bowl of a spoon. The spoon’s handle balanced on the wine bottle cork half, all placed on a square white plate. What an excellent way to start the meal.

Many of Breckenridge’s restaurants close during the shoulder seasons, from one week to one month; but Blue River Bistro remains open throughout the seasons. I suggest reservations; however, walk-ins are welcome.

Live music, from Delta Blues to instrumental jazz, features local musicians along with some from Denver. Check their website for their music schedule.

The wine menu offers a wide variety of both imported and domestic wine. With two happy hours daily, one from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and one from 9:00 p.m. to midnight, two-for-one appetizers and martinis make Happy Hour a definite value.

Some of my favorite dishes are:

  • The artfully arranged Caprese starter is as flavorful as it is pretty. Four beefsteak tomato slices, alternate with four fresh mozzarella slices to create a stacked tower appetizer. Fresh basil leaves integrate to create freshness. Basil-infused olive oil and a balsamic reduction drizzle over the tower accompanied by three buttered baguette slices.
  • The braised Brussel sprouts, with roasted pears, crispy pancetta, and drizzled with a spiced honey drizzle.
  • The salmon Oscar, seared Scottish salmon, topped with lump crabmeat, sprinkled with a tarragon-basil béarnaise sauce. All of this served with shaved roasted new potatoes and asparagus.
  • The Tiger shrimp and Andouille sausage served over linguine pasta. It has a roasted red pepper pesto cream sauce with red onion and spinach.
  • The shellfish Cioppino packed full of Alaskan king crab leg, Tiger shrimp, bay scallops, mussels, and fresh fish. The mushrooms, tomatoes, and green onions combine with a spicy garlic tomato broth over angel hair pasta.
  • The beef short ribs covered with a stout pan sauce and accompanied by a bacon and mushroom risotto. Grilled zucchini makes the perfect side.

Price Range: Appetizers range from $11 for fried calamari with house-made cocktail sauce to $15 for ahi poke or mahi-mahi fish tacos. In the soup and salad category, a cup of cream of tomato basil soup is $4. Salads range from $7 for a garden salad to $11 for a kale salad. Add protein, chicken, tiger shrimp, salmon, or tofu to any salad for $5. Pasta garnished with parmesan cheese, range from $18 for homemade meat lasagna to $30 for shellfish Cioppino over angel hair pasta. Entrees run from $22 for a vegetarian option to $30 for beef short ribs. Desserts range from $7 for brandy chocolate truffles to $9 for chocolate-almond bread pudding. Dinner for two runs about $100 including tax and gratuity.

DisclosureThe author received a complimentary meal as part of a press trip.

For Pinterest: Pin this to your favorite Italian-American restaurant board.

Visit Blue River Bistro in Breckenridge, Colorado, for Italian-American bistro fare.

Amy Piper

Amy Piper is a freelance food and travel writer. She writes about food and multi-generational travel on her blog Follow the Piper. You can follow her on Twitter @amythepiper.

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