Breckenridge Dining Scene Heating Up with ‘Relish’
In general, the Breckenridge dining scene is hustling to catch up to its elite resort image. It’s not that there isn’t good food to be had up and down the few pedestrian-filled streets nestled in around the ski hills. But, many of them make their hay feeding the ski addict crowd — and that well-heeled group wants quick, simple eats accompanied by ample alcohol.
There is a more sophisticated crowd visiting Breckenridge – accompanied by locals who would just as soon sidestep the ski bums on weekends. That’s where classy sit-down spots like Relish make their play.
Driven by owner and Chef Matt Fackler, Chef Clint Ketchum and Sous Chef Randy Lemere, Relish fills its tables every night in and out of ski season. Those passing seasons shift the menu at Relish, with the kitchen crew changing it regularly to make use of as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.
The menu is heavy on fresh meat and fish from Colorado wherever possible, but the chefs’ preparation isn’t limited to Americana. For example, diners can take on the Grilled Dry Aged Togarashi Spiced Japanese Sakura Pork Chop with Sweet Potato Fries, Curry Roasted Cauliflower and Black Garlic Glaze 29. Or, there’s the Chorizo Spiced Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Saffron Polenta Cake, Wilted Baby Kale, Brussel Sprouts and Lime Caper Butter Sauce.
I opted for the Potato Chip Crusted Rocky Mountain Trout with Pistachio Pesto Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Acorn Squash, and parsley lemon brown butter. The delicate flavor of fresh trout is easy to crush if a dish is over seasoned, but the preparation at Relish was perfect.
I partnered that with a very stiff Housemade Rock and Rye – a classic old cocktail prepared extra stiff with Feisty Rye Whisky infused with fruit, spices, and rock candy. There were echoes of Breckenridge’s old west history in that drink’s kick.
As for desserts, Relish makes that local affair, too. Highlights include the Colorado Apple Crisp with Cinnamon Ice Cream, Cajeta Caramel, and Pecan Streusel Topping or the Colorado artisanal cheese & salami plate with lavender honey, marcona almonds, and housemade buttermilk lavosh.
Relish fills up its reservations offering modern, enhanced takes on the classic western heritage. Breckenridge could use more joints like it, and the locals keep the rumors circling that more are on the way as some celebrity chefs see potential in hanging their shingles in the ski town.
If that happens, Relish is in a good position to shake off the competition just fine.