19 Jun 2014, 1:59pm
Colorado Restaurants Telluride:
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Comments Off on La Marmotte and 221 South Oak: Two Lovely Telluride Restaurants Inside and Out

La Marmotte and 221 South Oak: Two Lovely Telluride Restaurants Inside and Out

Delectable Dish from La Marmotte

Delectable Dish from La Marmotte

It’s Bluegrass weekend in Telluride, Colorado, the real start of summer, and from now through Labor Day our little mountain destination will be buzzing with visitors, second home owners and even locals delighting in all that our fabulous town has to offer. Telluride’s vibrant culinary scene is part of what makes T-ride standout and between this historic, old mining town and Telluride Mountain Village, the selection of restaurants is vast. The crowds can be as well, so be sure to reserve your table as far in advance as possible—especially at the more highly regarded restaurants such as the two I outline below:  La Marmotte and 221 South Oak. Both of these long-established Telluride favorites also have outdoor patios where securing a table can pose even more of a challenge on busy weekends. But do, because if the weather is cooperating, these are two of the most prized fresh air spaces in Telluride.

La Terrace at La Marmotte

La Terrace at La Marmotte

Inside La Marmotte

Inside La Marmotte

Mark and Mairen Reggiannini

Mark and Mairen Reggiannini

La Marmotte

You’ll be charmed by La Marmotte inside and out, a Telluride institution for over two decades. Current owners Mark and Mairen Reggiannini recently renovated the restaurant—originally an ice house and one of the oldest buildings of Telluride—adding sleek, black leather chairs and contemporary accents to the existing warm, cozy decor. Enveloped by the brick and barn siding interior punctuated by color-drenched artwork, this is the place to be on a cold winter’s night, savoring one of Chef Mark’s signature dishes such as melt-in-your-mouth short ribs or a coq au vin that has simmered on the stove all day. Indeed, La Marmotte, long considered Telluride’s French restaurant, does embody la tradition française by its cuisine, look and approach. Mairen, a lovely ebullient blond, works the front of the house à la française, greeting diners and assuring that all goes well within the dining room and the restaurant’s popular bar. The restaurant practically doubles in size with the opening of its terrace, a pleasant place on a secluded street that still affords the opportunity of watching the T-ride world go by. Ah, la vie est belle, quoi.

A Superb Starter from 221 South Oak

A Superb Starter from 221 South Oak

The Back Patio at 221

The Back Patio at 221

At Home at 221

At Home at 221

Top Chef Eliza Gavin

Top Chef Eliza Gavin

221 South Oak

Here’s another chef-owned restaurant that will woo you both by its intimate decor and innovative cuisine. Chef Eliza Gavin draws from her varied experiences from learning about classic Creole cuisine in New Orleans to working in Napa Valley in an Asian-influenced restaurant to studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and more in the dishes she presents at 221 South Oak. Her versatility as a chef was tried and tested on the popular TV show Top Chef, exposure that garnered her further recognition in addition to authoring a couple of cookbooks. Yet there’s not a hint of pretension at this lovely bistrot; from the moment you walk in, you feel like you’ve been invited into someone’s home to revel in a beautifully presented meal. From the duo of summer vegetable soups, to Rocky Mountain elk ribeye with hazelnut and red wine jus to a mango upside down cake, there’s plenty on the menu to tantalize your senses. Be sure to bring a warm wrap or jacket to spend a long, languorous evening on the terrace out back, swilling wine and soaking in the sensuousness of this romantic setting. Best to go early though since once the sun sets, our Rocky Mountain evenings can be brisk even with the added benefit of space heaters. You might want to make that last glass of wine a red.

For other stories on Telluride restaurants, read Favorite Telluride Restaurants, The Village Table:  Bringing Global Soul Food to Telluride, Three Men:  Three Mountain Village RestaurantsFavorite Restaurant Picks for Vail, Beaver Creek and Telluride and Dipping, Dining and Viewing at The Peaks Resort & Spa.

 
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