For traveling skiers, pulling off I-70 at Glenwood Springs means that Aspen's slopes are just 40 miles away. But if you're hungry (and the lifts have already closed) that hour in the car can seem like an eternity. Instead of powering through, pile out of the car into Juicy Lucy's Steakhouse. This local hotspot has won Wine Spectator's award of excellence three years in a row and offers Glenwood's brand of fine dining: white linen napkins and elk antlers, filet mignon and blue jeans.
Owners David and Cece Zumwinkle (who named the restaurant after their daughter) opened in 1999 and found an immediate following. The place is always busy, partly because Juicy Lucy's doesn't take reservations, but mostly because it's a hotspot that appeals to locals and savvy tourists alike. The 65-seat rustic dining area is almost always busy, but diners seem content to wait for a table, stretching their legs and sipping chilled martinis or swilling one of the 116 fine wines.
Prices are reasonable, especially for mountain food: A glass of vino runs about $5, and a steak dinner, complete with fresh bread and potatoes, comes in at about $17. Follow the locals' lead and order the tender New York strip and the Seventh Street salad with mixed greens, goat cheese, caramelized walnuts, and strawberries, tossed in light poppy seed vinaigrette. Bonus: The Zumwinkles emphasize local ingredients, so chances are that baked potato came from just down the road, and in summer the corn and peaches are plucked from nearby farms. Now, with hunger pangs soothed, the remaining car ride will seem just what it is, only a matter of miles.
Juicy Lucy's Steakhouse is open daily for lunch and dinner. 308 Seventh St., Glenwood Springs, 970-945-4619