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When Aurum Food & Wine opened in Breckenridge last month, it was a win for Summit County. Denverites might remember co-owner Phillips Armstrong from his time launching Hush Concepts, arguably Denver’s first pop-up dinner series, back in 2007 and opening Tangerine in Boulder in 2011. Three years later, the original Aurum Food & Wine opened in Steamboat, followed by Table 79 Foodbar in December 2016.
Now Armstrong has added Breckenridge to his list of hot spots. Aurum Breck came about after a series of dine-arounds. “I would go [to Breck] month after month and I couldn’t believe how busy every place was,” Armstrong says. “I said ‘let’s look seriously’ [at this market].” And so a location was scouted, a plan drawn up, and—eventually—a restaurant was built, designed, and debuted.
Named after the Latin word for “gold,” Aurum does indeed shine. The space, which feels like a cozy house, is home to one of Breck’s prettiest bars and sports a menu that reads like an ode to New American cuisine; think dishes like hamachi crudo, heirloom tomato toast with prosciutto, green herb risotto, and warm king crab with brown butter dashi (ask for a spoon!). Executive chef Korey Sims (who hails from TAG and Guard and Grace, and before that the Broadmoor’s Summit restaurant and the five-star, five-diamond Penrose Room), cooks with a clarity and dedication rarely found in Summit County.
His talent is such that when Sims initially turned down the job due to the cost of living in Breckenridge, Armstrong jumped in the car and the drove three hours and 15 minutes from Steamboat to Denver to meet with him in person. They renegotiated the terms and for that, all of Summit County and its many visitors should be thankful. Based on diner feedback, that seems to be the case: “Breckenridge has been unbelievably welcoming,” Armstrong says.
209 S Ridge St, Breckenridge, 970-771-3943