Always ready to up its game, the "world's highest distillery," Breckenridge Distillery added a restaurant supplement to its lineup on Airport Road in the Summit County mountain town. Construction began in April and finally the Breckenridge Distillery Restaurant opened last week.
While traveling the country on the Cochon555 food tour for the past several years, Bryan Nolt, who had been toying with the idea of a food concept to add to his destination distillery for some time, met chef Daniel O'Brien in Washington, D.C. The two were introduced by Michael Sullivan, a former butcher at Blackberry Farm. Sullivan suggested that O'Brien would be a perfect fit for Nolt's food-inspired idea and a culinary partnership was born.
The restaurant is all about seasonal food and locally sourced ingredients. Small plates and family-style dishes reign supreme, and highlights include the Dutch baby with mushrooms and goat cheese, the pig brisket with bulgogi sauce, smoked trout, and house-made pastas. For fancy times, caviar service will also be included on the menu and an extensive craft cocktail list comes to visitors from Billie Keithley.
O'Brien has an extensive culinary resume, working with chefs from Michael Schlor of Radius to Marc Orfaly of Pigalle. He also appeared on Bravo's "Top Chef," before moving to Washington D.C., and working under Todd Gray of Equinox and later Bibiana. He opened Seasonal Pantry which received numerous accoladed and after five years in that role, was ready for a change. Just in the knick of time, he signed on for the Breckenridge Distillery Restaurant.
Nolt calls the restaurant an "extension of himself," noting the decorative items are on loan from his personal collection.The restaurant is just one of an intended multi-phase project, involving product expansion, a brewery and winery, in part because the restaurant cannot serve anything it doesn't make, thanks to state liquor laws.