Keystone is no match for the likes of Vail or Aspen when it comes to its restaurants – except when it comes to lunchtime on the mountain. The Alpenglow Stube is the place to target – set at 11,444ft at the top of North Peak with magnificent views. You change from skiboots to sheepskin slippers, and tuck into a four-course lunch which features seafood as well as pheasant, lamb and venison. By American standards its pricey, but worth it at least once on the holiday.
The next best option – on a sunny day – is the barbecue at Labonte’s cabin, between Dercum and North Peak, and there are typical American food-court dining-rooms at the top of Dercum and North Peak too, if you’d rather eat a burger, wrap or pizza quickly and get on with the skiing.
The dinner scene is considerably enlivened by the fact that there are two restaurants open on the mountain at night, served by gondola – the Alpenglow Stube and Der Fondue Chessel. Like the Alpenglow, Der Fondue Chessel is on North Peak and majors on cheese. It also does chocolate fondue and has live Bavarian music and dancing. Meanwhile, down at village level the Ski Tip Lodge is highly rated for its modern Colorado cooking – and there’s a horse-drawn sleigh ride to a restored rancher’s homestead, where you’ll talk cowboy, eat cowboy and listen to cowboy songs.
For quick cheap eats in the evening, skiers are well-served in Keystone, especially in River Run, where are several taverns and pizzerias. If you fancy steak then the Bighorn Steakhouse at the Keystone Lodge and Spa in Lakeside is the place to go.
Meanwhile, for coffee, breakfast, lunch and sandwiches, the café-cum-library called the Inxpot in River Run has a big following. It also serves cocktails from 5-7pm.