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The Ski Tip Lodge in Keystone

Image: Vail Resorts

Enjoying a meal next to a crackling hearth ranks among the quintessential ski-country experiences. Whether that source of heat and hospitality happens to be in a Zagat-rated dining room or at the local diner is beside the point. It’s about creating a cozy, inviting ambience that defines the magic of winter—especially when the windows are frosted and it’s 20 below outside. Try any of these Summit County hot spots, and you’ll understand.

Amazing Grace

On the corner of Lincoln and French in Breckenridge, locals meet at “the Grace” to plan the day’s alpine adventures and wolf down hearty, organic breakfasts and lunches around a blazing wood stove. 213 E Lincoln Ave., Breckenridge; 970-453-1445; amazinggracebreck.com

Blue Spruce Inn

This historic roadhouse, which moved to Frisco when the Dillon Reservoir was built in 1961, serves some of the thickest steaks in Summit, paired with a shot of whiskey poured on a hand-hewn bar that came West via covered wagon in the 1860s. 20 Main St., Frisco; 970-668-5900; thebluespruce.com

Ember

Self-taught chef Scotty Boshaw prides himself on crafting the most diverse fine-dining menu in Breckenridge—from halibut cheeks to lamb sirloin to soft-shell crab—served in the living room of a Victorian home oriented around a river stone hearth. 106 E Adams Ave., Breckenridge; 970-547-9595; emberbreck.com

Pug Ryan’s Steakhouse and Brewery

More casual than other fireside dining options, Pug Ryan’s in downtown Dillon is famous for its tiki bar, prime rib, and craft-brewed beers that have captured eight medals at the Great American Beer Festival. Try the King’s Cut with a Pali Pilsner. 104 Village Pl., Dillon; 970-468-2145; pugryans.com

Ski Tip Lodge

Once a stagecoach stop for miners, the Ski Tip is now an upscale bed-and-breakfast with a glorious prix fixe dinner menu and two well-stoked stone hearths: one in the dining room, and another in the sitting room where sated guests linger over after-dinner cocktails. 764 Montezuma Rd., Keystone; 970-496-4202; keystoneresort.com

 

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