Since 1963, Denverites have retreated to The Fort to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city and feast on award-winning fare from the Old West. Situated amidst the beautiful red rock formations just 20 miles southwest of the city, this remote restaurant near Denver will truly make you feel a million miles away from it all. Shop for sundries at the Trading Company, sip cool cocktails on their sunny patio, and dine on modern western cuisine at this uniquely historic spot nestled in the tranquil foothills of Morrison.
The remarkably scenic Fort Restaurant is modeled after Bent’s Fort, a famous Colorado fur trade fort originally built in 1833 on the border of Old Mexico and the U.S. Territory (what is now La Junta in southeastern Colorado).
In the early 1960s, The Fort's original owner and designer Sam’l Arnold hired famed adobe architect William Lumpkins to aid in the construction of the building, staying true to its historical model, Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site. They commissioned authentic adobe brick makers, who puddled over 80,000 40-pound bricks made of mud and straw to construct the main building. Today, if you look closely, you can still see the earth and straw within each carefully laid brick.
In the restaurant's courtyard is a replica of an 1830’s Fur Trading post, where guests can purchase goods and souvenirs to commemorate their Fort experience. The shop boasts books, handmade jewelry, Native American keepsakes, and a "Kids Corner" stocked with stuffed animals, headdresses, and much, much more!
The Fort's warm, scenic sun-drenched patio is a sublimely serene spot to unwind after a long day at the office or on the mountain. Enjoy the beauty of the surrounding foothills and red rocks formations while sipping a cold beverage and dining on Old West fare with deliciously modern twists.
Might I suggest The Fort's signature cocktail, the Hailstorm, the state's first booze-filled beverage served at Bent's Fort in 1833. Legend has it, the Front Range receives the highest frequency of hail in North America, and in the 1830s, visitors to Bent Fort would catch the hail in a mason jar and mix a glorious alcoholic concoction that became known as the Fort's 1840 Hailstorm Premiere Julep.
This modern but rustic eatery specializes in "new foods of the Old West," with culinary influences from the pioneers, Indian tribes, and Mexican and Spanish traders, who ate and traveled along the Santa Fe Trail. Original owners Sam’l P. Arnold and his wife Elizabeth “Bay” Arnold did extensive research to create their authentically western menu, which contains all the old staples that the mountain men munched, including buffalo, bone marrow, and quail.
Throughout the summer they boast a sizzling, mouthwateringly magnificent BBQ Ribs Special that'll please both your palette and your wallet. It runs through Tuesday, September 6, so you've still got time to cash in on this downright darn tootin' deal!
The Fort features the finest selection of beef, buffalo, game, and seafood, with their biggest claim to fame being that they sell more buffalo steaks than any other independently owned eatery in the nation. Yeehaw!
Though most of the menu items are pretty mountain-man heavy, they also offer lighter options like their Scottish Salmon, Ruby Red Trout, and Vegetarian Tamales.
Make sure you cowboys and cowgirls save room for dessert, because they've got scrumptious sweet treats like this Chocolate Chile Bourbon Cake, Fresh Colorado Fruit Tart, or Bobbie Chaim’s Famous Cheesecake, Sam's most prized recipe that claims to be, "Better than your first kiss."
Next time you and your number one fan are looking to get away from the pressures of city life, stop in at The Fort for a deliciously rich meal steeped in Colorado history.
And if you're truly lucky, you just may find a pot o' gold in them thar hills!
The wonderfully remote
represents the true essence of Colorado, so saddle up and make your culinary escape today.
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