SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Telluride can no longer claim the honor of hosting diners at the highest elevation restaurant in North America. That honor now goes to Arapahoe Basin’s newly-opened il Rifugio at Snowplume Bistro.

(credit: CBS)

Prior to the door opening at 12,456 feet at the top of the mountain at Arapahoe Basin, Telluride’s Alpino Vino was king of the hill while sitting at 11,966 feet.

(credit: CBS)

Colorado-native, Chef Jarrod Wright was busy Wednesday slicing imported meats and cheeses by hand.

“I’ve worked at a lot of really cool restaurants but this is hands-down the most unique,” Wright says.

(credit: CBS)

The European-style bistro serves up salads, paninis and meat and cheese boards along with soups, desserts and espresso from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. daily. The liquor license is expected in the next few weeks.

Getting a seat inside requires you to pack you skis. The location, while beautiful, does bring with it lots of challenges for the staff, procedure-wise.

Jarrod Wright (credit: CBS)

“We have to bring up clean water, take down dirty water, take up clean dishes, bring down dirty dishes. We have no running water up here. It makes it a logistical issue,” Wright explained.

Everything they need to operate the place with is brought up in the most Colorado-style possible.

(credit: CBS)

“(Snow)cat, snowmobile and the lifts do the heavy lifting,” Wright said.

(credit: CBS)

And the reviews from customers are so far so good.

A couple visiting from Golden told CBS4 finding the little bistro was a “welcomed surprise.”

Matt Kroschel

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